Archive | May, 2009

Evacuation of Islands due to climate change

8 May

I recently stumbled across an article in the Guardian entitled Climate change displacement has begun – but hardly anyone has noticed. I’ve got to say that this article drew me in due to the pure shock factor.

We’ve all heard the lectures, the environmental preachers claiming that global warming will lead to the end of the world. But I never really thought of it as a reality before. How can it be that a whole community has been evacuated due to climate change, and yet the media don’t seem to really be bothered? The homepage for the Mirror newspaper today focuses on a story about Richard and Judy. Surely something’s wrong with our priorities here?

The place in question here is The Carteret Islands, Papa New Guinea islands located in the South Pacific ocean. The community in question is the population, of around 2,600 people who will be relocated to new sites to escape the effects of climate change such as rising sea levels on their land. According to Wikipedia, Carteret Islanders are a dark-skinned Halia-speaking community who call themselves the Tuluun. The community have over 1000 songs they can sing from memory. Are they seeming more real to you yet? The Ecologist‘s blogger Dan Box witnessed the beginning of the evacuation first hand.

Even though these people seem worlds away from us Westerners, global warming and climate change and problems that will start to affect us all if more isn’t done. The Guardian states:

This is the event that foreshadows the likely mass displacement of people from coastal cities and low-lying regions as a result of rising sea levels. The disaster has begun, but so far hardly anyone has noticed.

Further information on the evacuation of the Carteret Islanders can be found on:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/05/28/866600.htm

http://solomontimes.com/news.aspx?nwID=3964