Year 2, Month 9, Day 23: He Sounds Way More Polite Than I Would Be In A Similar Situation

Marcus Stephen is the president of Nauru. Here is his op-ed in the Solomon Star News; you should read it.

NEW YORK (Reuters AlertNet) —- Standing before the United Nations Security Council on July 20, I described the existential threat posed by climate change to Nauru, my country, and other island nations in the Pacific, arguing that it endangers regional and international security.

After a vigorous open debate, the president of the Council issued a carefully parsed statement that acknowledged that climate change, in some circumstances, could exacerbate pre-existing tensions and undermine the resolution of armed conflicts.

Elsewhere in the UN complex that same day, officials were preparing to announce that a threshold for misery – separating a humanitarian crisis from a full-blown famine – had been crossed in the Horn of Africa.

Today we know tens of thousands of people have died and another 750,000 are at risk of starvation across the region because of the drought.

The timing of the announcements was coincidental, but their convergence reflects how environmental catastrophes made more frequent and intense by climate change are surpassing the ability of political institutions at all levels to respond effectively.

I wish the world’s richest weren’t being so stupid. Sent Sept. 19:

It is cruelly ironic that the nations most immediately affected by climate change are almost always the ones contributing least to the carbon footprint of our industrialized planetary culture. While Arctic ice dwindles and the temperature rises, many of the world’s largest developed countries are unable to address the crisis. By accidents of geography, many of these nations happen to be less vulnerable to rapid climatic transformations and extreme weather events; perhaps this makes it easier for them to abdicate their responsibilities as members of the international community.

Their indifference to this immediate existential threat is baffling. Island states, placed by nature on the front lines of climate change, have no such luxury. Marcus Stephens is correct in calling for a special representative on climate at the United Nations, something that should have happened decades ago. There may still be time to mitigate the worst of the coming storms; there is none to waste in petro-political posturing.

Warren Senders

What music will become extinct?

Every day, more bad news on climate change.

Fortunately, we’ve recently begun to initiate the process of agreeing on a framework for the development of a concept that will allow us to frame the discussion which will impact the structuring of a procedure for developing a methodology that makes it possible to begin to finally PAY SOME ATTENTION TO A GLOBAL CRISIS!

I am not a climate scientist. I’m a scientifically literate musician. Climate change scares me for dozens of reasons. And it makes me deeply and terribly sad.

With rising sea levels, many island nations will lose much of their land, or even cease to exist. Which brings me to tonight’s question:

What music will become extinct?

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‘Are’are music from the Solomon Islands

I love this video.

This music is from the Solomon Islands, and it’s performed by the ‘Are’are people:

Are‘are is the name of a people from the south of the island of Malaita, which is part of the Solomon Islands. Their language is the ‘Are’are language, which part of the Austronesian language family. In 1999 there were an estimated 17,800 speakers,[1], up from about 8-9,000 in the 1970s.[2]


The traditional religion was ancestor worship, but during colonization, Christianity made big inroads, and by the mid-1970s at least half of the population was converted.[3] Bible portions were first translated in 1957.[1] About half belong to the South Seas Evangelical Church, and half to either the Catholic Church or Anglican Church of the Province of Melanesia. The former, do not permit traditional music, which is seen as related to the ancestral spirits, deemed “devils.”[3]

The ‘Are’are known for their complex panpipe music, which was studied by ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp.


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