Posted by: islandsfirst | December 16, 2008

Islands to Obama

Islands First’s Nicholas Arons and Dr. Marah Hardt of the Blue Ocean Institute in the Huffington Post on One Way President Obama Can Lead on Climate Change:

President-elect Obama faces enormous challenges, but at least he doesn’t have to worry about his country disappearing. The newly elected President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, is not so lucky. His country sits three feet above sea level; scientific models estimate sea level rise by up to 6.5 feet this century. So, he, too, is struggling to raise finances — not to bail out giant auto companies — but to support relocation of his citizens as their islands slowly slip beneath the sea.

At climate talks in Poland yesterday, Amjad Abdulla, director general of the Ministry of Environment in the Maldives, expressed his disappointment: “We are drowning, and there is this huge gap in commitment.”

But there may be reason to have hope. Taking matters into their own hands, the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) submitted an historic draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly, to be voted on next week. Directed at the Security Council, it is a call for international leadership to fight the biggest foreign threat to their countries’ security, peace, and continued existence: climate change.

Many people still consider climate change as a “liberal, environmental issue,” rather than a real cause for concern like terrorism or a weakened economy. But, for citizens of these pacific island nations, climate change threatens human and national rights that we, the United States of America, purportedly pioneered. Reframing climate change in terms of national security is no stretch of the imagination. Remember, slavery was once debated as an economic issue before society evolved enough to recognize it as question of basic human rights. The radical thoughts of one generation often become the accepted moral guidelines of the next.

The US was founded upon the right to defend our sovereignty and we have long been an ally to countries that fight to defend their people, land and resources. President-elect Obama states he can restore America’s image as a beacon of hope on the international stage and we desperately need him to do so. What better way than to shepherd through this draft resolution, representing hundreds of thousands of people who refuse to remain invisible? The President-elect and members of Congress must provide strong leadership, calling on the current administration to take action. One small vote by the United States, one giant message to the world: we still care, we can help, we will lead.


  1. […] disobedience, be sure to visit No Impact Man’s site. Why Washington? Read Islands Firster Nicholas Arons at The Huffington […]

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