And you thought the Kiribati Climate Refugee Story was Over

National flag of Kiribati, public domain image source Wikimedia

National flag of Kiribati, public domain image source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

WUWT has reported several times about the ongoing story of the failed Kiribati Climate Refugee. Now the BBC has done a followup story, about Mr. Teitiota’s allegedly sad circumstances, now that he is back in Kiribati. But not everything is as it seems.

Mr Teitiota, his wife and three children are staying at his brother-in-law’s house. It’s a basic cinder block box with no chairs and virtually no modern conveniences.

He has two penned pigs in his yard and a pack of stray dogs scratch themselves under the palm trees. He warns me about the brown dog. That’s the dangerous one. And he doesn’t like it being so close to his kids.
The family relies on rainwater for drinking. The tank is too small, so they struggle to get enough. It’s a bitter irony in a place that’s constantly threatened with inundation.

They pump water from the ground too, but it’s filthy. The groundwater here is just below the surface, which makes it vulnerable to contamination from humans and animals above.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34674374

OK, so far so good. But then the BBC makes the following startling statement;

Mr Kidd sees politics in the mix. There are potentially hundreds of millions of people in low-lying areas that could be affected by sea level rises. He wonders if wealthy countries fear that cases like Mr Teitiota’s could turn climate migration from a trickle to a raging torrent.

But there hasn’t been a dramatic exodus just yet. The New Zealand immigration department sets aside 75 places a year in a lottery for migrants from Kiribati, and at the moment it can’t fill them.

President Anote Tong suggests that is because things aren’t desperate enough yet.

Whats up with that? If the alleged climate hardships of life in Kiribati are such a non issue, that Kiribati people can’t even be bothered to apply for lottery places to migrate to New Zealand, what possibly justification could there have ever been for the ridiculous waste of time and resources, represented by Mr. Teitiota’s application for climate refugee status? How can there be any doubt that the New Zealand High Court made the right decision, to reject Mr. Teitiota’s bogus climate refugee claim?

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138 thoughts on “And you thought the Kiribati Climate Refugee Story was Over

  1. Kind of like the question from ‘The Wheel’ by The Grateful Dead;

    The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
    You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
    You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
    If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will

    Won’t you try just a little bit harder
    Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?
    Won’t you try just a little bit harder
    Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

    Round, round robin run round
    Got to get back to where you belong
    Little bit harder, just a little bit more
    A little bit further than you gone before

    Read more: Grateful Dead – The Wheel Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  2. pls remind me how many million climate refugees did the UN claim there would be by 2015 ( or do they still deny they said it)?

    • Well every great journey starts with one small step, or where in the world can we find more victims.

      75 refugees is a milestone the UN hopes to achieve on their glorious climate journey and remain optimistic in their million refugee goal.

      However if it that doesn’t work out they will come up with a new definition of a refugee, like a refugee is someone who at some point in their life considered moving.

    • “pls remind me how many million climate refugees did the UN claim there would be by 2015 ( or do they still deny they said it)?”

      I expect they will claim that all those immigrants swarming all over Europe like a pack of rats are really climate refugees. After all, 75% admit that they aren’t actually from the war zone, just using the distraction to get themselves into cushy accommodation.

      • People watching the news TV couldn’t fail to notice that there are many young men without women or children in the “war refugees”.

        It isn’t just apparent on TV, it is a recognised fact: when asked why they are without wife and children, they acknowledge that they are alone, and explain that “they will go back to Syria to take their family once they got an home”.

        We are expected to believe that they will
        – have no problem going back in a war zone?!!!
        – have no problem finding their families in a war zone?!!!
        – have no problem bringing back their families in a war zone?!!!

        Or maybe most of them never were in or near a war zone?

        This is just one of the many puzzling facts of the war/climate refugees narrative.

      • Here in europe they are already blaming the war in syria on climate change so yea they are preparing their “millions of refugees”

        the hoax is: because of climate change there is a shortage of water that started the war and instability of the region which lead to war causing those refugees….

        sarc of course! i believe that!!! /sarc

    • I think somee folks wanted to label him the worl’s FIRST climate refugee. There are a couple of problems with that as I show below.

      Climate change refugees BEFORE 1975

      Climate change refugees AFTER 1975

      Have the 50 million climate change refugees been found yet? Or is that 200 million. What a joke!

      Guardian – 12 October 2005
      50m environmental refugees by end of decade, UN warns
      ====

      United Nations General Assembly – 8 July 2008
      ….it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010…..

  3. Maybe the people of Kiribati are afraid of orcs.
    What else does anyone know about New Zealand?
    (Do they play rugby in Kiribati?)

      • Balrog?

        Or do NZ baskeball players have bad reputations for being selfish?

        If I had the ability I would have created and animated Balrog dunk from the top of the key.

        :)

      • Six feet is your height,
        180 your weight,
        You cash in your chips,
        ’round page eighty eight.

        Bored of the Rings is AWESOME!

      • Yeah, I laughed so hard I woke my parents up in the middle of the night. I just couldn’t help myself.

        Hippie freaks Tim Benzedrine and Hashberry.(Tom Bombadil and Goldberry)

        Gimlet son of Groin.

