Another Importance of Small Islands in Global Warming Alarmism

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Sea level rise and threats to small Pacific islands are back in the news, like the recent concern about five Pacific islands. Part of the alarmist strategy is that as the global warming claim loses traction, they resurrect stories that were successful in the past. Climate alarmists got a lot of media coverage and emotional reaction from small island stories such as the Maldives and Tuvalu. A 2009 story titled “Rising sea levels threaten small Pacific island nations” is typical,

The ocean could swallow Tuvalu whole, making it the first country to be wiped off the map by global warming.

The article identifies the level of speculative alarmism.

“Entire Pacific islands disappearing from inundation is indeed dramatic,” said Asterio Takesy, director of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, an intergovernmental organization based in Apia, Samoa. “But a complete loss of livelihoods from decreased fisheries, damaged coral reefs, tourism affected by dengue epidemics, and agriculture destroyed because of changing rain patterns – surely these are just as worthy of our attention.”

There is always a story within the story. It rarely gets told, yet adds an entirely different perspective and explanation for seemingly unconnected facts or actions.

An example of such a story that explains so much was the challenge facing the mutineers on HMS Bounty in 1789. They needed an island with a water supply that wasn’t used by the British Navy. Pitcairn had water but was, and remains today, very difficult to approach. The mutineers knew the Navy would not go there for water, so they ran the ship on the rocks. They then burned it because it was visible, thus leaving themselves marooned with all the psychological ramifications that entails and are evidenced by the sad events that followed.

Drowning small islands were always central to the global warming story. Ask people what is wrong with global warming. Most can’t answer, but after some thought, those who do will say sea level rise. It is why Al Gore made it a central part of his movie with computer generated animations of drowning US coastal cities.

Small Pacific islands were good candidates to elaborate on the sea level rise alarmism. They are idyllic and escapist locations in most people’s minds. Some of them had already experienced the impositions of colonialism and imperialism by France and the US as laboratories for exploding nuclear devices.

Alarmists choose issues and areas of concern carefully. The melting Arctic ice was chosen for alarmist values because it was remote and unknown. For most the Arctic Ocean is a thin line across the top of a Mercator projection map. They chose the Pacific islands because people have a very distinctive positive mental image. Emotionalism and exploitation went to bizarre extremes when President Nasheed of the Maldives and his 13-member Cabinet were photographed in scuba gear in 2009 holding an underwater cabinet meeting (Figure 1). They were signing documents calling on all other countries to reduce carbon emissions.

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Figure 1: President Nasheed and Cabinet releasing CO2 bubbles of excitement.

All this went on despite extensive evidence that the islands were not being inundated by rising seas. An WUWT article was bluntly titled Message to Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed: your claims are BS.” Indeed, some of the most detailed and extensive research on any Pacific Island was carried out on the Maldives by world renowned expert Nils-Axel Morner. He produced a sea level change chart for the Maldives using empirical data (Figure 2 with original caption). It showed how much the sea level varies and how often it was higher than today over the last 4000 years. It was almost as problematic for the alarmist claims of sea levels being the highest ever as the existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was for their claim that current temperatures are the warmest ever. The response by alarmists didn’t reach the level of activity by production of the ‘hockey stick.’ However, it did receive considerable attention from the alarmists, such as an attack from the webpage Skepticalscience.

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Figure 2

Maurice Strong knew better than anyone the unseen value of the Maldives and all other small nations. Everything Strong did exploited his knowledge and experience with bureaucracies. Neil Hrab explains,

“How has Strong promoted concepts like sustainable development to consume the world’s attention? Mainly by using his prodigious skills as a networker. Over a lifetime of mixing private sector career success with stints in government and international groups, Strong has honed his networking abilities to perfection.”

Richard Lindzen recognized the importance of small nations to the political and bureaucratic plan when he wrote in 2001.

IPCC’s emphasis, however, isn’t on getting qualified scientists, but on getting representatives from over 100 countries, said Lindzen. The truth is only a handful of countries do quality climate research. Most of the so-called experts served merely to pad the numbers.

 

It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.

