Kiribati: Island nation deals with the consequences of climate change

Vacant land is at a premium on Tarawa atoll, capital of the vast archipelago nation of Kiribati.

Where do you see yourself in 2030?

For most, the first answer to mind won't have anything to do with fleeing your homeland to escape from drowning. But for the more than 103,000 people who live on Kiribati, escaping rising waters might be their only option for survival.

Kiribati is a an island-nation in the Pacific Ocean that, in recent years, has seen the waters rise due to global climate change. In some areas, it has already overtaken small huts and warehouses. 

Jeffrey Goldberg recently visited the islands and says the people speak about the dire situation rather poetically. 

"The people who live in these places say some variation of the theme of, 'In the past the ocean would come in and it would go out'," Goldberg says. "And one day the ocean just stayed."

Goldberg writes about the country's struggle against climate change and their call to developed nations in Bloomberg Businessweek.

About the author

Lizzie O'Leary is the new host of Marketplace Weekend.

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