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Kiribati sinking “like Titanic” but 59 million times slower

Kiribati, with a natural resource base of almost nothing, makes 15% of its nominal GDP, via donations from the Australian government. Periodically Mr Anote Tong, president of Kiribati,visits Australia to remind us how much they need help money.

Creatively, this year, Mr Tong is comparing Kiribati’s future to the sinking of the Titanic.

Give the man points for theatrix:

“We are the people who will be swimming,” he said.   “The question will be — will those people on the lifeboats bother to pull us in or push us away because we would be too problematic?”

Kiribati’s highest point is 13m above water, and is sinking at a rate of 1mm a year (see the updated graph below by Eyes On Browne). To rephrase Euan Mearns, at this rate, complete inundation of it will take 13,000 years.

The Titanic’s elevation (waterline to the deck) was 18m, so it was 50% higher, yet it sank in 2 hours 40 minutes. That’s one ninth of a day, or one 3,285th of a year. Conservatively, the comparative speed works out to be 42.7 million times faster. Allowing for the higher elevation (but discounting funnels and/or palms) that would be 59.1 million times faster.

 

For some reason the ABC was unable to do an internet search on the words “Kiribati, Tide Gauges, Sea Level”.  With a billion dollars to spend, apparently they can only afford a one way internet cable. Just enough to upload news stories like this which are essentially a repeat of a press release, unchecked from President Tong:

Kiribati…is already suffering from the effects of climate change.

Rising sea levels are causing land to be engulfed by tidal waters, driving people away from their homes and leaving them displaced.

“What I have seen in my lifetime over the years has been villages, communities, who have had to leave … because it is no longer viable,” he said.

“The sea is there and there is nothing. Everything has been taken away so they have had to relocate.”

No matter how melodramatic the claim, there are no hard questions from journalist Sarah Hancock.

Good luck to Mr Tong. He is just playing the cards he is offered.

Pity the ABC though. I wouldn’t want to be them when Australians realize that they are paying for an internet rerouting service from socialist troughers, freeloading gravy hunters and pagan czars.

 BACKGROUND on Sea Levels

According to 1000 tide gauges, globally, sea levels are rising slowly at around 1mm a year. The rise started long before human CO2 output increased, and there is no sign of acceleration with rapidly increasing human emissions of CO2. Careful analysis of 60 beaches in Northern Europe to find one of the most stable gauges in the world agrees.  The Topex/Poseidon satellite sea-level data set also showed similar rates until they were adjusted up to fit climate models (or one sinking gauge in Hong Kong). Likewise the Envisat sea-level satellite data was also adjusted up. Vincent Gray graphed sea level around many South Pacific Islands. There is no CO2 induced disaster.

h/t David B

REFERENCES

PSMLS: Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project [Bureau of Meteorology]

Michael Beenstock, Daniel Felsenstein,*Eyal Frank & Yaniv Reingewertz, (2014)  Tide gauge location and the measurement of global sea level rise,  Environmental and Ecological Statistics, May 2014

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Kiribati sinking "like Titanic" but 59 million times slower, 9.6 out of 10 based on 70 ratings

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89 comments to Kiribati sinking “like Titanic” but 59 million times slower

  • #
    Cpt Seahawks

    The trouble with the pesky molluscs,as tasty as they are, is that they keep dying and creating white beach sand.

    200

    • #
      GreatAuntJanet

      Apropos of molluscs, the online UK Telegraph has a most alarming article about shellfish and worm farts giving rise to yet more global warming. Something must be done: marinara anyone?

      40

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    When did Kiribati sail into an iceberg?

    Somebody had to ask that question, It goes with the melodrama.

    But, all things considered, if I were a rich American tourist, would I go to Hawaii, to spend my vacation dollars, or would I go to a sinking island in the Pacific, before it disappears? Difficult choice.

    I guess I would go to the sinking island, so I could tell my grand-kiddies all about it. So, been there and done that, and no need for any of my extended family to return.