Strong knew the opportunities to exploit small nations were inherent in the structure of the United Nations. Typical of the entire global warming deception is that anything and everything is expendable, and principles are irrelevant as the end justified the means. Global warming alarmists including Strong want a one-world government. Elaine Dewar, the author of the Cloak of Green, concluded, after spending several days with Strong at the UN,

Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the Global Governance Agenda.

The UN was created from nation-states under a philosophy first enunciated by the Treaty of Versailles and incorporated into the League of Nations, the forerunner to the UN. It held that every nation that is a distinct cultural group was entitled to a state. It triggered a proliferation of nation-states. There were 51 nations on founding day of the UN in October 1945, today there are 193. The structure was made unworkable and undemocratic from the start because each state has one vote. Obviously, the old powers could not allow a vote based on the population of each nation.

The net result is that the cumulative support of small nations became critical in approving actions within the General Assembly. There are 13 UN member nations with populations less than 100,000 people. Tuvalu, with major media stories about the threat of sea level rise due to warming, has a population of 9,876 people with a UN vote equal to the 1.4 billion people in China or the 1.3 billion in India. The 13 UN member nations with populations under 100,000 represent a total of 617,228 people or one vote for 47,479 people. The top 13 nations on the UN population list represents a total of 4,510,141,301 people or one vote for 346,933,946 people, which is approximately the population of the US.

Why waste time and money trying to support the global warming agenda with the big nations when it is so much cheaper and easier to convince these smaller nations? Their leaders will always vote for receiving what amounts to minuscule amounts of money from the Kyoto Protocol and latterly the Green Climate Fund. In other words, all politicians are vulnerable to bribes, but the small ones with limited income opportunities, are more vulnerable. Cynical politicians and operatives, like Strong, supporting climate alarmism are well aware of the opportunities. The small island member nations of the UN offered much with the “paradise is drowning” public relations campaign. However, they are the story within the story because each could provide voting power equal to all the large, powerful nations.

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59 thoughts on “Another Importance of Small Islands in Global Warming Alarmism

  1. Typo in the title

    [And so should it become: Another un-Important Problem with Small Islands and Global Warming Alarmism” ?
    Or, ‘The Importance of Small Islands and Small Countries in Feeding Global Warming Alarmism”? .mod]

  2. Not only will they take the climate shakedown money, small countries will also indulge in grand hypocrisy. Take the Maldives, for example.

    The international protests were triggered by the intentions of President Abdulla Yameen to develop fossil fuels in the archipelago which is a fragile ecosystem of inestimable ecological value. The German research vessel “Sonne” conducted preliminary 3D seismic surveys in Maldivian waters already back in August 2014, discovering hydrocarbon source rock 100 nautical miles east of the region around the Laamu and the Thaa Atolls. Further seismic exploration and test drillings are to follow.

    About one week ago, a local journalist inquired as to what the President thought of the international protests. Yameen’s spokesperson replied that the President welcomes all constructive criticism, but that the oil exploration will go ahead as planned, as it has been an election campaign pledge by the ruling party.

    https://www.oceancare.org/en/news/?144/Noise-in-the-underwater-paradise-Maldives-OceanCare-warns-against-threatening-consequences

  3. Some years ago the printed Daily Telegraph had a report about yet another island doomed by rising seas.
    It included a photo of the coastline and the caption said something like: “This island will be swallowed by rising seas within decades”.
    .
    Just a small problem: the photo showed cliffs and steeply rising terrain. A quick check on Google Earth showed most of the island was hundreds of meters above sea level. What utter nonsense.
    Ironically, the island is far higher above sea level than the offices of the Telegraph.
    .
    These idiots claim that climate change can do just about anything – provided it’s bad. But there is one magical capability of climate change that is beyond dispute: it can drive large numbers of people mad.
    Chris

    • Chris Wrigt — good example against the false propoganda on sea level rise and wipe out of an island. Other member should tell such stories.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  4. It’s pretty hilarious really, that as this nonsense plays out in the media, concerns are also being expressed about the fact that the Chinese have constructed a number of sizeable NEW islands in the South China Sea.
    Hopefully, some readers of the news will casually note that the two stories are incompatible.
    If the South China Sea has experienced some of the highest rates of sea level rise, as claimed – and yet a few dredgers and some excavators can raise a vast new permanent island complete with airstrip and military base high and dry above the waves.
    Surely, even in the minds of the most ill-informed observers this should ring alarm bells.
    All this time spent waffling about island loss and displaced populations.
    And whilst we were waiting – islands have emerged and have been populated by personnel who were shipped in from mainland China.
    This trend has got to be stopped. I don’t know how many islands the world can take.
    “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,
    They paved over coral reef and put up a parking lot.”
    World’s oceans threatened by alarming island rise.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/30/world/asia/what-china-has-been-building-in-the-south-china-sea-2016.html?_r=0

