US

Interior secretary visits eroding Alaska village; climate change leaves community vulnerable

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is getting a firsthand look at the effects of climate change on Alaska coastal communities.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1vTc1dX) reports Jewell on Monday visited Kivalina (kiv-ah-LEE'-nah), a community of 370 on a barrier island just off Alaska's northwest coast.

The island for decades was protected from erosion by sea ice that provided a natural sea barrier to fierce Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') Sea storms.

Jewell says erosion's effects on the village are obvious, as is residents' fears of losing their homes.

Jewell says climate change is clearly caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Alaska's lone representative in the U.S. House of Representatives disagrees.

Republican Don Young says the idea that global warming is caused by people is the "biggest charade" ever perpetrated on Alaskans.