Journey to the Sinking Lands

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

Archive for On tour


This will, I think, be my last post. I left the Carterets over a year ago now and have been privileged to have that journey, and those people, dominate my life since. I’ve lost track of the number of places I have been to talk about what is happening, as well as the number of articles  written and interviews I’ve done. On Wednesday, I gave my last in the series of regional lectures organised by the Royal Geographical Society (and IBG), at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, Somerset, and I couldn’t have wished for a nicer audience with which to finish. I had to draw the questions at the end to a close, but could easily have gone on talking for hours. The night before, in London, we didn’t win the One World Media Award for radio documentary of the year (though the doco that did is well worth a listen), but I genuinely don’t mind. The whole thing has been a pleasure from start to finish. I still keep in touch every now and then with Ruth from the islands, who calls when she is on the Bougainville mainland and lets me know what is happening, but it feels like this chapter of my life is drawing to a close. I have a standing invitiation to go back to the islands, Ruth says, though I don’t know if I should take it. I think it is more important that other people – academics, scientists, aid workers, governments – visit the islands now, and try to learn some of the lessons from this, first, evacuation of a people before we face many more like it in the years to come. So, to all of you who have shared the journey, thanks. It’s been a pleasure.




A very nice lady from Reuters called me up the other day to talk about the Carterets. You can read what she had to say here – it’s a nicely considered piece with a good focus on what I think is the most important thing about the evacuation of the islands, which is that we should be paying them more attention as a case study of something we will see a whole lot more of soon all around the world (more on this subject soon).

Also, the first of the regional lectures I am giving on the trip is next Thursday at the Stamford Arts Centre in Lincolnshire, so buy a ticket while they’re hot. At the very least it’s an increasingly-rare chance to catch me wearing a suit…

On tour

A few more tour dates have been added for next year, which I have listed in the column to the right. As well as these public dates, I’ve also been asked to speak at quite a few schools, colleges and university societies. I’m pursuing a policy of saying yes to all of these invitations – after all, I was given a slab of money to make the Journey of a Lifetime, the least I can do is share the experience – which means I’m going to be nice and busy in 2010.

On the road again

I’ve been asked to go on tour by the Royal Geographical Society, talking about the Carterets trip as part of their regional lecture series next year. I’ll post more details when I get them but, until then, these are the dates I have so far:

February 25, 2010. Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire.

March 30, 2010. Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon.

May 6, 2010. The Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton.