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Innovation Blog

Maldives Islands Underwater? Does Anyone Care?

By Shlomo Maital



Underwater cabinet meeting


The President of the Maldives Islands, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, is Mohamed Nasheed, a former political prisoner turned leader.  His tiny island is basically at sea level, and global warming and rising sea levels threatens to put his whole country under water by the end of this century.  He is desperate to get the world’s attention to his small country’s plight.  But how?

   Try this for innovation:

Mohamed Nasheed has organised an underwater cabinet meeting and told all his ministers to get in training for the sub-aqua session. Six metres beneath the surface, the ministers will ratify a treaty calling on other countries to cut greenhouse emissions.   Ahead of the meeting, scheduled for 17 October, cabinet members have been squeezing into wet-suits and practising their underwater skills. The President was not present at the first session, held over the weekend, because he is already a qualified diver.

 Maldives is comprised of some 1,200 coral atolls.  It has only some 300,000 people, and its highest point is the lowest of any country in the world – 2.3 meters (about 7 feet). 

  Did President Nasheed’s underwater cabinet meeting attract huge attention? I’m afraid not.   When it comes to concerted consensus action on global warming, the entire world is under water.   I’m waiting for his next innovation to attract attention.  Mohamed, keep trying. Don’t give up!  Here are a few suggestions –

     Do a ‘sand box’ simulated model of land masses in North America Europe and Asia.  Show the impact of global warming on sea levels, by 2150 and 2200,  including Rotterdam, New York, Boston, and other port cities under water.  Sell “Maldive snorkels” to green activists around the world, to fund your public relations activities.  Create fake gills to place next to people’s ears – showing how we will have to breath in future, like fish, if action is not taken. Stage a trial – put the leaders of the US and China, huge foot-draggers, on trial for putting the world under water.  Recreate Atlantis, the under-water world, as a tourist attraction.

    Just trying to help, Mohamed.  Why not mount a web-based contest, worldwide, for possible solutions to your little country’s problem?  My suggestion:  Tow your 1,200 atolls across the Pacific and park them in San Francisco Bay.  Declare war on America, lose it, and then accept massive munificent American foreign aid, which America always bestows on those it defeats.      


Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
December 2010
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