Why are the Marshall Islands sinking

Hilda Heine in portrait : President of a sinking state

In the 1950s, the Marshall Islands had to suffer from the United States. At that time, the Americans had tested nuclear weapons on the tiny island nation in the Pacific. "Castle Bravo" was the most powerful atomic bomb that a US government had ever detonated. Since then, many of the more than 1200 islands have been uninhabitable, and it could take another 20 years for radiation exposure to drop to an acceptable level. Then the marshalers can go back to the affected islands - if they still exist. Because a few weeks ago US President Donald Trump did something that has the effect of a second atomic bomb on the Pacific state. Castle Bravo 2.0. He announced the Paris climate agreement.

Hardly any other country in the world is so threatened by global warming as the Marshall Islands, because the country is on average only two meters above sea level. Because of climate change, it will literally drown at some point. Even the greatest optimists do not doubt it. But Trump has just ignited the turbo. Therefore, President Hilda Heine appeared in front of the EU Parliament on Wednesday and asked for financial help. "The ocean was our living space, today it is our nightmare," she said, and that in her country, wherever you are, you can see the ocean. "We have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide."

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She is the first resident of the Marshall Islands to receive a PhD

The 66-year-old succeeded President Carsten Nemra in 2016 as a non-party, who was deposed after just a few days in office by a vote of no confidence. Heine was previously Minister of Education. She is the first woman to head a Pacific state. Premieres are probably her thing, after studying to be a teacher in the USA, she put a doctorate on top of it. Never before had any of the more than 70,000 residents of the Marshall Islands obtained a doctorate.

But even with this she will not be able to prevent her country from going under. Many Marshallers are already fleeing abroad because they know that there is no future for them in their homeland. The supply of drinking water and clean food is poor, and almost the whole country is poor. Even so, they have nowhere to go because they are not recognized as refugees. The Marshallers are not being persecuted politically, but by the flood. They are only allowed to enter and stay in the USA without a visa. But not because Trump has actually just opened the floodgates - but because of the bomb.

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