The documentary There once was an island tells the story of the Polynesian community of Takuu. “As a terrifying tidal flood rips through their already damaged home, the Takuu community experiences the devastating effects of climate change first hand.” This means that they have to take the hardest decision of their life: leaving the island or staying? Leaving means going to an unknown country, leaving the own one and the own culture behind. Whereas staying might simply be too dangerous at a certain moment.
The documentary shows one of the weakest links in our world threatened by climate change. Maybe The Netherlands will not sink due to sea level changes because it can afford expensive and highly sophisticated systems, but not every country can.
Let’s take as another example Kiribati. The island will probably not survive the sea-level rise we will be seeing over the next 50 years. Check out this short account from the island: Kiribati – A climate change reality. I really love how he explains that risk cannot be ignored if you do not want to end up as refugees. And as inhabitant of Kiribati notes: “It’s very hard to leave your island.”
The ironic part is, nevertheless, that the countries affected by the climate change usually do hardly anything to cause these environmental changes. “Countries such as Kiribati, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives account for less than 0.1 percent of the total output of carbon dioxide emissions.” Read more about it in this post by the Mother Nature network, questioning also what happens to a state if its territory simply dissapears?!