IT MATTERS - Impacts of Sea-level Rise on Vulnerable Communities
Anannya Das and Aarthi Saravanakumar
The Questions on the future after sea-level rise is frightening to contemplate. The impact would affect the way of life as we know it. Migrating away from the submerged lands would be the most viable solution for most of the population. This, though, would produce unfavourable circumstance for the vulnerable communities with complexities of race, poverty, and class, making them climate refugees.
Our research helped us understand migration from various perspectives. First, the non-human lens discusses ‘The Collective Intelligence of Slime mold’ in search of its prey and also analyses ‘The Movement of Manatees to warmer zones in the ocean’ caused due to human activities. The second is the ecological lens exhibiting the approach to water management in Netherlands; ‘The Sand Motor – An Artificial Peninsula’ built to respond to sea-level rise. These three precedent studies act as a predictive model of human behaviour, showing our movement towards resources and our intentions to right the present situation.
The growth of slime mold towards food synonymous to human migration towards resources.
Speculative movement of humans from the coastal edge of Miami.
Manatees attracted to the heat caused by the nuclear power plants in the city
Various strategies of water management through the timeline of Netherlands.
The reality of climate change in Miami is explicitly visible and is happening at an immense rate. Climate gentrification has redefined boundaries, pushing developers to invest in lands of higher elevation. Sadly, these lands are inhabited by low income communities who faced the wrath of the new deal of the past, now facing climate change in the present. This alters the value of land and reemphasises the power and capital strengths of the well-to-do communities. The section shows the impact of climate change in two time periods - 2018 to 2035 and 2035 to 2060. With help from the previous precedents and certain futuristic models, the section displays a variety of scenarios of the immediate present, possible changes of the immediate future and design adaptations in the new futuristic cities to come. These scenarios raise questions about the definition of the word ‘fit’ in the phrase ‘The survival of the fittest’. Would fit mean power or adaptability? Would it mean providing spatial justice to the land or sea? Would it mean the trial between man and nature?
Migration due to Sea-level rise and its impacts on vulnerable communities.
Our curiosity led to analysing the impact of sea-level rise in developing countries, in this case – India. The layers of complexity in India are much more intense in proportion to the first- world countries. Some comparisons brought about distressing facts – the land area of India is 1/3rd of the US , yet comprises 4times the population. On a contrasting note, the average per capita income in the US is 75 times more than that of India. To add on to this, the proportions of the global poor, air pollution index and malnutrition is much more in India than the States. Yet, the US is a major contributor of CO2 to the world. Delving deeper into the issue helped raise concerning questions. Is climate change really a global issue? Should countries producing more greenhouse gases be held responsible for global warming? Should a case for reparations be made to make this a fair argument?
Vulnerability diagram of India and the US.
With a progressive notion, we created a preamble to the Green New Deal of India that addresses matters of concern to create a more conscious society.