I came across this article a couple weeks ago:

s-MEXICO-CLIMATE-DISAPPEARING-large"CANCUN, Mexico — Encroaching seas in the far Pacific are raising the salt level in the wells of the Marshall Islands. Waves threaten to cut one sliver of an island in two. 'It's getting worse,' says Kaminaga Kaminaga, the tiny nation's climate change coordinator.

The rising ocean raises questions, too: What happens if the 61,000 Marshallese must abandon their low-lying atolls? Would they still be a nation? With a U.N. seat? With control of their old fisheries and their undersea minerals? Where would they live, and how would they make a living? Who, precisely, would they and their children become?"

Regardless of what one believes is the cause of global warning, the questions raised are serious and need to be addressed. I would like to get into the cultural implications in a future post, but one thing that disturbed me about this article was the comments. Entire groups of indigenous people are being displaced by this and so many people took time out of their day to stop and let the world know just how silly and trivial they think it is. I know most people on comment boards are trolling for attention but I see this kind of thing constantly.

It's not the first or last time I will be disappointed by the level of discourse on public message boards but it reminds me of how important it is for people of Pacific nations to stand together, raise awareness, and lend support to these struggles. Living on the continent, I still meet people who have no idea there is even such a thing as an indigenous Hawaiian people! We got into a discussion with a woman at an event a couple weeks ago about the ignorance of the American people on this subject and her reply was "I know, I totally get it, I am a 6th generation Ohioan." ..... what?

I have so much to learn about my heritage and culture. I think it's important to realize though that we all have a responsibility to pass whatever knowledge we have on to those around us, whether we're on the continent or on the islands. Only that will lead to a more accurate understanding and appreciation of Hawaiian and other Polynesian people and the issues facing us today. Lives, languages, and cultures depend on it.

Please take a second to read the article and lend whatever knowledge you have to the message boards.

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Comment by Kaohi on December 14, 2010 at 6:00pm

Kanoa,

Mahalo for your thoughts, it is deeper than you think.  The 'exiting' is already happening not just by those that wanted to assimulate away from the islands, but by those that have no more fresh water to drink. 

 

It's interesting that since 1946 when the US continued to bomb with nuclear on the Pacific Islands well up until the late 50's, the Pacific Islanders were held in place close to their ancestors bones.  Now they are here in Hawaiian Islands, and leaving to go to the mainland.  For the American Dream, of education, right to work, and health care so they say. 

 

So the exiting is already happening, I am a geographer and I drew maps of the different islands in the Pacific that would be under water over time.  So, we are moving the sick out of the Micronesians side of the Pacific to the US.  Soon, we too will have to move.  But, we can't just move cause no more water, we have to be sick!  That's so fricken nuts!

 

But, the military are chemtrailing our skies, causing drought by changing our weather, slamming us with DU and other toxicity.  As these white persons are doing this they are designing 'hopper's for land and sea.

 

American is a racist country and will use any opportunity to spread their wealth of hemajang stuff in the minds of our people.  I get tired sometimes of that racist card that get's timed into the before and after of any activisim in Hawaii.

 

On the light side, I strongly believe that the Na Kanaka is going to be the last to leave cause they already have conciously or unconciously made up their minds that they are going to die here.  I see it in their faces among the poverty stricken here in Hawaii.

 

Those that want their cultural to be preserved will leave, and I believe home will be virtual. 

 

I tell my students that I grew up in Waiamanalo, but I reside in Waianae.  My mind is always thinking Waimanalo not Waianae.  So I believe that is how we will be living in Hawaii into the future--thru virtual reality.  So sad, huh?

 

Take care

Comment by Kendall Kanoa Hawley on December 13, 2010 at 8:29pm

Aloha everyone, 

Mahalo nui for taking the time to read my blog post, and for the extra information!

While climate change is a serious problem, personally my biggest concern lies in preserving and perpetuating the cultures of Polynesian people. I have no doubt that if/when these islands become uninhabitable the people will go on elsewhere, but there's also no doubt in my mind that the strength of their traditions will suffer if not be eradicated. I believe a solid cultural identity can be a great source of strength to people as they try to make the most out of their lives and seeing it threatened by something as basic as their lands being taken away for any reason is something that I wish more people in the world would consider a serious problem. It's true, most people can only view issues through how it effects their own lives, but I'd like to fight against the notion that that's an acceptable way to live, because in this day and age it is spreading. You can't change people and I try not to take these things personally but a huge problem is so many people on the continent don't even really see Pacific Islanders as people- they see either Hollywood savages or a mishmash of other cultures. With that being the case it's no wonder they don't comprehend these issues as actually happening to real people. I won't let that pass anymore. 

Kanoa

Comment by Kaohi on December 13, 2010 at 8:11pm

Aloha Kendall,

 

Thanks for the interest in 'ignorance' and the Pacific Islanders problem.  What the Marshall Islander was saying as the sea rises it is mixing into the fresh water causing the water to be brackish and non drinkable.  Eventho there is still space to dwell, it doesn't make sense to stay if there is no water to drink. 

 

As for the ignorance of some people that took some time out to talk and say a few words on the matter in lieu of themselves rather than the Pacific Islander problem--from their footing there really isn't a problem. 

The military have already moved into the Pacific  with their Ocean-land Hoppers, and we are making it possible for the military to dwell in the Pacific.  Just as we did with 'density' with the US Federal Government and their speculative market in Hawaii.  That did well by the way before realestate bubbled bursted into poverty stricken wards of state and bush people.  

 

I have been watching Cancun COP 16 Mobile Broadcast News on the internet and for the past two days listening to Hawaii Public Radio. 

Comment by Tina matildo botelho on December 13, 2010 at 6:19pm

The polynesisan circle of the people here in oahu, and all over has gone worst, because of people not taking care of the lands , and malama it , when i was young i was thought that to take care what you have. Always appricate the things in life we only have one life to live, and we should learn to live day by day with out expectations, and learn to love eachother and share with one another and aloha everyone a hauole a micronesian a japenese and everyone because they are gods creatures too. I appreciate everything in this aina and thats why it is good that the state and the people help one another the more you help another this world will be abetter place.

Comment by Pomaikaiokalani on December 13, 2010 at 12:19pm

Mahalo nui for the posting of this article.  o Pomai

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