Journey to the Sinking Lands

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

Archive for Schools


Dear Dan,
We are 6LB, and we are learning about journalism…We have some questions for you!
When you went to the islands was it an emotional experinace?  from Megan
As a journalist, have you ever been put in a dangerous situation? from Alice
What have you learnt from going to the Island?from Alex
Wheres the furthest you’ve ever been as a journalist? from Natasha
why did you become a journalist when your life could be at state?from Sam
As a journalist do you ever get put under preasure? from Hannah
Do you write for a certain paper or do you sell your stories? From Jess
What was your favourite part of your journy? from phoebe
what  are conditions like? from Taylor
Do you enjoy traveling to different areas?from Heather
did your trip to the island teach you anything?from victoria
Is it sometimes hard doing your job ????from ALEX
where has been you favourite place to write a newspaper report? from Megan K
Where has been the most memrabole visit, and why? from Natasha
HI ,do you enjoy meeting new people???FROM SOPHIE
What do you most enjoy about being a journalist? from Lily
How often do you go on trips to write about a story?????From Megan
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Congratulations Clearwell

Well done Clearwell school. I mean it, I’m dead impressed. You can always rely on children to sort things out.
What am I talking about?

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Plant a seed…

Hell, I was grumpy this morning. Up at six to drive down to a primary school in the Forest of Dean to do an assembly about the Carteret trip. Elle tried to give me a kiss and I think my response was  something along the lines of ‘I don’t have time to muck around’ (note to all fiancees – a; yes, you do have time to muck around and b; you better appreciate it while you can, or priveleges will be withdrawn).

But, the moment I got out the car, my mood lightened. How could it not when as soon as I stood up I could hear the kids in the playground saying ‘There’s Dan!’ ‘Dan’s coming!’ ‘Dan’s coming!’ ‘Dan’s here!’

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On the radio

The Journey of a Lifetime radio programme has been scheduled to go to air on BBC Radio 4  at 11am on Friday September 11th 2009. It’s a chance to hear some of the sounds and people I recorded over on the islands (most of whom will do a much better job than me of describing what is happening). I haven’t played any part in cutting it together so I will be just as interested as anyone to see what they make of it.

slide screenshotI’ve also been asked to give one of the Monday night lectures at the Royal Geographical Society on October 5. It’s a great honour and I hope I can do the people justice (both those on the islands and those who turn up on the night itself). I was speaking about the trip at my old primary school today, which was great – that’s one of the slides I used on the left. If that audience is any guide then there is a substantial interest among people to find out where the islanders go to the toilet. I promise you, on October 5, all will be revealed…

Walking the talk

For those of you interested in finding out more about the Carterets, I’ve been invited to speak about the journey at a couple of conferences. The first is being run by Action Aid in London on June 19 and has a rocking line up of other speakers, including the New Economics Foundation and one of the producers from The Age of Stupid. The other is a day later, also in London, and is being organised by Robert Butler, who has a very impressive blog here.

I’ll also be talking at a few primary schools, but I think these will be harder to get into. There’s a strict age limit on those in the audience for one thing…

Money (well) spent

Spent a good part of today going through the various pots, pockets and bank accounts used to finance the expedition to make sure I have at least some idea of where all the money went. It’s amazing how complicated things can get when you are working in an economy where the sea shell is a recognised form of currency and the nearest bank is a three-hour boat ride away, and doesn’t accept your card.

Doing so has really driven home that this expedition simply would not have been possible without generous support, and among those who provided it, I would particularly like to single out the Ashden Trust.

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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.”