3515 S. Alaska St
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How will climate change affect our lives? Where will its impacts be most deeply felt? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from the coming chaos? Professor of English and environmental organizer Ashley Dawson argues that highly developed urban cities are ground zero for climate change. In his book Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change he highlights the elevated risk of dense metropolises, which contribute the lion’s share of carbon to the atmosphere while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world’s megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise. Dawson offers an alarming portrait of the urban future and urges us to invest in our cities not with fortified sea walls but through the support of movements already fighting to remake our cities in a more just and equitable way.