Pharyngula

Goodbye, Kiribati

It’s a triumph of hope over reason, and that means the residents of the Kiribati Islands, an archipelago of tiny islands with an average altitude of 6.5 feet, are doomed. They’ve got faith, you know, but one thing they haven’t got is any reason. NPR reports on their dire situation as the waters slowly rise and the climate changes:

“I’m not easily taken by global scientists prophesizing the future,” says Teburoro Tito, the country’s former president and now a member of Parliament.

Tito says he believes in the Biblical account of Noah’s ark. In that story, after God devastates the world with a flood, he makes a covenant with Noah that he will never send another.

So while Tito does acknowledge that global warming is affecting the planet and that he has noticed some impacts, he says rising sea levels are not as serious a threat as Tong and others are making them out to be.

“Saying we’re going to be under the water, that I don’t believe,” Tito says. “Because people belong to God, and God is not so silly to allow people to perish just like that.

Tito is not alone in his views. Of the more than 90,000 people counted in Kiribati’s last census, a mere 23 said they did not belong to a church. According to the most recent census, some 55 percent of citizens are Roman Catholic, 36 percent are Protestant and 3 percent are Mormon.

As a result, many are torn between what they hear from scientists and what they read in the Bible.

That’s just sad. They’re sure they’re safe because God doesn’t allow people to die for stupid reasons…but people do die for stupid reasons all the time.