Thursday, October 17, 2013

Climate change strikes again

Pacific islanders are facing difficulties with rising sea levels already. 

BBC just published an article (found here) about a man seeking "climate change asylum" in New Zealand as his home, the Kiribati atolls are severely affected by rising sea levels. Earlier this year, he was denied asylum with the claim that his life was not threatened by conditions in Kiribati. But he's still fighting; decisions will be released in the next couple of weeks. 

While government officials in Kiribati are doing their best to buy land from Fiji and mitigate possible disasters in the near future, it is evident that climate change is causing major problems worldwide, for everyone. 

I imagine that in the next couple of years, cases like these will become a lot more common. What will governments decide to do? Will there be a universal code of acceptance (hopefully not shunning) of those who have lost their homes due to all of our irresponsible actions? 

There have been attempts to raise awareness and persuade the world to empathize with climate change refugees. In 2010, filmmaker Michael Nash produced a documentary named "Climate Refugees," hoping to bring attention to the perilous effects of climate change on people. He asks, in the trailer, "How long is man going to survive on this beautiful planet?" The question goes seamlessly well with what we're discussing in AP Environmental Science right now: the ability of the rapidly changing planet and environment to accommodate more people.

I will be watching this documentary this weekend and I encourage you to as well. I hope to organize a screening of "Climate Refugees" at school soon. 

For me, such incidents really bring out the importance of individual understanding and care. Climate change is a global phenomenon, concerning all 7 billion people; Nash's documentary is what we need to connect with each other. 

Because until the carbon dioxide levels do drop to 350 parts per million, human compassion is all we have to help each other. 

1 comment:

  1. Maldives and many other islands are also on the same path.