Check out my #DrownYourTown feature at Zócalo Public Square

One day, I’ll look back fondly and tell my grandkids about the week I spent flooding the planet.

It began as a lark. For the past few months, I’ve been writing installments of a serialized science fiction novel about a world in which the oceans have risen nearly 80 meters and most of the human race now lives at sea. As the characters in my story ventured closer to shore, I realized I needed a simple way to visualize what that world would look like. I took to Google Earth and Inkscape—both free, readily available software packages—and simulated 80 meters of sea level rise. The results were stark, post-apocalyptic images of city skylines, submerged. Los Angeles was completely inundated south of the financial district. In D.C, only the Washington Monument rose above the encroaching Potomac. Telegraph Hill was an island in the expanded San Francisco Bay. North Carolina was a warm, shallow sea stretching from the Outer Banks to Rocky Mount. Florida was gone.

Want to read more? Check out my article at Zócalo Public Square: Why I Drowned L.A. and the World


  1. Marcos El Malo · November 4, 2013

    I enjoyed the Zocalo article. I am definitely going to check out the serial. I got halfway through writing a post sea level rise (also including earthquakes) novel, but put it into a desk drawer (figuratively) because it was shi . . . . I was unhappy with it. I’m going to try again, but completely different subject, for National Novel Writing Month. Wish me luck!

    • Andrew David Thaler · November 4, 2013

      Thanks! And good luck!

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