Global Sea Level to Rise by More than a Meter

Global Sea Level to Rise by Up to 1.2 Metres

By Josh Gabbatiss | February 20, 2018

Global sea levels are set to rise dramatically, threatening the homes of some 100 million people, even if the strictest greenhouse gas emissions targets are met, according to a new study.

The research, compiled by climate scientists from a number of international institutions, analysed the long-term impacts of different emission levels and concluded oceans will rise by over one metre even if the world sticks to the Paris agreement.

Overall, the researchers estimated a global rise of between 0.7 and 1.2 metres – adding that if emissions are not curbed as soon as possible it will be even greater.

More than 100 million people are currently thought to live within one metre of the high tide level.

The Paris agreement was signed by nearly 200 countries including the US under former president Barack Obama’s administration in December 2015. Donald Trump has since begun the process of withdrawing the US from the deal.  …

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Overtourism and Tourismphobia

New Report from the Ostelea School of Tourism & Hospitality:

Overtourism and Tourismphobia: Global Trends and Local Contexts

To cite this report:
MILANO, CLAUDIO (2017) Overtourism and Tourismphobia: Global trends and local contexts. Barcelona: Ostelea School of Tourism & Hospitality.

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Halifax Removes Colonial Cornwallis Statue

Canada Confronts Colonial Past as Halifax Removes Statue of City’s Founder
In 1749, the city of Halifax’s founder Edward Cornwallis offered rewards for ethnic cleansing – and now his bronze has been removed

Under a bright winter sun, a harness was attached to the bronze figure of Edward Cornwallis – a British military officer credited with establishing the Canadian city of Halifax and reviled for offering rewards for ethnic cleansing – and a crane lifted it into the air.

There was little fanfare when the statue was removed last week from the perch it had occupied for almost 90 years. But a modest crowd gathered on Sunday to cheer the now-empty plinth – and the city’s first public repudiation of its colonial history.

The lack of bitter confrontation marked a striking contrast to the large – and at times violent – clashes in the US last year as Confederate statues were removed.

The statue of Cornwallis has increasingly become the target of vandalism and protest as his legacy has undergone greater historical scrutiny: recent scholarship has highlighted his role in a 1749 proclamation that offered a bounty for the scalps of the region’s indigenous Mi’kmaq people.

“When I was young we were considered the descendants of savages, wild people, barbarians – and treated as such,” says Mi’kmaq elder and historian Daniel Paul, who is widely credited with helping expose Cornwallis’s troubled legacy.

“The scalp proclamations were never talked about. I had heard them when I was young, but never seen any proof or anything. And of course Caucasian historians never talked about them,” Paul said.

After months of public debate, the city council last Wednesday voted 12-4 to remove the statue – one of many tributes to Cornwallis across Nova Scotia – and by Friday afternoon it had gone. …

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Oil Lobbyists Pressured Canada to Allow Drilling in a Marine Park

How Oil Lobbyists Pressured Canada to Allow Drilling in a Marine Park

By James Wilt | Monday, January 22, 2018

Sharks, sea turtles, corals, wolffish — the 1,200 kilometre Laurentian Channel off the southwest coast of Newfoundland is home to tremendous biodiversity.

And that’s the reason it’s set to become Canada’s newest Marine Protected Area, a designation designed to conserve and protect vulnerable species and ecosystems.

There’s just one catch: draft regulations for the proposed 11,619 square-kilometre protected area allow oil and gas exploration and drilling for much of the year. In addition, the government has reduced the size of the protected area by more than one-third from what was originally planned.

Documents obtained by DeSmog Canada paint a picture of a disturbingly close relationship between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and provides clues of how a “marine protected area” ended up allowing offshore oil drilling.

Canada is in a hurry to classify more marine areas as “protected” to meet an international target to protect 10 per cent of its oceans by 2020. Whether an area that allows offshore drilling will even qualify as protected is the subject of heated international debate. …

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B.C. First Nation Claims Victoria-Area Island

B.C. First Nation Claims Victoria-Area Island, Alleging Treaty Rights Violated

By The Canadian Press | January 31, 2018

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia First Nation is claiming title to a private island off Victoria that is currently owned by one of the world’s richest men and is valued at more than $54 million.

