Guam Threatened?

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

 

Guam_img_450The New York Times seems to be running short of environmental journalists.  Its latest salvo in the attempt to keep climate change at the forefront of American minds was written by Mike Ives.  “Who?”  you ask. Mike Ives,  a freelance (?) correspondent out of Hong Kong who “started out as a staff writer for Seven Days, an alternative weekly newspaper in Vermont” and has subsequently  written for The Economist, the AP, and the NY Times.  Ives’ piece appears on April 7 11 August, 2017 in the WORLD/Asia Pacific section and bears the title “North Korea Aside, Guam Faces Another Threat: Climate Change”.

The piece starts with the news:

“HONG KONG — The island of Guam made rare headlines this week when North Korea, responding to blustery language from President Trump, threatened to fire four ballistic missiles into waters near the American territory’s shores. Some Guam residents told reporters that they worried what might happen if North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, were actually to follow through.”

“Scientists in Guam, however, say they have at least one other major threat in mind: climate change.”

“We know that it’s serious,” said Austin J. Shelton III, a marine biologist and the executive director of the Center for Island Sustainability at the University of Guam. “Some of the impacts are here, and a lot more are coming.”

And what are these impacts that have already arrived?  And what are the problems that are coming?

That is not clear at all.  The NY Times doesn’t actually say, but it makes a lot of vague references to possible and potential, and rather universally potential,  problems.

Photo captions under images of Guam’s tourist hot spots, reef snorkeling and a marine park, tell us:

“Visitors to the Fish Eye Marine Park in Guam on Friday. Threats by North Korea against the Pacific island do not appear to have hurt tourism, but scientists are warning that the industry could be in greater peril from climate change.”

“One concern is how damage to coral reefs could affect a $1.4 billion tourism sector that accounts for 60 percent of Guam’s annual business revenue and nearly a third of its nonfederal employment.”

Our intrepid reporter, reporting from Hong Kong, explains:

“A 2007 study by the University of Guam Marine Laboratory estimated the economic value of Guam’s coral reefs to be $2 million per square kilometer, or 0.4 square mile, and nearly $15 million per square kilometer at a 2,153-foot area [sic] known for its diving and snorkeling sites. It said that reefs were valuable not only as tourist attractions, but also because they functioned as natural breakwaters that absorbed wave energy and protected against beach loss and coastal erosion.”

“The reefs already experience periodic bleaching, and they could become more vulnerable because many have been overfished and can no longer support enough of the algae that helps reef ecosystems recover from bleaching, said Peter Houk, a coral reef specialist at the marine laboratory.”

All coral reefs already experience periodic bleaching — there have been major bleaching events in Guam of shallow-water reefs and those reefs exposed to the air at low-tide, particularly during the recent El Nino.  However, the actual major threats to the reefs of Guam are excessive tourism and the unavoidable damages from too much- too close, human interaction with the reef environment, and the ubiquitous, ever-present, long-term damage from over-fishing by local fishermen, who have been forced to support not only the indigenous population estimated at 20,000 at the end of WWII but an additional 150,000 people, not counting the tourists….

“Guam welcomed 132,952 visitors in July 2017, an 8.1% increase when compared to the previous year. July 2017 surpassed the top record held in 1997 to become the best July in Guam’s tourism history.”

The NY Times goes on to wave its hands around saying:

“A 2012 study by the American Security Project, a research group in Washington, said that Guam’s military installations were among the five most vulnerable American ones worldwide to coastal erosion, extreme weather, rising sea levels and other projected climate change impacts.”

What the report really said was this:

“3. Guam:  The military installation on the island of Guam is one of the most strategically important US bases in the Western Pacific Ocean. Military presence on Guam allows the US access to China and the rest of East Asia by air and sea to the West and Hawaii and North America to the East.  It has a protected harbor and sufficient land for airports and military installations. It is also the largest of the Mariana Islands, an archipelago in Micronesia.

Because Guam is exposed in the open ocean, it is susceptible to extreme storms, sea-level rise and erosion. If the ocean rises significantly, U.S. strategic interests on the island of Guam will be at risk.”

