News from Mother Jones: The World's First Climate Refugees


The island nation of Tuvalu is sinking. Its residents are already seeking a new home, making them the world's first climate refugees. Read Rachel Morris' riveting account of her visit to a community of Tuvaluans who have fled to New Zealand--a sneak preview of what a climate change exodus looks like if sea levels continue to rise.

Which they almost certainly will, writes Julia Whitty:

Take 100 of the world's leading climate scientists. Have them work 20 state-of-the-art climate models. Include in those models the complex behavior of the Antarctic ozone hole and the most recent data on Antarctic ice loss. What do you get?

A prediction that sea ice around Antarctica could shrink 33 percent by 2100, causing a global sea level rise of 4.6 feet.

That's a loss of one million square miles of ice, nearly equal to the size of India.

Which brings us to the main point of all this: Something must be done, and fast. We've said it, you've said it, Bill McKibben has said it, heck, even Tuvaluan beauty queens have said it. But politics still seem to be getting in the way.

As Kate Sheppard reports, less than a week before the Copenhagen climate conference begins, confidential documents reveal that the EU is pushing to use existing aid money, not new funds, to help poorer nations reduce emissions and adapt to climate change--a stance that NGOs say could derail the entire summit.

The heat is on. Next week, Mother Jones is pulling together a broad collaborative effort between many prominent news organizations to cover this topic better than any of us could on our own.

We're sending MoJo DC bureau chief David Corn and reporter Kate Sheppard to Copenhagen to cover the global climate talks. There, they'll team up with other news organizations, and even comedian Eugene Mirman, to give the conference the kind of fearless coverage it deserves. Check next week for round-the-clock Copenhagen news.

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