In 2002, the community of Shishmaref voted to pack up and move itself away from the low-lying Chukchi Sea island it rests on and away from the gradually increasing fury of the Arctic storms that are slowing washing its coasts away.
But 12 years later, the town is almost as far from moving as ever.
As a lengthy Huffington Post piece that traces the history of Shishmaref’s efforts to relocate notes, many residents aren’t even so keen on the idea of moving any more.
“I voted to move," 67-year-old Nora Kuzuguk told Huffington Post. “But now -- not really, I don’t want to move away from Shishmaref. It's unique.”
Still, as the HuffPo article points out, if climate change continues to threaten coastal communities, it’ll not only be places such as Shishmaref or Kivalina who are forced to confront the daunting logistics of relocating a whole community, but much larger places as well. Or as the Huffington Post piece poses it “If we can't figure out how to save a village with fewer than 600 people from falling into the sea, what hope is there for everyone else?”