Islands Drowning in Rising Seas

Oakland attorney Brook Meakins is only 30 years old and fresh out of law school, but that hasn’t stopped her from emerging as a global leader in a surprising new field. Since 2010, Meakins has worked to understand the legal needs of island nations and low-lying communities facing the loss of their land, culture, and way of life due to climate change and sea level rise. She now helps develop legal resources for what she calls “climate victims,” while sounding the alarm about their plight. She has consulted with the government of the Marshall Islands; conducted fact-finding missions in the Maldives, the Phi Phi islands, the Cayman Islands, and others; and presented at climate change conferences around the world. She has also participated in United Nations negotiations regarding the fate of islands off the coasts of Thailand and Panama. I recently talked with Meakins about her work and the underlying issues, which she also blogs about at Continue to to read an excerpt of our conversation.