Professor Robert Verchick was interviewed by NPR's "All Things Considered" on an Alaskan Village, Citing Climate Change, Seeks Disaster Relief In Order To Relocate.
Many of Alaska's villages are dealing with erosion and thawing permafrost. But Newtok's needs may be the most immediate. It has already lost its barge landing, sewage lagoon and landfill. As river water seeps in and land sinks, it expects to lose its source of drinking water this year, and its school and airport by 2020. Verchick says Newtok's request is likely a long shot. But he thinks it needs to be done. "And I think that it is going to lead to a very important conversation that we need to be having," he says.
This story originally appeared in an Alaska Public Media piece titled Newtok asks: Can the U.S. deal with slow-motion climate disasters?
Professor Verchick was also interviewed a few weeks later on To Fight Coastal Damage, Louisiana Parishes Pushed to Sue Energy Industry.
Rob Verchick says these suits could set an example. Many other states face problems like land loss and erosion.
"And they are struggling right now to address these issues," he says. "And so these lawsuits are going to occur whether our lawsuits in Louisiana go forward or not."