I believe you’re referring to the cabinet meeting of the government of the Maldives, which in October 2009 held a session in full scuba gear at the bottom of the lagoon to draw worldwide attention to the threat global warming poses to that island nation. If their goal was publicity, they certainly succeeded: there are numerous articles on the Internet reporting the meeting (including some with video), and this is the second question I’ve answered today on Greenanswers regarding this meeting. I think the meeting, called by President Mohamed Nasheed, was a unique and creative way to show the world what the Maldives and other island nations are facing: their countries, lying at low elevations surrounded by water, are literally going to be wiped off the map by global warming due to the increase in sea levels. Some nations, such as Kiribati, are already looking for places to relocate their population. President Nasheed’s stunt was certainly noteworthy, and his heartfelt plea for larger nations (the ones that are causing most of the warming) to understand the effect climate change has on small poor countries, is well-taken in my view. But I also believe that if it was the United States or Great Britain, or even Japan or France, that was about to be literally erased from the map of the world within 50 or 100 years, it would be regarded as the #1 threat to national survival and it would command a remediation effort involving vast resources. Can the Maldives alone motivate this sort of action? Probably not, and I doubt Nasheed had any illusions that it would; but the underwater cabinet meeting at least got your attention, and mine, and that’s not a bad thing.
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