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.
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.
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.