In the Caribbean, The Latest Climate Refugees / by Yessenia Funes

Climate Centre  / Flickr

Climate Centre / Flickr

~ I got some news for you all. I began contributing to Grist yesterday (Sept. 25). It's an environmental news site that handles climate change with a laugh and some humor. Most of my posts will likely align with whatever I'm up to there. That'll help me manage my time better. ~

Caribbean officials are keeping it real on the international stage. They joined world leaders over the weekend for a United Nations meeting and told their tales. Many of their people—from the island of Dominica to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda—have been left without a home. Literally. Hurricane Irma and, now, Hurricane Maria destroyed these beautiful islands. These people are becoming climate refugees.

The waves swept their homes and took what remnants were left. It's a sad reality going on in the Caribbean right now. Puerto Rico, home to more than 3 million U.S. citizens, is expected to be without power for at least a month. Who knows how long it'll take to rebuild the U.S. territory—or if rebuilding is even a viable option given what we know about climate change.

The New York Times' "The Daily," a podcast that sheds light on the news of the day, got into the destruction these storms unleashed on these island communities for its Friday (Sept. 22) episode. The New Yorker broke down what this injustice looks like for Dominica, whose prime minister didn't hold back during the United Nations General Assembly convening in New York City this past weekend. Definitely give both of those your time.

These island nations are experiencing first and foremost what climate change looks like. But they haven't contributed much to it. Countries like the United States, China and India have. That's why these island leaders stepped up and demanded help, demanded aid. Because they're not the ones responsible. Why should they have to face it alone?

Check out what I wrote about this for Grist here.