        Goddam (Gollum)

        Some of the references are so old they’ve lost relevance, like Goodgulf (Gandalf)

        But Bored of the Rings is one of the funniest books ever written. They should update it and do the movie, like they did with the Twilight movies (Vampires Suck)

  4. This is the PSMSL info page for Christmas Island, Kiribati and goes back to 1974. Looking at the monthly plot, it looks to me like there isn’t really any trend, except spikes up during El Nino years.

    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/1371.php

    If you go to the neighbouring plot, which ended in 1972, there had been a downward trend from the 50’s but the average stayed around the same level (7100mm).

    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/801.php

  5. “Mr Teitiota, his wife and three children are staying at his brother-in-law’s house. It’s a basic cinder block box with no chairs and virtually no modern conveniences. …..The family relies on rainwater for drinking. The tank is too small, so they struggle to get enough”

    Isn’t this the exact world the greenies envision, free of evil modern conveniences that make a real difference in peoples lives.

    • Tom,
      The green equation forgot to calculate that if it all comes about, there will be NO-BODY alive to reap the benefits ha, green wet dreams!

    • Hmmm no chairs. There are eastern cultures that do not use chairs. I guess this supposed to make us westerners who like chairs to feel bad.

      I am not making fun of poverty or their low stand of living, I am mocking the authors lame attempt to gather sympathy for these people in a climate change context when their poverty has nothing to do with climate change.

      It’s just incredibly stupid. Instead of exploiting these people in the name of climate change how about getting these people larger containers to collect rainwater.

      • Hmmm no chairs.
        ===========
        The custom across the Pacific Islands is to sit on the ground on woven mats. Which can be uncomfortable to westerners, so it is one thing they notice right away.

        The problem is the reporter is insensitive to local customs. Projecting their own lifestyle on the native population. It is like someone from Kiribati coming to your house and saying you are poor because you don’t have an outrigger canoe or a fish trap.

      • I once visited Japan. The people were so poor they didn’t even have knives and forks to eat with. We were forced to use sticks of wood to pick up our food. I hear the people in China are no better off.

        The problem is of course due to Global Warming. It has made them too poor to afford metal, so they have to eat with wood.

      • Alx – how right you are : “…….their poverty has nothing to do with climate change”. It is overpopulation – pure and simple. I have heard that the British in the late 1940’s estimated that the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati)could only ever sustain a population of less than 25,000 because of lack of water. Now there are in excess of 100,000. The water “bubbles” under the islands are exhausted because of too much water drawn up (thus causing salt water to flow in). It was ridiculous to ever grant them independence – they should have been an UN protectorate with strict control on population numbers. A coral island is a silly place to live and expect to have a modern civilisation : storm surges during the cyclones flow over the whole islands. As Darwin figured out this builds up the height of the islands : in effect, a coral island is actually the safest place in the world to live be during sea-level rises. They grow with it!!! 20,000 years ago they were still at sea-level which w2as then about 120 meter lower. Yes, the world ought to assist the islanders to get away from a place like that – but they are not “climate refugees”.

      • Most Americans are so poor they have not a single horse, and must get around in large metal boxes, which become hot enough to kill a person if left to sit in the sun, and freeze so cold in winter that ice must be scraped from the windows before they can even be used.

      • Well, no chairs is a big deal. Remember what the wise sage Tolkien said about such things.

        “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

        So, clearly, the presence of something “to sit down on” is a major indicator habitability. /sarc

    • Wrong. Kill all of the non-indigenous species, including the dogs, pigs and people. Only then will the greens have their paradise. (sarc).

    • It’s an amazing statement about the lack of resourcefulness of humanity if people need chairs and can’t improvise to make any.

      The last quote from Mr. Teitiota says it all…there’s better life elsewhere. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with climate change but with a lack of resources and poor standard of living where he is now.

      • One would wonder why UN representatives didn’t offer their premises to house Mr. Teitiota and his family..

    • Levels of poverty, filth, corruption, laziness are inversely proportional to the average intelligence of the population they affect. That’s the basic problem. Good luck on fixing that or even the powers that be acknowledging it.
      Global Warming is a sham invented and foisted by those who want to control society. CO2 plays almost no part in the Earths temperature, either @ 300ppm or 400ppm or 500ppm. Water vapor is the only green house gas that counts on this planet.

      • Intelligence. Lack of education is just an excuse, like poverty. Same with athletics. No amount of training can make up for lack of natural ability.

      • “Expat

        November 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm

        Intelligence. Lack of education is just an excuse, like poverty.”

        Really? Lack of education and poverty an excuse? Really? Sheesh…

    • Last summer, I went to my local garden supply store to buy some perlite. I got to the checkout, and laughed when I read the label: “Organic perlite,” and told the clerk that perlite is the very definition of INorganic. Oh no, she assured me, the company has a whole line of organic products. Trying again, I told her that perlite is basically puffed rocks. Nope, no idea what I was talking about.

    • What is worse is that some people actually believe it. Try asking them to point to which power line on the street is carrying the green electrons if you want an exploded head.

      There is a blogger I read on non-climate matters. The blog is enjoyable except,for the part where he maintains all his power comes from wind, because he pays for wind-only electricity.

      • I have a business card from a landscaper that boasts his landscaping is all organic including concrete drive, patio walls, flagstone, tile work, wood fencing, color rock, etc.
        he seems to know how to market his work and products to the lefty geniuses.

    • Sounds fine to me. I like that “voluntary” part. If that word actually meant what it meant, we could resolve this thing right quick-like. But I am not holding my breath.

