TOEFL Ibt -Reading 3


1. Environmentalists are worried that the Maldive Islands off the coast of India could be sinking as water levels rise, due to global warming. Most of the land on the islands is just a meter above sea level, which means that by the end of this century some of them may have disappeared.

2. The Maldivians aren’t responsible for climate change, but it is their problem. That is why President Nasheed has set himself the task of solving this problem. Just like his idea to set up a public transport system to ferry people between the various atolls that make up his country.

3. It was Nasheed who had the idea to hold a cabinet meeting five meters below sea level to sign a declaration entitled “SOS From the Frontline” in the run-up to International Climate Action Day on October 24. And he was the one who commissioned a TV commercial in which three men calmly chat about the weather as if they were sitting in a café, rather than underwater. The commercial was aired on state TV channel TVM on an hourly basis.

4. Speaking to reporters on the day of his underwater meeting, the president said, “If we can’t save the Maldives today, we do not feel that there is much of a chance for the rest of the world,” adding that London and Manhattan could one day experience the same problems the Maldives were facing today.

5. A stunt all-too-typical of climate alarmism, Maldivian Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Ibrahim Didi signed a document with other members of the Maldives’ Cabinet in scuba gear 20 feet underwater to highlight the threat of global warming to the lowest-lying nation on Earth in 2009.

6. “Climate change is happening and it threatens the rights and security of everyone on Earth,” read the declaration. “We must unite in a global effort to halt further temperature rises by slashing carbon dioxide emissions to a safe level of 350 parts per million. Endorsed by the Cabinet of the Republic of Maldives on October 17, 2009.”

7. The message was out. That evening, all the major news networks showed a man in a wetsuit signing something on a white plastic board. And perhaps the delegates in Copenhagen would then find it a little easier to nudge the world’s main CO2 producers into donating some money?

8. Nevertheless, this has been contested and to this day, the new president contradicts the fact that the Maldives are going to sink. And in fact, how did that predicted catastrophe turn out? Pretty much like most the catastrophes predicted about global warming.

9. Current President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik said that although the Maldives faces dangers from climate change, the country would not be submerged. “The good news is that the Maldives is not about to disappear,” President Waheed said to Sri Lankan businessmen during a visit to the nation. He stressed that the Maldives can be sustained to avert the dangers of climate change, countering claims of his predecessor that the island nation would completely sink in the near future.