Tuesday, 7 November 2006

What 'everybody knows' about Tuvalu

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died... - Leonard Cohen

What else does everybody know?

Well, we all know sea levels are rising, don't we. We know that sea level rises are going to sink Tuvalu with ten years, don't we. We know that 'climate refugees' from Tuvalu are going to flood New Zealand, don't we. We all know it. The BBC knows it. Oxfam knows it. Australian politicians all know it. Pacific Islands leaders know it (and they want compensation). Nick Smith, Gordon Copeland and David Parker know it (scroll down to Q. 5). Helen Clark knows it. Al Gore knows it. And Al Gore's movie-goers all know it.

Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows it, so it must be true, mustn't it? Well, guess what. In fact, don't guess, have a look at that graph below, based on data from National Tidal Facility, Adelaide, who confirm that "there has been no significant rise in sea level in Tuvalu over the past 22 years."

As John Daly reported a few years back,
The reported `plight' of the Tuvaluans is not about sea level rise at all - it's about over-population. With such a high population density, the fresh water table on the atolls is subject to rapid depletion, especially in dry years. In addition, the development which would follow from such a high density will bring the inevitable coastal erosion, a problem which the Tuvalu government falsely blames on climate change and sea level rise. Tide gauge data from all around the South Pacific shows the same pattern as the one at Funafuti - no sea level rise. It is, and always was, a bogus claim, with few in the outside world bothering to check the accuracy of the claim.

Dr Vincent Gray & Michael Field update the fairy tale here [pdf]. Compensation? In their dreams.

LINKS: Lyrics: 'Everybody Knows' - Leonard Cohen
Tuvalu cons the Kiwis - John Daly (Oct, 2001)
Don't boo-hoo for Tuvalu - Patrick Michael, Cato
The truth about Tuvalu - Dr Vincent Gray, Climate Science Coalition [5-page PDF]

Politics, Global Warming, Science,


  1. Here's another classic media cock up with respect to 'global warming'.

    Los Angeles Times, Sunday, June 25, 2006 an Article entitled "Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away" The subtitle said, "The massive glaciers are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws entirely, sea level would rise 21 feet." It is true that sea levels would rise a lot if all the ice melted. However, what the article does not tell you is that overall, ice on Greenland is accumulating - not melting. The December, 2005 Journal of Glaciology article indicates thawing along the coasts in the amount of –42 Gt a–1, although the increase inland of +53 Gt a–1 more than makes up for that loss. So, overall, ice is actually accumulating on Greenland at +11 Gt a–1 and not contributing to the global sea level rise at all!

  2. Indeed, P-Style, Greenland IS gaining ice overall, which is not consistent with global warming. They also get it wrong about Antartica, which is also gaining overall. Some of the peninshulas may be falling away, but overall, it is gaining ice.

    Besides, while NZ summers seems hotter and drier like global warming claims, our winters seem colder and wetter, whci is contradictory to global warming. Also our snow is lasting latter into spring every year. That is NOT consistent with global warming at all.

    What we have is that globally the temperature is in flux, but that is just part of the natural flow of the climate, not man induced.


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