At some point I realized that it’s incredibly difficult to photograph climate change. I decided that the best way to do it is to show it through personal stories and to spend enough time following someone and that person’s life in different seasons.
Kiribati Is Gone shows the modern life in many developing Pacific countries – nations that have fallen to hardship due to global warming and rising sea levels. I was facing the fall of a small island nation of 33 atolls spread out in the South Pacific. Inhabited by about 100,830 people, Kiribati is among the world’s poorest countries. It has few natural resources other than fish and copra, the dried meat of coconut. There’s no optimism, there’s only reality. It’s hard to say what comes next.
Kiribati aroused my curiosity after I’d read an interview with Anote Tong, the president of the small island nation, who warned about his country becoming uninhabitable due to the rising sea levels and increasing salination. As Mr. Tong put it: “Kiribati might already have reached the point of no return. To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful, but I think we have to do that.”