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The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,596 ratings  ·  264 reviews
The Water Will Come is the definitive account of the coming water, why and how this will happen, and what it will all mean. As he travels across twelve countries and reports from the front lines, acclaimed journalist Jeff Goodell employs fact, science, and first-person, on-the-ground journalism to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world.

Across the glo
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,596 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Julie Christine
I read The Water Will Come under hazy yellow skies, with the scent of woodsmoke hanging heavy in hot air, my car dusted with a light coating of ash. It took effort to breathe, the air thick and sickly. Forest fires all around me: searing British Columbia to the north, racing through the Cascades Mountains to the east, Olympics to the west, Oregon to the south.

We endure damp and dreary winters for the glory that is summer in the Pacific Northwest; months of blue skies, gentle warmth and sunshine
The water will come. Anyone who has ever lived near water knows that water will find its way in if it has a mind to. This book is largely about rising sea levels caused by climate change and melting glaciers and its impact on our society, for the truth is our climate is changing and causing unusual weather patterns and problems around the world.

Personal experiences: Our midwest home has been flooded twice by creek water in the last ten years after torrential rain storms. And while we were in Ar
The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World was a riveting look at global warming by journalist Jeff Goodell and its manifestations throughout the world, primarily focusing on Miami, New York City, New Orleans, and Venice as well as many other countries, including the Marshall Islands. Goodell not only discusses the effects of global warming but also the rapidly rising seal levels and higher and higher tides as well as the effects of rising temperatu ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jeff Goodell traveled the world to report on how rising sea levels are impacting human society across the globe. His new book The Water Will Come takes readers to shrinking Alaskan glaciers with President Obama and into the flood-prone homes of impoverished people living in Lagos, Nigeria.

"By that time, I'll be dead, so what does it matter?" Quote from a Florida real estate developer, The Water Will Come

I long wondered how bad it would get before people broke down and changed how we live and do
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's October and in theory I should be reading something scary. Then again, this is pretty scary. Jeff Goodell, a journalist and a climate expert, creates a hauntingly vivid picture of a very wet world to come. Traveling the world, visiting coastal cities across the globe that can potentially become the next Atlantis, he talks to experts and locals to gain a well rounded perspective of the threats they are facing and the realities of their lives. This isn't a mere alarmist reporting, it's a thor ...more
William Liggett
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just returned from a Christmas break in the South Bay part of Los Angeles where multimillion-dollar houses have been built along the strand next to the beach. I was curious why no one seems to be concerned about sea level rise. On the East Coast, and southern Florida in particular, the sea is already encroaching with every storm and high tide.

Jeff Goodell's book, The Water Will Come, provides some answers. He describes how many parts of Florida were swamplands before they were drained and sol
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THE WATER WILL COME. (2017). Jeff Goodell. *****.
This is an excellent review of climate change as it is recognized by the scientific community today. It takes a good look at the data, and projects events into the future to describe likely scenarios for our world when it is faced with water levels much higher than today’s. The author is a contributing editor for “The Rolling Stone,” and the author of five previous books. He makes his points by establishing current conditions on Earth and what has
Stephen Selbst
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a journalist's book posing as serious writing. The potential for coastal flooding caused by rapidly rising sea levels is genuine and acute.This is a superficial look at the problem, unnecessarily padded with character sketches of some of the politicians, engineers, scientists and activists involved. Their lives may be more or less interesting, but their individual stories are nearly irrelevant to the issues the book half-heartedly addresses. This is a topic worthy of a more serious and s ...more
Emma Sea
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very easy read that focuses on the upcoming consequences of sea level rise and does not attempt to convince with hard science. If you're not convinced now, no book will do it. Many elegant and poignant parts that wrenched my soul.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
Thanks to Little, Brown and Company via NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It has not influenced my thoughts or opinions about this book.

