Climate Change Wiping Out Entire Country

kiribati(Community Matters) “This entire country is about to be wiped out by climate change. It won’t be the last … Drowning Kiribati “: “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. … [T]he 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. …

JOSH TYRANGIEL, editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, emails Playbook to say: “I’m not kidding when I say this is probably the most important story we’ve ever run.” It’s Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg’s first cover story for Businessweek … 

“The Obama administration understands the crisis in Kiribati serves at least a pedagogical role. ‘There are many canaries in the coal mine on this issue, but this is an important one for a very obvious reason,’ Todd Stern, the U.S. Department of State’s special envoy for climate change, said. ‘When you look at the parade of terribles, the massive events we’ve been seeing-the typhoon in the Philippines, gigantic floods in Pakistan, two 100-year droughts in the Amazon within five years, Hurricane Sandy-we can’t tell you that each one happened because of global warming. You can question the link between specific events and general warming trends. But the warming of the oceans, the melting of glaciers-this isn’t debatable. There’s more water in the ocean, and it’s going to sink those islands. So when you talk about the future of Florida, of New York City, this is a kind of warning.'” With graphics, “A Rising Pacific” and “As the World Burns” http://goo.gl/NkzjhX

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