Sea-Level Rise and the Marshallese Diaspora
Environmental Justice, March 2017
8 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018
Date Written: March 2017
People who have little responsibility for industrial capitalism must pay the price for global warming. The Marshall Islands of the Central Pacific Ocean are among the most vulnerable locations threatened by sea level rise and may cease to be habitable within this generation. Under its Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the U.S., citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands travel freely to the U.S. without needing a visa. As the conditions for survival become more difficult in the Marshall Islands, the COFA provision of free entry into the U.S. makes migration to the U.S. the logical option for the Marshallese people. The highest population of Marshallese migrants are now found in Northwest Arkansas, attracted by employment in the poultry industry, where, to survive, they find themselves contributing to the forces of global warming that make their island homes uninhabitable.
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