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A Tiny Nation Drowns

It's happened before, and now it's happening again: another tiny South Pacific island country has realized it will soon disappear beneath the ocean forever.

The ocean is advancing on the nation of Kiribati and its citizens have decided they have no choice but to evacuate and leave their land?and culture?behind forever. Kiribati consists of 33 coral atolls dotted across a wise swathe of ocean?none of them more than 6 feet above sea level. In the June 6th edition of the Independent, Kathy Marks quotes Kiribati president Anote Tong as saying, "We may be beyond redemption. We may be at the point of no return, where the emissions in the atmosphere will carry on contributing to climate change, to produce a sea level change so in time our small, low-lying islands will be submerged. We don't want to believe this, and our people don't want to believe this. It gives us a deep sense of frustration. What do we do?"

New Zealand is their nearest place of refuge but they have already taken in a substantial number of refugees from Pacific island nations and aren?t sure they can handle an influx of almost 100,000 Kiribatis.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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