Let’s just look at the idea of Guam being “at risk” to rising sea levels.  Guam is home to an American Naval Base — naval bases must needs be nominally at sea level — that’s where the ships sit, atop the sea at wharves and docks and at anchorages.  We have to assume that since this island is in the tropical Pacific, and in the path of hurricanes, that the Navy has built docks adequately above Mean High High Water and planned for hurricane storm surge (and if not,  at least they were warned by this report 5 years ago).

What about the rest of the island?

topo_map_Guam

Clicking should bring up the map in a zoom-able image.  This is a mountainous island, surrounded at almost all points by high cliffs and steep mountain slopes, barring the peninsula on the West that hosts the naval and air bases.   A second, more colorful map improves the picture:

topo_map_Guam2

Unless the seas rise more than more than 50 feet, only the current beaches would be affected.  Sea Level Rise is not an issue for Guam, the tourist industry will move slowly to higher ground as the beaches move inland, as always.   All ocean shore lines are at risk from erosion, but no more so today than at any other time.

I thought to include images from NOAA’a Sea Level Rise Viewer but pushing the sea level up six feet (its maximum) showed no appreciable effect.  Use the link to try it yourself…move the slider up to six feet and down to 1 foot or current MHHW (Mean High High Water).

So much for sea level rise and “coastal erosion”  — the sea can beat on those cliffs for a thousand years and go away unsatisfied.

If the storms come, and they will, of course, then there will be damage to the beaches and the tourist infrastructure as always — this is a tropical island.

There remains the threat of a Nuclear Attack initiated by the psychotic government of North Korea.

Possibly more likely than either the threat of nuclear annihilation or climate change doom  is a threat we are warned of in 2010:

“Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) is raising some eyebrows with a comment he made about the U.S. territory of Guam during a House Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday.

In a discussion regarding a planned military buildup on the Pacific island [which would have involved the addition of 8,000 more Marines to based on the island], Johnson expressed some concerns about the plans to Adm. Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific fleet.

“My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” Johnson said.

Admiral Willard paused and replied, “We don’t anticipate that.” “

 

The Bottom Line:

Guam is a smallish tropical island (210 square miles, 540 km2),  nominally occupied by the US Federal government,  whose economy depends almost entirely on the presence, and expansion, of US Military bases there.

A burgeoning tourist industry supplies 30% of the non-governmental employment and is focused on tropical-island tourist attractions — beaches, reefs, etc.

When the tourist business is on full swing, the island must support a total of nearly 300,000 people — up from the 20,000 natives on the island in 1945.

The major threats to Guam are its successes:  Development of and by the US Military Bases with their massive support requirements,   the tourist industry and the incumbent population increases which place enormous demands on the local environment.

As is true of all tropical islands, weather is a continuing concern and when weather acts up, such as major typhoons, it is always a threat.  The cure to this threat is to build-in societal and structural resilience.

Climate change is no more threat in Guam today than it has ever been.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment Policy:

Despite the rising evidence that there is something terribly wrong with the ever-changing/never-changing Climate Change Consensus (CO2/GHG driven global warming) hypothesis,  journalists around the world struggle to turn every story into a Climate Change story — apparently there is a still a strong market for any story that can find something to blame on the Climate Change boogeyman.  Even the threat of Nuclear War did not deter the NY Times which has an editorially enforced climate change narrative — in this story, the evidence for a major threat from Climate Change is entirely lacking (not even mentioned, really) and minor weather threats, always extant,  are grossly exaggerated.

Those of you who have visited Guam or served there in the military or other government service are invited to weigh in with your thoughts on climate change threats to Guam.

As always, I’ll try to answer any sensible questions — I don’t respond to Climate Warriors,  regardless of which side they are on.

# # # # #

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88 thoughts on “Guam Threatened?

      • The main threat Guam actually faces is North Korea. Kim is threatening to launch 4 missiles towards the island. Then there is this from the BBC

        On Friday, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency accused Washington of a “criminal attempt to impose nuclear disaster upon the Korean nation”.
        Pyongyang’s media outlet said America was making “desperate efforts” to test weapons in the Korean peninsula.
        The US is “the mastermind of nuclear threat, the heinous nuclear war fanatic”, the report said.

        Kim is indicating that President Trump is planning to test “weapons” in the Korean Peninsula.
        I would not put it past this particular little dictator to place one of his own Nukes on a ship and send it into the sea between Korea and China, set it off effectively nuking his own people then blame the USA for Nuking them.