      • Since the drift velocity of the electrons is typically millimeters per second, it may be some time before they actually deliver those green electrons you’re paying for. Come to think of it, if you’re using AC, they will probably never arrive. Better ask for your money back. : > )

    • Oh, come now. . . of course you know that electric companies must be able to tell the difference between dirty brown electrons and the more virtuous green backgrounds.

      After all, for decades sign makers have been separating red electrons from yellow and blue electrons in their neon signs. . . . . . . . . ;-)

    • Interesting. I think I have a new “green” energy scam er business. AC current doesn’t move the electrons around it just sloshes them back and forth Speed of Electrons, so even if you pay for “green” electrons your house has those dirty “brown” electrons in it. My company (for a large fee) will come out and flush those dirty electrons out of your system with DC current containing only “green” electrons. You can then feel safe that your family will not be contaminated by those brown electrons that have been contaminated with CO2.

      • The electric company is probably gonna be unhappy with your DC messing up their power factor. For a modest finder’s fee I can put you in contact with a recently retired Volkswagen engineer who can ‘adjust’ the utilities’ instrumentation to remove this problem.

      • What about the airlines who claim you can fly “green” by paying a bit extra on your ticket! Perhaps you must sit in your seat and pedal.

      • Robber, that and you also have to sign a form saying that you won’t touch that great big twisted rubber band running down the aisle.

    • As a French green politician once said (allegedly) (*)

      someone: you can’t do that, it violates Kirchhoff law (#)
      green politician: then we will abolish this law.

      (*) I couldn’t find a reliable source, I don’t remember the name of guy, and this is pretty realistic anyway
      (#) Kirchhoff law in French is just “the law of nodes” (“la loi des nœuds”); maybe the foreign name “Kirchhoff” would have been a sufficient hint to the politician that it isn’t a law of La République française

  6. I figure I’ll probably undergo catastrophic climate change in around 3 years. I’ll pick one and go.

    • I recently experienced this catastrophic change when I went to the US’s 50th state. I inadvertently left my ‘normal’ 5°C climate at home, and ended up in 32°C. To this day I don’t know how I even survived. /sarc

      • I recently suffered catastrophic climate change when it unexpectedly rained for 2 days. I didn’t know it was going to happen. Now my lawn has grown sharply upward and my mower is in danger of stalling. Climate change affects lawn mowers for realsies. This is a living hell. I must apply for refugee status to the atacama desert where this can’t happen – at least for the foreseeable future.. ;)

  7. What’s all this fuss about about “climb-it refusees”? If they don’t want to climb then they shouldn’t, nor should anyone make them.

  8. So-called “climate change” is the universal excuse- for governments that choose irresponsible policies, to lazy individuals who cannot be bothered to take care of themselves.

  9. Us unbelievers in CAGW should form a corporation to buy up ocean-front properties in the south sea islands. I wonder what the greenies who are aware of their own scam would think of that speculation?

    • Why south sea islands?

      Because the CAGW people has already bought all the north sea ocean-front properties?

  10. Us non-believers in CAGW should by up ocean-front properties in the South Sea Islands. I wonder what the greenies who are aware of their own scam would think of that speculation?

  11. This “Refugee Status” business reminds me of the Obama Noble Peace Price:
    Obama got the price even though he never did anything to justify the honor. It was for the future deeds he will surely do (and oh, how he did! He probably managed to start the third world war – this time the Islam against everybody else).
    Mr, Teitiota’s “Refugee Status” is also in advance – to be on the safe side, you see: for when the islands drown in the wake of the Globul Worming. Why wait for it to happen?

  12. I suspect this character did not apply for the underused lottery places because he would get a better deal being registered as a refugee. more money free house etc whereas ‘just moving there’ he would have to work!!!

  13. The 75 slots weren’t reported in the NZ media, I don’t think, although coverage was never that favourable to the applicant.

  14. “basic cinder block box with no chairs and virtually no modern conveniences…They pump water from the ground too, but it’s filthy. The groundwater here is just below the surface, which makes it vulnerable to contamination from humans and animals above.”

    I’m sorry, but this looks like the real reason for refugee claims. How can it be today that there are still people who can’t arrange to provide clean water for themselves? They did it for 10s of thousands of years before western aid came along. This is apparently a third worldwide problem. What on earth have NGOs been up to with their billions other than personal safaris? What on earth have western nations been up to with their 100s of billions of dollars laid out? Every person knows that water, food, shelter/clothing are the order of emergency requirements.

    Now, in case you think I’m a sheltered, selfish and well provided for westerner, I was doing projects in Nigeria in the 1960s doing (among other things) hydrogeological studies and laying out town water supplies. Most medium sized villages had a deep well that was constructed to preserve the water from contamination. I was a Nigerian civil servant -interviewed and hired by the Nigerian High Commission in London, not an NGO well-meaning but generally ineffective person. At least in those days, NGO’s tended to go for projects of their own choosing – more glamorous than sewer and water. The obvious (but unwitting to them) reverse racism that guided them was central to their projects. “Teach a man to fish” kind of stuff. I wonder if we have made these people wards of the international aid industry. The 100’s of billions being asked for now by the UN Clime Syndicate is just more of the same. I wonder if third world people would have solved at least all their most basic few survival problems long before now if left alone. It seems to me that this is fundamental for their sustainability. At this late date, common sense dictates that first priority for any transfer of wealth is to at least get these people providing the basics of survival before we go saving the planet.

