Speaking of refugees, recommended reading: Deep dive from the New Yorker on Marshallese refugees in Springdale, climate change, and the horrifying adoption racket that led to the arrest of Paul Petersen in October.
A sample, on the future of the Marshall Islands:
The islands, which, on average, are six and a half feet above sea level, now face another existential threat: rising seas, shifting weather patterns, and high temperatures associated with climate change. High-tide flooding is a frequent occurrence, even in the most developed areas of Majuro, where boulders and land fill have been deployed to protect infrastructure. In 2015, an unseasonal typhoon left Majuro Atoll “like a war zone,” as one Marshallese official put it. In 2016, the Marshall Islands suffered a drought so severe that water was rationed to residents for a limit of four hours per week. Coral reefs and the fish they sustain are dying, and extended periods of dangerous warming in the water creates fish-killing algae blooms, as well. In the first week of December, fifteen-foot waves flooded Majuro, washing away several homes and businesses, while the country’s two hospitals were at capacity due to the largest recorded outbreak of dengue fever.
That same week, Hilda Heine, who was the President of the Marshall Islands until January, spoke by video feed to world leaders gathered for the United Nations climate talks in Madrid. The Marshall Islands are “facing death row,” she said. Rich nations’ failure to commit to rapid, and much more ambitious, emissions cuts, she pleaded, was the equivalent of “passing sentence on our future, forcing our country to die.”
The article also details the complicated story of a refugee in Springdale who gave up her child for adoption as part of Peterson’s scheme. Read the whole thing.