When a house collapsed on Oahu’s North Shore less than a month ago, hearts sank as, once again, rapidly rising sea levels proved they can’t be ignored. Shoreline erosion is just one of the many noticeable effects that accompany Earth’s rising seas and temperatures. And, though climate change is by no means a new issue, it becomes increasingly more urgent every day.
Hawaii is literally shrinking: over the past century, more than a quarter of Hawaii’s beaches have disappeared. On Maui, 85 percent of shorelines are eroding. And this problem is far from limited to the islands: California, France, and the UK are all losing precious land to coastal erosion. Worst of all, not only do we lose the beaches as shorelines erode, we reveal old landfills and release toxic waste.