Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Obama Offers Refuge On US Land To Nine Climate Threatened Nations

President Obama today announced that the US would provide new homelands for the nine most climate-change endangered island nations in the world (see table below).  Here is part of the text of the president's speech: 
These nine nations, with a total land size of 1300 square miles (almost the size of Yosemite National Park, 4/5 the size of Rhode Island, and 2/3 the size of Anchorage, Alaska) with a total population of just under 900.000 (less than 1/3 of one percent of the US population), are severely threatened by sea level rise caused by global warming.

These are independent nations whose very existence is threatened by changes in the world's climate caused, in large part, by the side effects of our great prosperity.  We have a moral obligation to the people of these nations, an obligation to assure them that the world will not only find space for them to live, but will also respect their cultures and sovereignty.

There are many different ways the world can react to the crisis faced by these nations.  The world has shown, time and again, its generosity to nations suffering from natural disasters.  But the nations of the world often take a long time to come to agreements  to assist in  human caused disasters.  Thus, today I am guaranteeing that if, by 2020, the United Nations or other international bodies have not found a fair and suitable way to relocate these nations, the United States will find federally owned land in the United States.  The people of each nation must decide whether they want to remain sovereign nations or not.  If they do, they can have the same status US Indian tribes have as sovereign nations within the United States.

These are just the nine nations most immediately threatened by climate change.  I am taking the lead today in this, in hopes that other nations will quickly line up to assist the other nations that will face climate change related disasters later."

Pacific Ocean Caribbean Sea Indian Ocean Size m2 / k2 Population
Marshall Islands

70/181 68,000

313/811 103,500

10/26 10, 837

289/748 103,036
Federated States of Micronesia

271/702 106,104
Cook Islands

91/240 19,569

108/281 80,161

35/93 12,106

Maldives 115/298 393,500

From Reuters Youtube of Maldives President Cabinet Meeting
The president of the Maldives sent an official thank you letter after a cabinet meeting in their under water chamber.  Other island presidents praised Obama for his humanity and foresight. 

Republicans in the House and Senate were quick to blast the president.  Former Canadian citizen  Ted Cruz blasted the president for proposing to bring more immigrants to the US before solving the existing immigration problem.  He went on to say it was totally unnecessary anyway: 
"The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that – that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn't happened,"
House Speaker John Boehner found the idea of giving federal land to foreigners outrageous.  
"That land belongs to the states it's in."
Senate majority leader  Mitch McConnell was nearly unintelligible, his face red and contorted, as he listened to the speech.  
"Half those lands are former British colonies.  Let the English take them in."
In response to reporters' questions about his critics' charges, Obama said,
"The United States is also a former British colony, and few of us would choose to go back to Great Britain.  And yes, there are low lying US cities that are threatened, like Manhattan and Miami.  We will help New Yorkers cope as their island goes underwater.  Remember, too, they are United States citizens who have the right to move anywhere in the US.   However, we are certain that Floridians, whose governor has banned the terms climate change and global warming, will trust that Governor Scott will also ban climate change itself.  We will, of course, send scuba gear for residents, just in case their governor's voodoo doesn't work. 
All of the critics of this policy are also strong supporters, as am I,  of Israel, a country that was created in the Middle East, at a time when the Jewish people faced the possibility of extinction.  If we can ask the people who were living in what now is Israel to share their land, surely Americans can share a tiny fraction of our land with these tiny island nations."
Three law suits have already been  filed in federal courts challenging the president's power to carry out any of these promises.  For the president's complete speech and Republican responses, click here.    For people who wish to know more about this issue, here is a report I've found since writing, but before publishing, this post.


  1. Almost as good BBC 4 this morning, Steve! Good chuckle.

  2. The best April Fool's offering yesterday anywhere. And the best again today and every day forward as that acorn of truth turns into a giant oak. Where are the giant mangroves when you need them! Guam, the new Atlantis. South Florida, Key West, just Margaritaville memories.


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