    Mr Tong needs to take a course in strategic marketing.

    212

    • #
      Yonniestone

      True Rereke he could’ve been more creative by saying “climate change dead ahead!” or “We’re like Jack slipping into the depths from the hand of Rose” oh the tragedy.

      Next Al Gore will be comparing himself to the Hindenberg “I’m a great vessel travelling countries carrying a dangerous but not so noble cargo waiting to be attacked by climate Na$i’s.”

      Oh the humanity!

      93

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      He could have said “The island is beginning to tip over, we have spread the population out over the island, but this is only a temporary measure.”

      I know of one politician who would have believed him.

      161

    • #
      clive hoskin

      Yes but you will have to hurry.You”Only”have 13,000 years to get there?

      110

      • #
        sophocles

        It’s probably going to be a bit sooner than that.

        With all the air liners landing at the two Kiribati International Airports at, I’m assuming a Boeing 747 100, c. 150,000kg (plane plus remaining fuel) and c.50,000 kg of passengers, luggage and freight or about 200,000 kgs (200 tonnes), hammering each island into the sea.
        Down. They’re big hammers.

        Maybe we need to run a sweepstake for when they go subsurface …

        We know it’s neither Climate Change nor Climate Variability. SLR from both those is negligible. So if Kirbati doesn’t want to sink, they’ll just have to limit the size and weight of the tourist “hammers,”—737s at two per day, perhaps?

        80

  • #

    Given the massive floods that have occurred around the world recently and the death and destruction, how many people have actually suffered in Kiribati this year or even the last 50 years from this sinking feeling they have?

    But when it comes to the ABC, nothing really matters but maintaining the faith.

    292

    • #
      Glen Michel

      I recall the ABC – simple as , had a fact check unit some time ago. Trouble was they tended to quote from tendentious sources to re-enforce their collective mindset. They are a law unto themselves,I’m afraid and do not serve the wider population one bit.

      162

      • #
        King Geo

        With regard to Oz’s ABC and the USA MSM outlets CNN & NBC, they all display obvious political agendas (pro Democrat in the case of CNN & NBC & pro ALP/Green in the case of the ABC). The main issue with Oz’s ABC is that they are fully govt funded – there should be guidelines in place to stop this obvious political bias favoring “leftie ALP & Green doctrine”. Like CNN & NBC the Oz’s ABC engage in “fake news” for political expediency – Trump tweets about this obvious “political bias” in the USA on a regular basis whereas Turnbull in Oz says SFA and wonders why the Coalition keep getting killed in the polls.

        132

      • #

        More Doomsday from the ABC for credulous listeners.
        You’d wait till kingdom Come for some genuine investigation
        from that ABC coterie of Paul-Ehrlichean fortune tellers.

        Here’s some real research about those floating islands
        created by rising seas and damaged when overpopulation
        depletes fresh water and coral.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/floating-islands/

        51

  • #
    Manfred

    Well thank God we’re talking about a film set and not a real disaster, except possibly the titanic iceberg of MSM enhanced political choreography and its ideologically wilful attempt at the destruction of prosperous and free societies.
    In reality, well let’s rephrase that, at least as reported by ABC, 3 Jun 2010 Pacific islands growing, not sinking

    Islands in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, largely due to coral debris, land reclamation and sediment.

    The findings, published in the magazine New Scientist, were gathered by comparing changes to 27 Pacific islands over the last 20 to 60 years using historical aerial photos and satellite images.

    Auckland University’s Associate Professor Paul Kench, a member of the team of scientists, says the results challenge the view that Pacific islands are sinking due to rising sea levels associated with climate change.

    “Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, gotten larger,” he said.

    Naomi Thirobaux, from Kiribati, has studied the shape of Pacific islands for her PhD and says no-one should be lulled into thinking erosion and inundation is not taking its toll and displacing people from their land.

    Mr Tong could consider expanding his theatrics and call for a full blown underwater conference to be conducted with the Government of the Maldives, who had their first underwater cabinet meeting way back in 2009. It may yet not be too late to get aboard the gravy boat before the greatest ideological scam in human history finally collapses.

