Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

Archive for March, 2009

Stern words

“…this is basically simple physics. It’s not as if it’s something strange or mysterious that people can’t explain to you. It’s not something outside the experimental. The greenhouse effect is something you can observe experimentally – and most people have observed the greenhouse effect themselves, in greenhouses. Yes?”

Nicholas Stern, quoted in The Guardian yesterday.

The paper also ran an extract from his book, ‘A Blueprint for a Safer Planet’.


Atlantic Rising

I have to take my hat off to Atlantic Rising. This three-man team (actually two-man, one-woman), is also about to launch an expedition to highlight the effects of rising sea levels caused by global warming. Like myself they have received funding from the Royal Geographic Society (With IBG), although they were also given a Land Rover. Their proposed exbidition is also longer than mine, more ambitious and is deeply impressive.  I’ve also met one of the team. She was very nice.

In their own words:

“In June 2009 the project sets out on a ten month journey following the 1.5m contour line around the Atlantic rim [the projected height of sea level rise over the next century]. On this journey we will visit communities and schools, filming and holding workshops to build up a vast network of over 15,000 students, whose futures are threatened by sea level change.

This will give communities a huge collective voice to communicate what will be lost if we do not confront the challenge of climate change.”


Things go in circles

I was back at my old primary school this morning to give an assembly on this trip and about climate change. I absolutely loved it – particularly because I can remember sitting where they are looking up a people standing to give an assembly where I was standing today. As they say, things go in circles.


I didn’t have a camera with me today but these are a few pictures from a similar assembly I was invited to give last week at Clearwell School in the Forest of Dean. The three kids on the right were volunteers, who got to taste pre-salted slices of fruit to see what happens when the sea floods your crops. They took it very well considering…clearwell-audienceclearwell-globe-21

The view from the other end of the telescope

I asked Michael Moran for some advice about this trip. His answer was worth repeating here.

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Independent minds

Thanks to all of those who sent me the link to this video about the Carteret Islands, hosted by The Independent newspaper. It’s an interesting piece of work, as are the comments that follow it. Climate change really stirs up the poison in people but the argument they are putting forward – that the islands are sinking due to geological processes, not climate change is worth investigating. 

I’ll get back to you.

School day blues

clearwell_school_photo-small2Off to Clearwell primary school this morning to do an assembly to the kids about this journey.

Goddamit, why am I nervous about an audience of four-year-olds? Dunno, but I am… Read the rest of this entry »

The just-discovered world

news-species-discovered1“Scientists have discovered dozens of new species of animals and plants in a remote ‘Lost World’ in the dense forests of Papua New Guinea…”

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