A Country That Will Drown If Sea Levels Rise

Maldives Underwater Cabinet Meeting

Maldives Underwater Cabinet Meeting, http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Copenhagen Climate Change conference opened this week with an urgent call to action on the rapidly warming temperatures and the associated human costs that come from it.  And, no country in the world will be more affected than the small nation of Maldives.  The country is a series of tiny atolls that rise no more than a few feet above sea level.  The fear is that as sea levels rise, the entire country of Maldives will simply be swamped and disappear.  All 309,000 residents of the country will have to move—everyone from the President to the poorest resident.  The newly elected President of the Maldives and his cabinet held a cabinet meeting underwater in full scuba gear to highlight their country’s fate.

The Divehi people of Maldives have lived for 3,000 years on these islands, but they are now being threatened with extinction.  The atoll of Maduvari, home to 2,000 people, is an example of this.  The atoll has noticeably shrunk and will have to be abandoned in 20 years.  Those residents will be resettled in other atolls in the Maldives.  But, what will happen when all of Maldives’ atolls are gone and where will they go?

The country is taking radical steps to deal with the onslaught caused by other country’s use of fossil fuels.  Maldives will be first country in the world to be entirely carbon neutral.  They are trying to use some of the dead coral reefs that surround the atolls to literally raise the height of some of the islands.  And, they are working to reclaim land similar to the way in which Holland has done.  But, these are short term solutions.  Long term, Maldives must convince countries much larger than them that it is imperative that action be taking to end the global rise in temperatures.

Here is a video piece by the BBC World Service that highlights the plight of Maldivians and their fight against what might be a losing battle.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

33 thoughts on “A Country That Will Drown If Sea Levels Rise

  1. As the law stands now in the US, there is no provision, of which I'm aware, for applying for refugee status because one's country has been submerged under water.
    We are probably going to have to change the law to include that eventuality.
    22 minutes ago

  2. As the law stands now in the US, there is no provision, of which I’m aware, for applying for refugee status because one’s country has been submerged under water.
    We are probably going to have to change the law to include that eventuality.
    22 minutes ago

  3. Jim: You're probably right. In the case of Maldives, things might go smoothly since there are not a lot of people. Imagine when a country like Bangladesh, with 150 million people have to leave.

  4. Jim: You’re probably right. In the case of Maldives, things might go smoothly since there are not a lot of people. Imagine when a country like Bangladesh, with 150 million people have to leave.

  5. OMG… is this for real?

    China, India, Indonesia, the U.S., Europe TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS !! Shutdown the factories and assembly lines !! Ride your bike to work !! A whole nation a couple feet above sealevel depends on it!!

    Stop driving your car…stop using fossil fuels…so the sea doesn't flood Maldives. Ship your icecubes from your freezer to the polar caps to slowdown the melting ice!

    REAL science has disputed most claims of global warming and mankinds role in that global warming.

    My heart goes out to those whose home may one day (decades from now) be underwater, but I seriously doubt fossil fuel and man-caused global warming has anything to do with it.

    Al Gore appreciates your support.

    I'm sorry guys, really…but c'mon.

    I must return to laughing my &*^ off now.

  6. @Pffff states that "My heart goes out to those whose home may one day (decades from now) be underwater, but I seriously doubt fossil fuel and man-caused global warming has anything to do with it" without providing any evidence that contradicts the scientific consensus of climate change (other than perhaps Sarah Palin's Facebook page).

    The science is clear and while it's noble that Pffff's heart goes out for the victims, he (I'm assuming) doesn't seem to think that anything can be done about. I disagree and Mr. Pffff's straw man's solutions about shutting down factories aside, using much less fossil fuel will undoubtedly save millions of homes and lives over the next generation.

    So, yes, Mr. Pffff, ride your bike to work! A whole nation is depending on it!

  7. OMG… is this for real?

    China, India, Indonesia, the U.S., Europe TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS !! Shutdown the factories and assembly lines !! Ride your bike to work !! A whole nation a couple feet above sealevel depends on it!!

    Stop driving your car…stop using fossil fuels…so the sea doesn’t flood Maldives. Ship your icecubes from your freezer to the polar caps to slowdown the melting ice!

    REAL science has disputed most claims of global warming and mankinds role in that global warming.

    My heart goes out to those whose home may one day (decades from now) be underwater, but I seriously doubt fossil fuel and man-caused global warming has anything to do with it.

    Al Gore appreciates your support.

    I’m sorry guys, really…but c’mon.

    I must return to laughing my &*^ off now.

  8. @Pffff states that “My heart goes out to those whose home may one day (decades from now) be underwater, but I seriously doubt fossil fuel and man-caused global warming has anything to do with it” without providing any evidence that contradicts the scientific consensus of climate change (other than perhaps Sarah Palin’s Facebook page).

    The science is clear and while it’s noble that Pffff’s heart goes out for the victims, he (I’m assuming) doesn’t seem to think that anything can be done about. I disagree and Mr. Pffff’s straw man’s solutions about shutting down factories aside, using much less fossil fuel will undoubtedly save millions of homes and lives over the next generation.

