Saturday, March 08, 2008

Kivalina, Alaska takes on the world

Celsias have an interesting piece highlighting the plight of Kivalina, Alaska. The photograph alone is worth a blog post.

David Takes On Goliath as Alaska Village Sues Energy Firms for Climate Change [Celsias]

Kivalina is attempting to sue just about everyone for the climate change induced creek that they find themselves in. You could argue that it appears to be a rather optimistic place to build a town. Do they have broadband internet access?

The town is suing twenty four energy companies for emissions causing climate change which is, in turn, causing coastal erosion that threatens the towns continued existence. The complaint (PDF) names one coal company, nine oil companies and fourteen power companies, including Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Conoco and Duke Energy, asking that they pay $400 million to move the town to safer ground on the mainland.

If they win this case there will be islands all over the world getting the lawyers involved. A hopeless case but a good way of highlighting how climate change is impacting real people.

SO how did this town get into this problem in the first place:

Kivalina, with a population of 400 mostly Inupiat Eskimos, is located in the Chukchi Sea on a shrinking barrier island that is being buffeted by waves due to shrinking sea ice that formerly acted as a barrier.

A story that is worth following and I am sure Celsias will keep us up to date.


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