2013-05-13. America's first climate refugees.

posted May 14, 2013, 9:59 AM by Alan Gould
For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Sabrina Warner keeps having the same nightmare: a huge wave rearing up out of the water and crashing over her home, forcing her to swim for her life with her toddler son. ...Warner's vision is not far removed from a reality written by climate change. The people of Newtok, on the west coast of Alaska and about 400 miles south of the Bering Strait that separates the state from Russia, are living a slow-motion disaster that will end, very possibly within the next five years, with the entire village being washed away. The Ninglick River coils around Newtok on three sides before emptying into the Bering Sea. It has steadily been eating away at the land, carrying off 100ft or more some years, in a process moving at unusual speed because of climate change. Eventually all of the villagers will have to leave, becoming America's first climate change refugees. ...A report by the US Army Corps of Engineers predicted that the highest point in the village – the school of Warner's nightmare – could be underwater by 2017. ...more than 180 native communities in Alaska, ... are flooding and losing land because of the ice melt that is part of the changing climate. ...The proposed new site for Newtok, voted on by the villagers and approved by government planners, lies only nine miles away, .... But the cost of the move could run as high as $130m.... For the villagers of Newtok, finding the cash, and finding their way through the government bureaucracy, is proving the challenge of their lives.... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2013/may/13/newtok-alaska-climate-change-refugees    Suzanne Goldenberg    theguardian