    220

    • #
      Dennis

      I recall somebody representing the island on television news a few years ago after a cyclone swept through the area, he was interviewed by a journalist standing alongside a beach and there were palm trees lying on the ground. Storm surge was evident which the islander claimed was the evidence of climate change and rising sea.

      131

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      OK, so the Auckland University finds that the islands are tending to getting larger and not shrinking. The research that Naomi Thirobaux did for her PhD, indicates that the shape of the islands is constantly changing, which in turn impacts on land use, and indeed the notion of who uses which piece of land. But the sum total is that sea levels are not rising, relative to the islands.

      Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along.

      171

      • #
        joseph

        . . . but . . . .

        ‘Naomi Thirobaux, from Kiribati, has studied the shape of Pacific islands for her PhD and says no-one should be lulled into thinking erosion and inundation is not taking its toll and displacing people from their land.’

        40

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          There is no “but”. There is no inconsistency.

          Naomi Thirobaux has made the mistake of only looking at one facet of the situation, the shape of Pacific islands, and focussed on that, for her thesis. But overall, Kiribati, and other islands are rising, or static, relative to the mean sea level, as the Auckland University research shows. The shape of an island may change, due to storm or tidal surge activity, whilst still retaining the same overall land area, or perhaps gaining some.

          It happened all the time with rivers, in Europe (prior to the EU). One day, a paddock could be on the western side of a river, and then next day, the paddock was on an island between two branches of the same river, and on the day after that, it could be on the eastern side of the river. It got really interesting when the river denoted the border between two countries.

          122

          • #
            joseph

            I wasn’t thinking of it so much as being an inconsistency. More, as it being the paragraph the ABC could quote in their effort to maintain the anxiety, but I’m glad it prompted your well thought out, and beautifully expressed reply which did clarify.

            40

        • #
          Manfred

          Indeed, the effects of land usage would appear to affect and influence the viability of the islands to continue to ‘grow’ in a manner that adapts to putative changes in MSL.
          But this is far too academic for the low wattage propaganda meisters over at Truth Central isn’t it? Icebergs and colliding Titanic’s are more sensational. But there’s an elephant in the room isn’t there?Are we all ignoring that?

          In 2009 (Auckland study, see #4 above) the Kiribati population was 100,568. For 2018 it is given as 118,414 an apparent growth of 17,846 in 8 – 9 years. Therein it seems, lies the problem.

          Well, the British Government created a relatively ‘successful’ precedent for moving entire populations quietly elsewhere. Any takers Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany?

          50

      • #
        Hasbeen

        I built fringing jetties on a number of atolls & some high islands in PNG & the Solomons back in the 70s.

        Not much wind & sea to worry about most of the time above 10 degrees, so these were grafted into the fringing reef where the coral flat was narrow, with a steep drop off, rather than in a particularly sheltered area. They are all in the lagoons, so reasonably sheltered anyway.

        I recently checked some of these jetties out by Google earth.

        I was not all that surprised to find some of the islands had moved in the last 40 years. In one instance the island has retreated away from the jetty, which is now 10 metres or so offshore.

        In 2 other cases the island’s movement has engulfed the jetty. One has coral flat & sand all round it, but the other is about 7 metres inland, the island has moved that far.

        I would have liked to see more, but unfortunately Google Earth’s resolution in much of these remote areas is not high enough to detect anything.

        60

  • #
    Hold My Beer

    Could Australia perhaps see fit to donate a desalination plant or two? I don’t know why, but it seems like a good idea.

    160

  • #
    Ken Stewart

    Sea level at Kiribati changes year to year depending on ENSO- during El Nino equatorial westerly wind bursts strengthen, forcing water into the lagoon and raising the seal level. In La Nina, the westerlies fade and trade winds strengthen, and sea level falls.

