BBC News Magazine Profiles Disappearing Kivalina, Alaska
With studies about rising sea levels flooding in, Kivalina, Alaska is on the map as the place most likely to be wiped off of it next.
BBC News Magazine has profiled the town of 400 Alaska Natives, who have been busy looking for a new place to live for the past several years as rising sea levels overtake the slender peninsula on which their village is perched.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that Kivalina will be uninhabitable as soon as 2025, BBC News reported in a July 29 story. As the ice retreats and thins, the buffers between Kivalina and vicious storms have disappeared, making it exponentially more vulnerable to the elements. Already, once, the town has had to undergo emergency evacuation.
"The US government imposed this Western lifestyle on us, gave us their burdens and now they expect us to pick everything up and move it ourselves,” said Kivalina council leader Colleen Swan to BBC News. “What kind of government does that?"
The dilemma has long been known among indigenous communities, whose members have been suffering the effects of climate change for at least a generation.
Kivalina launched an unsuccessful lawsuit that it lost earlier this year to try and get the relocation money.
Read and watch The Alaskan Village Set to Disappear Under Water in a Decade at BBC News Magazine.