Last Glimpse (2019) Movie Script

The idea of Atlantis,
a lost culture,
has fascinated many
for generations,
what wisdom was
there and only there,
the places we go are
at the tipping point,
their existence threatened
in a very real way.
We'll explore areas fighting
a ticking clock joined
by young and
passionate locals who
won't back down from the
challenges to their homeland.
Let's celebrate
what's unique, what
we should cherish and protect
before the whole thing could
be washed away.
Welcome to the Maldives,
a group of 1,200 islands
and 300,000 residents
in the Indian Ocean.
It's an Islamic republic
where tourists flock
from all cultures for sun,
relaxation, world class
diving and surf.
This turquoise blue ocean is
the country's greatest friend,
but it could also be
its greatest threat.
We're standing on what
is the lowest lying
nation on the planet, which
means one perfect wave
or rise in sea level
of just three feet
makes this nation uninhabitable.
Meaning there's a
high probability
that the Maldives can soon
become modern Atlantis.
I'm Josh Burstein, and we're
here to get a last glimpse.
To get to know a place
like the Maldives,
it's good to have a
man on the inside,
and I knew just the guy.
Meet Kevin.
He hails from Mali,
the capital city,
where he seems to be friends
with all his neighbors.
More on that later.
Kevin agreed to take
me under his wing,
and on this trip, leaning
on someone like him
makes all the difference.
I started to pick up
local tricks of the trade.
What do you do with your hands?
We just...
Hug it?
Hug it.
All right.
But the legs should
be like this.
One more, one more.
I got it.
I have no idea how to get down.
I was in good hands with
Kevin, but before our journey
could go any further I
needed to see the way
most foreigners
experienced the Maldives.
The rest of the world
knows this nation
as a haven, resort life with
picturesque postcard views
true to form.
I had to check out what
these tourists are getting
to know what they're missing.
It was a hard choice, but
somebody had to do it.
When you plan your
paradise honeymoon
you think of those huts
that just levitate right
above the tranquil water.
This one came with
a glass bottom tub.
Tourism is thriving as it may
be a last shot for Western elite
to enjoy all these amenities.
Amenities like eating with
the fish under the sea.
Not a bad view.
Cuisine says a lot
about a culture.
And upstairs in
the main kitchen,
Ishaaq is an award winning
chef and considered something
of an ambassador to
the Maldivian palate.
We sat down to swap recipes.
Maldivian cuisine is
strong flavor dish,
which has all kinds of curry
spices, cinnamon, cardamom,
We're in the thick of it.
Maldivians tend to
like spicy foods.
Everybody likes spicy food.
The chef gave me a quick crash
course on Maldivian spices
and prepared a few of
his favorite dishes
for me to sample.
I have Maldivian
traditional Garudiya,
which is fish boiled with water,
adding of raanbaa and curry
I'm going to add cardamom
with pods because then it
gets the flavor.
So this is nice coconut
flavored Maldivian soup.
We call that Kiru Garudhiya.
Yeah, yummy.
They got a good
thing going here.
I settled in and enjoyed a
full bowl of Chef Ishaaq's
Kiru Garudhiya.
It was hard to
tell what to enjoy
more, the food or that horizon.
In the evening hours, resorts
go all out with beach parties
so guests can let loose.
The Maldives is
a Muslim country,
which means no booze,
no bacon, no porn,
but nightlife
accommodations at resorts
make plenty of
exceptions for travelers.
There are worse fates than this.
Each day I discovered a new
form of luxury and pampering.
I had sat in pretty much every
hanging comfy device known
to man, but it was getting old.
There's a moral hangover
to just sitting still
and watching the tide come in.
I need something new,
I needed a friend.
Fortunately I had Kevin, someone
that knew his way around,
someone that I could trust.
The way I like to
travel doesn't need
exclusivity or much itinerary.
I'd rather spend my days the
way residents actually live.
This is something we have after
every meal, all the Maldivians.
This is Areca nuts,
this is betel leafs.
Can I make one for you?
