Don't tell retired Colombian naval officer German Alfonso that global warming's impacts are still theoretical and decades away. Based on his own personal experience, he just won't buy the line that we shouldn't worry about it now because the economy is more important (which, frustratingly, is the standard line that too many in the mainstream media irresponsibly roll out as 'truth' on a daily basis).
As the L.A. times reports, just ask Alfonso about the time his neighborhood in this historic coastal city became an island.
For five years, Alfonso, 74, has watched tides rise higher and higher in the Boca Grande section of Cartagena. This month, tides briefly inundated the only mainland connection to his neighborhood, a converted sandbar where about 60 high-rise condo and hotel towers have been built in the last decade or so.
"Before, people thought it a normal phenomenon. But we're becoming more conscious that something is going on," Alfonso said. "If the sea keeps rising, traffic could just collapse."
According to a recently updated World Bank study on climate change in Latin America, Alfonso and his neighbors have reason to be concerned. Not only are the effects of global warming more evident in Latin American coastal cities, the report says, but the phenomenon could worsen in coming decades because sea levels will rise highest near the equator.
Wow -- we'll definitely file this story as another power anecdote to use as evidence that global warming is anything but some theoretical future environmental problem.
This story paints a picture of global warming as a people problem that is negatively impacting lives and livelihoods today.
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