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Showing posts from March, 2013

The sinking Pacific – climate change and international aid in Tuvalu

Sarah Hemstock (University of the South Pacific) came to visit the Cabot Institute on 20 March 2013 and presented the case study “Impacts of international aid on climate change adaptation in Tuvalu”.   Here I sum up the main points raised by Sarah during her lecture.  Please note all figures mentioned below are from Sarah's talk. Tuvalu Climate change Tuvalu is a microcosm for what is going on with climate change globally.   There are issues with waste management, sea level rise, politics, energy, food production and others. Tuvalu grows taro, a staple carbohydrate which is sensitive to saltwater.   Due to rising sea levels, Tuvalu is affected by high tides called king tides.   These tides can contaminate agricultural land with saltwater and thus the staple crop will not grow. Flood defences have been built by aid agencies to try to stop sea level rise.   Unfortunately they do not work as seawater bubbles up through the island at king tide, flooding the airpo

Chasing Ice with the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group

Watching the film of a self-confessed reformed climate skeptic with members of parliament and Lords isn’t how I usually spend my Tuesday morning, but it was what I found myself doing last Tuesday. The occasion for this unlikely meeting was a special screening of photographer James Balog ’s film Chasing Ice for the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG), of which the Cabot Institute is a member. The film, which documents the work of the photographer’s Extreme Ice Survey , follows James and his team on a journey to record the retreat of 13 glaciers across the globe continuously over a two year period.  I won’t spoil the film too much (and strongly encourage you to see it if you can) but suffice to say placing 28 cameras at locations across the globe in some of the most difficult terrains and extremes of temperature is a challenge for both the men and technology involved. The aim to take one photo every hour of daylight for two years solid was massively ambitiou