Sea Change: Alaska's Shishmaref Village Tumbles into the Water

In a chilling photo essay by Julia Whitty and Robert Knoth of Mother Jones, the plight of a remote Alaskan village is underscored by images of buildings falling into the sea.

With what was once terra firma melting beneath Shishmaref, a village of 600 Inupiaq on the fragile barrier island of Sarichef, two houses have already slipped into the water, while another 18 have been moved back from the "encroaching ocean." The $10 million spent on seawalls has only been in vain, and residents have concluded that permanent resettlement is their only recourse.

Shishmaref is only one of 184 Native Alaskan villages battling floods and erosions; Alaska will require $6.1 billion to repair the damage climate change has wrought, says one assessment. Unless we do something now, this could be the beginning of the end for the rest of us. ::Mother Jones

Tags: Alaska

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