    • A good start would be to shoot and dispose of the feral dogs.
      Apart from the physical threat they carry hydatid disease, scabies and fleas while destroying wildlife.
      He could get a few mates together and do it himself.

      • Then they’d have to go fishing for protein. The fact is the people are right to want to leave the mess they’ve built themselves, not because the atoll is sinking but because they’ve made it unlivable. One day a tsunami will come through and make it ready for a do-over. It is an island ghetto and will continue to be until charitable types stop enabling that life style and they have to shift for themselves, or until ISIS decides to expand into the South Pacific. Actually, the charitable types provide only enough charity to mandate that life style. Things would change if a great deal more or a great deal less was offered. Giving more doesn’t scale, though, and the population would grow to absorb and additional gifting. The population nearly doubled between 1990 and 2010 in Tarawa.

    • (Mainly sarc). Don’t worry, Gary Pearse.
      Because Bill Gates is on the verge of solving the problems of access to sewage treatment and clean water.
      Using his gazillions to create a technologically advanced waste processor.
      As an expert in this area – perhaps you will have an opinion on this strategy.
      Soon everyone in the developing world will be “omniprocessing” their waste.
      And already, a large number of individuals have been aided by Gate’s generosity.
      But, as yet, they are all grant and award seeking scientists and technicians here in the developed world.
      Here’s the project described on the Gates Blog:
      http://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Omniprocessor-From-Poop-to-Potable

    • The clean water issue was addressed here recently. The amount of green subsidies the US has given in the last 10 years, would have been more than enough to give clean water to every person on earth who currently does not have access to clean water.

  15. Ioane Teitota was an overstayer in NZ who tried to fight the mandatory deportation when caught. In 1974 I turned down an offer of a government contract position in Kirbati for similar reasons: It didn’t seem like an upgrade from Samoa where the family had spent the last 7 years. Tarawa then it was unfit to live in and with a population of about 10,000 water was reported to be scarce and seas too close for comfort. Most of Tarawa, the main island, is not occupied being strung out along a few causeways around a lagoon. The high point may be 3 metres but the average was given then as 1 metre.

    Now there is about 25-30,000 in Tarawa. We know from Willis that the water lens below the coral can be damaged by compression and that is what the BBC are reporting. Water is scarce because Tarawa is seriously equatorial and they do have droughts. Water shortages for the local population is compounded by tourism.

    There is it seems a sea wall and I have encountered advocacy to have this made higher essentially ring fencing the living areas. However a tropical storm would likely smash it or dump sufficient water within the newly created lake to drown people.

    Kiribati,Tarawa in particular, is a good example of population exceeding resources without the application of common sense. If it was Europe they would have all left. Expect more; the BBC report is not unreasonable from an outsiders perspective and lack of cultural understanding. The soiled groundwater coupled with drought has the potential for disaster from disease.

    Climate change and parrot fish dining on coral is not the problem in Tarawa.

  16. The damning truth about foreign aid: British millions meant for Syrian refugees are squandered by the UN on administration and staff costs.

    That probably goes for all aid given to the UN.

    I bought my first Porsche from an administrator working for the British Heart Foundation, the car cost new £48,000 in 2005, I no longer give to charities.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3301120/

  17. A nice cherry-picked anecdote from the BBC. Along with wild and unsubstantiated claims about “risk of inundation”, assume to be from the sea. And some feeble attempt to pull on heartstrings.
    And this irrelevant but detailed piece of junk appears, within a week of the release of TWO major papers on the gain of ice in Two papers which appear to have been CENSORED by the BBC.
    Ice gain which clearly has a critical implication for assessment of potential changes in sea level rise.
    It can not have escaped the BBC’s attention that they were almost the only media channel on the planet that did not inform the public of the very significant NASA announcement.
    At least I have not yet found any reference from them. And I have searched using a broad range of search terms almost every day.
    Even Russia Today, the Guardian, Slate and Al Jazeera have covered the NASA Ice Gain story.
    Although admittedly, some articles seem to have found a way to conceal or reverse the conclusions of the study.
    This slate article beggars belief. Apparently the study which clearly concludes that Antarctica is gaining ice, actual in reality tells us that it is losing ice. Maybe we should all just give up with these idiots. Its hopeless.,,
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/11/03/antarctic_ice_still_losing_mass.html

    • Apologies for my repetition of “two papers”. I keep forgetting that in this venue proofreading must be done before posting. And its been a long day.

  18. So, apparently, Mr Teitiota has not applied for immigration to New Zealand. He must not want to go there that badly. Could it be that someone put him up to seeking refugee status as a test case?

    • If memory serves, he over-stayed (And had children BORN in NZ). In my experience with immigration over the years, in particular Australia and New Zealand, that is “frowned” upon. Break your visa conditions at your peril.

  19. Re; “The fact is the people are right to want to leave the mess they’ve built themselves, not because the atoll is sinking but because they’ve made it unlivable”.
    Such islands are often sinking under the weight of rising debt and obesity.
    Here’s one example – Nauru. Youtube will recommend a heap of similar stories when you have watched this.
    Really very sad – and their problems have nothing to do with so-called “climate change”.