James Island, the largest privately owned Island in B.C., is currently registered to J.I. Properties Inc., a company owned by telecommunications billionaire Craig McCaw.

He bought it in 1994 for $19 million, but in documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court the Tsawout First Nation says it has never surrendered James Island or the title and rights guaranteed by a 1852 treaty with then Vancouver Island Gov. James Douglas.

The 1,600 member First Nation is seeking return of the island, which it says once included a village site, burial ground, vegetable fields, berry patches and access to hunting and fishing grounds.

Along with a request for damages, the First Nation also seeks an order for J.I. Properties to transfer James Island to the Tsawout and it calls on Canada and British Columbia to compensate the company for handing over the land. …

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Culturally Reflexive Stewardship: Conserving Ways of Life

New Publication:

Culturally Reflexive Stewardship: Conserving Ways of Life 

By Robert H. Winthrop

In The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice, edited by Angela M. Labrador and Neil Asher Silberman (OUP, 2018).

This article is concerned with caring for place, the interweaving of community, landscape, and culture. Culturally reflexive stewardship (crs) involves actions to sustain a way of life, motivated by a shared appreciation of place, landscape, and region, and expressed through practices that transmit cultural knowledge and affirm a social identity. The article first contrasts two resource regimes, one based on a logic of tradeoffs and markets, the other on a logic of stewardship. Second, it presents the key characteristics of crs, emphasizing the linkage of intellectual content (local knowledge) with an ethical imperative based in the symbolic qualities of place. Finally, the article explores the relationship of stewardship to social organization, and offers examples of crs in three modes, termed “living in place,” “conservation and recovery,” and “polarization and protest.”

Keywords: stewardship, way of life, place, landscape, conservation, culture, local knowledge

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New ICHT Chapter in the The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice


ICHT has a chapter forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice, edited by Angela M. Labrador and Neil Asher Silberman (OUP, 2018). The chapter is titled “What Could be More Reasonable?”—Collaboration in Colonial Contexts.

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Video: On the Chesapeake, Rising Seas and High Tides

On the Chesapeake, A Precarious Future of Rising Seas and High Tides

By Tom Horton | January 22, 2018


I’m making a film in the Chesapeake Bay landscapes of my boyhood, posing for a close-up with ball and glove where 60 years ago I shagged flies out front of my Dad’s fishing cabin. The camera backs away and I’m ass-deep in salt water — centerfield, this used to be. The tall piney woods around the long-gone cabin, thick enough I worried then about getting lost, are skeletal now, falling into the water.

Cinematographer Dave Harp and I are longtime collaborators on Chesapeake projects and knew what we’d find when we began working on this film. The great estuary’s 11,000 miles of tidal shoreline have been eroding for centuries as wind and wave and ice take their toll. But now there’s a new ballgame. Emerging climate science has documented an ominous acceleration of the sea level rise that gradually formed the Chesapeake over thousands of years. The latest projections for the Chesapeake region are two feet or more of sea level rise by mid-century, and as much as six feet by century’s end. That’s a troubling combination of higher water and sinking land around the bay.

Dave and I have focused our cameras on my old stomping grounds, Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a place where the future is well underway. “Water moves us” is the county’s tourism slogan, both apt and ironic. It’s been called “Maryland’s Everglades” — a wonderland of water and wetlands, tidal creeks and wooded swamps and islands,  nurturing an abundance of seafood and wildlife, and home to historic fishing communities and the internationally-known Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. With its hundreds of thousands of acres of land, Dorchester ranks fourth largest among Maryland’s 23 counties; but it will shrink to 14th by 2100 as nearly half the county turns to open water. …

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Canada, Ecological Grief, and the Anthropocene

To Grieve or Not to Grieve?

By Ashlee Cunsolo | January 19, 2017

Given it seems more and more likely that people will experience various forms of ecological grief, it is clear that grieving will be a reality — and not grieving is not desirable, even if it were possible. I believe that ecological mourning is a signature labour of the Anthropocene — a labour in which we must all engage as our species moves deeper into the Anthropocene. Do we “double up in pain” or do we harness this grief and our connections to that which is beyond the human to act, to find our “participation and responsibility” in the “larger ecological whole”? Do we continue on as is, or do we allow ecological mourning to become a resource for ethical and political change? …

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