  5. “Indeed, some of the most detailed and extensive research on any Pacific Island was carried out on the Maldives by world renowned expert Nils-Axel Morner”

    The Maldives are Indian Ocean islands

    • President Obama said they were in the Atlantic near Argentina, who I am going to believe, you or the President of the United States.

      • Walter – he’s too busy saving the world to remember the difference between the Maldives and the Malvinas (Falklands, that is).

  6. Good piece Dr B.

    This whole drowning Islands nonsense exists only in alarmist dreams, if challenged in the open it would be destroyed.

    Now if only we can get someone on TV or in MSM to openly challenge these clowns and show them to be lying.

    Still, WUWT is viewed by a serious amount of people, the truth makes it’s way out there and surfaces eventually

  7. Even NATGeo, one of the worst mouthpieces for spouting junk science, says the Maldives story is probably not true at all

    • Is that why that eco nut went into their offices with a gun? The most under reported terrorism event in history

  8. Another example of a nation endangered by sea level rise that is trotted out by the alarmists on a regular basis is Bangladesh. I had to explain to a friend recently how that nation is where it is, because of sea level and not despite it.

    • That story appeared in Portland’s free paper:

      http://portlandtribune.com/sl/307848-185832-portland-school-board-bans-climate-change-denying-materials

      The top comment in the Disqus “best” category–
      “I have never seen a case for homeschooling more clearly put forward. This is further proof that public schools are not interested in education, only political indoctrination.”
      –got 749 up votes before commenting was shut down.

      Two of the board members are eco-activists, and one sells Climatastrophist scripture that removes any uncertainty from the school district’s alarmist indoctrination.

      • This made my blood boil. OK, it’s a ‘foundation tier’ paper for the less able/willing pupls, and there is a ‘higher tier’ paper for the more able/willing. Nonetheless, it’s stuffed with questions that demand answers that aren’t anything to do with chemistry, and everything to do with the ‘digging stuff up is bad’ meme.
        No wonder the UK is trouble if this is what they teach in schools.
        There are still both chemistry and proper science in the paper (e.g. question 5) , it just would be better if they dropped the junk, like question 2 (b) and most of question 4, which is really just a ‘learn the script: fossil fuels bad, bio-fuels good’ trainer.
        I feel a stiffly worded letter coming on.

    • France in Canada
      Consulate General of France in Vancouver, Dec.1, 2014

      ‘Road to the COP21 Paris, 2015’. Held in seven cities in the Canada and the U.S.

      Conference participants Vancouver, B.C.:

      Corinne Lepage, “CAP 21” France
      Andrew Weaver
      Tom Pedersen
      Mark Jaccard
      Bob McDonald
      David Suzuki

      An old article. Google: “Le succes de FACTS a l’horizon de la COP21-Consulat Gene …” and use translation.

      No direct link to this article.

  9. I tried to think of one negative impact on my life if the U.N. disappeared tomorrow… couldn’t come up with one.

    • I have also tried to think of one negative impact on my life if 90% of all bureaucrats and 75% of politicians disappeared. Can’t come up with any either. Just mass improvements.

    • Their own government website details erosion since the early 1900s.

      They obviously played along for UN money

  10. Thanks for pointing this out Dr Ball
    “The UN was created from nation-states under a philosophy first enunciated by the Treaty of Versailles and incorporated into the League of Nations, the forerunner to the UN. It held that every nation that is a distinct cultural group was entitled to a state. It triggered a proliferation of nation-states. There were 51 nations on founding day of the UN in October 1945, today there are 193. The structure was made unworkable and undemocratic from the start because each state has one vote. Obviously, the old powers could not allow a vote based on the population of each nation.

    The net result is that the cumulative support of small nations became critical in approving actions within the General Assembly. There are 13 UN member nations with populations less than 100,000 people. Tuvalu, with major media stories about the threat of sea level rise due to warming, has a population of 9,876 people with a UN vote equal to the 1.4 billion people in China or the 1.3 billion in India. The 13 UN member nations with populations under 100,000 represent a total of 617,228 people or one vote for 47,479 people. The top 13 nations on the UN population list represents a total of 4,510,141,301 people or one vote for 346,933,946 people, which is approximately the population of the US.”

    An angle that never occurred to me, a very relevant one.

  11. The structure was made unworkable and undemocratic from the start because each state has one vote.

    And:

    There are 13 UN member nations with populations less than 100,000 people. Tuvalu, with major media stories about the threat of sea level rise due to warming, has a population of 9,876 people with a UN vote equal to the 1.4 billion people in China or the 1.3 billion in India.

    A dictatorship doesn’t represent the people, they only represent the small minority in power. How many nations are dictatorships and how large are the groups in power in these dictatorships? I suspect if you didn’t count the people who were not allowed to participate politically that the majority of votes in the UN would represent a very small percentage of the worlds population. By logical extension, a large percentage of the worlds population likely has no representation in the UN.

  12. I’ve studied the Bounty mutiny (and had a great deal of contact with descendants) and the issue of the sinking of the ship is contentious. It has been suggested that the Bounty was burned accidentally- two of the mutineers were boozers and immediately took to brewing grog as well as imbibing from ship’s stocks. It’s not difficult to set a wooden ship alight given light sources were lanterns and candles. A vessel like the Bounty would be a valuable resource for what were in effect castaways, and given that the island wasn’t visited by the British for years after the mutineers took up residence (with two sailors deserting and staying to live with the Bounty descendants) suggestions that the ship was destroyed to avoid detection don’t stack up. One of the boozer mutineers walked off a cliff while drunk. When Pitcairn was rediscovered there was only one mutineer left alive (Adams), the others had died from accidents, disease (asthma in the case of Young) and fighting over women- the mutineers had first revisited Tahiti to collect food and women, plus taking some young Tahitian men, presumably as slaves, for whom there were no women

  13. Tuvalu islands, according to Nui island lore, were made when spirits from over the horizon came swimming along & were all resting in a circular formation. Afterwards the leader had them go down to the bed of the sea to build up stones, sand & mud into piles higher than the waves. When the spirits swam off & rested again they repeated that tactic to another place a few times.

  14. Sea level rise and threats to small Pacific islands are back in the news, like the recent concern about five Pacific islands. Part of the alarmist strategy is that as the global warming claim loses traction, they resurrect stories that were successful in the past.

    This is some extensive strategy, involving the removal of 5 islands in the Solomon Islands.

    And forcing the relocation of villages to higher points on others.

    Ask people what is wrong with global warming. Most can’t answer, but after some thought, those who do will say sea level rise.

    It must depend where you are unless you’re guessing and are mistaken.

    In Australia the most commonly named impact is drought and water shortage, which is the most attributable impact that we have been seeing here. I imagine in California you would get a similar most common response for the same reason.

    The second most commonly named impact is extreme heat.

    Only the third is flooding and sea level rise.

    Alarmists choose issues and areas of concern carefully.

    This was a paper about the Solomon Islands, funded in part by the Solomon Islands to understand how they need to adapt. That is why the Solomon Islands feature.

    The catastrophe is striking harder in Bangladesh, but they haven’t got the support to get any research about it.

    I think the suggestion that the scientists have access to a similar level of sophistication of PR techniques as the “skeptics” is merely wishful thinking.

    All this went on despite extensive evidence that the islands were not being inundated by rising seas.

    We might need a fact check on that too. Tide guages in the Maldives show sea level rising:
    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/1707.php

    As does scholarly literature:

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/umgd/2002/00000025/f0020001/art00011

    And this is confirmed:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818105000780

    Why waste time and money trying to support the global warming agenda with the big nations when it is so much cheaper and easier to convince these smaller nations?