  20. Sea water washes over the lands in Tarawa but not from sinking islands. Large seasonal tides, winds and tropical storms make it a hazardous place to live. How can you put down a well when the sea fills it or a dangerous bacterial load has built up from misuse?

    The more the reality of attempting to live on an unsuitable overcrowded low lying atoll is investigated the less of climate change is revealed and more of political incompetence. Tarawa is a disaster of their own making in waiting. The people there will have to move elsewhere to survive. Even if the sea dropped a metre that predicament remains.

  21. See this for a fuller description of life there. There is an explanation also of how the lagoon became a cesspit via good works.

  22. My comments were in no way advocacy for Ioane Teitiota; if he hadn’t argued climate change administrative discretion may have had a different outcome.

    Kiripati has been aggressively pursuing the line that they are victims of climate change when the truth is mismanagement. The Wellington Diocese of the Anglican Church in NZ has a march planned in their support which I am going to have to oppose.

    A lesson here is if the politicians-in-charge substitute advocacy and hysteria for reason, based on flawed models and turn off energy sources and there is a real downturn happening or beginning there may be disastrous consequences. Kiribati can cry that the wolf is at the door while their inaction to alleviate their outgrown resources gives false hope while they await the inevitable. Cries for the wrong reasons are not heard.

  23. For background on how atolls are formed by rising seas and thus are in no danger from rising seas, you might enjoy my posts:

    Floating Islands 2010-01-27

    Much has been written of late regarding the impending projected demise of the world’s coral atoll islands due to CO2-caused sea level rise. Micronesia is suing the Czech Government over CO2 emissions that they claim are damaging their coral atolls via sea level rise. Tuvalu and the Maldives are also repeating…

    and

    The Irony, It Burns … 2010-06-03

    Anthony commented yesterday on the question of atolls and sea level rise here, and I had previously written on the subject in my post “Floating Islands“. However, Anthony referenced a paper which was incorrectly linked by New Scientist. So I thought I’d provide some more information on the actual study, entitled “The dynamic response of reef…

    For a discussion of Kiribati, see

    So Many People … So Little Rain 2012-03-10

    Well, I started a post on Kiribati, but when it was half written I found Andi Cockroft had beaten me to it with his post. His analysis was fine, but I had a different take on the events. President Tong of Kiribati says the good folk of the atolls are…

    For me, the underlying problem is that when atoll populations intersect with modern medicine, overpopulation is not far off. Now, in a resource-rich part of the globe this can be accommodated. See Hong Kong and Singapore as examples.

    But the atolls have nothing but alkaline coral sand. No inexpensive energy sources. No iron, or metal of any kind. No real topsoil. Extremely limited flora and fauna. Rainwater only for fresh water, and that rainwater in a fragile lens of fresh water floating on underlying sea water.

    Add to that the inevitable poverty of extremely isolated island folks with little chance to produce anything of value, much less of export value, and you can start to get a sense of the intractable nature of the problem. Bob Dylan said “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose”, but it’s also true that when you got nothing, you got nothing to use …

    I’m not saying that there are no solutions. I’m saying that it is a wicked problem, with lots of hidden pitfalls. For example, the people of the atolls used to use “toilet beaches”. They’d go down at low tide, do their business, and the incoming tide would wash it clean. Worked fine for thousands of years.

    Then the melanin-deficient folks came on their boats and they were horrified. They advised that people should dig pit latrines, as it was more hygienic.

    … Bear in mind that the entire water wealth of the atoll is stored in the lens of fresh water underneath the atoll.

    … and bear in mind that the island is composed of porous coral sand and rubble. Now think about pit latrines and rain and the water lens … like I said, hidden pitfalls.

    Finally, it is a mistake to think that the problem is lack of intelligence as someone claimed above. The dozens of i-Kiribati people I’ve known have generally been sharp, witty, insightful folks. They are not adverse to work, and many i-Kiribati guys work as seamen on ships around the globe. Much of the economy of Kiribati is made up of these repatriated funds.

    The problem is that there is just so little to work with—so little money, so little energy, so little arable land, so little water, so little anything … and so many, many people.

    Regards to all,

    w.

    • NGO to build some outhouses the float XYZ yards offshore?

      [Technically, the X-Y position will put the outhouses further off shore, but that Z change can only put them “up” shore. .mod]

  24. While acknowledging that New Zealand is offering these possibilities for potential migrants of Kiribati and whole-heartedly supporting it, it must not be forgotten in this discussion that information channels are nowhere near as luxurious as in our Westernised world.

    I have had a great many conversations about climate change with I-Kiribati – on Tarawa. I have heard about land that the Kiribati government has bought in Fiji, but never have I been told about these possibilities New Zealand is offering.

    Why not?
    Away from personal experiences. There are very few newspapers (currently 6, if I’m not mistaken). They are very short, published once a week, and reach very few people: some 800 issues printed for over 100’000 I-Kiribati living on 21 islands, but distributed only on Tarawa island. What do the people on the outer islands do? Mind you, they have no internet access or mobile phone coverage, except again on Tarawa and Kiritimati islands.
    People in Kiribati see climate changes with their own eyes. But they have very little access to information about respective debates and discussions on an international level. Also, even if they were to move, it is not just common knowledge that they need to go to ministries and other – foreign even if locally present – institutions (locally: they are ALL on Tarawa).
    Further on that thought, imagine how much it takes for someone to leave the ground their family and people have called their home for as far back as they can remember and as their stories go. To see that ground become polluted and swallowed by the sea. To leave from an island home and society to a Westernised world that is strikingly different – in numberless ways.