    201

    • #

      Thanks Ken. I would also be interested if you, or anybody else, can supply information about the source of fresh water on Kiribati. Is it from surface collection – rainwater – or is it by drilling into a sub-surface aquifer?
      If it is by the latter, then this will most likely be a contributing factor to any land subsidence.
      There is a famous photo of dramatic land subsidence of 5 metres or more in the USA due to water extraction for agriculture. The entire terrain in the area of the depleted aquifer has dropped much more than the maximum height of Kiribati.
      I truly have no idea where the fresh water comes from on Kiribati but I have often wondered about the source. Can you – or can anyone – shed some light on this subject?

      112

      • #
        gnome

        Yes they pump groundwater but what mechanism would cause a coral atoll to sink as groundwater is pumped out?
        It isn’t like pumping water out of a clayey shale which swells and shrinks with wetting and drying.

        50

      • #
        Phil R

        Don’t know specifically, but fresh water is generally supplied by rain (no duh). The rain would percolate down through the sand/sediment and sit
        on the saltier water as a fresh water lens. It’s the typical hydrology of the the barrier islands or eastern shore along the east coast of Virginia. Overpumping would tend to reduce the amount of fresh water and allow salt water intrusion (bad, very bad), but the fresh water lens is probably shallow enough and there’s probably not enough in the long run that if they over-develop their resource that it would result in significant land subsidence. Again, not an expert on Pacific islands, but I would surmise that most of their fresh water supply (just like fuel and most everything else) is shipped in.

        80

    • #
      Albert

      True, the sealevel rises up to 600mm in Indonesia and then collapses to equal sealevel in Peru, In the mid Pacific with these systems sealevel rises up to 300mm and it’s filmed by greenies as proof of permanent sealevel rise but they never show the fall in sealevel as it wouldn’t support their claim for compensation from Australia

      120

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Underneath the islands in question are the tips of very old volcanoes .
        As for the greenies,tides and SLR I hope they don’t go to Derby in WA .

        10

  • #
    Another Ian

    “hutzpahticular | October 13, 2017 3:41 PM | Reply

    NASA confirms that sea levels are FALLING:

    https://www.iceagenow.info/nasa-confirms-sea-levels-falling-across-planet/

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2017/10/reader-tips-3988.html#comments

    111

    • #
      Dennis

      Coastal Greens often observe the sea rising in the morning as they walk to their favourite cafe and when they walk back the waves are definitely further up the beach.

      80

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        They must be putting exotic substances in the coffee. Caffeine has been known to have psychedelic side effects when consumed in bulk … Hmm?

        51

      • #
        David

        Coastal Greens are an increasing natural pest in many areas which had been relatively sane in years past.

        Perhaps someone should introduce them to the concept of tidal rise and fall. I found that in one port if I anchored at low tide in 20 metres of water several hours later I was in 23 metres and sometimes with the wind in the right direction even deeper. Must be global warming to blame notwithstanding all the notes regarding tidal variations on very old charts pre-dating our destruction of earths climate – just ask Al Gore.

        41

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      NASA confirms sea levels falling across planet

      Where is the missing sea falling to? I ask. Is there a hole in the space-time continuum?

      Or has NASA discovered the root causes of the phenomena known as “evaporation” and “rain”?

      101

    • #
      sophocles

      Heh. That’s going to upset at least one of our “pet” trolls. Harry Twinotter was all over the blog in his inimitable way, alleging/claiming that “global sea level rate of rise” was at the ridiculous rate of “ 3.4mm per year” with an attached link to a NASA page somewhere. Was it only a couple of weeks ago?

      He has every right to shoot himself in the foot. He does it so well, taking them both off with a single shot. Must have had a lot of practice.

      Can’t say I’m surprised at all, with the rate Greenland is adding to its ice, and Antarctica is also really packing it away. With the cooling of the last Northern Hemisphere winter and all the early snow and frost they’re having up there now, then to have the “Global Sea Level Rise,” Rate thereof, go negative shouldn’t be any surprise at all. Except to some.

      We really must be going into a cooler time.

      Rereke asked:

      Where is the missing sea falling to?

      … wherever it goes when it falls over the edge of the world, mate. Ask our trolls, they’ll know, fine Flat Earthers that they are. :-)

      62

  • #
    Peter C

    In 2007 Kiribati wanted to talk to the Australian Government about population relocation.
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/pm-rejects-tuvalu-on-sea-level/2007/02/19/1171733684706.html

    I thought at the time that it might make sense to make Kiribati a territory of Australia. It would have cost us some money in terms of providing services to the islands but the potential wealth, particularly the 200 mile exclusive economic zone around each of the 33 islands could have significant value

    80

    • #
      King Geo

      Kiribati and all those other are pinnacle reefs are growing on volcanic sea mounts/ridges. Geologically the only way SL will drown these atolls is if SL rise is sufficiently rapid that the corals can’t keep up, ie the atoll drowns – this is simply impossible given that eustatic SL rise since the last LIA has been ~ 2/3 mm/yr. And no sign of an acceleration in eustatic SL rise during recent time. Watch what happens when the next Ice Age returns (it will happen – these Pleistocene Interglacials don’t extend much beyond 10,000 yrs – the current Holocene Interglacial has been in place for ~ 11,700yrs). God help us if the next Ice age arrives soon – if so atolls like Kiribati will back-step as SL rapidly falls, ie Kiribiti will become larger in area – but not that much larger – you see the ocean surrounding these volcanic sea mounts/ridges is quite deep. On the bright side during the next Ice Age Aussies will be able to walking or drive 150km from Cape York to PNG, assuming that SL falls ~ 130m like the last Ice Age. The problem will be where will the powers that be draw the boundary?

      21

  • #
    Ruairi

    Alarmists advance their careers,
    By spreading false sea-rising fears,
    When the threat to a coast,
    From sea-rising, the most,
    Is a meter in one thousand years.

    100

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Kiribati sinking “like Titanic” but 59 million times slower”

    Turns watching grass grow into a real live performance. Even allowing for the odd drought

    130

    • #
      el gordo

      With global cooling approaching we should give some thought to the AD 1300 Event in the Pacific, sea level fell 70-80-centimeter quite quickly and caused massive disruption.

      70

  • #
    robert rosicka

    I watched the interview and listened to it on radio and the ex president of Kiribati was a very shrewd dude , at no stage did he outright blame climate change he used words like ” the scientists are telling us this will happen” etc etc .
    When asked about the land they’d bought on Fiji and if they were going to use that as climate refugees he protested the wording of climate refugee and said he wanted them to be able to move with dignity.
    Not sure what his angle was , he was letting others level the SLR accusations , sounded like it was just send munnay and lots of it .

    102

    • #
      el gordo

      The Australian monies flowing toward the island nations is strategic and not related to SLR, which is just a hoax to prevent Beijing making inroads.

      Peter Dutton’s quip in 2015 when the islanders were late for a meeting: “Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re about to have water lapping at your door”.

      The Kiribatians were offended and Dutton forced to apologise.

      30

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Could not find a the story on destructive reef mining during WW2 but found this interesting story instead .

    “But researchers who study Kiribati say that the situation is not a simple story of rising seas swallowing low-lying islands. In fact, some coastal experts dispute the idea that Kiribati will soon sink beneath the waves like a modern Atlantis. They have gathered evidence that many of these islands have been gaining ground in recent decades by capturing sediments from surrounding coral reefs. “It’s just plain wrong to assume that all atolls are washing away,” says Arthur Webb, a coastal geomorphologist affiliated with the University of Wollongong in Australia who has spent two decades living and working in the Pacific Islands. “It’s also wrong to sugar-coat the sobering facts that rising sea levels will ultimately seal the fate of low-lying islands and their limited soils and groundwater. The confusion isn’t surprising. It’s just more complicated than many expect.”