      • I though evidence was given to a congressional committee saying it was a risk of tipping over if the military installed more bases !

        The fool saying this seemed quite serious.

        The dangers from climate are about the same the as those of Kim Young ‘un launching a pre-emptive attack or the island tipping over …. absolutely zero.

  1. The MSM has been bought to continue the Climate Change meme. It’s the same with politics, education, and health care. People are figuring out the fallacy though.

      • When I visited Guam a couple years back, I stayed on the beach on the west side of the island. Being from Idaho and generally unfamiliar with island geology, I tentatively jumped up and down a few times to see if I could get the island rocking. I didn’t notice any significant movement….. :):)

      • Every time this comes up, I am compelled to defend my Congressman, Hank Johnson. Although it is damning with faint praise, I stoutly maintain he is better than our previous Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Sometimes all your options are bad and you have to be grateful you ended up with the least worst one.

      • The man should be in Hollywood, if that was an acting job. He had me completely convinced that he was 100% concerned. On the other hand what was this guy doing sitting in a seat on such an important committee as defense spending and related military and strategic matters.

      • You can watch it for yourself – he was completely serious. Nobody ever told Hank Johnson that islands aren’t just big rafts that float around the ocean.

        Hank Johnson has less functional brain power than the average 5 year old, which probably makes him a perfect representative for his district, since that would put him at a median intelligence level there.

        [Please do not insult an average 5 year old by comparing him/her to Hank Johnson. .mod]

    • As his flat earth lays, Guam is really close to the edge. could tip over the brink any time now, just like runaway warming.

    • Hank is from Georgia.
      Have you ever heard of the Okefenokee Swamp?
      The swamp has floating islands.
      Maybe Hank can be excused for thinking other islands also float!
      Okay, maybe not.

      • The thing that is sad about Hank Johnson is he used to be a fairly competent lawyer in Atlanta’s real estate development arena. I understand he had been very ill before that meeting (the rumor was treatment for liver cancer – which could help explain the bizarre thinking as “chemo brain” is a real thing.) It is still one of the funniest ignorant comments ever made from a congressman in my memory though.

  2. However, the actual major threats to the reefs of Guam are excessive tourism and the unavoidable damages from too much- too close, human interaction with the reef environment, and the ubiquitous, ever-present, long-term damage from over-fishing by local fishermen

    Isn’t tourists’ sunscreen a cause of reef damage?

      • Well, of course we must invoke the precautionary principle and ban sunscreen, soap, etc., all over the world to preserve our reefs. Right?
        /s

      • I would imagine tourist beaches that get packed in tourism season, thousands of people in the water and all that sunscreen, though maybe transient in effect, doesn’t help, but I doubt, really doubt it is a major concern to corals.

        Truth be told, Guam’s corals and reef fish are sold en masse for the aquatic trade, you can get x amount for a fish on your plate, but you’ll get 100 bucks for a clown fish you snatched from the reef.
        The Reef aquarium trade is big bucks.

  3. I was born on Guam, at the naval hospital then a humble quonset hut. Dad was then a B29 weather command recon pilot off whst is now Anderson AFB.. We transferred to Japan so he could fly Korean war bombers in 1951. My personal .45 Colt ACP is from my ‘uncle Clyde Combs’, a close freind of Dads, who was shot down behind Korea enemy lines in 51 and fought his way out with that gov issued pistol. Now mine plus seversl thousand additional rounds.FWIW, my decades long shooting experience preferred seniauto pistols are (1) Colt .380 (9mm short) secret service weapon, and (2) Baretta model 96 in caliber SW40. Has double action trigger,plus a triple safey lock. From the gitgo, a police weapon..
    Those that did not serve have no idea.

    • ristvan ==> Population of Guam — less US military — was about 25,000-30,000 in 1950. Now, counting tourists, about ten times that.

      Do you have any recollection about local fishing practices from that time?

      • Yeah, sort of off the kitchen table later. Dad was also the 409th typhoon Chasers ExO. So he organized ditching maneuver practices in the Guam bay. How to get into a life rsft, mirror signsl a rescue aircraft, that sort of primative stuff. I know how to use a pinhole rescue mirror of that era.
        He had to position Marine sharpshooters around the practice perimeter land to shoot sharks eager to eat the AF practcees. Then would laugh and point out that if a hurricane hunter ditched near a hurricane, sharks wrre the least of your worries. But then he would laugh again, salute, and carry on. He is buried at Arlington with the only other (noncombat) military neck order. 21 gun salute, reversed horse caisson, the whole deal.
        At his time, just normal fishing was not a part od military considerations.

      • ristvan ==> “I know how to use a pinhole rescue mirror of that era.” eGads…could you teach me? I have tried and tried to master this (allegedly) simple tool for years….

        My question was about the locals fishing the reefs…..in the Caribbean, today’s native fishermen fish the same reefs in the same spots with essentially (see note) the same equipment that their great-grandfathers did — catching smaller and smaller fish each generation. (Today’s night fishermen use sealed-beam auto headlight s attached to 12 vdc car batteries instead of torches and lanterns …. and some dive using gasoline powered air pumps sending air down household water hoses which they just stick in their mouths.)

      • Kip,

        I was there in the late 90s. There are not many reef fishers in Guam. Most locals can’t swim – or couldn’t then. The preferred method of taking reef fish was to walk along the reef edge at low tide and scoop up anything that was trapped in the pools in the exposed coral surface. We would do search and rescue (usually body recovery) on 20 to 30 people per year who got washed off the reef by a rogue wave.

        The biggest reef problem was from people walking on the shallow water reefs at low tide and some of the idiot tourists not listening to their dive masters about proper reef viewing. Most tourists were not fully licensed divers and had basically gotten an hour long safety and equipment orientation briefing then taken out to the reef where they had no idea how to hover off the reef without touching it. Lots of broken coral in the shallows.

        We once tried to teach the local TV station videographers the full PADI open water certification and couldn’t get them to pass the 800 meter swim part. As soon as the water was too deep to touch bottom, they panicked and would have to be rescued. I don’t know if the station ever got the footage they wanted of the reefs for a documentary.

      • Owen ==> Thank you, just the kind of local insight I was hoping for. I am surprised that line and net fishing from boats wasn’t a part of the local fishing techniques.

        Tourist Dive training is the same all over the world — 20 minutes of talk, ten minutes of putting on the gear and in they go.

        I too suspect that the tourists cause great damage, but at least it is confined to a small area controlled by the tourist dive outfits.

    • Awesome story Rudd. History does matter.

      I still like my 30-S carry and the 10-22 takedown, but my fav is still the Judge and Circuit Judge. Versatility is a must in Florida wilderness.

  4. So, what did those reefs look like when CO2 WAS MUCH HIGHER, along with those sea levels?

    Pretty soon the alarmist’s will wear out every possible excuse in the book and have nothing.

    Queue up Billy Preston’s biggest hit.. Just sayin.

  5. Guam is not going to be hit by N Korea (China ) . This whole thing can be solved with great big bright red stickers stuck on everything China makes and sells in the USA . Is there any doubt the regime in N Korea is there at China’s pleasure . With relatively small trade between N Korea and China that is dwarfed by trade with the USA just stop buying China’s Wal mart type stuff until they fix the problem . You can’t blame China for wanting to have a buffer. Especially one that makes them look like Disneyland .
    Save the environment from a nuke war by simply not buying their high quality environmentally friendly
    plastic and other junk .

    • Save the environment from a nuke war by simply not buying their high quality environmentally friendly plastic and other junk .

      We enriched China and decimated our middle class by sending them our manufacturing.

      It’s another example of what happens when you listen to farsighted experts. In this case they told us that manufacturing was old economy and we should dump it and embrace the new knowledge economy. The result is that we’re not winning any more. link

      • Knowledge work is also being offshored, thanks to cheap engineers, sophisticated software and reliable internet in (parts of) the Asian regions!

    • “Guam is not going to be hit by N Korea (China ) .”

      No, I don’t think so, either. I not sure they will even fire missiles that land “near” Guam. Unless Kim Jung un is completely divorced from reality, he won’t take any offensive action against the U.S.

      China and Russia and accomodating American administrations are the cause of this crisis. North Korea couldn’t do anything it has done without this help. So now Trump has this very serious problem dropped in his lap, but Trump is not going to kick this can down the road, like everyone before him did, he is going to deal with it one way or another. And it *must* be dealt with.

      The U.S. cannot allow itself to be put at the mercy of a dictator who has no mercy. The U.S. must do what it takes to stop this threat even if that means war. War now will be very, very, costly, but putting this war off a few years will increase the cost an order of magnitude. Pay me now when it’s cheaper, or pay me later when it’s much most costly.

      As you watch this crisis unfold, you are being shown why the American Left is totally unfit to guide the defense of the United States. Their first reaction is to recoil in horror at any mention of the U.S. taking military action and they attack the President of the United States rather than the mad dictator of North Korea. This is the Appeaser Way and it is on display now.

      The American anti-war Left is more of a danger to U.S. goals than any foreign enemy. They lost us the Vietnam war, and the Iraq war, and they will lose this one too, if given the opportunity. They are losers. They don’t know how to win.

      What is so strange is the American Left is SO fierce when it comes to opposing their domestic opponents, up to, and including, physical violence, but they run like rabbits when it comes to confronting foreign dictators and tyrants. Amazing. If they were half as fierce with our foreign opponents, our enemies wouldn’t stand a chance against us. But alas, we have to fight on both the foriegn and domestic fronts in order to win our wars.

      The new fight has begun.

      • Well, it is safer to attack someone who is less likely to respond with physical violence, so that’s what they do. “Fierce and brave heroes”.

    • Amber,
      WRONG< WRONG< WRONG !
      Why destroy the lives of millions of hard working Chinese ?
      Simple solution
      With the technology available today just print billions of N/Korean bank notes fly them over, and make every N/K a millionaire,

  6. If man caused climate change were based on real, honest science a change in administration, a change in presidency, would make no difference.

    Head for cover all you CAGW cockroaches, it’s hammer time. Quit shredding the evidence and dust off your resumes. If you were adding value you can add it for someone else. The real science that has been maligned, marginalized and demonized for decades by the MSM is going to blowtorch its way through the CAGW house of cards.

    Fake science + fake problems + fake solutions + fake news = CAGW

    I’m tired of hearing wet behind the ears millennial sociologist/journalist progressives who know nothing about physics, chemistry, heat transfer, thermodynamics or how the earth heats and cools, who obviously get their science from the MSM propaganda machine and have happily downed the CAGW Kool-Aid, pontificate on global warming, greenhouse gases and the evils of modern mankind.

    Without CO2 there would be no life, what kind of “pollutant” is that, and without fossil fuels we would still be living in caves.

    Anthropogenic driven climate change is nothing but a faux science front for a socialistic world order agenda.

    http://writerbeat.com/articles/14306-Greenhouse—We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-

    http://writerbeat.com/articles/15582-To-be-33C-or-not-to-be-33C

  7. I’m pleased that the guy seems so sanguine about the relative danger to the coral reefs from the odd nuclear device here or there. Perhaps he has remembered that the US military gave some other Pacific reefs a terrific whack with hydrogen bombs over half a century ago, and they have bounced right back to good health.

    Surprisingly resilient.
    But then, environmental alarmists never fail to be surprised when disaster doesn’t happen, despite that being the fate of all their most dire predictions. Indeed, their continuing surprise might lead other people to suspect that these alarmist researchers are not all they’re cracked up to be. Maybe they are really just people who like snorkelling on tropical reefs first, and scientists second.

  8. 1978 I saw Guam pass by from the deck of the navy tender, USS Prairie AD-15. We were on westpac deployment to Subic Bay, Philippines, then Yokosuka, Japan. It took us nearly 4 weeks to make the passage from Hawaii to the Philippines due to numerous main shaft problems. When we weren’t dead in water (DIW) we were making only 3 – 6 knots on one slowly turning shaft. It seemed an eternity, but the south seas were beautiful. I think by the time we passed Guam most of the problem was fixed and we were making 10-12 knots. I remember really wanting to be on that island and not on this ship.

  9. I would speculate that the North Korean military naming Guam as a target
    for four missiles would be move of misdirection.

    I think it more likely they’d take a shot at some of the lesser bases we
    maintain in the Aleutian Islands.

    We have more radar and fewer anti-missile capabilities in that direction.

    • The North Koreans are not going to take a shot at anything American or at American allies, unless they are completely crazy.

      China just gave the go-ahead for the U.S. to attack North Korea IF North Korea attacks the U.S. first, so I think a North Korean first-strike is not going to happen.

