Pacific Islanders Fear for Future Amidst Trump’s Climate Rhetoric

by Aurora Brachman

The future of Pacific Island nations requires the United States solidarity on climate change action to protect people in vulnerable developing nations from the environmental destruction they imminently face. As a result of rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, a consequence of global warming, Pacific Islands have begun to experience significant costal erosion and increasingly severe natural disasters that threaten the continued existence of these small island nations. Unfortunately, United States president Donald Trump has endorsed skepticism about human contributions to climate change and his climate policy as of January is consistent with these views. In Trump’s 100-day action plan, which he issued during his campaign, he claims intentions to cancel billions of dollars in funds to the United Nation’s climate change programs, which assist people in developing countries. He has also vowed to approve trillions of dollars’ worth of energy projects involving shale, coal, natural gas and oil, all industries that perpetuate climate change and whose continued use pose a threat to the future of these island nations. Continue reading

Climate Change Tourism: A Mere Luxury for the Rich?

by JP Kiefer

The small archipelago nation of Tuvalu is home to 10,000 people likely to soon become climate refugees when their islands fall below sea level due to climate change. Tuvalu is attempting to take on an image of both victim and hero of climate change by becoming an extremely green chain of islands run by largely renewable sources of energy. It is able to take on this image with help from foreign aid and charities. Its people are also portrayed as model citizens without the issues of overconsumption and essentialized consumerism, though they fail in this in some ways. Tuvalu’s tourist board attributes these failures to an invading and corruptive imperial force. Overconsumption and essentialized consumerism are tied hand in hand with climate change, so by rejecting these values Tuvalu hopes to show that man’s carbon footprint truly can be reduced. Continue reading