Dressed in pinstripes and a large, gold class ring, the white-haired Jimmy Strickland is a consummate Southern gentleman — and also a consummate small-business owner. For 14 years, his accounting business never had any issues with flooding in Norfolk, Va. But over the last 10 years, he's had three torrential downpours that have cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.
And he's not the only one. The whole Eastern seaboard has been increasingly vulnerable to flooding and economic devastation as a result of sea-level rise. The reason: climate change. Over the past century, the planet’s sea levels have risen about eight inches. Globally, scientists now project sea levels to rise another one to four feet by the end of this century.
And the story gets worse. A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey determined that sea levels along the East Coast will rise three to four times faster than the global average.
In this week's magazine cover story, National Journal's Coral Davenport looks at the devastating economic effects of climate change, and investigates why Congress isn't doing anything about it. Go "Under the Cover" and hear from Davenport directly in the video above.