Marshall Islands On The Brink Of Extinction Due To Climate Change, Officials Warn
By Parker Diakite
The Marshall Islands, a tiny nation of islands between Hawaii and Australia, are reportedly on the brink of extinction and officials say climate change is to blame.
As reported in ABC News, early predictions believe rising sea levels could make the nation uninhabitable as soon as 2030.
The islands’ capital, Majuro, is approximately 300 feet wide and home to more than 27,000 people.
Longtime resident Charlotte Jack told ABC reporters that she’s woken up due to water flooding into her home. “One day it could be like […] the perfect day,” she stated. “Tomorrow it could be like pouring rain, and water is up high and it’s just scary.”
Jack is part of what many call the “last generation” because over half of the country’s population is under 24 years old.
“Time is very limited,” Jack told ABC. “Sometimes I think that by the time I graduate and go get my education, try to come back and serve my island, there’s no more island. There’s no more nation. There’s no more culture.’
So far, a third of the Marshall Island’s population has moved to the U.S. due to the looming effects of climate change and high unemployment, as reported by PBS.
As of now, the country is working to protect by building concrete sea walls. “We’ve deployed the best engineering calculations we can deploy with the resources we have,” The islands’ Minister of Environment David Paul told ABC. “With climate change[…] nothing is guaranteed.”
He continued, stating that “climate change for us, it’s […] really a daily reality. We are seeing our shoreline being eroded, we are experiencing longer drought, more frequent […]. It’s quite challenging to try to cope with it.”
Paul stated that the rest of the world should take the island nation’s concerns seriously because the impact climate change is having on the Marshall Islands will eventually reach other places.
The list of countries and others determined to step up ambition by 2020 in light of the @IPCC_CH Special Report on 1.5ºC is growing. We must make the @antonioguterres UNSG Summit in 2019 count. Join us. 🇦🇷🇦🇹🇧🇿🇨🇦🇨🇱🇨🇴🇨🇷🇩🇰🇪🇹🇪🇺🇫🇯🇫🇮🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇲🇬🇩🇮🇸🇮🇹🇯🇲🇱🇺🇲🇰🇲🇭🇲🇽🇫🇲🇲🇨🇳🇱🇳🇿🇳🇴🇵🇹🇷🇼🇱🇨🇸🇳🇸🇮🇪🇸🇸🇪🇹🇬🇬🇧 https://t.co/kk8ApilLay
— David Paul (@MinisterDPaul) December 18, 2018