China’s pollution may be holding back global warming somewhat, but sea levels are still rising, due to glacier melt, and climate change could put an end to small island nations such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives. They could become deterritorialized states–countries in name only, with their citizens are scattered far and wide.
This happened to the Jews before they formed Israel after World War II. The Vatican can be seen an example of such a state. Nauru if one of the countries in danger of drowning–it’s an island of just 8 square miles in the southern Pacific Ocean. In the July 19th edition of the New York Times, Marcus Stephen, who is the president of Nauru, says, "I am not looking for sympathy, but rather warning you what can happen when a country runs out of options. The world is headed down a similar path with the relentless burning of coal and oil, which is altering the planet’s climate, melting ice caps, making oceans more acidic and edging us ever closer to a day when no one will be able to take clean water, fertile soil or abundant food for granted.
"Climate change also threatens the very existence of many countries in the Pacific, where the sea level is projected to rise three feet or more by the end of the century. Already, Nauru’s coast, the only habitable area, is steadily eroding, and communities in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have been forced to flee their homes to escape record tides. The low-lying nations of Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands may vanish entirely within our grandchildren’s lifetimes.
"Similar climate stories are playing out on nearly every continent, where a steady onslaught of droughts, floods and heat waves, which are expected to become even more frequent and intense with climate change, have displaced millions of people and led to widespread food shortages.
"The changes have already heightened competition over scarce resources, and could foreshadow life in a world where conflicts are increasingly driven by environmental catastrophes."
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