So you're making me a leaf taco.
It's better to learn
through hands on experience
even if there's some
trial and error.
How's the betel leaf taste?
True to form, does
the intended effect.
It's like I get an easy
feeling, high feel.
I think I know what
you're talking about.
Like I just had four cigarettes
at once or something.
You want some more?
No, we're good.
I think that was
the right amount.
So some customs I wasn't
the biggest fan of,
but what was most important
is that the more time
I spent with Kevin the more
traditions I would learn
and people I would meet.
Kevin kind of knows everyone,
which was paramount for where
we were going next, one of the
most densely populated cities
in the world, Mal.
Every place has its
own unique speed
and you must adapt
quickly to thrive.
Almost half of the population
here packed the capital city
of Mal for access to trade
and a sense of security from
the elements.
Everything in this metropolis
is constantly changing.
There's reverence for the
old, a sense of history,
but the attitude of Mal
is in perpetual motion.
There's a bustling
fish market where
daily catches with
the freshest tuna
feed both the locals and the
resorts, and traffic on water
rivals that on land.
In the heart of Mal, Kevin
runs a women's boutique.
We swing by as I'm getting my
bearings in the neighborhood.
He started the business
basically from nothing,
one of the few
successful entrepreneurs
in a country that is mainly
motivated by the hospitality
After my studies I came back
to Mal and it was difficult
for me to get a job so I thought
I wouldn't work for somebody,
I'll start up my own business.
I got a loan and today I'm
here just smiling, happy.
It's clear that Kevin's
ability to make friends
anywhere and everywhere
has been a good part
of the success of his business.
So we know you already
as the mayor of Mal.
Could you just speak to being
this friendly tour de force?
If someone, like, introduced
me or if I meet somebody
I just keep the
friendship, always.
I just go and say hello.
Always I do that.
So do most people in Mal just
have their own little bachelor
pad, or how's that work out?
No, no.
Most of the people
live with their families.
I'm still living with my
parents because I just
don't want to leave them.
They gave me the love
and care and everything.
Maybe when I get married
I might have to go,
but I just want to be with them.
Suddenly I felt like
I had to call my mom.
My parents are
really cool parents.
My mom was a runner.
She was a great athlete.
How far is it around Mal?
But you run marathons.
So how many laps do you got to...
It's 8 and 1/2.
Go for a run with me?
Not going to run the marathon
with you, but I'll take a lap.
Just a 5k.
Let's do it.
There seem to be two
worlds in the Maldives,
one for resort patrons
and one for residents.
I could have easily spent my
entire trip like most visitors
without seeing any local culture
or meeting any new people.
Kevin provided me a genuine
look at the Maldives.
But I was still a
novice to this world
and had no idea how deep
things were going to get
or the heroes I would meet.
The rest of my journey
would start tomorrow
with a man named Funko.
The next day I
synced up with Funko,
a photographer that takes high
fashion stills and produces
street art around Mal.
He's a hard man to
track down, kind
of the Banksy of the Maldives.
Funko's unique vantage
point on local
culture and style has
led him to collaborate
with a new partner.
I created this
little person Mika.
Mika is sort of like
a goodwill ambassador.
He's able to make a little
statement very boldly,
and people would listen to it.
Why do you think they listened
to a cobbled together toy?
If I went out there
with a placard and say,
hey, don't throw garbage,
they'll be like, hey, boo,
get out of here.
But when I take
Mika out he doesn't
look threatening or
intimidating or serious, you know?
He's a cute little fellow
...And he doesn't blink
...with goofy eyes and
they're like yeah,
okay, we like you, Mika.
Mika may be a cute doll,
but he has made waves
as a stark reminder
of current issues,
and thousands are tuning
into his adventures.
He even found a girl.
So that's him on a
bike with his girl.
She's cute.
Yeah, she's cute.
That was during the
political uprising.
So he's waiting for the
commissioner of police.
He was the first person
to protest that day.
A lot of Maldivians
are protesting.
And he was the first person.
