Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Think the unthinkable

"The cost to move one small village of 300 people ranges from $130m (£66m) to a high of $200m (£102m), even if the distance is a few miles, because moving means reconstructing entire water, electrical, road, airport and/or barge landing infrastructure, as well as schools and clinics." from Patricia Cochran, BBC news online, Jan 4 2007
  Patricia Cochran is executive director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, and chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. She is discussing the effect of storms, high waves, erosion and loss of permafrost on Arctic communities. She points out that Alaskan Native Elders are advising their people to adapt, and that this means re-learning how to gather information from the changing environment. "Even science is recognising the value of ancestral knowledge passed on to later generations of natives," Cochran comments, adding "There is a reason native people have been able to survive for centuries in the harshest of conditions, in the strangest of times; it is because of our resilience and our adaptability."

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