'Sun Comes Up' as Hopes Go Down for Eco Refugees

Feb 28, 2011· 1 MIN READ

"In a world that is more and more affected by global warming—guess who is going to suffer the most? It will be the people who caused it the least." —Thomas L. Friedman

Very few of the approximately 50 million (and rising) refugees that leave their homes due to climate change make that forced trek with heavy carbon footprints. These relatively innocent "environmental refugees" now outnumber the total of people displaced by war and political and religious repression combined.

Climate change has unleashed rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes, intensified precipitation, flooding and droughts. The damage of global warming is intensified by human-induced deforestation and pollution of lands, rivers, lakes and air.

Many parts of the world are becoming uninhabitable, often through no fault of the inhabitants. People who have sustained their lands for hundreds of years wake up one day and face the decision to migrate or perish.

Sun Come Up, a new documentary film by a group of New York City filmmakers, focuses on one group of environmental refugees—the Carteret Islanders. Rising sea levels and saltwater inundation have destroyed the Carteret lands, crops, and drinking water supply. The community has made the painful decision to leave their homeland and migrate to Bougainville, a region of Papua New Guinea that is recovering from a 10-year civil war.

Myriad obstacles hamper the move; the people lack money to purchase land and have scant resources to build homes and gardens. Will the Carteret Islanders successfully migrate? Will they assimilate into a new society? Or will they starve before they even step foot on Bougainville?

Here are a couple of things you can do to Take Action:

Spread the word:

Hold a houseraising party (deadline has been extended to April)

Like the Sun Come Up Facebook Page

Protect the Clean Air Act:

Learn about the Clean Air Act and how it's being threatened.

Send a letter to your congressional reps and ask them to oppose rollbacks to the Clean Air Act.