Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Destruction of the Nation of Kiribati

Imagine being the President of a country that is about to be utterly destroyed.

Imagine being President under circumstances where one of your programs is to get people trained and educated so that, as refugees, they can find a place for themselves in some other country. Imagine having the dream that, some day, a descendant of one of your citizens might find himself in a position of authority and respect - in some other country.

It is not a Hollywood movie. It's the situation that President Anote Tong of Kiribati faces as climate change threatens to eliminate his country.

In the podcast linked to below, he describes what it is like to be the President of a country that will likely be destroyed.

He speaks of a newly built hospital being destroyed by sea level rise.

He speaks of crop lands lost - crop lands that feed the people of his country.

There is a moral dimension to this. His country is being destroyed by the actions of people in other countries - people who refuse to provide help or compensation for harms done. He speaks of the hope that others will realize and respect the immorality of destroying his country. What they are doing "is like an act of war".

There are those who argue that we must not have a carbon tax because of the harm it will do to the economy.

But what does it say when a country "protects its economy" by destroying another country - utterly, completely, wiping it off the face of the earth?

What type of country - what type of people - would do such a thing?

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