Climate Changes: island life in a volatile world (Clark 2008) (World in…
Climate Changes: island life in a volatile world (Clark 2008)
The prospect of global climate change and what it might mean for the way we experience and imagine our planet
Very difficult to predict the severity of future changes in the world climate, even harder to predict how people, organisations and nation states will respond.
Many low islands which support dense and vibrant populations may become too prone to climatic experience to remain habitable, some may disappear.
Recognising that industrial processes act cumulatively on climate change focuses attention firmly on human activity as a potent force acting on the physical world.
Raises questions of which particular groups or sectors of humanity have had the most impact and which groups are likely to suffer the worst consequences.
Island territories, ocean flows
2004 Indian Ocean tsunami donations - ordinary people around the world,saw and were moved by the tragic circumstances
Climate changes raises issue of a different sort of responsibility: being implicated in the lives of island people
Climate changes in a globalised world
more affluent nations should take responsibility for the climate changes threatening their country
What some people do on one side of the world has serious implications for people on the other side
Divisions that matter: thinking through territories
Island nations are the front line: particularly vulnerable to rising sea level and associated climate hazards, prospect of sea level rise and increase in the quantity and intensity of cyclones
Distinction between 'us' and 'them' between those who have suffered the most and those who have contributed the most
Kyoto protocol- agreement by the majority of the worlds nations to limit their carbon emissions
A border does more than simply divide a territory around it, it connects and territory with its surroundings
Attachment to their islands- the affirming of a whole way of life that is bound up in the place they live
World in motion: the importance of flows
How are these island open to the goings-on in the wider world?
Climate change has been important impetus to the Tuvaluans establishing or extending their connections with global communities
Climate change itself is a matter of connections- implicates Tuvalu in flows of air and water that may be in the process of transformation because of anthropogenic inputs
Changing flows brought about by altering the composition of the earth's atmosphere connect distant places
Global issues like climate change may be helping to transform the way we experience our world, contributing to new feelings of shared problems and common interests
On way of conceiving territory as an area of land surrounded by a border. Another way of viewing a territory is a kind of pattern of weave composed of the relationship between different elements. Territories and flows interact dynamically, flows can help to generate and destabilise territories.
Flows that have helped make, remake and unmake islands
Vogages of discovery and settlement
If predictions are accurate, the flows of migrants triggered by climate change and other forms of environmental degradation will dramatically increase over the coming decades.
Looking at the long history of oceanic journeying helps to give a sense of the way human beings have been generating new flows- sometimes over very logn distances for thousands of years.
Considering interaction of territory and flow encourages a view of islands as having been made, rather than being discovered or awaiting discovery. Island remain open to the possibility of being unmade or remade.
Migrations of life
The first human voyagers encountered plants, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals
Cotemporary changes in climate and how we respond to their effects, momentous changes that occur and raises questions of the issue of responsibility
When climate changes
Historical perspective of environmental refugees
Climate changes naturally, earleir changes however may have paid a pivotal role in initiating the exploration of oceans and settlement of islands
Dilemmas of climate change
climate change thousands of years ago triggered the movement of people into the oceans, eventually leading to the settling in islands like Tuvalu
These islands then rose out of the ocean because of dynamic geological processes coupled with dramatic changes in climate and sea level
The people of Tuvalu claim carbon emissions are hanging global climate , pointing to the unwilingness of nation states to support the Kyoto Protocol
The notion is supported by many environmental campaigners around the world
Some have argued the motion of the earth's crust counters the argument that greenhouse gases are having a significant impact on sea levels, and global climate fluctuates constantly, current warming is nothing out of the ordinary
Islands are both created and destroyed by shift and flows of the earth's crust, forces largely beyond human influence
The issue of climate change draws attention to the power of human activity to transform the planet in its entirety, and is brought into sharp focus by the predicament of low-lying islands like Tuvalu
Concepts of territory and flow and their sense of dynamic interplay are useful.
We must recognise, that the issue of climate change is entangled up in the world and whatever response we make comes from being caught up in the think of things
There are things we can influence and things beyond our influence
Shared responsibility in the influence of the lives of distant others