Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Browsing Area Book of the Week, November 12, 2012.

Kivalina: A Climate Change Story by Christine Shearer.
Library Call Number: E99.E7S463 2011.

Forcibly moved by the U.S Government in the early 20th century to a narrow island near the Arctic Circle called Kivalina, the Inupiat people endured the harsh conditions because of their traditional “understanding of and close connection to the cycles and rhythms of the land." As early as the 1950’s however, they noticed ocean storms were eroding the island at an alarming rate.  Now the permafrost is melting and the entire village is at risk, yet Government agencies “who contradicted their knowledge of the area,” are blocking their attempts to relocate.  With an estimated relocation cost of $400 million, the residents finally filed a climate change lawsuit, charging Big Oil with contributing to the loss of their homes. Shearer’s story shines a light on another David and Goliath story: the oil corporations who continue to dissemble and blur the real costs of climate change, their undue influence on American government  “and the cultural disconnect between Native Alaskans and American agencies whose clumsy, often patronizing management of Kivalina's dire situation has only exacerbated the community's problem.”

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