Monday, September 29, 2008

All change in Alaska

According to this piece from Sunday's Observer, the Yup'ik Eskimos 0f southern Alaska are amongst the planet's first climate change refugees. (There ARE others though, such as Kiribati's inhabitants.)

A fascinating article about how climate change is having really huge impacts on native Eskimo communities highlights how one village is moving location some nine miles to an island where the melting permafrost will not have quite the same effect that it is having on their current village's location.

Some fascinating insights into subsistence living in one of the planet's harshest, and, it seems, rapidly changing, environments. Well worth a read.

n.b. Just love the quote about Sarah Palin - "Alaska's new lipstick-wearing pitbull megastar, Sarah Palin, is intellectually challenged when it comes to global warming. [Ouch!!] Soon after she was thrown into the spotlight as John McCain's presidential running mate she said: 'A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one, though, who would attribute it to being man-made.' A few days later she tried to retract her statement, but her sentiments as a global-warming denier were crystal clear."

More on bees ...

... and the potential effects of colony collapse disorder from Haaretz, an Israeli publication house.

"Bear in mind that the bee problem has implications not only for fruits and vegetables, but also for beef. Without bees there is no seed for cattle grazing, no alfalfa and no clover," says Shai Spector, head of the Israeli honey producers association. "It's a chain. Costs will skyrocket; chickens and cows will disappear. You can eat bread, but a body cannot be sustained on bread alone. A war will break out over food, with the problems already in place today."

All very worrying, especially at a time of increasing costs in most basic foodstuffs.