First There Is A Mountain, Then There Is No Mountain, Then There Is

In early October of 2010, Maatia Toafa had been prime minister of the island nation of Tuvalu for less than a week.

He met one afternoon with Andrew Marantz, who was working on a piece that would eventually be published in the December 2011 issue of Harper’s.

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.”


13 Responses to “First There Is A Mountain, Then There Is No Mountain, Then There Is”

  1. 1 possum November 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Once upon a long time ago we lived in the flatlands of the US midwest. The land was so flat that every small elevation was given a proper name. Importing mountains never occurred to most of us. Either Mr. Toafa is off his bean or on to something good. šŸ™‚

    • 2 bluenred November 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      Problem is, moving mountains around would just end up as something abused by rich people. Like everything else. So there’d be a big fad, among the rich people, where everyone would have to import something from the Sierra for their backyards. Or pieces of the Himalayas would be transported to serve as backdrops to golf courses. Or the Alps would be divvied up so that they might be set up as impediments, to keep the riff-raff away from the rich-people compounds.

      Etc. Etc.

      • 3 possum November 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

        Now there is a perspective that continues to escape my tiny marsupial mind. There are many among us humans who will abuse any situation when personal gain is to be derived. Thanks for the reminder.

        • 4 bluenred November 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

          Some places want to have mountains, and some don’t. For instance, Uruguay does not want to have mountains. The highest peak in the entire nation is Cerro Catedral. As can be seen here, many professional basketball players are taller than this “mountain.”

  2. 5 possum November 22, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Cerro Catedral is still higher than some of the named places in Iowa or Oklahoma. All of life is relative.

    • 6 bluenred November 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Probably the tallest thing in Iowa is corn. Oklahoma, when I read how those people vote, I prefer to think that the place is not even real.

      • 7 possum November 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

        Oklahoma is the most unreal place the possum ever lived and that list includes some pretty strange places on the globe. The biggest product may be dust. The wind blows all the time. Dust seeps into every crevice in every structure and into the eyes all the time. Great for kites, but bad for living.

      • 8 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) December 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

        It seemed a bit unreal to me when I drove through it, but maybe that was because I was tired. The people were really nice. I couldn’t open the door to the bathroom, because every single door in the entire state had to be tornado-proof, so a woman helped me and waited outside until I was done. The wind did try pretty hard to knock me over, but it was amazing to see these huge clusters of windmills, spinning merrily along. People in Oklahoma City have rather terrifying driving patterns, though.

        • 9 bluenred December 10, 2011 at 9:44 am

          I will soon be putting up a post about a new Great Wrongness in Oklahoma. It seems that people there wander into Walmarts and there brew methamphetamine. It is like a fad.

  3. 10 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) December 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    At least he has a plan?

    That is incredibly sad, though. šŸ˜¦

    • 11 bluenred December 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

      His plan has been mothballed. He is no longer prime minister. The search must now be on to find an answer other than mountain importation.

      • 12 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) December 30, 2011 at 1:07 am

        I want to move this lovely mountain range with beautiful white birch groves that I saw in Utah, into a more socially palatable environment,so that I can live in this mountain range, but will not have to live in Utah. So someone else needs to get on the mountain-moving technology now.

        • 13 bluenred December 31, 2011 at 12:33 am

          Utah is not all bad. Although it is true that many people there wear strange underpants. And it can also be a vortex of disease. Too, the state, at least at one time, was too stingy to erect roadside restrooms for travelers motoring the interstates. As a result, my brother and I found during one cross-country journey, wherever one stopped along the road, when one gazed down the slope, one would see clumps and streams of toilet paper, scattered hither and yon. I have not driven through Utah in many years, but if this dearth of roadside restrooms is still there a problem, those Utah mountains you want imported may arrive festooned with used toilet tissue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

When I Worked

November 2011
« Oct   Dec »

%d bloggers like this: