In early October of 2010, Maatia Toafa had been prime minister of the island nation of Tuvalu for less than a week.
Tuvalu is the country that is believed to be the first that will disappear entirely beneath the waves, due to climate change. Some estimates predict this submergence in less than 50 years.
Marantz asked Toafa, among other things, what sort of ideas he had, in re Tuvalu becoming an aquatic country. Some of their exchange is reprinted below.
Toafa was ousted in a vote of “no confidence” about two months after this interview took place.
I asked what solutions he proposed to the issue that his entire country might be underwater in fifty years.
He said he would consider “bringing in some mountains from somewhere, so we can have a higher elevation.”
“Mountains?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said.
“Where would the mountains come from?”
“Well,” he said. “We’ll ask around.”