Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kiribati and Global Warming refugees

The island nation of Kiribati's 94,000 or so residents have a problem. By the year 2100 their entire nation with be under water in the Pacific Ocean. Two of their islands, Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea, already disappeared in 1999. Coconuts will no longer grow on several of their islands due to the salination of the soil. Salination problem is expected to spread to the rest of the islands by 2050 and so goes their economy. These folks are becoming refugees of global warming ... or a term that we will probably start using a lot soon ... Global Warming Refugees or Climate Refugees.

Kiribati is on the equator and is the eastern most nation in the world. They are always the first to celebrate the New Year. It consists of 32 atolls and several island groups that are just a couple of feet, at it highest, above sea level. Their president Anote Tong has started thinking long term and has been helping his citizens relocate already. He has worked with getting his citizens residency in their neighboring countries of Japan, Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand has already agreed to accept 75 of them a year.

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