      And in case you got your hopes up with China making that declaration, consider that they also said if the U.S. initiated hostilties, then China would come in on North Korea’s side. I’m a little skeptical that that would happen since China’s leaders also have an interest in remaining alive, but that’s not really the point because by saying this China is really saying that as long as North Korea does not make an offensive military attack against the U.S., that North Korea should be left alone by the U.S. to continue to develop its nuclear attack capabilities.

      That is not an acceptable position for the United States. Kim Jung Un must not be allowed to develop the ability to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Period.

      The U.S. has a LOT more nuclear weapons than does China, if it comes right down to it.

  10. Quote: The island of Guam made rare headlines this week when North Korea, responding to blustery language from President Trump, threatened to fire four ballistic missiles into waters near the American territory’s shores

    This looks backwards to me. What was it that the President is supposed to have said which directly led to North Korea identifying Guam as a target?

    • “This looks backwards to me.”

      It *is* backwards. This is how the anti-war Left always deals with international crisis: They attack the United States and try to blame the U.S. and the U.S. president for causing the problem.

      They do this I think, because they are very fearful of war to begin with, and they know they have no influence over the foreign dictator, so they concentrate their criticism on their own political leader in hopes of preventing any war. Their goal is not the security of the United States, it is not to go to war, whether justified or not. They want to think the U.S. president has complete control of the situation and it won’t get out of hand unless the president makes a mistake, so they focus on him.

      It’s like Hillary saying we should try to understand and empathize with our enemies. They actually think a mad dictator can be talked out of murdering people using reason.

      They’ve been talking and reasoning with the mad dictator of North Korea for decades and all it has done is put us in great danger. That’s all the anti-war Left’s talk ever does, put us in more danger by giving our enemies encouragement when they see the divisions in the country, and the timidity with which the Left approaches these issues. It keeps our enemies hanging on.

      The Left has NO clue when it comes to dealing with psychopathic dictators and tyrants. They want to reason with them. Because they don’t want to fight under any circumstances, which doesn’t leave them many options but to complain about the president and gear up their anti-war movement.

  11. Cuba does not use pesticides-

    Crown Jewel of Cuba’s Coral Reefs – The New York Times
    Jul 14, 2015 · Crown Jewel of Cuba’s Coral Reefs. … vibrant coral reef, largely untouched by bleaching.

  12. “and can no longer support enough of the algae that helps reef ecosystems recover from bleaching, said Peter Houk, a coral reef specialist”

    I seriously doubt if Houk is a “coral reef specialist”…….it’s not algae

  13. It is time to kick out all of the dictators and liberate the people from these authoritarian regimes.

    The human race has advanced enough that people should no longer be subject to complete-control of crazy monarchs.

    But mostly, technology has advanced so far now, that these dictators with a whole country’s resources at their disposal, can build weapons that can kill us all. Do we wait 20 years and let Kim Jong Un build 1,000 more advanced therm-nuclear weapons and ICBMs. What about biological weapons like viruses.

    This guy recently killed his half-brother by getting people to smear VX nerve agent on his face in a public airport in another country. This is one of the most dangerous chemicals that there is and yet, Kim Jong Un has 2,000 artillery shells full of the stuff aimed at Seoul right now.

    It is time to kick out the dictators if only for safety purposes let alone the humanitarian ones.

  14. If you fly into Guam you can see in an instant that there’s no fear of being swamped by sea level rise. The Northern end of the Island where Andersen AFB resides is a plain that pokes up out of the Pacific with high cliffs all around. It will be one of the last Pacific Islands to go under when the ice caps melt. Anyone who claims climate change is a bigger risk to Guam than a crackpot dictator threatening it with nukes is nuts.

    • John ==> Thanks for the from-the-airplane view — that’s what I see in the topo maps — an island much like the Atlantic Island of Madeira, which is part of Portugal, and makes the absolute best destination for a marvelous Christmas break holiday.

    • Geologically, Guam is the mating of two volcanic islands. The south end is a dome peak type that everyone thinks of when the word volcano is mentioned. The north end is a sheet extrusion that flowed into the southern island. Its lowest points are in the center where the two volcanoes flowed into one another, and even those are a good 50 – 100 feet above sea level. The north end ( where Andersen is) is about 500 feet up from the sea surface. The navy base has the usual sea level pier facilities, but everything else is 100+ feet up from there. There are some really nice hiking trails up the mountain peak on the south, but it is kind of rugged and undeveloped there – definitely carry lots of water on a kike.

