By J M Cushing; Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences
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Additional resources for An introduction to structured population dynamics
But rather than a gradual relocation, 1,500 people from Carteret had to move suddenly. One islet in the Carteret group was cut in half by rising sea levels. More are facing the same fate on the island of Takuu, 170 km away. Flooding destroyed houses, washed away Simms 01 chap01 36 25/2/05 10:02:35 am Tuvalu and the Fate of Nations 37 shoreline and ruined the compost pits central to the island’s garden farming. But more than land can be lost in the process. As people are relocated and their culture diluted, a unique heritage is lost.
Now, after more than two centuries of intensive and unrestrained fossil fuel burning, humanity’s free lunch on the climate is over. 6 °C. 5 °C. That means that there is very little room for manoeuvre if the rise is to be held under 2 °C. 14 After so long, the global economy has developed a fossil fuel addiction. This creates two problems. First, as with any narcotic addiction there is damage to the body, in this case the planet’s biosphere, observations of which are now unavoidable. But the second problem has suffered from cry-wolf syndrome.
You never used to see the difference between rich and poor, now you can’, says Mataaio Tekenene from Tuvalu’s Environment Department. ‘The shift to a modern lifestyle, a western lifestyle is making people more vulnerable to the climate. They have lost their ways of coping and managing’. It is often argued that environmental problems will evaporate with the wealth brought by conventional economic development. One view holds that development inevitably reduces vulnerability to disasters. It follows from the fact that more people in poor than rich countries suffer death and injury from comparable disasters.
An introduction to structured population dynamics by J M Cushing; Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences