Driven by climate change the sea level is rising and destroying coastal towns in Tabasco

Yahir Mayoral and Emily Camacho walk amid the rubble of their grandmother's home, destroyed by flooding driven by a sea-level rise in their coastal community of El Bosque, in the state of Tabasco, Mexico, Nov. 30, 2023. Driven by climate change, sea-level rise and increasingly ferocious storms are eroding thousands of miles of Mexico's coastline facing both the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez, File)ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lopez is a very common last name in Mexico and the state of Tabasco. Some of the Lopez from Tabasco live in a palace like President Lopez Obrador, who is originally from Tabasco, but others are not so fortunate, like the family of Cristina Lopez from El Bosque, Tabasco, this is their story:

The López home kept filling with seawater as the Gulf of Mexico rose and winter storms got worse.

Cristina López and her family decided to leave after one bad storm in November, knowing the ocean would eventually devour their home in the fishing town of El Bosque.

“There was nowhere else to go,” said López, who now lives about a 20-minute drive away.

Driven by climate change, sea-level rise, and increasingly ferocious storms are eroding thousands of miles of Mexico’s coastline facing both the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. Around this country of nearly 130 million, drought is draining reservoirs dry and creating severe water shortages. Deadly heat is straining people and crops. The aging infrastructure is struggling to keep up.

But don’t expect the leading presidential candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, an environmental scientist and a co-author of the 2007 Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to make climate a central part of her campaign ahead of the June 2 election.

That is because as many countries move away from the burning of fossil fuels like oil and gas, which cause climate change, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, one of Mexico’s most popular leaders in generations, has moved his country in the opposite direction.

Sheinbaum is often seen as the mentee of López Obrador, who is restricted by law to one term. As president, he has pumped billions of dollars into Mexico’s indebted state oil company and has been pushing an overhaul of the country’s energy sector that has boosted fossil fuel production and stymied investment in renewable energy projects. That has resulted in Sheinbaum, who until last June was Mexico City’s mayor, having largely gone quiet on global warming in Mexico, the world’s 11th-largest oil producer.

At the heart of her silence appears to be the conundrum facing many leaders in the face of climate change: should they sacrifice immediate political and economic needs to grapple with the longer-term changes necessary for human survival?

Sheinbaum has told The Associated Press that she believes in science, technology, and renewable energy but also has said that if she wins she would continue increasing power generation by state-owned companies, which often run power plants with oil and coal.

Her main opponent, Xóchitl Gálvez, a former opposition senator, has said she would promote private investment in the energy sector if elected. The businesswoman has promised to permanently close refineries in Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas states within the first six months of her presidency and has proposed transforming the country’s state-run oil and gas company into one that could also produce electricity using renewable sources such as geothermal energy.

Whoever wins will be the first female president of Mexico.

Source: AP

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