Amanda Lucier for The New York Times PORTLAND, Ore. — The final meeting of the year for the Pacific Islander Club at Roosevelt High School was mostly celebratory, with candy leis for the departing seniors and a spread of fried chicken. But the club was talking climate change, and for many students in North Portland, Ore., the subject hit close to home. Akash Sharma, 17, spoke of visiting his family in Fiji, where a Category 5 cyclone killed several people and destroyed entire communities in 2016. “My grandparents’ house flew away and all my family’s house was gone,” he said. “It was just a tough time.” Climate change and its effects, including the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, have been a major focus for Akash’s club. Its members were either born in or trace their roots to places like Fiji; the Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Okinawa, Japan; or Samoa — places, they fear, that may not exist in a few decades because of rising sea levels and other consequences of global warming. For too many people, climate change is “about health and recycling,” said Pone Aisea, 18, whose family is from Tonga. “For us, it’s about our islands sinking. […]


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