Unstoppable Force of Nature and Man
How do you get BILLIONS of people to stop eating meat? How do you get them to stop driving cars or buying things made of plastic? How about getting them to stop flying in planes on business or vacations? Will countries stop over fishing to feed impovershed cities on an over populated planet? Cargo ships? Gotta have those or people don’t get goods to run the economy. How do you stop this and countless other things that create the world to heat up and cause ocean levels to rise to dangerous levels by the end of the century? The simple answer is, you don’t. The only way to seriously slow the effects of climate change is stop doing all these things, today and never do them again and that’s just not feasible.
Its also easy for certain groups to point out what they feel are the villains which only serve to fit their narrative. That being the oil industry, nuclear energy, natural gas and fossil fuel plants. This is a tiny part of a giant system of problems that can’t go away easily. As a matter of fact the damage has already been done and wouldn’t stop even if all the aforementioned problems were to stop tomorrow. This is because the oceans have absorbed so much heat that at some point it will be released in the future. As stated here:
According to a major climate report released last year by the U.S. government, the world’s oceans have absorbed about 93 percent of the excess heat caused by greenhouse gases since the mid-20th century. Scientists have found that ocean heat has increased at all depths since the 1960s, while surface waters also have warmed. The federal climate report projected a global increase in average sea surface temperatures of as much as nearly five degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 if emissions continue unabated, with even higher levels of warming in some U.S. coastal regions.¹
Impact On the Commercial Diving Industry
So this now makes it a problem to be MANAGED and not something to be solved, as in, this now calls on the actions of commercial divers and the entire maritime industry to counteract these effects with major infrastructure projects such as sea walls, alternative power generation and coastal infrastructure projects to name a few. This could possibly be the largest windfall for commercial divers not only in the United States but world wide.
With rising sea levels and flood surges created by powerful storms it doesn’t take a genius to realize that a new generation of sea walls, pumps and a myriad of hydro-centric projects will be needed. And along with this will be billions of dollars benefitting commercial dive companies. This will involve commercial divers of all skill-sets including but not limited to, underwater welders and underwater burning in order to build the massive structures that will be needed to combat all of mother nature’s fury this century. Power plant divers for retrofitting and reinforcing these stations that lie on the coast in order to protect them from rising sea levels and erosion. The capital needed to fund these projects will be in the billions of dollars and billions more to maintain these structures once they are completed, but where will the money come from?
Taxes, taxes, taxes…
The only viable solution to make a public works project of this magnitude will undoubtedly come down to public funding. Sad to say, but true. What kind of tax plan could possibly work to combat climate change on this scale? The tax plan that gets the most attention is that of a carbon tax. This however comes with many issues and many detractors. The other tax would be that of an infrastructure tax that could be based on the project and scaled to the location, population and the impact of the climate change specific to that geographical area.
The Carbon Tax
The carbon tax is simple. The government taxes power plants and other energy producing stations on how much pollution they create. This money is then kick backed to projects for sustainable energy, research and subsidize environmental programs for the government. This tax in theory would help slowly wind down our dependency on fossil fuels and usher in a new era for alternative energy thus alleviating the problems of climate change. The major problem with this approach however is that it will take time. In fact, so much time that it will do nothing to curb the effects of rising sea levels on coastal cities for decades if it ever works at all. ( A powerful hurricane doesn’t really care if you taxed your local nuclear plant, the storm surge is still going to flood your city.)
Another problem with carbon tax is that it creates little to zero jobs for anyone, unless you work for the government. The money generated will more likely be redistributed into those government programs that seek out new and interesting ideas of how to combat climate change rather than actual projects that will stop its deadly effects. In the end, its just another tax that does nothing to help, only hinder.
The Infrastructure Tax
An infrastructure tax works a lot different, in that taxes would be raised for specific projects to combat those things specifically being effected by climate change. For example, a project for New Orleans consisting of flood gates, pumps and all the infrastructure required would be approached much differently than problems effecting the New York Coast. The taxes raised and distributed, would be in the jurisdiction of the people directly effected by what they need. Also, these projects would directly address the problem head on and immediately. This would instantly create thousands of jobs, most of them being related to the water. Not only would there be an initial boost of commercial diving jobs everywhere it would be sustained. Projects of this immense size would have to be maintained around the clock making any job associated with it a permanent one. In short,a carbon tax is unpredictable and does not manage the problem directly.
The skill-sets of commercial divers are rare and exotic indeed. They could also be more sought after than ever before in the future if the planet keeps warming up and the oceans keep battering the coast like never before. It could well be said that commercial divers may just save the world someday…literally.
¹Mooney, Chris – Dennis, Brady, 2018 October 31, Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming, thewashingtonpost.com
²Picazo, Mario, 2018, June 6, Ocean Heatwaves on the Rise, theweathernetwork.com
Scott Kilgore is an author and former commercial diver.