Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Will Guam adapt to climate change?

Kim O'Connor in Imagine Gov. Eddie Calvo, Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, and our 15 senators suiting up in scuba gear for the next Guam Legislature meeting. A couple years ago, the first underwater cabinet meeting took place in the Maldives, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean. Maldives' President Nasheed and the nation's ministers communicated through hand signals and passing around an agreement while fish and coral surrounded them at 13 feet underwater.

About 80 percent of the Maldives is less than a meter above sea level, and the president wanted to bring awareness to ordinary people around the world by demonstrating the urgent need to address climate change and the rising sea levels, as their islands may become uninhabitable within the century.

Nauru, the world's smallest independent nation, also is seeking global action to address climate change and the correlating rising sea levels. Nauru is located about 34 miles south of the equator. Many islands in our region are vulnerable to natural disasters such as typhoons, tsunamis, flooding and earthquakes, but with only eight square miles, Nauru is experiencing elevated threats. The island's highest elevation is just over 200 feet above sea level, so with rising waters and flooding, the eight square miles can quickly become contaminated or diminished.

...."The stakes are too high to implement these measures only after a disaster is already upon us. Negotiations to reduce emissions should remain the primary forum for reaching an international agreement," The New York Times reported...

Tumon Bay in Guam, public domain photograph by Abasaa 日本語: あばさー

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