    It makes me quite sad that most of the very little the world knows about Kiribati is so mis- or under-informed, badly connotated, and sometimes, like here, atrociously presented. Set up a google alert for ‘Kiribati’. You won’t be flooded with emails and you will quickly see how some new publications present climate change as not at all the great threat that it is (or denied…!), while the rest are reports of new floods, broken roads, sea walls, buildings, polluted water wells, etc. – actual, real effects.

    I want to refrain from commenting on political views on [i]migration and on Mr Teitiota’s case. But I would like to encourage people to keep looking into climate change issues and of [e]migration motors in the Pacific. There are many good, informed and informative comments here, from people who invest a little bit of time into forming their argument and into informing others. The opposite is inexcusable:

    Calling climate change issues in Kiribati a “non issue” is simply wrong, stupid and dangerous.

    • Kain te namwakaina November 14, 2015 at 3:45 am

      It makes me quite sad that most of the very little the world knows about Kiribati is so mis- or under-informed, badly connotated, and sometimes, like here, atrociously presented. Set up a google alert for ‘Kiribati’. You won’t be flooded with emails and you will quickly see how some new publications present climate change as not at all the great threat that it is (or denied…!), while the rest are reports of new floods, broken roads, sea walls, buildings, polluted water wells, etc. – actual, real effects.

      Kain, I’m sorry but you seem totally uninformed about atolls. Atolls are FORMED by sea level rise, they are not threatened by sea level rise. Darwin discovered that a century and a half ago, but it appears that the information has not yet made it to Kiribati. See “Floating Islands” and “The Irony, It Burns” for a discussion of these issues.

      Kiribati does have real problems. However, they are not caused by climate change. Instead, they are caused by a combination of overpopulation, overfishing, pollution (of both fresh and salt water), and coral mining.

      Calling climate change issues in Kiribati a “non issue” is simply wrong, stupid and dangerous.

      Thinking that the very real and pressing problems in Kiribati are caused by climate change is what is “simply wrong, stupid, and dangerous”. By pointing at the wrong cause, claiming it’s the climate ensures that the true causes will not be remedied. See “So Many People … So Little Rain” for an investigation of more of these issues.

      My best to you,

      w.

      • Willis Eschenbach.

        Author of “Floating Islands”, “The Irony, It Burns”, and “So Many People … So Little Rain”.

        All posts on the internet.
        None peer-reviewed.
        All lack references that back up his argumentation.
        Yet all are used as counter-arguments in climate change discussions such as this.

        For more information, have a quick look at this:
        http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/10/who-is-willis-eschenbach.html

        There are literally thousands of other, scientific publications that meet the above criteria:
        Published in peer-reviewed, scientifically renowned books and journals, not just online.
        Have plenty of other sources they refer to and rely on.
        And the vast, overwhelming majority present very coherent picture of global and local climate change that contradicts greatly with what is spread by Willis Eschenbach.

        Mr Eschenbach, have you got any of these? Of this second type? That even remotely tackle climate change?

        You are absolutely right to feel addressed by my post when I talk about “wrong, stupid and dangerous” ways of talking about such issues. You are spreading misinformation. In what or whose interest I wonder?

        I have zero respect for you.

      • Kain te namwakaina says:

        I have zero respect for you.

        Willis Eschenbach is a published, peer reviewed author. All you have is your opinion.
        So I have zero respect for you.

      • Kain te namwakaina November 14, 2015 at 10:04 am

        Willis Eschenbach.

        Author of “Floating Islands”, “The Irony, It Burns”, and “So Many People … So Little Rain”.

        That would be me.

        All posts on the internet.
        None peer-reviewed.

        Ah, I see. You’ve fallen prey to the idea that what is important is not the truth, but who said it and where it was said. This allows you to denigrate my work without showing a single thing wrong with it.

        All lack references that back up his argumentation.

        My goodness, you just proved that you didn’t even read my posts. The first post cited says at the bottom:

        FURTHER REFERENCES:

        On global sea level rise levelling off: University of Colorado at Boulder Sea Level Change, http://sealevel.colorado.edu

        On Darwin’s discovery: Darwin, C., The Autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809-1882, 1887

        “No other work of mine was begun in so deductive a spirit as this; for the whole theory was thought out on the west coast of S. America before I had seen a true coral reef. I had therefore only to verify and extend my views by a careful examination of living reefs. But it should be observed that I had during the two previous years been incessantly attending to the effects on the shores of S. America of the intermittent elevation of the land, together with the denudation and deposition of sediment. This necessarily led me to reflect much on the effects of subsidence, and it was easy to replace in imagination the continued deposition of sediment by the upward growth of coral. To do this was to form my theory of the formation of barrier-reefs and atolls.” (Darwin, 1887, p. 98, 99)

        On the results of coral mining and changing the reef: Xue, C. (1996) Coastal Erosion And Management Of Amatuku Island, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu, 1996, South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), http://conf.sopac.org/virlib/TR/TR0234.pdf This atoll was cited by the Sierra Club as an example of the dangers of sea level rise. The truth is more prosaic.

