A Scottish professor suggested that the Old Course at St. Andrews could crumble into the sea by 2050, the victim of coastal erosion. Fortunately, advances in DNA cloning will allow scientists to bring Old Tom Morris back to life to design a new “Old Course” right next door.
OK, I made that second part up. But Professor Jan Bebbington of St. Andrews University did make a speech predicting that erosion could destroy the fabled links, according to The Independent (UK) newspaper.
The St Andrews University academic was asked to prepare a report visualizing the effects of climate change on Scotland’s future society.She decided to write a speech, to be delivered at an imaginary carbon forum in 2050, aimed at encouraging countries to meet their emissions targets.It describes how Scotland adapted to more severe winter storms, flooding and rising sea levels by coordinating a "managed retreat from vulnerable coastal locations".But it also refers to the "sorrow at the last British Open played in St Andrews" before the course was claimed by coastal erosion.
To be fair, the professor said that her speech was meant to encourage people to think about the effects of climate change and not an actual prediction.
[Bebbington] said she hoped the speech would encourage people to think about the potential effects of climate change.The director of the St Andrews Sustainability Institute said: "I am trying to say don’t assume the way we live now and the things we take for granted will always be there."The Old Course is one example. It could be safe and I suspect it will attract a lot of investment to try to keep it safe.
Still, if playing the Old Course is on your bucket list, hurry up! You’ve only got 42 more years.