Fiji is in “a fight for survival” from climate change

Children of Fiji, South Pacific for post Fiji is in a fight for survival

Fiji faces an increasingly desperate future from climate change, the BBC reports:

Fiji’s prime minister has said the Pacific island nation is in “a fight for survival” as climate change brings “almost constant” deadly cyclones.

Frank Bainimarama said Fiji had entered a “frightening new era” of extreme weather that needed to be confronted.

His comments came after Cyclone Josie caused deaths and flooding on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, at the weekend.

In 2016, a cyclone hit Fiji leaving 44 people dead and wiping out one-third of the nation’s economic production.

Four people have died in severe flooding caused by Cyclone Josie, according to Reuters news agency.

“We are now at an almost constant level of threat from these extreme weather events,” Mr Bainimarama said on Tuesday, adding that powerful cyclones in the region were becoming “more severe” as a result of climate change.

“We need to get the message out loud and clear to the entire world about the absolute need to confront this crisis head on,” he said.

“As a nation we are starting to build our resilience in response to the frightening new era that is upon us,” he added.

As the nation most responsible for the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that will bring misery and death to the future, the United States, dominated by an insatiable materialism and selfish individualism, will bear much guilt for the growing storm and its catastrophic consequences for life on earth. “Now is the time to weep,” says Pope Francis, while there is still time for grief to lead to empathy and a last chance to lessen the suffering to come by rapidly phasing out our use of fossil fuels. But we live in a time of vast denial and a rejection of covenant, and the window of opportunity to address this well is closing.

I look at the faces of these two little Fiji children, and weep for them and the many generations who we are condemning for the sake of our generation’s preferred lifestyle.


Photo: Creative Commons license; credit, M M

About the author

David Backes

I have always been drawn to where the wild things are: the natural world around me, and the wilderness within. As a writer, speaker, and university professor, I have for decades focused on this combination of nature and the human spirit. In recent years, my spiritual journey has added another lens: social, environmental and intergenerational justice. Put it all together and you’ve got The Earth Keeper, a blog of integral ecology and the prophetic imagination. The Earth Keeper may at times make you feel hopeful or inspired; it may make you feel uncomfortable or defensive or even angry. I hope it often will be challenging, and always interesting.

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