Since China is so good at building islands in the middle of the ocean (see below), maybe they can build one the size of, oh say, Australia, for the 60 million displaced persons—almost all of whom ain’t ever goin’ back.
(If you’ve got a better name for the new continent, I’d like to hear it.)
The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is likely to have “far surpassed” a record 60 million this year, mainly driven by the Syrian war and other protracted conflicts, the United Nations said on Friday.
The estimated figure includes 20.2 million refugees fleeing wars and persecution, the most since 1992, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report.
“Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything,” Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement.
There’s a lot to quarrel with in that last sentence alone. I have compassion, but what’s to tolerate? He’s not asking for those 60 million-plus to come here, is he? I don’t have enough linen. And how do I have solidarity with Syrian terrorists and other militants? You were either with Assad or you were against him; neither side comes highly recommended (the lovely Asma very much excepted).
Sixty million people (and counting) in this year alone is a lot of people—and I’m sure they’ll have more company next year.
We need to think outside the (very big) box:
Even though Darwin’s voyages to these unique islands have been followed by countless travelers, the Galapagos Islands are still a pristine place. The archipelago is home to giant tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, penguins, whales and fish and has been a biological marine preserve for 50 years. It is home to a human population of only 23,000 and has hundreds of endemic species of plants and animals.
The refugees will have to eat something, and I’m told iguana tastes like caiman. But while the equatorial climate is perfect, it’s a little too cozy for a population the size of Italy’s.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most rural and least explored places in the world. Scientists believe that many of the world’s undiscovered species of plants and animals exist in the jungle interior of the country. Exploitation of the country’s vast natural resources has been hampered by rugged terrain, as well as the difficulties with the legal system and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Because of all these human problems, the landscape remains largely tough and untouched.
Namibia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The southern African country gets its name comes from the Namib Desert, and it’s home to the largest number of cheetahs — about 2,500 animals, or a quarter of the world’s total cheetah population. With giant dunes, ancient petroglyphs, craters and waterfalls, Namibia is one of the most untouched landscapes in Africa. It’s also one of the only countries to preserve the health of its ecosystem in its constitution.
The cheetahs will pick off the weak and the sick, but that constitution issue may be tough to overcome.
While Russia may not rank high in most people’s minds for pristine environments, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East is a wild and empty place, with the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west. Volcanoes and glaciers dot the peninsula, and mega-earthquakes of up to magnitude 9.0 have shaken up the area within the past five decades.
After carpet bombing and poison gas, volcanoes and earthquakes will feel like a sea cruise! I’m sold.
It’s not a country, but it is a continent — and Antarctica is a truly untouched place. The only continent never to be settled by humans, 96 percent of the island is covered with ice, which averages more than a mile thick. The number of people conducting and supporting scientific research and other work on the continent and its nearby islands varies from about 1,000 in winter to about 5,000 in the summer. Penguins, whales, seals and seabirds all use the waters around Antarctica as feeding grounds — though the coldest place on Earth makes a rugged home for humans, it is still an important place for the rest of Earth’s inhabitants.
Who needs to name a continent when we have one waiting! Syrians, Yemenis, Afghanis, Somali, South Sudanese, Burundi, Central African Republicans, the Democratic Republic of Congolese, and Iraqi—you will now be known as Antarcticans! You’ll love the summers.
PS: Hey, I’m just suggesting a solution to a problem I didn’t create. Other than outlawing Islam (the dominant faith, culture, law of most of these failed states), let’s see you come up with a better idea.
PPS: I know taking back Obama’s Nobel Prize won’t fix anything, but shouldn’t they do it anyway? So as not to cheapen Arafat’s?