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Which effects does climate change have on the infrastructures near coastlines?  Who pays for social security programs in the future? Which potential energy sources are still to be used?  Trying to ignore the problems behind these questions is not a sustainable solution.

In this essay, R. Andreas Kramer writes about the ancient town of Winchelsea in Britain during the 13th century. Back then, it took three intense hurricanes before citizens moved their town to higher ground in order to mitigate effects from the storms.  Today it is remarkable that society still tries to suppress its problems rather than to confront them.  Coastal towns are already threatened today by climate change, and at the same time global warming emphasises problems surrounding our cultural landscapes.  In addition, land use competition is intensified, rising the costs of energy and food.

Also, population decrease clearly shows the bad state of the social security systems. Thus, private old-age pensions are no longer secure due to high life expectancy and may go bankrupt.

This is clear: The longer solutions to problems are not utilised the greater damages will be, and adaptation will be more expensive.

This chapter by R. Andreas Kraemer is part of the book, Unterm Strich. Erbschaften und Erblasten für das Deutschland von morgen. Eine Generationenbilanz, which was written next to the project Contributions to Generational Accounting to Assess Sustainability.


Kraemer, R. Andreas 2006: "Winchelsea", in: Volker Hauff and Günther Bachmann (eds.): Unterm Strich. Erbschaften und Erblasten für das Deutschland von morgen. Eine Generationenbilanz. München: oekom Verlag, 35-40.

6 pp.
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Table of Contents
  • Was der Blick zurück lehrt
  • Verdrängen ist nicht nachhaltig
  • Aufgaben erkennen
  • Wer soll das bezahlen?
  • Aus der Vergangenheit lernen?
  • Wir sind nicht in Winchelsea
sustainable development, climate change, population decrease, land use, global warming, energy sources,