Who Will Pay To Protect Tech Giants From Rising Seas?

Short Wave


Lauren in our episode last week you told us about facebook how the company has built its headquarters on the waterfront and at sea levels rise it and the cities around it will need to build defences to keep the water back and the big question in that story was was a fair amount for facebook to pay for those defenses. And today we're talking about whether buildings should happen at all in areas vulnerable to climate change. And it's a story that involves another tech giant google. Yes and for google. The situation is a little different. And i should say google is among npr's financial supporters. Yep disclosure Yeah they recently bought a lot of property in sunnyvale with plans to build a major expansion on it. it's actually more than seventy properties close to the shoreline worth almost three billion dollars. Whoa okay that's a lot and what's there now. Yeah this neighborhood. It's known as moffett park. It's really an office park right now. There's lots of these low rise office buildings with lots of big parking. Lots what google wants to build is different. It'll be offices of course but also housing which isn't in moffett park right now and it's it's not for employees necessarily. It'll be on the market for anyone. They're also envisioning green spaces and bike paths basically walkable neighborhoods. That's the direction. A lot of cities are going in. Right yeah. I mean getting people out of their cars and moving away from the suburban model. Yeah and changing. Our land use is a key strategy for dealing with climate change and cutting carbon emissions but climate change is also a problem for this neighborhood because sea levels are rising and rising increasingly. Fast right okay. So how soon will that encroaching water be a problem fairly quickly. I mean there's already been about eight inches of sea level rise over the last century. By mid century san francisco bay could see about a foot to two feet and by the end of the century. It could be as much as seven feet. If humans don't substantially cut emissions so basically every high tide is getting higher and the risk of flooding is greater if there's a storm or wins that create bigger

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