Brits flee to Godzone
4:00AM Sunday Mar 29, 2009
Anna Rushworth and Jonathan Leake


An image from the apocalyptic British drama Flood depicts many of London's familiar sights submerged. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand is becoming a "lifeboat island" for environmental refugees, fleeing climate change that they fear will make the larger land masses of the Northern Hemisphere barren and uninhabitable.

One of the world's most distinguished environmentalists, Professor James Lovelock, says in his new book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia, that New Zealand could be one of the world's last havens as global warming fundamentally changes the planet.

And scientists at the Copenhagen climate science conference this month warned that equatorial regions in Asia and Africa would not be able to grow enough food, forcing a rush of eco-migrants to more temperate nations like New Zealand.

The fear of rising waters in England persuaded Lizzy and Mike Larmer-Cottle to move their family from London to Albany, half an hour north of Auckland, surrounded by rolling hills and beaches.

More here.