The Great Tuvalu Liquidation Sale
by J.D. Smith

 

You’ve seen our nifty top-level Internet domain of .tv, and once upon a time your phone bill might even have included calls to our 668 country prefix for intimate, one-on-one adult conversation.

But why settle for a second-hand experience when you can have your very own piece of our country? That’s right. We, the country of Tuvalu, are going out of business, and everything must go. That’s right: everything. We’re having the world’s first-ever global warming liquidation sale.

With an average elevation of three meters above sea level and a high point of a commanding five meters, we are losing our lease to the effects of carbon emissions. The coral reefs that make up our islands are ready to retire, because instead of growing they just lie back and bleach in the steadily heating water while the parrotfish nibble them down and tides and storms wear them away.

With sea levels expected to rise as much as a meter this century, our homes, farms, and businesses are likely to be underwater by 2050. It will be even sooner if Antarctica and Greenland go all slushy on us or if frozen methane on the ocean floors thaws out and rises like champagne bubbles to kick this party to the next level and make Earth even hotter and more flooded.

Don’t worry, though. If we have to, we’ll dog-paddle to make you a deal.

You could wait for a little something from the Maldives or maybe the Marshall Islands. Hey, if you’re really patient you might someday get a waterlogged souvenir of Miami Beach or Lower Manhattan—Atlantis on the Hudson—to pass on to the grandkids. You might even get a Venetian gondola with nowhere to go once the canals give way to open water.

Far be it from me to badmouth the works of fellow islanders who are keeping their heads above water for now, but if you wait around for the last flag from Kiribati, back from when there was a Kiribati to plant it on, everybody will have one. Catch this wave before it catches us—and you.

Get in on the ground floor—or maybe we should say leaky basement—of   our national closeout.   

Here are just a few of the items that can be yours if you act soon:

* Funafuti Airport luggage tags with the crazy three-letter code FUN.

*All three stories of the new and never-to-be-old government building. (Buyer must arrange pick-up.)

*A piece of our main island’s major traffic artery, a ten-kilometer asphalt road. (Take that, Berlin Wall collectors.) Before long it will be obsolete, because fish can’t drive. 

*The soon-to-be “retro” tins that we Tuvaluans have grown crops in since salt water has seeped into our aquifers and fields.

*Some of the last-ever Tuvalu-grown packages of dried coconut meat, our leading export, perfect for baking or snacking. Keep extra on hand as a reminder of a gentler time when CO2 was only what made your soda pop fizzy and a greenhouse was the place where you bought your petunias instead of the entire planet.  

But wait, there’s more. If you act now, you can have contact with members of a roughly two thousand-year old Polynesian community with universal literacy and almost no crime that uses fewer fossil fuels emissions than the average small town in the United States—before it’s forced out of its ancestral home.   

Take advantage of these deals now, because the inconvenient truth is that they won’t last long. Don’t delay, because soon you’re going to be busy selling off your coastal real estate, scrambling to retrofit your industries, and looking for alternative energy sources.

And we’ll be gone fishin’. In New Zealand.

 

 
   
© 2007 J.D. Smith, All Rights Reserved
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