Disappearing Islands (Climate Change Refugees)

By Daniel Brouse

THE MARSHALL ISLANDS — If your home is going underwater, you have no doubt about human induced climate change. This is the case for Bikini islanders. In the 1940’s, Bikini island was used for atomic bomb tests. The United States conducted at least 23 nuclear tests including the Bravo hydrogen bomb (the largest weapon of mass destruction at that time.) In 1946, the US relocated residents of Bikini island to another of the Marshall Islands and set up a trust fund. However, by 2011 floods, high tides and encroaching salt water began threatening their existence.

“The people of Bikini came back to us and asked us to take this proposal to the US, to request the resettlement trust fund be used to settle people in the US not just the Marshall Islands,” said Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands. “We have not seen the final text of the legislation but the request that went in was on the basis of Kili being uninhabitable because of climate change.”

This could be the first wave of climate change refugees. It is possible that coastal cities worldwide will need to relocate during this century.

Atomic Bomb Test at Bikini Island

Atomic Bomb Test at Bikini Island

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