Rising Seas, Risings Temperatures and Rising Movement on the Sea Islands

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank has remained focused on accomplishing the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs) and continues to work with global partners to raise awareness via climate science in order to reverse the negative impacts of climate change on the Sea Islands of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. The risings seas and rising temperatures that are being witnessed have consistently been documented while the world’s scientists seek the answers to what human behaviors can be altered in order to bring these things back into alignment and cause the environment to be balanced and the earth to be healed. Some hope came during the stay-at-home orders brought on due to the coronavirus as citizens posted videos of clearing waters and replenished stocks of seafood and animals taking over open spaces on roads where cars were not moving and in parks that were now available to them 24 hours a day. Scientists examined the ozone layer and realized that it was healing and attributed this to less pollution being in the air. They also let us know that the air quality in many cities was improving and people could now see things that were miles away for the first time in decades.

In spite of all these environmental improvements that came over the past few months, as the decades continue into the future, the scientists are predicting increasing rises not only in sea levels, but in heatwaves. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) who is a member of the Anthropocene Alliances’ Higher Ground Council was interviewed about flooding in the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the environmental work that she engages in:

 

Queen Quet is one of several leaders of Higher Ground that are on the frontlines fighting to save their communities. Flood activists across the country are fighting crumbling infrastructure, apathetic local governments, over-development, gentrification, and the destruction of wetlands and forests. In their own lives, many are also battling damaged property, rising insurance costs, debt, physical illness, and emotional stress — all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of these stories about these leaders have been highlighted here:

https://medium.com/i-heart-climate-voices/flood-activists-fight-to-save-communities-75e3a6e659e4

As much as Queen Quet is focused on rising seas and how flooding is affecting the food security of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, she is also taking the time amidst the pandemic to highlight the on-going work of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank. She does this via a weekly broadcast entitled “Zooming in on Sustainability.” In a dialogue with Kate Cell of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) she focused on the rising seas and rising temperatures and the impacts these things are having on human health on the coast.

 

The “Zooming in on Coastal Sustainability Scientifically” discussion about the scientific data gathering about these coastal climate change issues, Kate Cell pointed out how this leads to the issue of equity because rising seas along the coast will cause people to migrate to other locations. This flight pattern fuels the gentrification of other areas. Gentrification in the Gullah/Geechee Nation has the same impact that it does in other communities of people of African descent-displacement of the Black community. To that end, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition continues to fight against the on-slaught of things that seek to remove them from their land which includes continuing to fight environmental injustice as well as destructionment.

In order to update the supporters of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank on the efforts to stop environmental injustices including the use of seismic guns, attempts at offshore drilling, and seeking to build on areas that are critical to the continuing fishing traditions of the Gullah/Geechee Nation that the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association seeks to keep in place, Queen Quet hosted “Zooming in on the Coast via a Legal Lens” with Attorney Amy Armstrong of the South Carolina Environmental Law Center (SCELP):

The Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition have chosen to be parties in lawsuits to stop the use of seismic guns and stop offshore drilling. They are also consistently pushing supporters to stand with them to stop destructionment from coming to Bay Point off the coast of historic St. Helena Island, SC which is the major Gullah/Geechee Sea Island that is the base of operation for both organizations. As a result of their efforts, the lawsuits are progressing and thousands of people have signed their petition: http://chng.it/gcmmgqFq

As the 20th Anniversary of the Gullah/Geechee Nation approaches on July 2, 2020, Queen Quet has put our A Drum Call for Justice:

Part of A Drum Call for Justice is to make people aware of the on-going food security issues associated with environmental justice and land rights in Black and indigenous communities such as the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Due to the rise of people focused on justice and equity, many people have contacted the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.GullahGeechee.net) seeking to be members and to support the continuation of the cultural heritage and landownership in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. To that end, supporters are asked to not only sign the aforementioned petition to stop destructionment at Bay Point, but they are also asked to make donations to the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition via CashApp to $GullahGeeecheeNation and to join the organization at www.GullahGeechee.biz. They are also called upon in this blog: https://gullahgeecheenation.com/2020/06/20/juneteenth-brings-a-growing-culture-to-stand-for-gullahgeechee-land/ to make contributions to the Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/f/gullahgeechee-land-legacy-fund . The leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation are pushing to have this fund reach $20,000 by the 20th Anniversary of the Gullah/Geechee Nation on July 2, 2000.

Queen Quet laid out the intersection between environmental justice and the human rights movement in the Gullah/Geechee Nation on a recent episode of Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio and re-emphasized “A Drum Call for Justice” in which she called for people to Jump Urgently Spiritually Truthfully Into Cultural Empowerment: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/gullahgeechee/2020/06/22/oceans-of-justice

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank and their supporters are continuing to rise to the occasion in doing just that. They are thankful that so many others are rising with them to stand for justice and bring about equality and equity. Let’s take this stand higher than the rising sea @GullahGeechee!

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1 Comment

  1. Charlee Montclair

    My Queen,
    Siberia within the Arctic circle, as in Frigid Zone; just hit a records 103 degree spike in a protracted heat wave. The summer ice cover in the Arctic ocean is slushier.
    The Greenland Ice cap has melted faster than predicted. Same for major glaciers worldwide.
    Glaciers that nestle in mountains and high valleys store as much water as small seas.
    At first, the political dam of denial to the revealing data on climate change was to do the proverbial Ostrich head in the sand escapism.
    Now that they are stirred to potent realism they now stumble with Dr. MLKings ” Now is the time” spiritual clarion call.
    My Queen, your Drum Calls convey similar urgency, if not awakening to proactive socio economic justice, as evangelized by Dr. MLKing.
    I Pray that at very least, the Federal think tanks will deputies if not grant authority to the Gullah / Geechee nation as official protectorate of the delicate South East of the continent..
    Canada was wise in affording autonomy to the indigenous Nunavut among other federal collaborations. Like the Gullah / Geechee nation, they know first hand how to cope, manage the fragile landscape with unfathomed resilience, to the rapid extremes of current and continuous climate change.
    Inertia is the prime hurdle impinging on political expediency in responding smartly to the realism of climate change. Typically, politicians await great calamity at a cross road before erecti g a traffic safety signal.
    Therefore, more and more millions of folks are to depend on the few authentic drum calls and communique to Save the Lands NOW.
    Now is the time to practice sustainability if the human species is to bypass the fate of the dinosaurs. Mercifully, they had no advanced early warning systems like the current human species.
    I submit, that you, the Gullah / Geechee nation and too few others are living authentic human early warning system.
    Please ‘keep on keeping on’ the blessed stewardship, while teaching We The People, the righteous path to sustainable ecological coexistence.
    Your humble servant.

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