        On the same topic: Xue, C., Malologa, F. (1995) Coastal sedimentation and coastal management of Fongafale, Funafuti, Tuvalu, SOPAC Technical Report 221

        More information on how parrotfish increase reef production: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/1051-0761(2006)016%5B0747:TIOEGS%5D2.0.CO%3B2

        On the cause of erosion in Tuvalu: Tuvalu Not Experiencing Increased Sea Level Rise, Willis Eschenbach, Energy & Environment, Volume 15, Number 3, 1 July 2004 , pp. 527-543, available here (Word doc).

        On expanding island beaches: Holmberg Technologies, http://www.erosion.com/

        In the second post, I cited the Sierra Club article that started it all, along with citing “The dynamic response of reef islands to sea level rise: evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the central pacific”, by Arthur Webb and Paul Kench. I linked to my 2004 journal paper on the subject (not a blog post, I note) along with the study of Amatuku atoll.

        In the third post, I cited the 1957 NAS report on Kiribati regarding the effects of drought on the islands.

        Meanwhile, you’ve provided references to … to … well, absolutely nothing. And despite showing up empty-handed you claim that my posts “lack references”? Say what? Someone is lacking references here, and it is not me.

        Yet all are used as counter-arguments in climate change discussions such as this.

        Indeed they have, and they should be. You haven’t found a single error in them, nor has anyone else.

        For more information, have a quick look at this:
        http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/10/who-is-willis-eschenbach.html

        Yes, I know that there is an entire cottage industry based on hating on me. Near as I can tell, Poptech, the guy you linked to, sits around and throws darts at my picture. He’s like you, all hat and no cattle. If you look around, you’ll find lots more of the same kind of ad hominem arguments. They attack my style, they attack my history, they attack my education and my accomplishments. In fact, they attack anything but my science … just like you are doing. Me, I don’t mind it when my work is discussed on all those sites—they are so foolish they don’t seem to notice that all their posts do is drive more traffic to read my work …

        There are literally thousands of other, scientific publications that meet the above criteria:
        Published in peer-reviewed, scientifically renowned books and journals, not just online.
        Have plenty of other sources they refer to and rely on.
        And the vast, overwhelming majority present very coherent picture of global and local climate change that contradicts greatly with what is spread by Willis Eschenbach.

        So many words … so few references. For a man who whines about my references, you are curiously short of them yourself. If you were to cite just one, we could have a clue what you are talking about. As it is, who knows what you are referring to?

        Mr Eschenbach, have you got any of these? Of this second type? That even remotely tackle climate change?

        Since you haven’t identified what you are bitching about, how on earth would I know if I have any of them? You’ve lost the plot entirely, asking me if I have some unidentified scientific study …

        You are absolutely right to feel addressed by my post when I talk about “wrong, stupid and dangerous” ways of talking about such issues. You are spreading misinformation. In what or whose interest I wonder?

        Seriously, are ad hominem attacks the limit of your repertoire? Look, if you are such an expert on the islands, SHOW US. You could start by quoting and identifying the errors you seem to think I’ve made, and we can discuss them. Because just waving your hands and saying I’m bad and wrong just reveals your immaturity. If you want to discuss the issues, I’m your man … but so far, all you’ve done is sling mud.

        I have zero respect for you.

        Take a number and stand in line. You are not the first anonymous internet popup who has been unable to attack my scientific claims and has ended up babbling inanities and making ad hominem attacks … nor will you be the last.

        Here’s the way science works. I put my scientific claims out there, along with the logic, data, math, references and code to back them up. People try to prove that those claims are incorrect. The part you seem to have missed is this:

        It’s not about me.

        It doesn’t matter who makes a scientific claim. It could be a genius, it could be a janitor. It could be a PhD, it could be a layman. None of that matters There is only one question worth asking—are my scientific claims valid? Not whether my education is valid. Not whether my credentials are impressive. Not whether the claims are peer-reviewed.

        The only issue that makes any difference is whether the claims are scientifically defensible, or whether they are falsifiable. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. Not your education or your credentials. Not my education or my credentials. Not whether the claims are peer-reviewed or where they were printed. The validity of the scientific claims is all that matters.

        The more you attack me instead of attacking my science, the stupider you look, and the lower your reputation falls. And since to date you’ve ignored my science and done nothing but attack me, I fear that your attempt to bite my ankles has only damaged you, not me.

        Be clear. If you want to point out what you think are errors in what I wrote, I’m happy to discuss any of them. That’s how science progresses, and like you and everyone else, I certainly could be wrong.

        So if you wish to disagree with my ideas, I’m your man. I’ve given a host of references, and I have plenty more, but to date you have none, and you could remedy that to give us something to discuss.

        But if you just want to continue to bad-mouth me without adding one iota of scientific value to the conversation, as you have done to date … well, that’s up to you. I’d advise against it, but hey, that’s just me.

        w.

      • Willis, it is not an ad hominem argument to make the factual statement that you are not a scientist and then support that with extensive evidence. The only thing I am driving traffic to is the truth.

      • Poptech,

        “Scientist” is a very vague term. It is nothing like “engineer”.

        I don’t like the ‘scientist’ label because some dictionaries define it as something like: ‘One who practices science’. By some definitions, anyone can be a scientist.

        I would much rather confine the definition to someone who has a degree in one of the hard sciences, or possessing an engineering degree, or someone who is a published, peer reviewed author.

