If their islands are deluged by rising seawater, the people of the Maldives would have to evacuate, becoming the first refugees driven from their homes by global warming. Their president considers this an eventuality, not a possibility, and so he is buying up land in foreign countries and urging those countries to be prepared for an influx of people with no return destination.
President Mohamed Nasheed told the Sydney Morning Herald that his government was considering Australia as a potential new home for the Maldives’ 350,000 citizens. He said Maldivians want to stay on their archipelago, but “moving was an eventuality his government had to plan for,” the newspaper said. “He said he did not want his people living in tents for years, or decades, as refugees,” the Herald writes.Australia has plenty of open space and a decent climate, although Nasheed has also considered India and Sri Lanka because of their cultural similarities. If sea levels rise as predicted over the next century — by 23 inches