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The Dutch are revolutionizing a new way to deal with the impending sea level rise. While our American leaders are denying climate change, the Dutch are working to mitigate and adapt to the inevitable.

How the Dutch will Adapt to Sea Level Rise

Instead of only making efforts to slow sea level rise, the Dutch are making moves to adapt as well. They realize adaptation will become a key, and almost normal part, of society in the next few years.

In order to adapt to sea level rise, they are making room wherever they can to let water in. The Dutch are not trying to suppress Mother Nature, but embrace her instead. They decided that living with the water rather than pushing it away is the best way to work on this problem internally. In order to make this lifestyle choice a success, the Dutch have designated a number of places for this water to go. For example, they will create and allocate garages, parks, lakes, and larger open areas that double as both a public space and massive reservoirs when the sea level rises. This means their outdoor spaces stay uninterrupted, but will continually serve as a resourceful adaptation.

Seeing Sea Level Rise as an Opportunity

In America, our current leaders are diminishing the monumental effects of climate change that are happening around them every day. The global temperature is rising, which means there are more powerful and more frequent storms. Our weather patterns are changing and cities are already flooded. Rather than ignoring the problems and relying on sheer ego, the Dutch are realizing the problem is real and making rapid progress in order to change the world.

The Dutch saw sea level rise as an opportunity - not as a myth, an enemy, or something too difficult to mitigate. They decided to chip away at the problem piece by piece rather than completely dismissing it as “too onerous”.  They discovered that the answers were already buried in their own infrastructure, and did not require much else than what they already have.

What Can the Rest of Us Do?

Repurposing, rather than rebuilding, is what has helped the Dutch become successful curators of this revolutionary solution. Other countries should take the Dutch mindset into consideration and look around them before they look up the food chain. When societies decide to use the materials and brainpower they already have, they will save more time, lives, and resources than they ever could have with any other solution. Working internally and with a purpose can help any society move past even the biggest problems.