On Alaska’s remote Bering Sea coast, citizens of the United States, the world’s largest economy and most powerful country, are fighting a desperate battle against the most serious environmental problem in human history.
The effects of climate change in the Arctic are varied and complex. Thawing permafrost cripples the foundations of houses and other infrastructure, while coastal erosion wears down the last barriers against the encroaching sea and storms that batter the coast regularly. The village of Newtok is located in a swampy plain between two rivers, below sea level. The school, many of the houses, and the roads are slowly sinking into the bog.