Dr. Gabriel Andrade: "Majuro is the ugliest place I have ever visited." (Part II)

(Continued from Part I)

The main source of revenue for the Marshall Islands comes from American subsidies, in the form of lease money for the use of the Kwajalein military base, along with compensation for the brutal nuclear tests. Most of this money does not go to the government but to the iroijs themselves. Predictably, corruption is rampant. With the amount of money that goes into the Marshall Islands, the place should be something like Mr. Roarke and Tattoo’s home from the 1980’s show; instead, it resembles far more what President Donald Trump had in mind when he infamously called some countries“s-holes.” Occasionally, American officials press a bit harder, inquiring where the money goes. That is the moment when iroijs and their sponsored activists pull out the climate-change card and shame the American imperialists into silence: by reminding them how savage the Bikini nukes were—and how water levels are rising.

Although the effects of climate change are indisputably felt in the Marshall Islands, I did not find it was the most pressing concern for most Marshallese people. They are more worried about the lack of electricity, bad Internet, water sanitation, a less-than-functional hospital in Majuro, malaria, dengue, poor housing. As Bjorn Lomborg frequently argues, these are the things that most Third World people care about most. Global warming is actually quite low on their list of priorities. But, given that the iroijs and their relatives already have all those problems sorted out, they would prefer to focus on global warming. This also allows them to bypass their failure in addressing the real issues, which partly come as a result of their own corruption.

If global warming activists had it their way, these problems would be worse. For, the solutions to malaria, poor sanitation and electric blackouts, require more energy consumption, not less. In the case of the Marshall Islands, this is even more the case. In an economy that depends so heavily on American investments, guess what would happen if the American economy becomes zealously eco-friendly and slows down? Less money will be poured into the Marshallese economy, and things will get worse.

Again, it is a cheap shot to try to discredit Greta because she has Asperger’s syndrome. But, as far as I can tell, many climate change activists do engage in what psychiatrists call “monomania.” This is a single pathological, obsessive preoccupation with a single idea in an otherwise sound mind. Charlton Heston seemed to believe that all things in the world have to do with rifles and gun control; likewise, Greta seems to think that global warming is the sole problem humanity faces. This is monomania. As Lomborg reminds us, global warming is real (no, he is not a climate change denier), but it is far from being the most urgent problem in the world.

So, we need to get our priorities right. There are more important things to take care of right now, and if we obsess with trying to bring down the global temperature by using the proposed methods of activists (basically, slowing down economies), we will actually lower the well-being of millions of people in the Third World, who desperately need booming economies in order to take care of their most urgent needs. Global warming can wait. Or, as Lomborg nicely observes, the solution to global warming can only be long-term; instead of financing emotional teenagers who just repeat clichés, multimillionaires need to massively sponsor research that finds ways to make efficient use of energy, without having to slow down economies.

Dr. Gabriel Andrade teaches ethics and behavioral science at Ajman University, United Arab Emirates. He has previously contributed to Areo Magazine and DePauw University’s The Prindle Post.


  • interesting opinion on climate change monomania..
  • People of fsm are not micronesians. We kosraean, pohnapean. chuukese and yapese. Micronesian is a name indoctrinated into our innocent beings and continue through our ignorance.
  • I'll say this proudly.The indigenous people of Lowa's realm was perfectly fine until European influence came along.You white bastards are the cause of many bad things happening on earth.

    Lowa's realm was always beautiful.That is until European filth arrived.

    It isn't our fault the country became a shithole.We didn't invent plastic,cans,industrial factories,So fourth.Anythinf that harms the planet.We're force to follow by example.A reckless culture that involves turning a once beautiful land into a wasteland.Many other indigenous folks across the world who's had their lands stolen can say the same.You white plague introduced your European culture and we accepted.Tada! Your conquered children imitates.

    The part where this Spanish disease says that only a selected few can become climate activists based off clans affiliation is a total whales crap.Where did he get that from? From whom,when,and where?.Anyone within the kingdom can become climate activists.The Iroij back home doesn't really mind.

    Sure we rimajols have a lot on our hands to deal with but make no mistake we actually do care about climate and are trying to cooperate both with the government and the chieftains.Uniting against this global problem.
  • a very simple solution...image

  • What's your solution, Bull02? Any positive proposals are most welcome.
  • Nobody, its very true that the government priorities are mixed up where as the climate change issues can wait cause there are more pressing issues that needs immediate attention by the government like the helath issues, educations jobs and many more including corruption in the government, and many oher pressing issues..on the island
  • As does the FSM, RMI faces huge challenges in trying to function as a viable, sustainable, sovereign, democratic nation.

    While Professor Andrade's article contains many accurate observations describing those challenges, it fails to impress me with positive suggestions for improvement.

    I hope other members of this forum will help to fill that void.
  • I mean if it happens it happens there is nothing the government or the chieftains can do about it who not try to find a way to create more jobs for the people to fight poverty? for example. or find a way to deal with the corruption issues that is bleeding the limited resource plus the dorners aids coming into the cou7ntry?.
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