Climate Change Threatens the Javanese Way of Life

 

by Blaine Williams

In the face of climate change and rising sea levels, atolls––rings of islands formed by coral reefs––are some of the most vulnerable human-inhabited regions. In the atoll of Ontong Java, the world’s largest atoll, climate change has begun to affect the quality of life for the locals, and will create more hardship in the years to come. The highest point of the Ontong Java atoll is 10 feet above sea level, and with sea levels rising at a rate of a few millimeters a year, the islands are losing more and more land to the ocean. Faced with issues such as irregular weather patterns and imminent land loss, a key struggle for the inhabitants of Ontong Java is adapting to these changes and attempting to take them in stride. Continue reading

Is Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition a Success for Green Energy?

by Deedee Chao

Right before the UN COP21 climate talks in Paris in December, Bill Gates announced the formation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, comprised of 28 billionaires that would commit to investing in clean energy technologies. While this looks like an important step forward for the future of green energy, critics have pointed out a number of issues with the Coalition. For example, Fortune’s Dan Primack calls the Coalition a “work in progress” as it lacks any investment fund professionals, pledges by the billionaires involved, or a decided financial structure [http://fortune.com/2015/12/01/bill-gates-clean-energy-plan-isnt-ready-for-primetime/]. Two months later, no hiring, pledges, or news of any sort has been revealed- and the lack of pledges could be a cause for concern, as some of the “investors” have no track record in supporting green energy or environmentalism of any kind. Continue reading