Britain's National Trust "protects and opens to the public over 300 historic houses and gardens and 49 industrial monuments and mills." but it also "looks after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, and villages", many of which are under threat from changing weather and rising waters. Says Director Fiona Reynolds: "Climate change has implications for just about everything the National Trust does. We have to learn from our recent experiences of floods, storm damage and seasonal change and recognise that the ways in which we look after our properties will increasingly be led by the impacts of a changing climate. Climate change is a here and now issue and we need to adapt to it fast"In the past few years the Trust has dealt with tornadoes in the Lakes District, flash flooding in Boscastle, significant water damage from torrential rains and over 7 million pounds in insurance claims. They forecast that "Over the next century, it is forecast that some 15 per cent of the Trust’s 700 miles of coastline will have eroded by as much as 100m, raising significant issues about how to enable the shoreline and all the interests there to adjust to rising sea levels and associated erosion and flooding."
The National Trust owns over 10% of the coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is worried. "Society cannot ignore climate change. Its impacts are being felt already and they will become more widespread."
And what are we doing here in North America to preserve our history in the face of climate change? We are not certain that they have even started documenting the damage from Katrina, let alone make preparations for the future.