    So, yes, Mr. Pffff, ride your bike to work! A whole nation is depending on it!

  9. Sarah Palin?
    http://www.mlive.com/opinion/flint/index.ssf/2009

    I don't know or really care what Sarah Palin's facebook page says.

    The earth has been COOLING since 1998.

    University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center released conclusive satellite photos showing that Arctic ice is back to 1979 levels. What's more, measurements of Antarctic ice now show that its accumulation is up 5 percent since 1980.

    Good luck "peddling" this stuff and enjoy the bike ride.

  10. Sarah Palin?
    http://www.mlive.com/opinion/flint/index.ssf/2009

    I don't know or really care what Sarah Palin's facebook page says.

    The earth has been COOLING since 1998.

    University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center released conclusive satellite photos showing that Arctic ice is back to 1979 levels. What's more, measurements of Antarctic ice now show that its accumulation is up 5 percent since 1980.

    Good luck "peddling" this stuff and enjoy the bike ride.

  11. Sarah Palin?
    http://www.mlive.com/opinion/flint/index.ssf/2009

    I don't know or really care what Sarah Palin's facebook page says.

    The earth has been COOLING since 1998.

    University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center released conclusive satellite photos showing that Arctic ice is back to 1979 levels. What's more, measurements of Antarctic ice now show that its accumulation is up 5 percent since 1980.

    Good luck "peddling" this stuff and enjoy the bike ride.

  12. Sarah Palin?

    http://www.mlive.com/opinion/flint/index.ssf/2009/01/its_time_to_pray_for_global_wa.html

    I don’t know or really care what Sarah Palin’s facebook page says.

    The earth has been COOLING since 1998.

    University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center released conclusive satellite photos showing that Arctic ice is back to 1979 levels. What’s more, measurements of Antarctic ice now show that its accumulation is up 5 percent since 1980.

    Good luck “peddling” this stuff and enjoy the bike ride.

  13. Pingback: Climate Change Update | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  14. Pffff: Not actually silent, but rather ignoring since it is unlikely that I would convince since you seem not to be swayed by the scientific consensus. But, oh well, here goes anyways.

    I had a look at the link you provided and that random columnist from the Flint newspaper is spouting complete BS. This is also a fellow that wrote in previous columns that "Obama putting terrorists ahead of Americans" and doesn't believe in evolutionary science. I think his credibility about climate science is a bit sketchy to say the least and that his views on science viewed through an ideological lens.

    According to the Arctic Climate Research Center at the University of Illinois, which he supposedly cites but apparently misreads, it states "Recent observed surface air temperature changes over the Arctic region are the largest in the world. Winter (DJF) rates of warming exceed 4 degrees C. over portions of the Arctic land areas." The next paragraph states: "Sea ice extent averaged over the Northern Hemisphere has decreased correspondingly over the past 50 years (shown right). The largest change has been observed in the summer months with decreases exceeding 30%. Decreases observed in winter are more modest."

  15. Pffff: Not actually silent, but rather ignoring since it is unlikely that I would convince since you seem not to be swayed by the scientific consensus. But, oh well, here goes anyways.

    I had a look at the link you provided and that random columnist from the Flint newspaper is spouting complete BS. This is also a fellow that wrote in previous columns that “Obama putting terrorists ahead of Americans” and doesn’t believe in evolutionary science. I think his credibility about climate science is a bit sketchy to say the least and that his views on science viewed through an ideological lens.

    According to the Arctic Climate Research Center at the University of Illinois, which he supposedly cites but apparently misreads, it states “Recent observed surface air temperature changes over the Arctic region are the largest in the world. Winter (DJF) rates of warming exceed 4 degrees C. over portions of the Arctic land areas.” The next paragraph states: “Sea ice extent averaged over the Northern Hemisphere has decreased correspondingly over the past 50 years (shown right). The largest change has been observed in the summer months with decreases exceeding 30%. Decreases observed in winter are more modest.”

  16. pfff: glad you asked about the ozone layer even though it is completely irrelevant to climate change, but a highly useful comparison. The hole in the ozone layer was caused by the use of specific chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons and halons and other stuff. These chemicals were banned per the Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 by the REAGAN ADMINISTRATION. Adherence to the protocol means that the ozone layer is now healing. It actually does not have anything to do with emission of CO2.

    Now, why is this a good example for climate change? Well, it shows that when science shows that there is precedence for making changes to our economy to ensure that one part of the earth heals. It's pretty sad that today's supposed supporters of President Reagan do not understand the important legacy he left in international environment cooperation. President Reagan would today be branded a tree hugger by climate change deniers. It's pretty sad actually.

  17. pfff: glad you asked about the ozone layer even though it is completely irrelevant to climate change, but a highly useful comparison. The hole in the ozone layer was caused by the use of specific chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons and halons and other stuff. These chemicals were banned per the Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 by the REAGAN ADMINISTRATION. Adherence to the protocol means that the ozone layer is now healing. It actually does not have anything to do with emission of CO2.