    Even if Kiribati does not drown in the near future, its residents may soon need an exit strategy. Poverty, overcrowding and poor sanitation are galloping ahead of rising seas to deplete the islands’ resources, especially their supply of clean fresh water. And residents’ habits of altering the shoreline and removing coastal protections can magnify the impacts of the swelling oceans, leaving villages more exposed to flooding.”

    52

  • #
    robert rosicka

    And adding to that ,extensive phosphate mining has contributed to not only lowering the height of the island it’s had a severe impact on ground water .

    51

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      On one island – Banaba – from which most of the population was evacuated by the British during WW2, and most of those remaining by the Japanese. Mining finished in 1979. Most of the descendents of the Banabans live on a island in Fiji (Rabi or Rambi).
      The island is no where near the seat of government of Kiribati.

      40

  • #

    Golly. Sea levels creep up very slightly during a warmer phase of an interglacial. And we thought they’d tap dance on a bar stool while whistling Dixie.

    Never mind. Australia will be there with programs like “The Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Country Plan for Kiribati”. (Remember when aid programs had short names like “Pacific Pathways”? I miss those old days when things were so much simpler.)

    Anyway, cricket season will soon be here and I will have to work out how to turn on the billion dollar ABC again. Hope the spiders haven’t been nesting on the radio dial.

    71

  • #
    TdeF

    The temperature is going up, at least in the ‘Australian’ and I am sure Pat will cover it all. Peter Van Onselen on why Abbott’s friends hate him, Bjorn Lomberg full page from Copenhagen on how no one can make a difference anyway and it is all a complete waste of money and more.

    What I find odd is that Bjorn and others tacitly accept that a steady increase in CO2 is all our fault. They know CO2 is very soluble, at least if they like beer or lemonade. They know the planet is 75% covered in water. They should know that 98% of all CO2 is dissolved in the ocean. They know that fish breathe air and breathe out CO2.

    However they are prepared to believe without thinking that CO2 stays in the atmosphere forever. Or in the water for that matter.

    This is the premise which is behind everything, from sinking islands to Hurriance Irma was ‘Climate Change’, as Lomberg also believes.

    CO2 is also making Kiribati sink rapidly. Not a real scientist or any evidence to be seen. Or temperature change.

    That’s the problem when you get science advice from journalists, economists, communists and opportunists.

    72

    • #
      TdeF

      For CO2 in the air to increase by 50%, the CO2 in the water would have to drop from 98.3% to 98.0%, a tiny 0.7%.

      So the idea that CO2 causes warming has to first dispose of the argument that warm beer goes flat fast and warming causes a CO2 increase, which actually fits the facts.

      Of course Kiribati needs the money. They need rich people too. What happened to the $100Million Gillard gave the Clinton family? Party girl Bishop refuses to say.

      83

    • #
      Glen Michel

      It seemsthat Lomborg does not quite get it.Still taking for granted IPCC climate sensitivity numbers as truth and still believes the guff about arresting temperature(putative) rises.Its a rather flaccid approach.

      21

  • #
    James Murphy

    The titanic sank because it was powered by “dirdy coal”. The presence of so much coal obviously caused a dramatic local relative sea level rise.

    I thought Kiribati was supposed to be about 20000 leagues under the sea by now…? I think the Australian government should sue them for pulling a Fast Flannery.

    71

  • #
    TdeF

    There are thousands of coral atolls. These are by definition and no accident at sea level. Coral is caught between the need to be just below the water and not above, so it is no coincidence. If water drops, coral die. If water goes too deep, the coral builds up. Whole mountains can appear and vanish quickly and leave a thick ring of coral. This is natural. This was suggested by Charles Darwin and as he predicted coral can be kilometers thick.

    “Straddling the equator and spread over 3.5 million sq km (2 million sq miles) of otherwise empty ocean, Kiribati’s 32 atolls and one raised coral island have an average height above sea level of just two meters ”

    So the sand fills in the coral, sand dumped naturally in storms presumably unless someone confesses to leaving it there.

