VANISHING ALASKA

Global warming is flooding villages along the coast. Should they stand and fight-- or surrender and move?

Shishmaref is melting into the ocean. Over the past 30 years, the Inupiaq Eskimo village, perched on a slender barrier island 625 miles north of Anchorage, has lost 100 ft. to 300 ft. of coastline--half of it since 1997. As Alaska's climate warms, the permafrost beneath the beaches is thawing and the sea ice is thinning, leaving its 600 residents increasingly vulnerable to violent storms. One house has collapsed, and 18 others had to be moved to higher ground, along with the town's bulk-fuel tanks.

Giant waves have washed away the school playground and destroyed $100,000 worth of boats, hunting gear...

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