Stories of Climate Change
University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment (2016)
Stories of Climate Change is a short documentary about the economic impact of changing climate – rising sea levels, floods, droughts, short springs and warmer water temperatures – on various North Carolina business owners. Each vignette is a little under four minutes. (If Vimeo is set on autoplay Parts 1-6 and 7-11 should autoplay sequentially. The alternative is to click individual vignettes as they appear in the preview panel on the right).
First up is a beekeeper who reports that shorter springs (resulting in a decline in flowering plants and nectar) kill off up to 50% of her bees every year.
Next is the manager of a seafood market, who talks about sea bass dying out as warmer water temperatures interfere with spawning and other fish species moving as far north as Maryland and New England.
In the third vignette a hunting guide talks about the decline in the number of migratory birds flying south due to warmer temperatures.
In Part 4 a wildlife refuge manager talks about rising sea levels causing increased soil salinity and killing off pine forests that used to support woodpeckers and other native birds.
In Part 5 a fishing guide talks about his region experiencing the drought of the century, the flood of the century and the killing frost of the century – along with a mass of crop failures – in the last five years. He also observes that city people don’t see climate change because they’re out of touch with the natural landscape.
In Part 6 a hunter/fisherman talks about the loss of seasonal variations, resulting in long winters, hot dry summers and unprececidentated infestations of mosquitoes and tics that can last up to Christmas.
In Part 7 a family of asthmatics discusses the direct impact of climate change (long hot summers with lots of pollen and wildfires) on their health.
In Part 8 a trout farmer discusses how decreased oxygenation has caused several years where her entire stock was wiped out.
In Part 9 an oyster fisherman describes how a rise in sea levels is causing increased erosion and sedimentation that is suffocating oyster beds.
In Part 10 an apple grower who took over a 100 year old orchard 200 years ago talks about the loss of his entire crop for four years running. Buds form prematurely due to unseasonably warm March weather and are killed by sudden cold snaps in April.
In Part 11 a ranchers talks about her difficulty managing longer more severe droughts, longer more severe rainy periods and sudden severe heat waves. A few years ago she lost 50 chickens and turkeys when the temperature rose from 70 to 100 in 45 minutes.