Earlier this year, journalist Dan Box won recognition from environmentalist George Monbiot for documenting the world's first climate change evacuation, of the Carteret islands in the South Pacific. Now, he returns to his experiences to ask if this is the first evacuation of many, how should we do it in future?
I slept in my clothes last night, on the bare wooden floor of one of the houses the first boatload of people to be evacuated from the Carteret Islands are building for their families. It was a jet-black night in the small clearing hacked out amid the jungle, the dark broken only by our two candles and the lights of Fireflies jigging in the trees.
Working up to his departure for the Carteret Islands to report on the world's first officially recognised climate change refugees, Dan Box considers how travel insurance takes on a whole new meaning...
Something is starting to bother me about this trip. It’s not the travelling (though when I picked up my flight tickets yesterday, the travel agent warned me that people in Papua New Guinea still wear bones through their noses. I promised to keep an eye out).
So, the Carteret Islands are sinking, but why should you care? It’s a question well worth trying to answer; after all, the islands are a long, long way away, you are unlikely to meet the people who are about to loose their homes and when they do, it won’t change your daily life.
Lying off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the Carteret Islands are slowly being engulfed by a rising sea. Follow Dan Box's weekly blog as he journeys to meet the Carteret Islanders - the first people to be officially labelled as climate change refugees.
Our lives are now so dependent on oil that it is impossible to conceive of a world without it. Before long, however, we will have no choice. The sooner we start planning for that reality, and changing the way we live, the better our chance of survival.