Monday, October 13, 2008

Home of golf 'could disappear by 2050'

The Independent (UK): The world's most famous golf course could sink into the sea by 2050, a climate change expert warned today. Professor Jan Bebbington raised the possibility that the Old Course at St Andrews - known as the home of golf - could be lost through coastal erosion by then. The St Andrews University academic was asked to prepare a report visualising the effects of climate change on Scotland's future society. She decided to write a speech, to be delivered at an imaginary carbon forum in 2050, aimed at encouraging countries to meet their emissions targets.

It describes how Scotland adapted to more severe winter storms, flooding and rising sea levels by coordinating a "managed retreat from vulnerable coastal locations". But it also refers to the "sorrow at the last British Open played in St Andrews" before the course was claimed by coastal erosion.

The speech, which assumes Scotland has achieved an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, also talks of the rise in car-sharing and vegetarianism. It describes the "Scottish Carbon Enlightenment", involving a "huge array of social experiments" which leads to "unleashed creativity on a grand scale". It talks of "low carbon living" being achieved through technology, individual and collective behaviour change, and changes in culture, values and expectations.

Prof Bebbington describes the Scotland of 2050 as a "happier place than it once was", but adds it is "a time of profound change". She said she hoped the speech would encourage people to think about the potential effects of climate change….

Old Course St. Andrews Scotland 1891, from University of St. Andrews Library Photographic Archive

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