Saving dying Kiribati




Many little countries, as a consequence of global warming, are dying. Maldives, a country populated by no more than 350,000 people, and bulk of which is scattered in atolls and small isles vulnerable to every slight bit of rise in sea level, is one example. Tuvalu, a smaller one, populated by only 10,000 people, is a similar case: their area stretches no larger than 10 sq km, and depends mostly on foreign aid to sustain the livelihood.

This time, Bloomberg Businessweek picks up Kiribati, another island country in South Pacific Ocean inhabited by only 100,000 people, as their case study. What happens as with the global warming? A whole nation is being put at perils of extinction. Or indirectly speaking, a ‘genocide’ is being triggered out. Unless the world reaches a hardly-won consensus among developed and Third-World nations, more countries like Kiribati will face their own imminent destruction.

Read the full article here.


Kiribati is a flyspeck of a United Nations member state, a collection of 33 islands necklaced across the central Pacific. Thirty-two of the islands are low-lying atolls; the 33rd, called Banaba, is a raised coral island that long ago was strip-mined for its seabird-guano-derived phosphates. If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. Water expands as it warms, and the oceans have lately received colossal quantities of melted ice. A recent study found that the oceans are absorbing heat 15 times faster than they have at any point during the past 10,000 years. Before the rising Pacific drowns these atolls, though, it will infiltrate, and irreversibly poison, their already inadequate supply of fresh water. The apocalypse could come even sooner for Kiribati if violent storms, of the sort that recently destroyed parts of the Philippines, strike its islands.

For all of these reasons, the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine.