Kiribati, Global Warming, Sea Level Changes

Global Warming Grows Pacific Islands

By —— Bio and Archives--June 6, 2010

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For the last ten thousand years sea levels have been rising. Since the end of the last ice age (or rather the beginning of the interglacial period we are now currently enjoying, since we are clearly STILL in an ice age) the sea levels have risen, with an average during the 20th century of about 1.8 millimeters per year (according to the IPCC) or 1.48 millimeters per year according to Berge-Nguyen et al., give or take a few (they increased in the late ‘90’s due to the unusually warm El Nino but have since dropped back down.)


Sea levels rise as long as global ice is melting, and they drop when ice grows appreciably. The Earth has been in a warming trend far longer than the alleged “anthropogenic global warming”; it has been happening through recorded history.

Now, many of the poorer and smaller nations seek to Obamaize; they want to put their hands in the pockets of the wealthier and larger nations, a sort of international stimulus package. A group of such nations lie in the Pacific and Indian Oceans; they claim that their near sea-level islands are going to drown from rising seas. Of course, none of these nations even NOTICED this rising sea level until the IPCC issued their doomsday report claiming this would happen, but now that the genie is out of the bottle they feel justified in reaching into the wallets of the United States and other Western nations. 

Kiribati is one example; consider that Anote Tong, president of the Pacific archipelago, claimed his nation is sinking:

“We may be beyond redemption, we may be at the point of no return where the emissions in the atmosphere will carry on to contribute to climate change to produce a sea-level change that in time our small low-lying islands will be submerged,” he said.

“Villages that have been there over the decades, maybe a century, and now they have to be relocated.

“Where they have been living over the past few decades is no longer there, it is being eroded.”

Mr. Tong also claimed:

“We have to find the next highest spot ... At the moment there’s only the coconut trees.”

Of course, poor agricultural practices often causes erosion, yet you will notice that Tong blames the loss of fertile land on Global Warming.

Kiribati and other Pacific nations have learned well, figuring out what many inside the U.S. have learned, that by saying the right things and making a loud noise they can get what they want. These are island nation welfare clients, essentially. (Does anybody remember the political theatre indulged in by the Maldives president in which he held an underwater cabinet meeting complete with scuba gear?) They have learned what ACORN has been peddling here in the States; make a fuss, make outlandish claims, demand your “rights” and you too can live a life of ease and leisure on the dole.

According to the Encyclopedia of the Nations

“Since Kiribati is a young nation-state, (former president) Tito believes in the importance of nation building. The development of Kiribati’s economy is the most important domestic policy issue. National integration is also an important aspect of Tito’s nation building. In the past, Kiribati’s economy and government suffered from a lack of self-sufficiency because of its limited size and resources. In 1999, Tito made a plea to the international community for aid in coping with a serious drought. Foreign aid has always been a major component of the government’s budget. Furthermore, Kiribati has a long history of protracted trade deficits, which must be covered by foreign aid. Tito’s long-term strategy is to develop the economy by focusing on tourism and fishing.”

So, the leaders of Kiribati - and other independent atoll nations - have every reason to shriek about the destruction of their islands because of anthropogenic global warming since this puts the moral and financial onus on the developed nations which the Kiribatians would like to milk. Once again, this is shown to be an issue largely about the redistribution of wealth.

Of course, there is one catch; your islands actually have to be getting smaller.  Sea level rise is immaterial if the, uh, sea level isn’t rising. If you have the same amount of real estate as in bygone years your claim is pathetically slim.

Many of those small islands are actually growing!

According to this piece in New Scientist:

“For years, people have warned that the smallest nations on the planet - island states that barely rise out of the ocean - face being wiped off the map by rising sea levels. Now the first analysis of the data broadly suggests the opposite: most have remained stable over the last 60 years, while some have even grown.

Paul Kench at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Arthur Webb at the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji used historical aerial photos and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land surface of 27 Pacific islands over the last 60 years. During that time, local sea levels have risen by 120 millimeters, or 2 millimeters per year on average.

Despite this, Kench and Webb found that just four islands have diminished in size since the 1950s. The area of the remaining 23 has either stayed the same or grown (Global and Planetary Change, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.11.001).”

So, these islands are not failing to shrink, they are actually growing! Global Warming appears to be GOOD for them!  They are gaining ground as the seas rise!  Perhaps they should change course and demand that the West increase greenhouse gas emissions; they may wind up with much more valuable beachfront real estate.


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Timothy Birdnow -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Timothy Birdnow is a conservative writer and blogger and lives in St. Louis Missouri. His work has appeared in many popular conservative publications including but not limited to The American Thinker, Pajamas Media, Intellectual Conservative and Orthodoxy Today. Tim is a featured contributor to American Daily Reviewand has appeared as a Guest Host on the Heading Right Radio Network. Tim’s website is tbirdnow.mee.nu.

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