According to the Kiribati Government Website here, Kiribati is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3,500,000 square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line to the east. Total land area is 811 Sq km; this includes three island groups – Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands. 21 of the 33 islands are inhabited. The population is [was] 112,850 (July 2009 est.).
I certainly am standing on the shoulders of Giants here, citing our very own Willis Eschenbach’s excellent essay on Pacific Island Nations and their “shrinking” coral reefs. Published in these hallowed pages just over two years ago as “Floating Islands”.
As background, I would thoroughly recommend a re-read – however I will borrow bits and pieces from Willis’ work – heck, you may as well assume that (towards the end) I have plagiarised much from Willis’ excellent post.
But now for today’s story.
Sitting eating breakfast under the golden arches, a very rare event for me, I was drawn to something in the local newspaper here, the Dominion Post – and as I’ve seen in comments in other posts of mine, the owners of the Dom, Fairfax Media, are so unmitigatedly biased it’s unbelievable. I say this is a rare event for I rarely eat under the arches, and never ever read the rubbish in the Dom – but hey there’s an exception to every rule.
As reported in print at the Dom, online at the Beeb here and the Telegraph here; the Kiribati Government (pronounced kirr-i-bas or kir-ee-bahs – the local affectation of “Gilberts” from Colonial days) is looking to purchase around 23 Sq km (9 Sq ml) on nearby Fiji’s Vanua Levu as a staging post for relocation of the Kiribati’s 100,000 people.
Autonomous Mind picks up with a repost here – more later