Most Boston-area commuters are intimately familiar with the iconic MBTA service map. So when thousands of T riders received a “Change of Service” announcement during rush hour this morning (pictured above), it took many by surprise.
Produced by Metro Boston Climate Defense (MBCD), the new map details what the MBTA might look like in 30 years as a result of rising sea levels and storm surge caused by climate change. With the Financial District, Logan Airport, East Boston, Back Bay and several other neighborhoods totally under water, ferries would have to replace the Red, Green and Blue Line service riders have grown accustomed to. And that’s only if the Eastern Massachusetts economy survives flood damage on the scale of post-Katrina New Orleans.
A natural disaster this big may sound like the plotline of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the crisis will be all-too-real for Bay State families if we don’t take serious action now. Sea levels are already rising fast, and we’ve seen more and more erratic weather just in the last two to three years. All it would take is one big nor’easter to push those flood waters into the streets of Boston. We need a real, aggressive effort, both from elected officials and industry leaders, to stave off the environmental and economic catastrophe that lies ahead.
Unfortunately, some members of congress – including our own Senator Scott Brown – are acting as significant roadblocks to the kind of preventative measures we need to stave off the crisis. This group of Washington politicians continues to ignore the warnings of scientific experts, dismissing the very existence of climate change. In fact, Brown is the only member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to take this extreme view, leaving his constituents back home to wonder whose interests he really serves.
As it turns out, Brown’s position reads almost word-for-word from the script of his donors in the oil industry – many of whom are actively working to block effective action on climate change by muddying the understanding we have of the problem. These Big Oil companies are certainly more concerned with increasing their already-record-high profit margins than the flooded T stops near Copley Square – and it appears Scott Brown is more than happy to follow their lead.
There’s one thing we can be sure of in all this: if we don’t acknowledge the serious nature of this problem and take meaningful steps to address it, these MBTA ‘Service Changes’ will be only the beginning. Before things are too far gone, it might be worth calling Scott Brown’s office at (617) 565-3170. Tell him it’s time to accept the reality of climate change – because we’re not interested in hailing that Green Line Ferry any time soon.