While Mika has developed a huge
underground following in Mal,
he's not quite as popular
with the authorities.
And because of that, Funko
tends to keep a low profile.
A little guy like this
isn't so intimidating,
but they may not be
the biggest fan of you.
How has that affected the
way you live around here?
For me more than politics, it's
about the environment here.
And why I'm in hiding
is because if I
touch upon the controversial
issues and stuff,
there are people out there who
would just want to harm me.
It sounds like he
speaks for you.
He speaks for me and
the people that really
does care about the ocean.
I really love the ocean.
I tell these people
out here, if you
go underwater it's a
different world out there.
It's beautiful.
I've never been diving,
but I think I got to here.
You got to.
Funko had a mission for
me, a quest of sorts.
Later in the trip he'd take
me on a dive to investigate
an unseen and
undocumented danger,
a crack in Mal's coral reef.
But in the meantime, Funko
suggested a few other places
to investigate.
So you should definitely
visit Soneva Fushi.
Waste management
is top class there.
It's an example to
the whole of Maldives.
They even have this little
swimming camp for students
out there.
We are surrounded by the ocean
and there are still people
who don't know how to swim.
I don't think anyone has gone
there and highlighted that.
I decided to take Funko's advice
and visit Soneva Fushi, an
Eco-resort in the north.
But before leaving Mal, Kevin
introduced me to one more local
Thank you for participating in
the first tiny swingset concert
Thank you for having me.
Can you describe the dynamic
of being a musician in Mal?
A lot of the motivating artists
today, they're based in Mal,
though very few girls.
Everyone's very friendly.
We actually have a chance to
get together and jam a lot.
So if I have
something that I want
them to hear I can
just go play to them
and they'll be like
"yeah, that's really good."
Everyone's just feeding
off the other one, you know?
That music really
chilled me out.
I'm curious what it
means in Maldivian.
It starts out as, saying
like, look at how
beautiful this is.
When you hear this song
you get goosebumps.
I think it's the best part
about Maldives, the ocean,
you get all these colors.
You can get a deep blue
color and then a light blue
and then so beautiful.
As I sailed up to Soneva Fushi,
Anya's lyrics resonated deeply.
The bathtub warm water
had the most uncanny hues.
I had to take a dip.
But first I need to know how
Soneva Fushi could go green
and still live the good life.
Our intentions and our
philosophy allows
us to really make sustainability
and luxury partners.
We need to give people the
luxury of the sports car,
but in a much more
Eco-friendly way.
If things don't
change, the Maldives
may well find itself underwater.
Businesses have to solve it.
Governments create
the context, but it's
businesses who caused the
problem in the first place
and we have to change the world.
We need to give consumers
sustainable options
without compromises.
And it didn't take long
to find out that Soneva
wasn't compromising.
Yeah, okay, this is nice.
We got the swimming pool,
but we can just walk right
into the Corona commercial.
Well, we got to get inside.
That's the espresso
machine, into the bathroom.
Welcome, please.
This is insane.
This is where great
novels are written.
I've never been to an Eco resort
before, but it's pretty cool.
And Soneva's doing it right
for the environment and soul.
Let's see how they
provide all this.
I hopped on a bike to get a full
tour with Gordon Jackson, Waste
to Wealth Manager
at Soneva Fushi.
So we're going to
go to Eco-Centro.
So looking at how we can
responsibly manage our waste.
That goal that we
have is to show
that there's a link between
environmental sustainability
and financial good sense.
So here we are.
This is Eco Centro.
We receive somewhere between
50 and 100 of these boxes
every week.
We got a number of
ideas how to use them.
What we do at the
moment is we collect up
the individual panels.
We use them as
insulation on new villas.
We are looking to invest in a
machine that will shred this up
into a powder that could then
be mixed in with a concrete mix.
There is no shortage of this
material in the country.
There's a lot of
building going on.
These are the kind of things
we're trying to pioneer and see
what works.
These actually have come
from another resort.
You're welcoming the waste.
If it's the right kind of waste,
if it's what we're looking for.
We'll be bringing a glass
artist to come and make
utensils for the kitchen,
art pieces, and other things.
So you're taking
on leftover glass
from all the other
islands and then you
make Chihuly sort of
art work out of it.
It's pretty wild.
Behind us, this is
our composting area.
Each pile represents a week.
What was a mixture of
woodchips and food waste
is now good dirt.
When I hear "Eco" and "sustainable"
I think a lot of people
immediately have this
stigma of roughing it,
or that this is just something
very crunchy and hippie
and you would not
be able to enjoy
the same level of comfort.
You have to compromise.
As part of the
Waste to Wealth concept,
it's important not
just because we
want to be environmentally
but we want to show that it
makes financial sense as well.
We are now turning the waste
to our department, which
increases Eco Centro
in the gardens
into a profit center
instead of a cost.
And by showing this
to local schoolchildren
or local counselors of
our neighboring islands
we have an opportunity
to share that
with folks that can develop
them further elsewhere.
Perhaps most important about
Soneva's conscious capitalism
is that they don't feel
proprietary and encourage
others to copy their tactics.
There is more to learn here,
but the swim class Funko
told me about had
just made port.
So I dropped in to meet Ish,
one of the lead instructors.
Ish is passionate about
working with Maldivian youth.
The irony is not lost on
her that in a country that
is literally sinking,
most of the children
don't know how to swim.
I got a chance to
sit down with her
and hear about how the ocean
connects to the Maldivian
My mom tried to keep
me away from the ocean
so much when I was younger.
But I remember this one
day I couldn't swim then,
but I had a life jacket
on and I went under
and I saw the octopuses
and the corals
and I just knew I had to learn.
And so that's how
my journey started.
Why is it important to
teach these local children
this skill?
Not only is it a
survival technique,
but once they actually
get to be in the water,
once they're comfortable
in the water,
once they're not scared of the
water, once they see what's
underneath, all the
beauty, then they
kind of want to protect it.
And we're hoping to
now share that spirit,
make them ocean stewards.
Why is it important that we
protect these oceans here?
Because we wouldn't
be here without it.
If they're giving back to us, we
should be giving back to them.
And I want the
generations that come
after us to realize this was
known as paradise for a reason.
Can you talk about how the water
and the people of the Maldives
have a relationship?
I remember a friend
of mine telling me
about how her
grandmother actually
walked across these islands
to get to her grandpa.
So star-crossed lovers, we swam
across the sea for each other.
I take much pride for being
born in such a wonderful place,
but the truth is we're living
in such a delicate environment.
Our biggest threat
will be the ocean.
The ocean was enchanting.
I could forget how
the future hinges
on such a contrasting force,
a threat so beautiful,
a relentless power that
could not be tamed.
I could have stayed at
Soneva Fushi longer,
but it was about time I
met up with Kevin again.
We had a lot to catch up on.
I shared with him my
experience with Ish and Gordon.
He clued me into the
latest with his business
and some adventures he
had in store for us.
We were heading north to
the more remote islands
in the Maldives, and at sunset
we were going night fishing.
Our boat captain was a grizzled
veteran of the open waters
and spent most of his life
as a fisherman, who struck me
as a no bullshit tough guy.
Tonight would be my
first time fishing,
but we hit it off quickly.
And before long I was
steering the boat.
Fishing is one of the
most fundamental skills
in the Maldives.
Give any local a milk
jug and some fishing reel
and they'll have you
a catch in no time.
It's deeply embedded in the
national identity and economy.
It's also a great
chance to drink
in the beauty of the open water.
Our captain gave us
a quick crash course.
There it is.
And you just let it keep going
until it hits the bottom.
I shouldn't have shaved today.
I should have got small
goatee, an eyepatch.
No one on the boat
was surprised when
he reeled in that first fish,
but as nightfall set in Kevin
and I were catching up.
All right, take her.
I like it.
I had held my own, catching
jackfish and snapper,
and it felt like a
milestone to partake
in a truly authentic
Maldivian fishing expedition.
