In the halls of Washington D.C. climate change is a hotly debated subject, even as some 97 percent of scientists have come to agree that human activity is causing the Earth to warm. For people in the Louisiana bayou and other areas vulnerable to climate change, however, global warming is already having a dramatic effect on their lives. Now, an entire community is set to be relocated under a $48 million dollar grant by the federal government.

The soon to be sunk Isle de Jean Charles

The Isle de Jean Charles is a small track of land situated in the Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana. Back in 1955 the isle consisted of some 22,000 acres worth of land, but rising sea levels in combination with logging and other exploitive activities have reduced the landmass by 98 percent. Parts of the island have also been swept away by hurricanes and other storms.

Experts now believe that those last few acres still above the water line will disappear in the not so distant future.

The Isle, the historical home to the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Native Americans, is now on the verge of sinking beneath the waves. The bayous of Louisiana sit essentially on the water line, and floods have long been frequent on the isle and elsewhere. With the world warming, however, flooding is becoming more frequent, and the water line itself could simply rise above the isle.

Under the program, all of the money must be spent by 2022. Those citizens who still remain on the island will be relocated to a new, not-yet-founded community. Even with the program costing nearly $50 million dollars, only 60 people will actually be resettled. Many of the residents are Native Americans.

Government spending at least one billion to fight climate change

The costs are racking up elsewhere.

While the $48 million dollar grant marks the first, and so far only time that climate change has forced the federal government to pay for resettlement, the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced a billion dollar grant program that was extended to 13 different states. The funds will be used to build stronger levees and help communities prepare for the effects of climate change.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more