Island residents didn’t see it coming, but quick thinking saved most houses from the waves—for now.
December is normally the stormy season on three small islands in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. But memory nor legend had prepared the islanders for the fury of the 2008 King Tide. Having engaged in communitywide rescue operations with no government help, residents are bracing for round two this year—at the very time that delegates will be meeting in Copenhagen to decide policy on climate change. If the islanders could go, they would ask: who’s responsible for the rising seas and angry storms? Who’s responsible for our relocation costs?