In this day and age, with so much internet access bringing our planet closer and closer together, I would now consider most nations my neighbor. I text folks in Australia, facebook with people from Asia and Europe and tweet with the world. I think it is time we begin to respect our “neighbors” when it comes to climate change and our own emissions and pollutants that effect our back yards and the back yards of our those friends thousands of miles away. Lets face it, we are the culprit of many of the issues that the islands in this article from The Japan Times (found on The Daily Climate, one of my favorite sites) refers to. Nations are facing impossible predicaments; abandoning the home they love and making a move to higher ground. What a sacrifice and a sad choice to have to make.
Interesting too, is the fact that the small Island Nations in this article are taking unprecedented steps to change their own footprints in recognition that there must be systemic change. “The islands, which produce less than 0.1 percent of the world’s emissions, say they are leading by example. Most have started to substitute the expensive diesel they must traditionally import to generate electricity with renewable energy, including coconut power — biodiesel derived from homegrown coconut palms to power cars and outboard motors. The Marshall Islands has converted its outer island communities to solar energy and Tokelau has become the first territory in the world able to meet all its electricity needs with solar power. The Cook Islands and Tuvalu are aiming to get all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.”
Its our turn to make some changes and reduce our own emissions and waste for the sake of our neighbors (who unfortunately are the first of many populations to feel the direct effects of rising seas from a warming climate) and for our own good. All too soon, we will be the ones having to up and move from our declining shores, relocating from places that we love.