Just 100 miles by ferry from Washington, a tiny Virginia island called Tangier is home to mostly Republican residents whose homes are likely going to go underwater due to climate change in the near future. Yet most of these same residents still backed Trump, who pulled out of the Paris agreement and who’s actions seem to say he doesn’t believe in and/or has no concern about climate change. It’s a stark and ridiculous case of people presented with evidence they can see and feel on their own turf who obstinately refuse to adopt a viewpoint that differs from that of their patriarchal Republican leadership –even when those leaders aren’t likely to do one thing to help them.
Check out these pictures from AFP Photo on Twitter below to see for yourself:
— AFP Photo (@AFPphoto) June 2, 2017
It seems the residents there would love another Reagan.
“That’s it. Another Ronald Reagan. On Tangier you could dig him up in that graveyard and he’d still win,” said one resident.
Even though Trump is a far cry from anything Reagan stood for, residents voted for Trump anyway -loyal to the party even to what appears to be the extinction of their own way of life as the water rises. Crab fishing is the main industry, and the crabs may like the new changes, but not so much the fisherman.
Yahoo News interviewed William Eskridge, a fisherman whose family has called the island home for 200 years. Eskridge’s take on the island: “[…] It just seems like it’s getting worse every year. I’m kind of fearful what it’s going to be down the road.” The land has been eroding there since at least 1850, but scientists believe climate change has accelerated the pace of erosion to the point the whole place may disappear quickly in the next 40 years.
— World of Nature (@WorldfNature) May 15, 2017
Interestingly enough, 87 percent of the votes from Tangier went to Trump, despite his anti-climate change stance, and despite the fact that the water is creeping up to destroy their own homes. The island is home to about 450 people, and to see the pictures of flooded streets, many of them are already in deep trouble.
The Mayor, James Eskridge, brother of William, is content on finishing a long-term project of a sea wall that has been 20 years in the making, even though the wall’s plans have had to be revisited due escalation of the scale of erosion. The price tag: $30 million.
Even then it probably wouldn’t save the island long-term: Congress would have to approve a new engineering plan that would likely cost tens of millions of dollars. Good luck with that, given the majority Republican control in Congress we are currently seeing. Would Congress believe in climate change after seeing the photos? Would they think an island that is home to so few people worthy of an investment in an enormous wall? Or would they prefer to fund one of Trump’s other futile wall ideas first?
Here is the Mayor, excited about his latest crab catch. This crab apparently has oysters growing from its shell:
— Chesapeake Bay Found (@chesapeakebay) May 31, 2017
And here is a map depicting what the island may look like soon:
If Paris signatories, including the US, met their Paris goals, Tangier Island, VA continues to exist. If not? Tangier today vs Tangier 2040. pic.twitter.com/wfQGwo1nop
— Taber Andrew Bain (@taber) June 2, 2017
See a video about Tangier Island below, which presents the case from biologist Dave Schulte that climate change is going to take out the island:
Featured image: Screenshot from Youtube, This Virginia Island Is Literally Sinking Into The Sea (HBO)