This year’s Miss South Pacific pageant isn’t just about swim suits—it’s taking on climate change. The slogan is “preserving our environment the Pacific way,” and several contestants have spoken about the issue. Last Wednesday was Polynesian Nite for the week-long competition, which means Polynesian nations, including, Tuvalu will be honored. Miss Tuvalu, Akelita Marisa, has been vocal about the threats that climate change poses to her home country—sea level rises, king tides, extreme weather, and erosion. The final crowning of Miss South Pacific happened last weekend, less than two weeks before the international climate talks in Copenhagen kick off.
In the current issue of Mother Jones, Rachel Morris has taken an in-depth look at how Tuvaluans are dealing with the impending threats of climate change. Morris traveled to New Zealand to speak with Tuvaluan immigrants and atoll island experts about how soon Tuvalu could be under water. Check it out here.