Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

June 5th is World Environment Day. As always, the focus is on the impact of global warming and its fallout on our shorelines. World Under Water is a Google Street View powered simulation that hopes to bring the message closer to home. No — it’s not cataclysmic yet, but the simulation of what your town or city could like when water breaks through is close enough.

World Under Water is a collaboration of two marketing agencies, BBDO and Proximity Singapore along with climate change-centric crowdfunding platform CarbonStory. The dramatic Google Street View mod shows how our cities will look like when seawater breaks through and inundates urban areas. The mod highlights some of the famous landmarks around the world like Arc de Triomphe in Paris or 5th Avenue in New York. You can also type in your location and see any famous landmark of your city symbolizing the floods.

Google Street View Simulation

The imagery may not be completely accurate because it is a simple superimposition of flood waters on an image taken from Google Street View. A location’s height from sea level isn’t taken into consideration. If you want to see accurate predictions of flood levels, check out the flood.firetree.net tool.

Flood-Firetree

But the message of World Under Water is honest. Some of the facts put forward as part of the story are shocking. For instance — 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have already occurred this century.

Ads by Google

The second part of the message urges everyone to take small actions. Calculate your emissions, offset your carbon footprint, and support a green project. It is a social and global plea. Head over to your browser and try it out. If things go from bad to worse, it won’t remain a simulation anymore.

Source: 9To5 Google

  1. Colin
    May 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    @Dragonmouth
    That Thomas Midgley added a toxin (lead) to petrol is a FACT, not hyperbole. I used him as an example of hypocricy. Ohio History Central records "In 1924, he left his job for a period of time to recover from lead poisoning. Upon returning to work, Midgley held a press conference, touting the safety of lead."

    You claimed "groups and individuals" were "flitting about in their private jets" to attend meetings. I asked you to give "... a number for all these meetings you claim are going on. And while you are at it, give a number for all the meetings the fossil fuel industry undertakes" for fair comparison. You didn't answer either request, because those claims are hyperbole. In your last comment you claim " Environmentalists once pushed hard for wind turbines. Now they are against them." Again, no names, no number, no evidence whatsoever. Hyperbole. Plain and Simple.

    Renewable energy technologies take many forms. No one is suggesting a "one size fits all" solution will work. Not enough room for turbines in New York? Why not use windows that generate power, while reducing air-con costs (e.g. see Pythagoras Solar) or use thin-film solar panels (e.g. see Cool N Lite)? Reducing consumption is faster, easier and very much cheaper than having to generate energy.

    You suggest solar panels are a threat to the environment:
    1. "Don’t you think that the thousands of sqaure miles of panels would be an environmental disaster in their own right?"

    a) No, not compared to the damage that greenhouse gases will inflict on this planet for decades, if not centuries, to come. I've see solar farms with animals grazing beneath them - not what I'd call a disaster. Many US car parks have solar panels as car shelters, providing both energy and protection from bad weather.

    2. " How much energy would it take to produce all those panels? "

    a) A recent research paper states "...there is a >50% that in 2012 the PV industry is a net electricity provider and will “pay back” the electrical energy required for its early growth before 2020. Further reducing energetic costs of PV deployment will enable more rapid growth of the PV industry. There is also great potential to increase the capacity factor of PV deployment." So from 2020 AT THE LATEST, solar will bring ongoing benefit.

    b) How much energy does it cost to produce thousands of oil and gas rigs, to transport them and install them in marine environments, and to move that oil and gas thousands of miles to consumers? How many disused fracking wells litter the US countryside and will need to be destroyed? "Recent estimates have put the number of abandoned drilling operations in Wyoming at more than 1,200...The state estimated that closing the 1,200 wells already abandoned would cost about $8 million."

    3. "The production od solar panels generates toxic waste. How much of an environmental disaster would that waste be?"

    a) Where is there any evidence whatsoever of solar panel waste harming human health? Instead, "The vast majority of solar companies that generated hazardous waste in California have not been cited for waste-related pollution violations, although three had minor violations on file."

    b) Compare that warning of toxic waste, with actually (fossil fuel) history

    i. "At the height of the (Exxon Valdez) response, more than 11,000 personnel, 1,400 vessels and 85 aircraft were involved in the cleanup."

    ii. "In November 2012, BP and the United States Department of Justice settled federal criminal charges with BP pleading guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanors, and a felony count of lying to Congress. BP also agreed to four years of government monitoring of its safety practices and ethics, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that BP would be temporarily banned from new contracts with the US government. BP and the Department of Justice agreed to a record-setting $4.525 billion in fines and other payments"

    4. "those oil companies you despise so much" is your statement, not mine. I never said I despised oil companies. But one thing I will agree with you on: "They are doing it for the selfish reason of self-preservation in case the use of oil is outlawed."
    While they continue to emit greenhouse gases when they could support reductions in consumption and help other technologies scale up faster, knowing that climate change will bring more harm than good, then they are most certainly being selfish.

  2. Water
    May 11, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    The ice caps of Mars are melting too. How does my "carbon footprint" impact the climate on other planets exactly?

    • Colin
      May 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Ice melts on Mars says NOTHING about melt rate here on Earth. If I had ice cream in Mumbai and you had yours in Manitoba, would you expect them to disappear at the same rate?
      We know why the ice here is melting - far too much fossil fuel burning in the last 2 centuries, at a rate that is accelerating as the population rises. We need to switch from energy produced from burning non-renewable carbon to energy from a whole range of renewable (and less polluting) sources. Why is that so difficult to accept?

    • dragonmouth
      May 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      "We know why the ice here is melting"
      Yes, we do. There is too much hot air being generated by all the conferences, symposia and meetings on global warming. Isn't it ironic that the groups and individuals who are most vocal about "climate change" are the ones that are flitting about in their private jets from one garden spot of the world to another, holding conferences on the over-use of fossil fuels? One would think that with today's technology and their supposed convictions, they would hold TELE-conferences rather than face to face meetings. There is a word for people like that - HYPOCRITES.

      "We need to switch from energy produced from burning non-renewable carbon to energy from a whole range of renewable (and less polluting) sources."
      Agreed. However, current renewable technology is not be able to supply anywhere near the amount of energy that is needed. The efficiency of renewable energy production has to increase at least by couple orders of magnitude before it can replace the energy generated from fossil fuels. Unless, of course, you include nuclear among the renewable sources. We can also institute world-wide zero population growth policy to slow down the growth in demand for energy. I'm sure that will be enthusiastically embraced by everybody.

    • Colin
      May 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      @Dragonmouth once again you jump for hyperbole. " all the conferences, symposia and meetings on global warming. " stop waffling and give a number for all these meetings you claim are going on. And while you are at it, give a number for all the meetings the fossil fuel industry undertakes - let's compare like for like. Oh, and I'm pretty vocal about climate change, but still no sign of that private jet!

      As for hypocrites, the fossil fuel industry is hard to beat. Just a couple of examples:
      1. Thomas Midgley added lead to petrol to stop engine knock. He swore lead as fuel additive was not a problem. But decades of rising lead toxicity levels in the environment along with ozone depletion raised concerns amongst experts and analysts all over the world, so lead was banned. New research suggests banning lead in petrol is responsible for declining crime rates in Britain, the United States and other countries.
      2. The World Health Organisation states that diesel engine exhaust fumes cause cancer and belong in the same potentially deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas. The France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, has reclassified diesel exhausts from 'probable' carcinogens to a group of substances that have definite links to cancer.

      Think any of that gives Exxon sleepless nights? They have enough money to help the entire planet transit to renewable energy sooner rather than later, but they continue to vent greenhouse gases and expose the public worldwide to toxins, all in the name of even greater greed.

      As for this " current renewable technology is not be able to supply anywhere near the amount of energy that is needed. The efficiency of renewable energy production has to increase at least by couple orders of magnitude ", as of March 31, 2012, installed capacity of renewable energy based power generation was 24,503MW (about 12% of the total installed capacity of 199,626 MW) .

      Whether you like it or not, renewable energy is on its way - it is home-grown, has a small carbon footprint, has potential to supply lots of local jobs and is cheaper in the long run than increasingly-costly fossil fuels. The IPCC stated recently that benewable technologies could supply 80% of the world's energy needs by mid-century, all that is holding it back is stupidity, politics, and greed.

    • Saikat B
      May 12, 2014 at 4:29 am

      "stupidity, politics, and greed."

      That just about sums up the problems with our species -- and the environmental blindness. Environmental critics are oblivious to the words "sustainable development".

    • dragonmouth
      May 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      @Colin:
      "Thomas Midgley added lead to petrol to stop engine knock. He swore lead as fuel additive was not a problem."
      Speaking of hyperbole - What year was that? Subsequent research showed that he was wrong. Lead was ceased to be used as an anti-knock agent years ago.

      Here's a few more examples of what you would call "hypocrisy":
      For a long time it was thought that the Earth was flat and the center of the Univers.
      For the first few years after its invention Coca Cola actually contained cocaine.
      Arsenic and strychnine were used by athletes to enhance their performance well into the 1920s.
      Tobacco and nicotine were thought to have positive health qualities. Medical profession believed that cigarettes were beneficial.
      Of course now we know better.

