Month 9, Day 20: Damoclean Living

The Washington Post ran an article on a small town in France that is well worth reading.

The people of Saint-Gervais daily confront a very precarious situation. Perched above their heads is a huge mass of liquid water trapped inside a slowly melting glacier. If things get too warm, a catastrophic flood could wipe out their village with only a few moments’ notice. Adequate risk assessment and amelioration are all but impossible; nobody has ever seen a situation like this before. The proposed solutions present problems of their own, posing almost as much risk as inaction — and many of Saint-Gervais’ citizens, finding it too uncomfortable, simply deny the facts of the crisis. It is rare to find such an elegantly eerie microcosm of our planetary condition; with the terrifying threats of global climate change looming over us, we have all become citizens of Saint-Gervais, our population — and our peril — amplified a millionfold.

Warren Senders

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