THE FREE TOWN GUIDE ABOUT HONITON FOR HONITON

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If you live in or have property in Seaton I’d start planning to sell up and move if I was you – because scientists have calculated that within less than 30 years, at best, much of the area will be put out of existence. 

Following Boris Johnson's address in New York in September, when he made his call that "it is time for humanity to grow up", I set to doing some research on how the continued global warming and its consequent sea level rise could affect the East Devon and West Dorset area. 

I was astonished and horrified to come across predictions published by the reputable science group Climate Central, which produced a map of land projected to be below annual flood level by 2050. 

Here is the link to Climate Central's map of its predictions for the area, https://coastal.climatecentral.org/ mapview/13/-3.0325/50.7239/121124d6a6 9056806b265dfbb2c3f7382ce5fcd0be 57e22010f4efee112dc41 

As you can see if you zoom in sufficiently, if global warming keeps on going the way that it is, then according to the science by 2050 significant areas of and near the East Devon and West Dorset coast will be in danger of becoming underwater. 

From Seaton to Lyme to Portland, vast areas upon which the area depends for its visitor economy just won’t be there. Or rather, they will be, but you’ll need scuba gear to enjoy them. 

Lyme’s Cobb and seafront will be annihilated, Charmouth beachfront will be lost, West Bay, Abbotsbury, all of that will have had it. 

And as for poor old Seaton, it may as well start preparing to promote itself as “the Atlantis of Devon” because the Climate Central map shows that the town, along with Axmouth, is doomed; according to the scientists global warming will dramatically raise the waters all the way up the river to beyond Colyford. 

I have no idea whether these predictions will come to be or not and by 2050 I will be long dead anyway. But my and your children and children’s children won’t be and I urge that we all start realising that climate change is going to significantly destroy much of what we currently take for granted. 

Clearly, East Devon and West Dorset without harbours, beaches, seafronts, seafront pubs, cafes and restaurants would cease to be a tourist attraction. And if tourists aren’t coming here for the beaches, they won’t be visiting Honiton either. As visitor income provides the overwhelming majority of the area’s economy, it would be a dead zone. 

And although I may sound alarmist, Boris Johnson is right; the day has come to be alarmed. 

A couple of years ago, a well-known Lyme local who is employed by Dorset Council in a senior position relating to the upkeep of the town told me, "there is no such thing as climate change". 

Clearly such belief is wrong and borders on the imbecilic, but unfortunately there are too many who share it. Now is the time for better minds to work for grown-up action, demanding that our councils prepare for the threat, nobody wants Atlantis in Seaton. 

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Seaton - The New Atlantis

BY GEOFF BAKER