Throughout this book, Goodell explores geographic regions and innovative technologies to see what can be done to reduce the impact of rising water. Ultimately, there are some questions that emerge:

- How can we depoliticize climate change and show the real and impending impact on human civilization?
- How will governments address buy-outs
Amanda Van Parys
Well, that was scary. As a person who lives in FL and within 5 miles of the shore, this is horrifying. During the hurricane season of 2017, I was talking to my dad after Irma barely missed a direct hit on us in the Tampa Bay area saying some of the exact things outlined in this book, and I quote: "FL is f*cked, we need to get out of here."

And I'm completely fine leaving the godforsaken land of FL, in fact, I want to. But I'll tell you one thing, it's hard to just pack up your life and move away
67th book for 2017.

A disappointingly superficial account of an important topic.

Each chapter seems to involve Goodell meeting some important person who isn't aware/doesn't care about sea-level rise, and at some point Goodell will be wading through water at some high-tide here or there (New York, Miami, Venice etc). There was way too much emphasis on Miami and not enough of a global perspective.

If you haven't read any other book on global warming this book would be OK, but there are much better
Aug 20, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
The Austin Public Library just recommended this to me so I am leaning into my tinfoil hat
So disturbing. He spells it all out using a few examples: Miami, Greater NY area, Venice, Lagos. Seasteading by the uber rich - I keep wondering what is the End Game for these oligarchs who do nothing to promote solutions for the earth's problems and in fact, actively work against those who are trying to address climate change and environmental justice. What do they think will happen as seas rise, coastlines are inundated and become uninhabitable and millions (billions?) of climate refugees are ...more
Olia Brightside
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: green, business
I didn't like this book for a number of reasons. Even though it did offer some interesting facts and food for thought like contaminated water and how it affects Miami citizens, the Architectural problem of Venice and floating houses of Laos as a solution for poor drowning regions, I fond the style and structure of the book incredibly BORING, weird and underdeveloped. Seriously, when I bought this book I thought to myself" Yes! This is something really epic! Like a dystopian tragedy but based on ...more
Cats of Ulthar February Weird Fiction
Review: THE WATER WILL COME by Jeff Goodell

An articulate and thoroughly-considered explication of sea level rise, THE WATER WILL COME is scientific journalism as it ought to be, explaining science, geological history and engineering in an understandable fashion. Mr. Goodell never resorts to scare tactics; his understated and factual approach to climate change, global warming, melting of ice sheets, and consequent inescapable rise of sea level is frightening in itself, and should serve as a wake-
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-decline
Must read for anyone thinking of buying a mortgage soon or really just living past 2050. Spoiler: don't buy real estate in Miami. This book offers a great analysis comparing how coastal cities are dealing (or not dealing) with climate change, and looks at the winners (NYC, sort of, Lagos, sort of) and losers (some Alaskan tribes, Miami, everyone who lives in the filled in parts of the Everglades, really just Florida in general seems pretty screwed).

Goodell's most salient points are these, in no
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Goodell's book The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World should convince those climate change nay sayers that we all need to be concerned about rising seas as the result of melting glaciers.

What makes Goodell's book interesting is the amount of time and travel that he has invested in investigating his facts. He has spoken to many experts in the fields of building, weather, geology, and climate. He has also visited with people living in the areas m
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a compelling (though not too deep) look at climate change and its implications in the all-too-near term. Goodell writes in an accessible way about a threat that grows more urgent by the day. 200 million climate-change refugees by 2050 is a stat that should get the attention of the deniers. Not holding my breath, though.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A really important book to read to understand the rising seas of climate change and the struggle and needed focus to save our coastal communities.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

“The Water Will Come” is a very good book that realistically depicts the future we are creating for our children and grandchildren. Contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of five books including the award-winning Audacious Quest to Fix Earth’s Climate takes the reader on a dive into the rising water levels of our planet. This insightful 332-page book includes the following twelve
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Glad I live inland since politicians will never protect the people.
Donna Hines
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Global warming, climate change, storm surges, major flooding, toxic wastes, erosion , salt water mixing with fresh water, lack of clean air and the saga goes on...
The world is gradually changing at rapid pace and if we don't make changes now we'll be paying for them later.
Jeff takes us on a journey to many populated areas that lie in low level regions in Florida, NY, NJ, and from other countries that are all in the bullseye.
One catastrophe after another and these areas are going under in rapid p
Kathleen Hulser
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodell makes water concrete, you feel wet when he visits the inundation prospects of coastal cities; you feel vertigo when he describes a 100 mile crack in the Antartica ice sheet. While the undercurrent of urgency runs swift, he pauses to observe, to interview, to compare. A former president of the low-lying Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed offered some options to Western greenhouse gas emitters: "You can drastically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions so that the seas do not rise so much.. Or, when ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 An excellent look at the effects of climate change on rising water levels through floods and hurricanes. Goodell looks at Miami, California, Venice, New York and New Jersey, and paints a dire picture of the future of these cities and surrounding areas. Many people interviewed are trying to make a difference, either through scientific innovation or through ecological fixes. I was disturbed by the number of people who were either in denial, or figured that they would be dead by the time things ...more
David Flaugher
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is coming sooner than you probably think.

Riveting (mostly)!! If you can believe in your voice traveling wirelessly. If you believe that the little box over your kitchen range can HEAT things without a heating element. IF you can believe that sunlight can make electricity. IF IF IF -> you believe in science. And IF you BELIEVE in science, then you have to believe on anthropomorphic climate change. It is simply undeniable. To NOT believe is to live in a vacuum of suspended reality.

So, after
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Goodell writes about how we are ignoring the problem and what will happen because of it. I would have liked more science about why it is happening and a bit less about how Florida and New York and New Jersey are going to have a hard time and don't seem to care. There was so much focus on those states that it made it seem like there wouldn't be problems for other communities in the US, which just isn't true. I would have also like to have content about what other problems would come with the risi ...more
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Terrifying in its seeming inevitability, Goodell's well-researched look into how far seas are likely to rise in the coming years and exactly what that might mean for the cities we live in is a klaxon call, and a call to action. Goodell makes it clear that it's not enough to recognise the problem, or to understand it and think it's too big for you or I to do anything about. You and I might actually be the only way out of this: we can, and must, enact changes in our own lives, and demand change fr ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction, science
3.5 stars. Very alarming, in the sense that I didn’t realize how bad things already were in some places. I thought we had more time. But this book drives home the point that we don’t. Miami is toast. Venice for sure, and probably also New York. And half of the Netherlands. Forget Louisiana. Bye bye, Marshall Islands. And the rest of us are all getting millions of climate refugees.

Very readable style, more anecdotal and atmospheric than comprehensively rigorous. It meanders from chapter to chapt
The Water Will Come is a very matter-of-fact overview of the likely effects of sea level rise. Various points touch upon everything from inequality in cities and how that may translate to protection from the water (in the age of creating sea walls, who gets protected?) to climate refugees (people who will need to move because their homes are now underwater or otherwise unliveable) to whether or not coastal cities will even be viable in the long term and the economic, social, and political impact ...more
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Jeff Goodell's latest book The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World was published by Little, Brown in 2017. It was picked as one of the 50 best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post as well as a New York Times Critics' Top Book of 2017.

His previous books include How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Ear
“When I asked the mayor if flood insurance rates had gone up after Sandy, he said, “Not really.” This is how disaster relief works in America. There are lots of incentives to rebuild but few incentives to rebuild differently, much less to rethink the long-term future of cities and towns along the coast.” 1 likes
“Geuze compared sea-level rise to other transformative catastrophes, such as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a partly man-made natural disaster that profoundly changed the geography of America and also expanded the role government plays in ensuring the long-term welfare of even the most vulnerable people. “We’re going to need a new New Deal,” Geuze argued. “It is going to require a rethinking of the social contract between governments and citizens.” 1 likes
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