Environment

Endangered Island Residents ‘Don’t Want a Lecture on Solar Panels’

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Remember Tangier Island?

The small, conservative island community which overwhelmingly voted for Trump made headlines earlier this year when Trump called the local mayor to assure him that the island is not going to disappear. But Trump didn't actually offer to help the community in any material way and the mayor has been asking for help ever since.

But help is never going to come, at least not under the Trump regime, and the help the island is asking for (another sea wall) won't save the island.

Former elected leaders who know what's coming have warned the island and urged them to start preparing, but the locals won't listen to reason even when a Republican tells them.

At a dinner attended by island residents Aug. 2, the activists from RepublicEn headed by former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis laid out the stakes: The sea level is rising, and some scientists estimate that within decades the island, already suffering severe erosion, will need to be abandoned. [...]

"We'll talk to everybody," said James Eskridge, mayor of the mainly Republican island community. "But they're not going to change many minds here." Residents, he said, do not believe in climate change: they want a new sea wall to prevent erosion, not a lecture about saving the world with solar panels.

One local who spoke to Reuters said they're "not looking to have our light bills cheaper, we're looking to stay here."

As far as we know, no one has recommended that the island save itself by installing solar panels. It's already far too late for that. There will be no lights or light bills to pay when the island is finally swallowed by the sea at some point in the next 20 to 30 years.

I hesitate to sit here and say these people are stupid, because that's easy, isn't it? They're just trying to save their homes.

But on the other hand, they voted for Trump. What did they think would happen? I'm not going to say they're stupid for asking the government to build them another sea wall, but I will say they're stupid for believing Trump was ever going to help them.

Federal programs that help communities prepare for and adapt to climate change are actually being dismantled under Trump. There will be no help for Tangier.

The great climate change bailout of 2050 will be epic.

  • Draxiar

    The people on this island denying climate change strike me as being as ridiculous as if someone in Kansas denied the existence of tornadoes.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The large lower island in that picture echos the general shape of the continental US.

    I wonder if it is what the US will look like in another 40-50 years.

  • Victor the Crab

    Thank FSM I never bore any offspring. I hope to be dead before the shit really hits the fan.

  • Username1016

    That aerial photo is chilling. That there is just baaaaarely land — it’s more like a sandbar. Those folks better have a Plan B, because one good iceberg calving is going to drown them all.

  • ninjaf

    Well, pull themselves up by those bootstraps they are so often telling others they should use. We do not have to subsidize your stubbornness with tax dollars.

  • fry1laurie

    Our “pay me now, or pay me later” moment was, unfortunately, 40 years ago.