      "as of March 31, 2012, installed capacity of renewable energy based power generation was 24,503MW (about 12% of the total installed capacity of 199,626 MW) ."
      Your numbers are a bit off. The installed capacity of renewable energy is close 180 GIGAwatts. The world's energy requirement is in the neighborhood of 2 TERAwatts.

      A nuclear plant in our neighborhood generates 2,500 megawatts. To replace it with current technology wind power would require at least 500 turbines. In suburban New York City there is no room to site 500 turbines. BTW - wind turbines have been proven to be dangerous to birds. Environmentalists once pushed hard for wind turbines. Now they are against them.

      A solar farm outside of Barcelona, Spain generates around 500 megawatts using the latest available technology. The installation covers couple of square miles. How many thousands of square miles of current technology panels will it take to supply the energy needs of the world? Don't you think that the thousands of sqaure miles of panels would be an environmental disaster in their own right? How much energy would it take to produce all those panels? The production od solar panels generates toxic waste. How much of an environmental disaster would that waste be?

      Other forms of renewable energy such as geo-thermal are very location-specific and currently not very productive. Wave energy is basically still in the experimental stages at the present time.

      You and the rest of the "stop using fossil fuels" jihad need to educate yourselves on ALL aspects of renewable technology, not just memorize the slogans.

      BTW - those oil companies you despise so much are the very ones that are funding many of the solar and wind farms and R&D into raising the efficiency of renewable production by those couple orders of magnitude I mentioned. They are doing it for the selfish reason of self-preservation in case the use of oil is outlawed.

    • dragonmouth
      May 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      @Saikat:
      Environmentalists are great for spouting geralities, buzz words and sound bites. They are very short on specifics. They refuse to see the shortcomings of current renewable technology, or if they do admit them, they trivialize them.

      Along with increase in the use of renewable energy, we should reduce the need for energy by reducing population growth.
      Why did China rescind its "one child perfamily" law?
      Why does India, Pakistan, Indonesia and the rest of the Third World continue with unchecked/uncontrolled population growth?

      You dismiss legitimate comments and criticism of renewable as "stupidity. greed and politics." Don't you think that "if you're not with us, you're against us" attitude is also stupid? Don't dismiss constructive suggestions out of hand just because they do not jibe with your philosophy and agenda.

  3. dragonmouth
    May 11, 2014 at 11:08 am

    "No where does it say that the imagery is accurate."
    No where does it say that any of the apocalyptic predictions as accurate, either.

    "The world is not going to change like a Hollywood disaster movie. But it changing slowly and surely."
    Some people are making tons of money peddling this "the world is changing, the world is changing!" bovine excrement. Of course it's changing. That's all it's been doing for the past 4.5 BILLION years.

    • Saikat B
      May 11, 2014 at 11:36 am

      The 'That’s all it’s been doing for the past 4.5 BILLION years' argument is a a logical fallacy, a non sequitur.

      But let's continue on the path we are, as you say.

    • Colin
      May 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      "Some people are making tons of money peddling this “the world is changing, the world is changing!” bovine excrement. "

      Open your eyes. The biggest corporation on the planet is Exxon, a fossil fuel corporation worth $486 BILLION. Chevron another fossil fuel company is not far behind at $253 BILLION.

      I challenge you to actually name ANY environmental or alternative energy corporation or corporations that come anywhere even close to $740 BILLION.

      And although you haven't noticed it, the world IS changing; there are now more fires, floods, landslips, droughts, etc. than before. Just because you might have been lucky to have escaped it so far, doesn't mean your luck will hold forever.

    • dragonmouth
      May 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      It is as much logical fallacy as only the last 200 years or so as an indicator of change.

  4. Saikat B
    May 11, 2014 at 4:39 am

    It's a simple "visualization" that is all about spreading a message on World Environment Day. No where does it say that the imagery is accurate. The text facts as presented on the screen hit closer to home.

    The world is not going to change like a Hollywood disaster movie. But it changing slowly and surely.

    I have said that -- it is not completely accurate because it is a simple superimposition of flood waters on an image taken from Google Street View. A location’s height from sea level isn’t taken into consideration.

  5. Water
    May 11, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Formerly respectable sites like Slashdot and Ars are pushing this nonsense now. Please don't start it here too.

  6. Enes I
    May 11, 2014 at 12:02 am

    We all see the effects of global geoengineering . Stop with stupid story about global warming please :)

  7. Don Gateley
    May 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    It shows the area down the hill from me that is about 30 feet lower as having a lower water level than at my place. Nonsense. It shows water up to my roof line and I'm 70 feet above sea level. When is it supposed to rise by 80 feet? In fact it shows the same water depth at sea level.

    Just PR scare, nothing more when it could be relatively accurate.

  8. John
    May 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    What a load of absolute bollocks. According to that my house is already under water, don't you think I would have noticed that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *