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Sea Level Rise/Population Density Maps - Stephen von Worley (clockwise from top)

San Francisco
New Orleans
San Jose
New York City
San Diego
Los Angeles

We mustn’t kid ourselves, friends; even if mankind stops pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere completely, today, the water level of the world ocean will nevertheless rise significantly over the next century. That’s just a fact. Low-lying cities like those in South Florida are already dealing with it (and losing) and have been for some time; Rolling Stone tells that story here, and a sobering story it is. How much will the sea rise? There’s a lot of debate about that, but there’s no upbeat scenario; the melting of just the ice covering Greenland would raise the world ocean level 22-24 feet, and chunks of ice measured in square miles have been breaking off Greenland’s ice sheet and melting since the late 90s.

Stephen von Worley created the maps above to show what will happen to some major US cities as the melt/rise happens, and it’s not pretty. The blue areas are the highest; they’ll still be dry ground after a Greenland-sized melt. Pink areas will be too, though they’ll have a much shorter walk to the beach. Yellow and white? Brand new ocean, with plenty of drowned, derelict buildings to serve as artificial reefs. The gray and brownish areas are non-residential; business/commercial districts, industrial areas, parks, undeveloped land, etc. (your workplace and play space, in other words), so find someplace else to work and have picnics.

We’ve shot ourselves in the foot, folks, and it’s a done deal. South Florida and New Orleans are dead but don’t know it yet, chickens wondering whose bloody head that is on the floor; so are huge chunks of New York, Boston and Tampa/St. Petersburg. And if you think “they” are going to figure out some way to save us with seawalls or something, go read that Rolling Stone article I mentioned. Untold billions will be spent trying, but in the end the water will triumph. The “good” news? It’s not too late (and none too early) to accept the inevitable and, if you’re in the flood zone, give your real estate agent a call while there are still plenty of Republican buyers who believe their oil company-owned, climate change-denying politicians. Better pick up the phone while you still can, because this is happening, right now, and it won’t be long before everybody realizes it.


Victoria Goro-Rapoport (USA)

Victoria Goro-Rapoport’s early professional life was connected with the theatre. She graduated from the Moscow Art College with the BFA in set design in 1985, and continued her education in University of Utah, where she received a MFA in set design in 1998. As a designer, for each new production she had to create and manipulate a unique relationship between the three-walled space of the stage and a human figure. With clever painting and lighting, the stage becomes a magic box. It is capable of transforming into a boundless universe, despite its obvious physical limitations. It can present itself as a natural jungle of the Amazon, or a stone Jungle of New York. A human figure in this invented space may seem powerful or helpless, important or insignificant. The real-life urban or natural environment is not that different from the one on stage. Just like characters of the play, the outside dwellers are capable of changing the space they inhabit, but the space, in turn, can change and mold them. Space can be comfortable, menacing, or enchanting, and so can human beings.

In her work, Victoria tries to reflect this mutual diffusion and influence of the people and the world they live in. As an artist and human being, she is interested in exploring the precarious connection between natural and man-made spaces, and the men and women who inhabit them.

© All images courtesy the artist

[more Victoria Goro-Rapoport | artist found at Empty Kingdom]

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