June 2, 2014
Your house under water – Ronn Torossian and Climate Change
The climate change “debate” continues to rage. You can see, hear, or read the conversation just about everywhere. And, Ronn Torossian points out, for the most part, the conversation is less about facts, and more about successful consumer PR. People do not understand all the science, and they have little time to gather and read all the research, so they are depending on their chosen sources to break it all down for them. They want to trust those sources because they know they need to.
But, what if those sources are wrong? What if climate change really is man made, or what if it isn’t? Who can you believe? Well, correctly understanding this is less about being right, and more about being trustworthy. One group is cutting through all the assembled noise and factoids and just showing people a ton of water … Right where their house used to be.
At the World Under Water website, people can type in their address and see what it would look like where they live under six feet of water. The six feet is how much many people have said sea levels would rise. Predictably, everywhere looks bad under water. The video images are shocking, particularly for those living in coastal areas.
Naysayers have criticized the site as just throwing water on top of everywhere, correctly pointing out that six feet of water would not hurt someplace thousands of feet above sea level. But here’s the thing, the site is not about precision, it is about shock value and empathy. Sure, YOU Might not be under water, but what about all those other people who would be? Can’t we get together and find a consensus on this issue, just in case the doomsday predictions turn out to be correct?
It is in forcing people to consider this question that Torossian says the site is accomplishing its goal. This trick of technology may end up doing more to push the issue along than any amount of shouting.