An Island Sinks Into The Ocean, Lost To Human Habitation
May 12, 2009 16:48
Global warming has displaced the first of many refugees: Papua New Guinea has begun evacuating the Carteret Islands, which have been sinking into the ocean for years now, but they're finally lost to human habitation.
The evacuation of the Carteret Islands [has] begun. This morning I stood on black volcanic sand, pressed up right against the jungle, and watched a small white boat powered by a single outboard engine run in against the shore. On board were five men from the Islands, the fathers of five families, who have come to finish building houses and gardens already begun in a cleared patch of jungle at Tinputz, on the east coast of Bougainville. When these homes are ready the five will return to the Carterets, to fetch their wives and children back. Life, they hope, will be better for them here. On the Carterets, king tides have washed away their crops and rising sea levels poisoned those that remain with salt. The people have been forced to move.
The five families were chosen from a criteria set by Tulele Peisa with the emphasis on size of family, whether a family has enough to feed on the island, access to paying school fees and medical services and the whether the family is able to survive on the island for the next two years.
This story is going to become more and more common in the next decade or two, as the people who did the least to cause climate change pay the highest price.
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