Drowning Kiribati

Kiribati consists of 33 islands, totaling 310 square miles surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The population is 103,000. Nearly half live on a strip of land less than a mile wide. Over the last 20 years, the planet’s oceans have risen faster than at any time in history. Kiribati will soon be engulfed by water, and its people have nowhere to go
Photograph by Claire Martin for Bloomberg Businessweek

The spruce man with the trim mustache and the grim-faced bodyguard is dozing in his seat. A flight attendant leaves him a hot towel, and then another. The bodyguard, who wears the uniform of the Kiribati National Police—the shoulder patch depicts a yellow frigate bird flying clear of the rising sun—folds the towels carefully and places them on an armrest.

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