Einstein pointed out that “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” When sea-levels rise, resources run thin and politics enters the conversation, however, our comprehension of the universe can become overly complex.
This is especially true when addressing climate change impacts on the world’s Small Island Developing States.
Traditional thinking would tell us that if seas rise, you have two basic solutions to choose from: migrate or adapt.
Migration has a host of unpleasant consequences: cultures lost, families separated, economies disrupted, and conflict fomented. This is not a viable large-scale or long-term option. To be sure, in some specific areas, communities may need to migrate, but generally speaking it’s too costly, too dangerous, and too disruptive to be sustainable.
So we are left with adaptation. Nature adapts all the time, and so can we.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: how should we adapt? And how can we better support vulnerable Small Island Developing States – whose people have contributed very little to climate change, but will bear the brunt of its impact – in building better climate change resilience projects?