Message From a Sinking Nation

Posted on September 22, 2009

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Most of the Maldives are less than a metre above sea level.

Most of the Maldives are less than a metre above sea level.

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, at a U.N. Climate Summit in New York, September 23, 2009:

Once or twice a year we are invited to attend an important climate change event such as this one — often as a keynote speaker.

On cue, we stand here and tell you just how bad things are.

We warn you that unless you act quickly and decisively, our homeland and others like it will disappear before the rising sea, before the end of this century.

In response, the assembled leaders of the world stand up one by one and rail against the injustice of it all. . . .

But then, once the rhetoric has settled and the delegates have drifted away, the sympathy fades, and the indignation cools, and the world carries on as before.

We in the Maldives desperately want to believe that one day our words will have an effect, and so we continue to shout them even though, deep down, we know that you are not really listening.