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Articles by David J. Unger

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This story was originally published by Undark and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

“The good thing about science,” Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us, “is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” Your stance on gravity is irrelevant. Either way, if you step off a cliff, you will most certainly fall. Likewise your stance on climate change. If you live on an island in the middle of 18 trillion gallons of warming, expanding water, you’re eventually going to sink no matter what you believe.

Tiny, waterlogged Tangier Island, off the coast of Virginia in Chesapeake Bay, is full of people of faith. They believe in God. Climate science, not so much. In recent years, they’ve garnered some media attention for the paradox of largely rejecting sea-level rise while simultaneously suffering its wrath. Earl Swift, an author of six previous books and a former correspondent for The Virginian-Pilot, immersed himself for the better part of two years with the 481 inhabitants of Tangier. His new book, Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island, is part regional history, part crabber ride-along, part disaster narrative in slo... Read more