Feb 14, 2018

How poems from the Pacific Islands are fronting the fight for climate justice

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner explains how climate change is devastating her home, the Marshall Islands.

Meg Watson — Associate editor

Meg Watson

Associate editor

In 2014, poet and climate justice activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner stood in front of the UN Climate Summit, pleading with world leaders to help her country. She spoke of the rising water that threatens the Marshall Islands, engulfing the land and literally ripping bodies from the earth, and recited a poem, directed to her infant daughter, which received a standing ovation:

"No one's drowning, baby. No one's moving."

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4 thoughts on “How poems from the Pacific Islands are fronting the fight for climate justice

  1. Roger Clifton

    “Transitioning to 100% renewable energy” is neither achievable nor necessary. What is needed is a 100% transition to non-carbon energy. However there are plenty of people who would rather see the Marshall Islanders drown than let the world transition to nuclear energy.

    1. [email protected]

      I somehow suspect that the Islanders are not keen to see nuclear anything on their islands.

  2. graybul

    Kathy reminds us
    every single one of us
    none excluded
    each and all rose from the waters
    evolved and became . . .
    the dominant species.
    We have inherited our lands
    we can never return to the waters
    we are of the earth.
    Those amongst us
    directly or indirectly believing nature
    can be re-engineered
    cajoled or forced
    into submission
    because we, not nature
    hold the whip hand
    denies reality . . .
    that we are of the land.
    There is not a penthouse
    high enough or sea wall
    that cannot be breached
    anymore were there a land
    loved, more than my land.
    For another knowingly, to act
    force, divorcement
    from my land denies
    we, are of the earth
    we inherited,
    and as Kathy says . . . we WILL fight!

  3. zut alors

    Westerners won’t care until a few of those expensive waterfront properties in Miami begin to have water lapping at their doors on days when there hasn’t been a deluge.

    Trump will deny climate change until his swimming pool at nearby Mar-a-Lago goes underwater.

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