Rising Seas Leave Nothing to Fight Over

South of the Sundarbans mangrove forest, in the Bay of Bengal, lies one of those tiny flecks of land at the center of endless negotiation between two countries—a little patch of ground whose ownership looks worth about five minutes' negotiating, but which turned into an endless international quarrel.

The island appeared in 1970, after a cyclone remade the river delta. The Indian government dubbed the place New Moore Island, a new piece of India. Bangladesh says it's the rightful owner of what is properly called South Talpatti island. No one from either country lives there, except the occasional member of India's military, dispatched for a short time to show the flag. Still, there might be oil and gas under the place, and it's in an area whose border has been disputed ever since independent India's borders were fixed. So neither nation has given up its claim.

It was apparently a point of tension in the region, and for good reason: as they knew even in Shakespeare's day, this kind of thing can get out of hand.

Well, no more worries: Global warming has submerged the problem, according to Jadavpur University's School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta. Satellite images reveal that the whole island—once 110,000 square feet at low tide, its highest parts six feet above sea level—is now under water. Sea levels in the delta have been rising more quickly than ever in the past decade, says Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies.

Soon, he says, climate change is going to sink other islands in the bay—ones where people actually live. Some six million people in the Sundarbans region may soon be refugees, while people in the rich world talk about climate change in the future tense.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less