    Now, why is this a good example for climate change? Well, it shows that when science shows that there is precedence for making changes to our economy to ensure that one part of the earth heals. It’s pretty sad that today’s supposed supporters of President Reagan do not understand the important legacy he left in international environment cooperation. President Reagan would today be branded a tree hugger by climate change deniers. It’s pretty sad actually.

  18. This is one excellent decision taken by the Maldivian Government. It is true that rise in sea levels will effect Maldives Directly and visibly. But, what the world tends to forget is that these effects would also mean dooms day for them. We will loose the beauty of the world in no time (See the beautiful world on http://clickacam.blogspot.com/ )

    But, do we only point of fingers to USA, China, India and the other developed countries ? How about us helping out as well ? We surely can by switching off unwanted lights, getting our vehicles repaired of minimum emissions of Carbon etc..

    Nuclear Energy is much better than burning of fossil fuel. But, why do not the countries who have such technology not allow the others to use it ? Is it only about War ?

  19. This is one excellent decision taken by the Maldivian Government. It is true that rise in sea levels will effect Maldives Directly and visibly. But, what the world tends to forget is that these effects would also mean dooms day for them. We will loose the beauty of the world in no time (See the beautiful world on http://clickacam.blogspot.com/ )

    But, do we only point of fingers to USA, China, India and the other developed countries ? How about us helping out as well ? We surely can by switching off unwanted lights, getting our vehicles repaired of minimum emissions of Carbon etc..

    Nuclear Energy is much better than burning of fossil fuel. But, why do not the countries who have such technology not allow the others to use it ? Is it only about War ?

  20. This is one excellent decision taken by the Maldivian Government. It is true that rise in sea levels will effect Maldives Directly and visibly. But, what the world tends to forget is that these effects would also mean dooms day for them. We will loose the beauty of the world in no time (See the beautiful world on http://clickacam.blogspot.com/ )

    But, do we only point of fingers to USA, China, India and the other developed countries ? How about us helping out as well ? We surely can by switching off unwanted lights, getting our vehicles repaired of minimum emissions of Carbon etc..

    Nuclear Energy is much better than burning of fossil fuel. But, why do not the countries who have such technology not allow the others to use it ? Is it only about War ?

  21. This is one excellent decision taken by the Maldivian Government. It is true that rise in sea levels will effect Maldives Directly and visibly. But, what the world tends to forget is that these effects would also mean dooms day for them. We will loose the beauty of the world in no time (See the beautiful world on http://clickacam.blogspot.com/ )

    But, do we only point of fingers to USA, China, India and the other developed countries ? How about us helping out as well ? We surely can by switching off unwanted lights, getting our vehicles repaired of minimum emissions of Carbon etc..

    Nuclear Energy is much better than burning of fossil fuel. But, why do not the countries who have such technology not allow the others to use it ? Is it only about War ?

  22. I used the ozone scare of the 80s to put popular cultures current "fear mongering" in perspective.

    Let me know when it is time to sell my duplex near the beach in Clearwater. Surely if the oceans are rising enough to flood Maldives beaches only a few feet above seawater everywhere would flood.

    Encouraging people to recycle, carpool, etc… is commended, scaring the industrialized world that they are responsible for tolls in Maldives is looney.

    If I'm wrong…the day Maldives is evacuated is the day I adopt an entire family.

    Common sense must and will prevail over this.

  23. Geo Man: You're correct– everyone needs to take steps to reduce their carbon consumption. But, government incentives can help.

    pfff: I want you to be right and that Maldives doesn't drown. But, I'm afraid that you are not right. The evidence is points in the direction of countries like the Maldives and Tuvalu going under water and other parts of the world losing much of their land. As to Florida, the state government spends a lot of money on adding sand to a decreasing shoreline. I don't know if that is caused by human induced climate change or not.

  24. I used the ozone scare of the 80s to put popular cultures current “fear mongering” in perspective.

    Let me know when it is time to sell my duplex near the beach in Clearwater. Surely if the oceans are rising enough to flood Maldives beaches only a few feet above seawater everywhere would flood.

    Encouraging people to recycle, carpool, etc… is commended, scaring the industrialized world that they are responsible for tolls in Maldives is looney.

    If I’m wrong…the day Maldives is evacuated is the day I adopt an entire family.

    Common sense must and will prevail over this.

  25. Geo Man: You’re correct– everyone needs to take steps to reduce their carbon consumption. But, government incentives can help.

    pfff: I want you to be right and that Maldives doesn’t drown. But, I’m afraid that you are not right. The evidence is points in the direction of countries like the Maldives and Tuvalu going under water and other parts of the world losing much of their land. As to Florida, the state government spends a lot of money on adding sand to a decreasing shoreline. I don’t know if that is caused by human induced climate change or not.

  26. Hi!. Thanks a bunch for the info. I've been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Google lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the great information. I will be popping back over in a couple of days to see if there is updated posts.

  27. Hi!. Thanks a bunch for the info. I’ve been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Google lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the great information. I will be popping back over in a couple of days to see if there is updated posts.