We've written at length in these pages about the opportunism that bedevils the man-made Global Warming debate - opportunism by scientists (if you follow this link, look especially at the bottom of the page), opportunism by campaigners, opportunism by politicians and opportunism by local government officials.
Now we hear, from Pacific Magazine, of some more people getting in on the act.
Apparently "Everybody knows that the South Sea's once idyllic atolls are disappearing beneath the Pacific Ocean's global-warming-driven relentless rise".
This has prompted the citizens of Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, to appeal to the developed nations to let them emigrate. Although New Zealand have kindly agreed to accept 75 immigrants a year from Tuvala, their destination of choice seems to be Australia.
Paani Laupepa of Tuvalu's Ministry of National Resources tells Radio Australia they are expecting to evacuate their people from the atolls within 50 years. Angrily he says Australia should take these environmental refugees. "Given the situation in which Australia is producing a lot of pollution into the atmosphere, the Australian government should take the necessary steps to accommodate the people who are suffering from the effects of the pollution," he said. "If you pollute, you should take responsibility for the actions that you are causing."
So the Tuvalu message is "we are about to be engulfed, you caused the problem in the first place, so you do something about it". Trouble is, when you look closely at the facts, there is no problem. They're making it up.
Pacific magazine again: "As it turns out, estimates of globally averaged sea level rise in the 20th century are irrelevant since Tuvalu's local sea level change is very different from the globally averaged change. There are three estimates of sea level changes for Tuvalu. The first is a satellite record showing that the sea level has actually fallen four inches around Tuvalu since 1993 when the hundred-million dollar international TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite project record began.
Second comes from the modern instruments recording tide gauge data since 1978. There the record for Tuvalu shows ups and downs of many inches over periods of years. For example, the strong El Nino of 1997-98 caused the sea level surrounding Tuvalu to drop just over one foot. The El Nino Southern Oscillation is a natural - as opposed to man-made - feature of the Pacific Ocean, as areas of the Pacific periodically warm then cool every few years, causing significant sea level rises and falls every few years in step with the co-oscillations of the ocean and atmosphere. The overall trend discerned from the tide gauge data, according to Wolfgang Scherer, Director of Australia's National Tidal Facility, remains flat. "One definitive statement we can make," states Scherer, "is that there is no indication based on observations that sea level rise is accelerating."
Finally, there is the new estimate by scientists at the Centre Nationale dčEtudes Spatiales who also find that between 1955 and 1996 the sea level surrounding Tuvalu dropped four inches."
So what is the real reason Paani Laupepa is trying to con the rest of the world?
You have only to look at their population figures. Tuvalu consists of several islands with a total area of only 10 square miles. 10,500 people live on nine tiny atolls. They are densely packed - 403 people per square kilometre. The neighbouring island-group Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands) has 111 people per square kilometre.
Australia has 2.4, and New Zealand just under one.
So it's just lebensraum, really. Now where have we heard that before?
The GOS says: To be fair you can see how the people of Tuvalu might be thinking.
Dr.Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon of the Harvard College Observatory say "There are some local problems that have changed the coastline of Tuvalu and mimic sea level rise. Sand is excavated for building material on Tuvalu. The excavation for building material has eroded the beach, thus giving the impression of rising sea to the casual observer" and has "caused the sea flooding of areas over the last decade. And that is a true environmental concern. But it is a local, man-made problem that will not be solved with massive cuts in carbon dioxide emission. An environmental official of Tuvalu, Elisala Pita, is concerned with the alarmism of western eco-imperialists.
In an interview in the Canadian Globe and Mail on November 24, Pita says that, "This [coastal] erosion is caused by man-made infrastructure. Tuvalu is being used for the issue of climate change. People are telling all these lies, just using Tuvalu to prove their point. No island is sinking. Tuvalu is not sinking. It is still floating." These small atolls have few natural resources, including fresh groundwater. Catch basins or desalination plants form the only fresh water available. With such limited resources, the alarmism of western environmentalists will do nothing to help Tuvaluans. Only the scientific facts will."
But understanding people's concerns doesn't make them right.
And finally, a pertinent question from J**** T***: If the science of man-made Global Warming is settled beyond question, why are we still paying for "climate research"?
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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