        That’s just MHO. (And I know the tale of Sisyphus, and I know I won’t change the language.) But “scientist” implies being an ‘authority’, and sometimes they just aren’t — like Bill Nye, the Science Guy. ☺ Or Tyson the astronomer, pontificating on ‘climate’.

      • Poptech November 15, 2015 at 12:33 pm

        Willis, it is not an ad hominem argument to make the factual statement that you are not a scientist and then support that with extensive evidence. The only thing I am driving traffic to is the truth.

        Thanks, Poptech. It is an ad hominem argument when you attack me personally in lieu of attacking my scientific claims. And please note that not only have you done that, but Kain te namwakaina has used your page to do exactly the same thing, attack me instead of attacking my scientific claims.

        If you could find anything wrong with my science, I’m sure both you and Kain would talk about that. But since you can’t, instead you whine about trivia and futilely try to convince people that I’m not a scientist … during which time, the citation count for my peer-reviewed publications continues to rise …

        Regarding traffic, when you put up a page full of hatred like you’ve done, people who see it have to wonder “Who is this eeeevil mastermind Willis who is worth devoting an entire web page to”? Intrigued, they come to read my work. So you have my thanks. As they say in Hollywood, and as you and many others seem to have never realized,

        All publicity is good publicity.

        My regards to you, and thanks for all the folks you refer to my work,

        w.

      • Willis you seem confused, as my argument about your not being a scientist is not related to any other argument you are making thus it cannot be an “ad hominem”. The truth has set many people free as they falsely believed you were a credentialed scientist. Now when they search the Internet for who you are my page comes up right at the top as I promised your fanboys. https://www.google.com/search?q=%22willis+eschenbach%22

        You are quite welcome for the help in setting the record straight on who you are.

  25. Eschenbach 2004?
    Have you read any reactions to that paper?

    “A recent paper (Eschenbach, 2004), describing observational data from Funafuti Atoll,
    Tuvalu, argued that Tuvalu was not experiencing increased sea-level rise. However,
    this paper contained a number of inconsistencies and errors, some of which are
    identified and discussed in this note. There are seven primary areas of concern:
    €-a best estimate of sea-level rise that is biased low and with unrealistically low uncertainty,
    €-a misunderstanding concerning the meaning and use of asymptotic analysis,
    €-problems with the analysis of sea-level rise from surrounding locations,
    €-problems with the analysis of steric sea levels,
    €-a misunderstanding of the context of present sea-level rise within the late Holocene period (the last few thousand years),
    €-a simplistic view of the effects of sediment transport, and
    €-unsubstantiated and/or unreferenced claims concerning past and present temperatures and sea level.” (Hunter 2004)

    Go read some other people who have cited this paper. See a pattern?

    By the way, I know that Eschenbach responded two years later to that publication. But again, same spiel. Read up on the reactions (scientific responses, not blog posts and online supports).

    • €Kain te namwakaina,

      -a best estimate of sea-level rise that is biased low…

      What you’ve posted is a differnce of opinion. Nothing more.

      When Michael Mann was corrected for wrong information, he was forced to publish a Corrigendum in the journal Science. Willis has never done that. So all I see is a few chihuahuas impotently snapping at his pant leg.

      If you have something substantive, post it. So far, you’ve got nothin’.

      • Have you read the paper? Or any other scientifically >acclaimed< material?
        Have you read any of the stuff that was linked or in these posts? Eschenbach's or mine?

        The moment climate change becomes an opinion when there is overwhelming scientific consensus that it isn't…

      • €Kain te namwakaina says:

        Have you read the paper? Or any other scientifically >acclaimed< material? Have you read any of the stuff that was linked or in these posts? Eschenbach's or mine?

        Yes, I have. Why do you feel the need to deflect?

        Next: Tuvalu, the islands just SW of Kiribati, show no change in sea level:

        There is no ‘acceleration’ in global sea levels, no matter how much you want to believe it. Here is a good place to start learning the facts.

        You write:

        The moment climate change becomes an opinion when there is overwhelming scientific consensus that it isn’t…

        There could hardly be a more meaningless statement posted on this site. It could mean literally anything to anyone. As I said above:

        If you have something substantive, post it. So far, you’ve got nothin’.

  26. You are right. I have got nothing myself. All I can do is make references to people who do.

    Let me see. Oh here, found some 13’950 studies. Surely at least a couple of them provide some valid conclusions? Is that something? If not, I ask, in all honesty, what else is needed?
    That’s quite a bunch of researchers, at a rather large number of institutions. To question how scientific researching and publishing works and whether or not these processes are independent and neutral, that is all incredibly good and very much necessary. That is basically why we have a peer-review system. It is certainly not without flaws, and in many cases (very much so also in other disciplines…) I wonder how the heck it could come to a publication. I do admit that without a moment’s hesitation. But surely SOME of these 13’950 studies were still conducted in an independent, neutral, scientifically sound way, right?

    By the way: 13’950 vs 24.

    http://www.jamespowell.org/Original%20study/originaltsudy.html

    Have a look at it, please. Methodology, references, it’s all there.
    Read some of the referenced material too.

    This should probably be on the title page of this web space…

    • OMG
      Not this “rejects global warming” over again, please.

      You even managed to cite a moron who cites Oreskes. LOL

      Please stop humiliating yourself.

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