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Archive for March, 2012

CBS News reports that the island nation of Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands) is considering purchasing 6,000 acres of land in Fiji. The reason for the purchase is so future generations of Kiribati citizens will have a place to go should ocean levels rise further.

1) Compare Kiribati’s foresight with what currently passes for government in the U.S.. Our representatives can’t even agree on an annual budget; the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declares in February that the Senate isn’t going to pass a budget this year. He’s got ten months to get one passed and won’t even try. We have roads and bridges that could use maintenance or replacing.

2) For those of us who are climate change skeptics, Kiribati’s plans should offer a sobering thought. The people of Kiribati don’t have the luxury of living by theory. They appear to be willing to spend millions of dollars to buy land elsewhere because their experience with their beaches and the ocean indicates to them they may actually need it. That should give those on the right some pause. A little humility from both sides on the climate change issue may be wise. There is a lot we do not know.

3) Kiribati faces possible future extinction, and its citizens don’t appear willing to wait until it stares them in the face. Israel faces a long-range existential threat as well. While the world hopes Israel will exercise restraint, we should not assume that Israel’s patience is infinite.

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