Residents of Tybee Island, Georgia are concerned that what is happening to the islands in the Pacific Ocean will soon happen to them.
Coastal cities and island nations are beginning to disappear, including the access highway to Tybee Island, according to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC).
Global warming & climate change.
“We don’t have the liberty or time to debate climate change,” says Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine, in National Geographic’s newly released documentary Before the Flood.
This film features Leonardo DiCaprio, the Messenger of Peace for the United Nations (UN), taking a tour around the world to witness the effects of global warming. DiCaprio met with powerful local and world leaders to learn more on this worldwide issue.
Miami, Florida is already sinking and has begun construction to raise roads. However, Mayor Levine shares that this 400 million dollar project will only stay beneficial for forty to fifty years, if sea levels continue rising at the current rate.
Kiribati Island and Palau Island are both small nations in the Pacific Ocean near Australia and New Zealand. Their homelands and cultures are being claimed by the sea.
“The small island nations contribute the least to the causes of climate change yet feel the worst impacts,” says President of Palau, H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.
“We have to accept the reality that we may not be able to accommodate all of our people,” says President of Kiribati, Anote Tong. In the documentary, Tong shares how Kiribati purchased portions of Fiji Island for residents to relocate. Unfortunately, Fiji is also at risk for major flooding, so migration is only a temporary relief.
Never heard of Kiribati or Palau Islands? What about Greenland?
If climate patterns continue in the course from the past decade, Greenland will rapidly vanish. Additionally, by the year 2040, we will be able to sail over the North Pole because it will be entirely melted, according to Doctor Enric Sala, a National Geographic Explorer.
“We will all have to stink together,” says UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon in Before the Flood.
The root cause behind this dramatic shift in the earth’s temperature is the emission of greenhouse gases, due to the burning of fossil fuels. China, the United States, and India are the three top emitters in the world.
The ugly side of large corporations and our industry-crazed globe is how “our consumption is going to put a hole in the world”, shares Snit Narain. Narain works for the Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi, India.
Our consumption includes the food we eat, our dependence on consistent electricity, our clothing, cosmetics, and household goods. We fuel the money-making corporate players and companies… even at the cost of the livelihood of these coastal cities and island nations.
Americans and global citizens may have differing opinions on politics, war, human rights, freedom, and more, but Before the Flood ultimately explains how without the foundation of our earth and a place to live, these controversial arguments are trivial.
For information on how to take action, visit the Before the Flood website.
Watch the full documentary here: