By: Nancy Lord.
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Earth's Climate. Lakes and wetlands are drying up, and fires are spreading more widely as the landscape becomes less damp. Birds are wintering farther north. Coastal erosion is intensifying as permafrost thaws and sea ice retreats from shore, exposing beaches and bluffs to wave action. Climate change is altering subsistence lifestyles in many ways: for example, weather patterns are harder to predict, and fishing grounds are shifting.
Lord finds some creative adaptations, such as a community garden in Fort Yukon designed to take advantage of lengthening growing seasons, and a proposal to create a sustainable wood biofuel program there to replace diesel fuel. In a region where survival is a much bigger daily concern than climate change, initiatives such as this make sense; they help people adapt to new conditions and also make their lifestyles more sustainable.
Climate change is magnifying much broader problems that affect Shishmaref and other marginal communities around the world.
Perhaps above all, they were economic — the costs of energy, a lack of jobs and job skills, the challenge of trying to live modern lives without an economic base. Alaska is taking a laissez-faire approach: Communities can move if they want, but the state has not committed to keeping communities together or helping them maintain their cultures. But as Lord points out, if Alaska can figure out how to help impacted communities relocate and create more sustainable lifestyles in the process, it could create a model for other parts of the world.
Lord writes fluidly about climate change impacts and Alaskan landscapes, but her focus tends to wander. As New.
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Currently, Lord teaches at the Kachemak Bay branch of Kenai Peninsula College and in the low-residency graduate writing program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. By the turn of the 20th century Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist, was speculating that low carbon-dioxide levels might have caused the ice ages, and that the industrial use of coal might warm the planet. After , years ago, hominins found new ways of coping with the environment by creating a variety of different tools. An unplanned withdrawal from the 1. Oil refineries poured forth the raw materials for plastics.