But the night was young.
No outing like this is complete
without a beachside barbecue.
Our catch of the day was
rubbed in curry spices
and cooked over coconut shells,
giving it that distinctly
Maldivian flavor.
And of course the Boduberu
was about to begin.
What's Boduberu?
Let's find out.
Yeah, that was cool.
We continued to bounce
from island to island.
And of course as long as I stuck
with Kevin, I made fast friends.
There was an undeniable
charm to the smaller, more
remote communities in the north.
Each island seemed to
be its own little world.
The people were welcoming
and the pace of life
was slower, much slower.
Family is the most
precious thing
and most activities
are centered around it.
Many locals
specialize in a craft
that been passed down from
one generation to the next.
Whether it's fishing,
weaving or wood carving,
traditions are the fabric
of life on these islands.
These remote places most locals
will not even make it to.
This whole leg of the trek
was captivating, surreal,
but it was time to
get back to Mal.
Funko had contacted us and was
ready to take us on that dive.
I had to get back.
But what we had
seen in the north,
this lifestyle, hadn't
changed in a long time
and wasn't planning on changing
for anyone or anything.
If this is in fact
modern Atlantis,
time will tell what
Maldivian traditions
can be retained if
forced to migrate
to another part of the world.
The next morning,
we set out for Mal.
Kevin's open water road trip
felt like endless summer,
and he had one last
surprise detour.
We were making a pit stop
at an uninhabited island.
The water was as vibrant as
it was back at Soneva Fushi
and there wasn't
another soul in sight.
Before long you're crab
hunting on the beach.
Arm deep in crabs right here.
Are you worried about
getting your hand bit?
I don't care.
Huge, huge.
That won't bite.
Oh, God.
It happened very much like
the crustacean itself.
We'll let him back.
But just when I thought
we had found an oasis,
something wasn't quite right.
This is the most pristine
beach I've ever seen.
We're playing with crabs
and then everywhere
is trash, bottles cans,
diapers, yummo. Bottled water,
plastic cups.
It was a jarring end
to our private getaway.
It got me wondering, what
happens to all the garbage
in a country that only imports
from the outside world?
Kevin explained that all
the trash in the Maldives
goes to a place creatively
nicknamed Trash Island.
It didn't sound like
one of the spots
they put on the postcards.
I asked if we could go there.
He thought Ish might be of help.
So it was onwards to Mal
to reunite with our friends
and climb a flaming
mountain of trash.
Back in Mal we picked up Ish,
the swim instructor from Soneva
Trash Island was off limits,
but Ish arranged safe passage
with the help of the only folks
who recycle in the nation.
I feel like we're on one
on those nice safari tours,
but instead of rhinos
or elephants,
we got mounds of flaming trash.
Somehow by choice we
transported ourselves
from some of the most
gorgeous islands on earth
to a scene out of
Apocalypse Now.
So dystopian.
Yeah, this is a hell scape.
This is what Mad Max
wishes it could be.
Do you remember the
Brave Little Toaster?
It's kind of like that here.
I am the blanket,
you are the toaster.
This island now has the
highest peak in the Maldives.
Probably not where
you want to set up
camp when sea levels rise.
But we decided to
climb to the top
and set off in that direction.
Wet, yucky.
No more, no more fun.
You're scared off easily.
Scared off?
Just trash juice, I just
don't like trash juice.
Oh, I mean, it's a
nice fixer upper.
Lot of space.
You want to get up there?
This is one of those
places where you can just
get lost exploring.
And then of course you choke
to death on all the fumes.
On that note we decided we
could go antiquing another day.
Yeah, this is the End
of Days right here.
You're a brave soul for
joining us on this adventure,
let me tell you.
Oh, this is nothing for me.
This is the kind of
adventures I like to have.
Oh, look, flames, beautiful.
Let's try not to step
on anything that burns.
Yeah, don't breathe too hard.
Don't step too hard.
I'm surprised my sandals
have made it this far.
We were picking up trash on one
of these uninhabited islands
and it was some people
would say feudal.
No one's going to
see us doing it.
We picked up a couple of bags,
put it near the trash can.
But who knows where
that's even going.
I actually have a
story about that.
This one time a man was
walking along the beach,
there was a lot of starfish's
that had washed onto the shore
and he was just picking up one
and throwing it into the sea.
And somebody sees him doing
it comes and asks him,
why do you think
you're doing that?
Even if you spend the
whole day doing it
you're not going to be able
to save all the starfish.
So he picks up a starfish,
throws it into the sea
and goes, "it
mattered to that one.:
And that's my belief
with cleaning trash.
Ish is not the kind
of person who's
afraid to get her hands dirty.
And she works closely
with Secure Bag,
the same organization that
helps Soneva Fushi turn
their waste into wealth.
That's one week?
30 tons for the.
They compact it
elsewhere, bring it here,
and this is ready for export.
Secure Bag is finding ways
to repurpose and profit
from other people's crap.
It may be a drop in the
bucket, but it's certainly
better than burning the bucket.
I think we had over
900 boxes of this.
At Soneva?
At Soneva.
Secure Bag help
take it all the way.
All this junk can
actually be a business.
Secure Bag can identify that
why not evangelize sort of field
teams where people can do
this in their neighborhood
and work directly with them,
make a small bit of profit
so that they can continue
what they're doing.
It's just a strategy
where everyone benefits.
Ish is just doing just that,
organizing trash pickups in her
community in Mal.
Even got approached by
a bunch of scuba divers.
I would like to help by
cleaning in the city.
Do you think that
those divers might
want to meet with us when
me and Funko were thinking
about checking out that reef?
Yeah, I think so.
Funko just sent us an email
asking me to set that up.
Good man.
What Ish she had showed
me at Trash Island,
is that every little
thing you do does matter,
and what drives people like Ish
and Funko to make a difference
and inspire people is their love
of the ocean and all the beauty
that makes up the Maldives.
Even if it is inevitable
that the sea levels will
rise above the Maldives
in our lifetime,
Ish and Funko will
dedicate themselves
to do whatever they can to
stop that from happening.
Funko has been working to
call attention to a crack
in the reef near Mal.
He's been talking with
local scuba divers
to find the exact location
of this damaged reef.
What does this mean?
What does a crack
in the reef mean?
The risk of collapse.
With the landslide under water.
And the landslide.
And the reef is what
protects Mal from...
All the islands.
All the islands.
A healthy coral reef
provides a key layer
of protection against
rising sea levels
and can dramatically
reduce land erosion.
Zaheena is a local
journalist who
also wanted to document
this erosion in the reef.
Zaheena has a lot more
experience scuba diving
and doesn't seem to
shy from a good story.
A real mensch named Funko talked
about this crack in the reef
right here in Mal.
What's the significance?
More and more we're seeing
harbors being dredged.
We see a lot of development
that doesn't really
think about what impact it
could have on the reefs.
Who knows, like Mal could
be cracking from its weight
beneath us and we don't know
because we don't keep track
of these things.
Our mission was clear, the
crack threatened the entire city
of Mal.
It was time to assemble
the Maldivian Avengers.
So we have a whole
convoy joining us.
We got the guys who
discovered the crack.
We'll be the ones diving.
Is Ish coming?
Ish is coming.
She's not going to dive.
She's going to hang
with Funko up top.
He's never been there
before and it's not exactly
easy to the untrained eye.
So we're actually going to
get to use that Open ROV.
Apparently it's not exactly
easy to identify the cracks
so we're going to need
some trial and error.
And it's got lots of
currents in the area.
Also a lot of traffic.
A lot of traffic?
So boat traffic,
currents, don't know where
this thing is, low visibility.
It's a nice adventure.
Nice adventure.
Our quest was shaping up
to be something special.
And I was going to get to
do it with all the friends
I had met along my way.
I think people are going to
see some really raw footage.
I'm really excited for it.
So first of all, we start
with the big overhang,
and then after that,
straight away we
will go to the broken area.
We got ourselves a
robot that will help
us find this crack under water.
And you guys are the ones who
are going to be manning it.
We're getting some footage.
Yeah, she's there.
Yep, she's there.
Zaheena's there.
Once we equalized we swam
towards the damaged reef
and immediately realized
that things were off.
Compared to normal
healthy coral reef
the terrain was
drab and lifeless.
Our guide pointed
out areas that showed
signs of landslide
debris and did what he
could to warn us to stay alert.
This reef snapped in
two and others could
break off and threaten us.
We pressed on to the
reef nearest to the city,
and as we did the current
picked up considerably.
Trying to get some good footage.
The current's really...
The visibility is challenging,
but right now what
you're looking at is
a significant crack
in Mal's reef.
The crack, the area is
completely dead actually.
The reef is dead.
Just as I tried to
direct the camera
to get a closer
inspection of the crack,
the current whipped up
into a frenzy and Zaheena
was nowhere to be found.
It went well, actually,
except I lost my buoyancy
and just shot up.
That was not fun.
So the Mal reef is
just really damaged.
There's not a lot of coral
cover at all, very little fish.
The crack is about this big
and then you kind of go down
and it becomes bigger.
I think it's brilliant
that we were able to take
some footage of the reef crack.
I don't think anyone has
brought this to light yet.
Yeah, we saw the crack.
It was deep.
That current though, no joke.
Killer currents and
missing persons, the dive
had truly been an adventure.
The feeling on the boat was
a friendship and deep pride
that our mission
documented something core
to the island's safety.
It was a fitting
bookend to my trip.
I dined under water, met
an inanimate activist
making bold statements, listened
to the sounds of the Maldives,
learned sustainability could
be good on the wallet, swam
with the turtles, and
witnessed first hand a way
of life unique to anything
I had seen before,
and most importantly, we
fostered lifelong friendships.
But I still had one
very important person
to talk to, former president
Mohamed Nasheed, steward and UN
representative of
all island nations,
heralded by Time Magazine
as a leader and visionary,
the Mandela of the Maldives.
The science is sorted.
It's proper.
The sea level will rise, there's
no doubt about that at all.
The sea levels will
probably rise over us,
but we will find adaptation
measures as a society,
as a culture, as a community.
What still will be lost?
What are some of those
uniquely Maldivian things
that you cherish?
My grandmother told
me, President, you
can look at the
people, but they are
the sounds and the
butterflies and the colors go.
All of these islands aren't for
the inhabitants unique islands.
There's nothing
like it for them.
We have more than two billion,
the world's population living
on coastal areas.
We are not just simply
talking about the Maldives.
Manhattan is as low
as the Maldives.
And so for the people in
Mal or Manhattan or Miami,
what can people do?
This would become the
mainstream political discourse.
And it's happening very rapidly.
But the people have
a big responsibility
in promoting this idea.
Humanity, we've never had
the odds on our sides,
and certainly in my life I've
never had the odds on my side.
I get a death threat every day
from Islamic extremists because
of my advocacy on environment.
But there is hope and
we must not give up hope
and we must move forward.
We will probably stay
now because we are all
human that's teared to the
brink and then pull back.
We will stay to the
brink, and of course
that has the sad side effect
of losing so much that you
could have saved.
I hope you agree what's
unique about this nation
and culture is worth protecting.
Their challenge is not unique,
the whole world faces it.
They just have a front row seat.
It's called climate change
and it's happening right now.
It's compounding, demoralizing,
faceless, systemic,
catastrophic, a life
changing problem
that is not only not going
away, it's picking up steam.
We can adapt and innovate and
foster a global environment
that is ready to take on
this test of our generation.
Join us and learn
about actions you
can take to protect
the Maldives at home
and change the story.
Because we know
what the cost is of inaction:
It's self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is why we came
here to give you
a first glimpse of the Maldives,
because we're damn sure we
don't want it to be our last.
Thanks for watching.