    Because where there is fossil fuel production and use is where the greatest global benefits come from for a change in policy. Saudi Arabia, USA, China have been the most recalcitrant in terms of responding to climate change, for obvious enough reasons. But they are still the most important to have understand the science and what it says about impacts and adaptation to the current climate change.

  15. Seth says:

    …where there is fossil fuel production and use is where the greatest global benefits come from for a change in policy.

    Why change policy? Fossil fuel provides clean, cheap energy, and beneficial CO2. The alternatives do exactly the opposite.

    And:

    Saudi Arabia, USA, China have been the most recalcitrant in terms of responding to climate change…

    “Recalcitrant”? To the extent the “climate change” scare is ignored, the citizens of those countries benefit. The do-gooder eco-contingent should butt out, because they have no skin in the game.

    Next:

    But they are still the most important to have understand the science and what it says about impacts and adaptation to the current climate change.

    Aside from that making little sense (unless we guess at the meaning), my response is that the ones who fail to understand “the science” are the climate alarmist crowd. There is no need for any “adaptation”, because no global damage has ever been identified as a result of human CO2 emissions. And the “current climate change” is completely natural.

    Finally, you can’t credibly cherry-pick just one tide gauge (your first link). There are lots of tide gauges. Their average may be a good measurement. But selecting just one out of this list is meaningless:

    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining

    And contradicting your other links, sea levels have not been accelerating:

    • Fossil fuel provides clean, cheap energy, and beneficial CO2.

      You do know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

      And that climate change is increasing flooding and droughts?
      And putting extinction pressure on ecosystems?
      And causing about 150,000 excess deaths per year?

      And you know that CO2 makes carbonic acid when it dissolves in water?
      And that ocean acidification is putting pressure on many calcifying species?

      Because if so, you’re using this word “beneficial” incorrectly.

      • Seth says:

        You do know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

        And that climate change is increasing flooding and droughts?
        And putting extinction pressure on ecosystems?
        And causing about 150,000 excess deaths per year?

        I don’t “know” that, and you don’t “know” that either.

        And: “150,000 excess deaths”? Who died from “climate change”? Name them.

        Also, show that “climate change” is not completely natural. Not with your opinion, but with credible, verifiable facts.

        Next, you have no understanding of the immense, almost infinite buffering capacity of the oceans:

        There are no verifiable measurements showing that ocean pH is changing. Anything to the contrary is just a baseless assertion.

        Finally, I am using ‘beneficial’ correctly. The rise in CO2 is causing a measurable greening of the earth. Explain how that is not beneficial.

        There is no verified downside to the rise in CO2, which geologically right at the low end of airborne concentrations:

    • And contradicting your other links, sea levels have not been accelerating:

      You’ve plotted the year y vs the mean [y-1992] year rate of sea level rise, and are claiming that it doesn’t show an acceleration, because the longer averaging periods show a lower rate?

      That’s subject to serious confounding. The error at the left of the graph is much greater than the error of the right of the graph. Without those errors plotted, your claim that this shows a decrease in rate is unproven.

      But it’s also a seriously counterintuitive way to look at the data.

      Should I assume that you’re doing it that way because all the obvious ways to display the data don’t support your argument?

      That’s called cherry picking. Why don’t you look at the sea level over time and see if it seems to be increasing more now than 50 or 100 years ago?

      You get this:

      That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

  16. “Typical of the entire global warming deception is that anything and everything is expendable, and principles are irrelevant as the end justified the means. Global warming alarmists including Strong want a one-world government.”

    I come regularly to this blog because of it’s excellent coverage of the science and your courageous skepticism in the face of virulent opposition. However, when you veer away from the science to speculate on the politics behind it, I cringe. It does not help the cause of climate skepticism to indulge in the sort of paranoia exhibited in the above, completely unwarranted accusation. It just plays into the hands of alarmists who accuse skeptics of being motivated by ideology rather than science. There is more than enough science to back up your skepticism of AGW, you need not indulge in what looks very much like crackpot theories and unsubstantiated accusations.

  17. Looks like little Singapore is growing bigger despite the sea level rises

  18. Its all about the sand or lack of it.. The global building boom (concrete) requires a unimaginable amount of sand.. So much so that its being REMOVED from the ocean floor around these islands.. Beaches are disappearing.. it is man made.. But its not climate change..

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