      If someone offered me the right job, I’d go back for a few years in a heartbeat! Really enjoyed my time there.

      • Owen ==> Terrific first hand description. Not everyone can look at a topo map and see the landscape in their minds — so a been-there/done-that/loved-it personal report is just what we needed.

      • Smart Rock,

        Used to carry a gallon water jug in my backpack. On Guam you could get dehydrated in no time flat so the rule was sip a little all the time. When I took the kids along there would be two of those gallon jugs in the pack.

  15. “… the island must support a total of nearly 300,000 people — up from the 20,000 natives on the island in 1945.”
    Tell us what the total population load was from 1942 to 1945 with, first, the Japanese occupation, and then the American recapture of the island.

    • GP ==> According to the Wiki, there were about 20,000 natives on Guam, and at the time of its liberation from Japanese control by US troops in WWII, 18-19,000 Japanese soldiers. Up to ten percent of the native islanders died at the hands of the Japanese or from the fighting.

      By 1950, the total population was around 60,000.

  16. “Visitors to the Fish Eye Marine Park in Guam on Friday. Threats by North Korea against the Pacific island do not appear to have hurt tourism, but scientists are warning that the industry could be in greater peril from climate change.”

    Shouldn’t scientists worried about climate change welcome a reduction in tourism? After all, almost all tourists to Guam fly there and back home aboard carbon belching aircraft. Isn’t wanting more tourism contrary to wanting to save the planet?

    • “Threats by North Korea against the Pacific island do not appear to have hurt tourism,”

      Trump said tourism on Guam would increase in the future. :)

  17. I have visited Guam many times since I got married there in 1985 also a few times preceding that event. My wife has many relatives who still live on the island. I served in the military there as well. We go back about once every other year. Guam is in desperate need of climate change Its too darn hot there most of the time. I’d like to see a 10 degree F drop in temperature. Day and night. Not too sure what that would mean for the rest of the world, but for Guam it would make it more like Santa Barbara and that would be a nice change. Short of that a suppression of typhoons and super typhoons in the Western Pacific would be an improvement. Guam building codes currently require metal reinforced concrete for all buildings. Also eliminating all earthquake over 6.0 would be acceptable change too. Moving it a bit closer to Hawaii would be nice as well. Currently it takes a jet powered aircraft about 8 hours flying time to get to Guam from Honolulu/Hickam that is an indecent amount of time to be strapped in a narrow seat. Who needs all that water in between. So if we are going to get to change something this is my wish list.

    • Have to agree with Mike. Guam is a beautiful tropical paradise but it is a long time to sit on an airplane.

      Our first trip to China was a 19 hour non stop flight in the last row. After that I told my boss that he had to approve voucher in time to make the trip less of a test to find a sanity breaking point.

      Our last trip from China started with a leg to Guam in first class.

      My wife is always trying to take a cruise to some tropical paradise. Been there, done that, got to sink a ship with a cruise missile.

  18. The instant I read Guam was in danger from Climate Change I laughed. The author obviously never looked at a sea level picture of Guam. A sea level rise to significantly affect Guam would have the whole state of Florida under water. It ain’t going to happen!

    • “Climate models APPEAR not to predict temperature change that well.”

      Nomination for understatement of the year award. Nice, George!

  19. Sea level rise will have limited effects on Navy subs operating out of Guam. The base at Guam hosts a squadron of attack subs with their sub tenders. The subs operate underwater and the sub tenders can operate anywhere where they have enough draft to clear the sea bottom. http://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2017/08/11/kitsap-submarines-operate-out-guam-base/557423001/

    As I was passing through Philadelphia Airport this morning a well-dressed man and woman in their 50’s looked in the news stand to see what newspapers they had. The woman remarked as she passed by me, “they only have the New York Times which is no better than the National Enquirer.”

  20. I am sure they are concerned, but they only have police forces themselves. While the US military sits there with massive attack and defensive weaponry effectively providing a shield to the locals and the US bases there. The local political leader has already thanked President Trump in real time public phone call. What more do you expect ?

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