Million Dollar Point Vanuatu. Millions of dollars of US military surplus - tractors, trucks, boats - were sunk in the waters off Million Dollar Point, under the terms of an agreement between the US Government and private US companies, which forbade the resale of items provided at a steep discount to the WW2 military effort.

Climate Victimhood Comes to “Corruption House Number One”?

Essay by Eric Worrall

I have fond memories of visiting Vanuatu in 2019. My tour guides in Luganville gave me a free lift back into town, refused my offer of lunch or a beer, and pointed out the best steak house in town. People dressed in rags waved and smiled, and didn’t bother me. There were no aggressive panhandlers. But even paradise has its problems.

‘Teaching our children from books, not the sea’: how climate change is eroding human rights in Vanuatu

Published: November 8, 2022 10.59am AEDT

Karen E McNamara Associate Professor, The University of Queensland
Rachel Clissold Researcher, The University of Queensland
Ross Westoby Research Fellow, Griffith University

There’s a lot at stake over the next fortnight as nations gather at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt. But the stakes are perhaps highest for the Pacific islands and their people.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year said global warming above 1.5℃ would be “catastrophic” for Pacific island nations. Sea-level rise could lead to the loss of entire Pacific countries this century.

Such damage is a fundamental threat to the human rights of Pacific populations who, as one research paper reminds us, are not merely “victims” of climate change, but “real people with dignity and dreams for the future”.

We have been conducting research for the Vanuatu government into how climate change is affecting the human rights of the nation’s highly exposed population. We’ve heard stories of loss and resilience from those whose lives and traditions are being ripped apart by this global catastrophe.

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Spot the problem? Every Vanuatu person I spoke to hate their politicians, they practically spat when they talked about them.

People from Luganville to Port Villa called their parliament “Corruption House Number One”. “Corruption House Number Two” was their name for the huge but mostly empty Chinese loan funded Vanuatu National Convention Centre, the construction and maintenance costs for which had all but bankrupted the country – so much so that Vanuatu had been forced to cede some of their top tourist attractions to Chinese creditors, who put gates and ticket sellers on paths which had formerly been free.

I’m not saying Vanuatuans aren’t interested in money. Vanuatuans are no socialists – they believe in making an honest dollar. But the kind hearted people I met mingled their joy in life with their business activities. The people I met would rather the path be free, but provide drinks along the way.

Those tour guides who directed me to the best steak house in town did me a big favour. The steak I ate was excellent, one of the best I’ve ever eaten, cooked to absolute perfection – and only cost $6. The other customers in the restaurant were mostly Australian civil servants from their conversation.

I don’t know if the Vanuatu government is as corrupt as everyone told me. But I certainly believe Vanuatu’s politicians have messed up the nation’s finances, by taking out huge loans from China which Vanuatu is struggling to repay. They admitted in 2019 they can’t afford to maintain that huge expensive convention centre.

We took doxycycline the whole time we were in Vanuatu, and for several weeks afterwards. My Aussie doctor advised another thing the Vanuatuan government has messed up is Malaria control.

The government hasn’t messed up everything in Vanuatu. The streets are safe for Westerners to walk. Crime rates are comparable to Australia – a remarkable fact, given how poor people are, but completely believable once you meet some of the laid back locals.

In my opinion, the last thing the people of Vanuatu needs is for those politicians to become more powerful, for truckloads of climate cash to be parachuted into the hands of politicians who have already proven to be so incompetent when it comes to money.

Update (EW): Added a picture of the best restaurant in Luganville. I felt completely safe the whole time I was in Vanuatu, even though I was carrying an expensive camera in plain sight.

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Stephen Wilde
November 8, 2022 7:04 pm

Is there any actual evidence of significant climate change induced problems in Vanuatu?
Last I heard was that those islands were actually growing.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 8, 2022 7:52 pm

Coral atolls generally accrete at a sufficient rate to stay constantly at or near sea level as Darwin pointed out years ago. In Vanuatu and other islands local sea level may be changed from the global eustatic sea level by
1) Tectonic motion – rise or fall
2) Accretion by deposition of sediments,
Does Vanuatu have either of these mechanisms

November 8, 2022 7:06 pm

Eric, I’m sure most of the academics and other hangers-on who are crying crocodile tears over the imminent demise of the island of Vanuatu have never personally set foot there.

Just like frontline war correspondents have more credibility with the public to inform us of situations than studio based “experts” do.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 8, 2022 8:15 pm

Spent my youth in Darwin in the 50s and 60s before it blew away and Marston matting sections were popular fences as I recall-
Gun emplacements at East Point and leftover military infrastructure were kiddy heaven long before helicopter parenting and mobile phone umbilical cords.

Reply to  observa
November 8, 2022 8:30 pm

PS: Before the West lost its mojo and began believing in the Department of Perfect Outcomes that Eisenhower warned about-
The irony is it’s the very productivity of fossil fuel energy that has permitted so many stinkers in residence not least in our Sandstones.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 8, 2022 10:03 pm

Here is a story about Darwin, but I do not mean to take away your emphasis on Vanuatu.
I have not been to Darwin for 20 years, but before that I used to fly there for many years after my first visit in 1960. In about 1985-1993 I flew there almost montly as Pres or V.P. of the NT Chamber of Mines & Energy.
There is a B52 aircraft in a Museum in Darwin that I have never seen there. Our company had an office at the 5-mile adjacent to the airstripn not far from where the Museum is now, so we used to see the B52s and KC135 stratotankers take off for sorties to Guam and Antarctica and other places not mentioned much. (After he rode on ahead, I discovered that one of our employees moonlighted for the CIA and was a passenger on some of these boring, uncomfortable B52 flights.)
That B52 in the museum had a problem in the planning. It had to be taken from the airstrip to the museum, some 700 metres overland. To do that, it was best to empty the fuel tanks. The then enterprising Minister for Mines did a deal with the USAF that caused to B52 to be refuelled just before it was prepared for road transport. The jet fuel was sent to the Darwin refinery, turned into auto fuel and sold routinely, netting the NT government a nice return. I was told the other side of the deal, but I can’t remember it. There was a way of visitors trading with the natives under rules that can differ from expected, as in Vanuatu.. Geoff S.

Peta of Newark
November 9, 2022 12:34 am

Quote:”Climate Victimhood Comes
Have you not noticed? ##

Everybody these days is ‘a victim’Everybody has something wrong in their livesEverybody wants more more moreEverybody has woeEverybody wants compensation for these real and imagined woes
everybody is chronically depressedeverybody wants someone else to do all the workeverybody wants to return to the womb
OK, why is that?
Because everybody is a zombie, everybody has effectively died
(You know why)
Because everybody now eats sugar

Because in turn, there is now nothing else to eat.
It was predicted to happen

## Exactly what zombies do = ‘not notice things’ – even the blindingly obvious.

edit to PS
Why were/are the islanders so happy, cheerful, affable and ‘laid back’?
Strangely and rather bizarrely, exactly because hey live on the flanks of a volcano.
What makes them the way they are is thus in their food, in the water the drinks and bathe in and even blowing in the wind.
= all the tiny little micro nutrients that are lacking from the diet of zombies

True scientists and enquiring minds should be learning from that but no, what do The Zombies do:
Destroy it all because ‘They simply don’t notice’

Old England
November 9, 2022 2:39 am

Best help would be to provide the money to pay off the Chinese loan

November 9, 2022 3:31 am

It’s a win, win situation. Just now they can sue on the basis that climate change is ruining their future. Then when the sky doesn’t fall in and their future turns out to be no worse than things are at present, they can sue for the psychological harm of being conned. They could, for example, sue the schools for indoctrinating them in a false warning about the future.
By the way, to register I was given a series of photos and I had to identify those with a crosswalk. Not WUWT’s responsibility, no doubt, but there are no such things as ‘crosswalks’ in the UK. I’d never come across the term before so I had to guess what a ‘crosswalk’ is. Not very user-friendly.

Reply to  CampsieFellow
November 9, 2022 4:25 am

We moved from Baton Rouge to Bangor Maine. My oldest was about 6 y/o and had a speech problem. When he enrolled in Bangor he was given a speech test – they showed him a picture and he identified it. He was shown a mitten and had no idea what it was and apparently called it something that wasn’t correct.

November 9, 2022 6:07 am

Anyone who has read “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton (2004) will know it was one of the first documents to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy on climate change. His introduction chronicles the plans by Vanutu to sue the USA’s EPA because of the impact of fossil fuels and the resulting sea level rise.
The attempt failed and they withdrew the suit.
Crichton was in my experience the first person to draw attention to the Urban Heat Island effect – contrasting temperatures in New York City with the state capital Albany.
My paperback edition runs to over 700 pages but it’s well worth reading. It sold some 13 million copies, to the disgust of some climate alarmists I know who find it difficult to get their views accepted…Ever heard of “2071”?

Reply to  drkenpollock
November 9, 2022 12:33 pm

I’ve been hearing of UHI since at least the 1980’s.

Reply to  drkenpollock
November 9, 2022 4:05 pm

The 1981 book “The Urban Climate” by Helmus Landsberg goes chapter & verse into UHI.

but Hey!! — almost 200 years ago – “The Climate of London” book by Luke Howard — described the London UHI

John the Econ
November 9, 2022 9:56 am

Progressivism requires the proletariat to be victims of something. What what kind of something can be better than an imaginary one?

November 9, 2022 12:01 pm

Best thing I remember about Vanuatu was a) the people and b) the kava. Puts Fijian kava to shame. In Fiji they dry it and pound it, but in Vanuatu they pound it green, and it’s about ten times as strong.

Great country, and since it’s almost all volcanic islands rather than coral atolls, it’s in no danger from sea level rise.

Of course, coral atolls are in no danger either, but you sure won’t read that in the major media.

Thanks for a great post as always, Eric.


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