Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is Climate Change abstract or real? Depends on where you live, and whether you drive a car

For many, climate change remains a slightly abstract notion that may one day involve minor sacrifices such as driving electric cars and buying solar panels.

But for the Seychellois and other people living on low-lying islands, climate change is a tangible issue that literally knocks on their front door every morning and poses a very existential question.

SHOOT: Objectively speaking it's very real. Subjectively, well, it depends on the person.
clipped from
Seychelles getting 'sinking feeling'

DENIS ISLAND, Seychelles (AFP) –
Camille Hoareau stands on Denis Island's beach of creamy-white sand, exactly where trees used to grow a few years ago and where the fish will soon swim if global warming surges on.

"See those? They all went down recently," he says, pointing to the upturned roots of casuarina trees felled by the ever-advancing beach.

Hoareau believes this small privately-owned coralline island in the north of the Seychelles archipelago has shrunk by a few acres already since he became estate manager seven years ago.

"The highest point of the island is about 2.5 metres (eight feet), so it doesn't take long for an island like this one to be swallowed up," he says.

Scientific analyses factoring in melting glaciers and ice caps, added water from Greenland and Antarctica and thermal expansion of warming ocean water predict that sea levels could rise globally by up to two metres this century.

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