The island of Ghoramara in east India has already been drastically affected by climate change as rising sea levels begin to evict families from their homes. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already issued warnings to the residents of these Indian and Bangladeshi islands (of which there are about two hundred) stating that a significant portion of these islands will be submerged within the next fifteen years or so. The IPCC estimates that this will leave approximately 13 million people homeless, forcing “a massive exodus of climate refugees,” as Anuradha Sengupta reported for YES! Magazine in June 2016.
Thousands have already been pushed from their homes as some of the less populated islands are already completely submerged. The population of Ghoramara specifically has decreased from 40,000 to just 3,000 in the last decade.
Furthermore, super storms such as the May 2009 Aila cyclone have left the farmers of these islands with ruined soil and unstable work. The incursion of saltwater affects the quality of soil and groundwater, forcing residents to replace small-scale farming, fishing, honey gathering, and other natural-resource-based practices with marginal labor.
US corporate media have failed to report on the irrevocable consequences of climate change for India and Bangladesh in the next decade.
Source: Anuradha Sengupta, “Tired of Running From the River: Adapting to Climate Change on India’s Disappearing Islands,” YES! Magazine, June 3, 2016, http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/tired-of-running-from-the-river-adapting-to-climate-change-on-indias-disappearing-islands-20160602.
Student Researcher: Caroline Yoss (College of Marin)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)