That's Shelton Kokeok, a 68-year-old who lives, with his wife, Clara, at the very edge of the Shishmaref coast, which has been thawing and falling into the sea.
A multimillion-dollar U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project has bought Kokeok some peace of mind. The engineers piled rocks high on the shore, as if imploring the land to stay. But even the engineers know that the measures are temporary.
The Army Corps of Engineers in Alaska had $45 million to deal with coastal erosion issues that are related to climate change, according to Bruce Sexauer, chief of planning for the Alaska District. That money ran out though. The rock wall in Shishmaref was planned to be nearly twice as long as it is, but money is now only available if the village can put up 35% of the cash needed to build it. I'm pretty sure a place where people hunt seals for food and harvest ice for water doesn't have millions to spare.
It's a beautiful, generous village. But not a rich one.
The wall, as it stands, likely will buy Shishmaref several years.
But much already has been lost.
When I visited him four years ago, Kokeok told me he blames the death of his youngest son, Norman, on the changes to the climate. Norman fell through a thin sheet of ice on the first week of June several years ago.
That area should have been frozen solid, Kokeok said.
He told me, back in 2009, that he hasn't been the same since.
I was pleased to hear on Thursday that, after two knee replacements, Kokeok was able to go caribou hunting with his grandchildren and daughter this summer.
That's something he hadn't done in years.
The land here, and the community, means so much to him.
Another community, Newtok, which was the subject of a fascinating series by The Guardian, is actually in the process of relocating now, according to Sexauer.
Dave Williams, a colleague of Sexauer's, told me that the permafrost is thawing out from beneath the town, making it nearly unlivable.
"Some of the boardwalks are underwater during the summertime," he said. "You can't step off the boardwalk and walk anywhere without getting wet up to your crotch and covered in muck. You can see that when it floods now, houses that were above the flood level now get water in them or are surrounded by water and (you) can't go anywhere. ... It happens slowly, over years and years."
Slowly, over years and years.
But still, impossible not to notice.
I could think of a few senators I'd like to send up to that village to wade in the muck. Maybe it would alleviate their nagging sense of industry-funded doubt.
Or, at the very least, they'd have to make excuses in a ruined pair of pants.