    Now mankind has stopped everything by building houses, road and sea walls, preventing replenishment. Atolls and coral islands are deserts in the middle of the ocean. We did not make them. They are crazy places to live. There is no water. Great climate though. Wonderful beaches. Coconut trees. However we are now responsible for the welfare of the people who chose to migrate there, somehow? How does that work again?

    We had the same problem with Abbott and remote nomadic communities. His reasonable approach was that if you want the convenience of a city, you need to live reasonably near one. Obviously a thoughtless and uncaring person who undermined the entire industry.

    82

  • #

    Unfortunatelv the Australian Public is very slow at waking up to the fact that they are just paying through the nose for an internet rerouting broadcvasting service from the socialist freeloaders, when they tune in to the ABC. At the present rate of enlightenment the ABC could well last 1,000 years like some other Socialist Enterprise wanted to.

    52

  • #
    David Maddison

    Unfortunately I think the whole sinking island / disappearing country thing is nothing more than a scam to get rich gullible poorly lead Western nations like Australia to accept the transfer from the disappearing country of their entire population of mainly uneducated and unskilled people where they can become lifelong welfare dependents.

    72

    • #
      el gordo

      Its strategic, the aid was earmarked for the region and Bishop wrapped it up in green paper to give the impression that Australia is ‘doing something’.

      ‘While Australia remains the largest aid donor in the Pacific, its foreign aid budget has been rapidly declining as a proportion of Gross National Product (GNP). A continued decline could see its influence wane, especially if the south Pacific becomes a greater strategic battleground. Earlier this week The Diplomat reported that India is also showing a strong diplomatic interest in the region.

      ‘Australia and New Zealand do, however, maintain closer cultural ties with the region, particularly through sport, and it is these ties, alongside strong civil society links and the large Pacific Islander diasporas that live in both these countries, that are able to provide more lasting relationships and sympathies. Aid money can be influential, especially with governments of the day who may have axes to grind, but it lacks these deeper emotional ties.’

      The Diplomat

      50

    • #
      Glen Michel

      A bit of nepotism there- a bit of cronyism there.Rest of the citizens get the welfare crumbs.

      30

    • #
      sophocles

      Aww, shucks, David.

      You’ve got it in one.

      20

  • #
    David Maddison

    Some claims of Pacific Islands sinking relate to World War 2 airfields. These airfields were often built by dumping land fill on low lying islands so that the airstrip and air base would be high enough above sea level not to be covered at high tides or storms. Some of the land fill was shipped from Queensland, Australia. Reclaimed land is rarely stable and in the time since WW2, nature has taken its course by removing material from where it is not meant to be, restoring the balance of natural forces.

    43

    • #
      robert rosicka

      When I looked at this last year I found a reference including pics that showed to build the airfields they dredged the coral for landfill and to make it worse they dredged from the predominant weather side of the island.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Just as its never a good idea to build a house in a known flood zone, it’s also never a good idea to establish a country on unstable coral atolls or other land that’s barely above sea level. The original polynesian settlers would have just moved on to the next place if their island had really started to disappear. I’m not suggesting the sinking is real in this case, but settling on unstable land is always stupid, regardless of what’s happening in this situation.

    53

  • #
    pat

    do you believe?

    12 Oct: The Australia Institute: Australians prefer demand response over new power stations: Poll
    New polling of 1,421 Australians, released today by The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program, shows voters would prefer to see governments increasing energy conservation rather than building new power stations.
    “Respondents were asked which they thought was a better way to plan for peak demand events. Two-thirds (64%) supported demand response, while 28% supported building new grid infrastructure and power stations,” Australia Institute strategist, Dan Cass said…

    “Four in five voters said they are interested in participating in demand response schemes,” said Mr Cass.
    Voters were asked if they would be interested in turning specific appliances off or down for a half hour period, during a demand peak, in return for a payment.

    ● 85% of voters said they would be interested in turning down the heating temperature two degrees for half an hour
    ● 82% of voters said they would be interested in turning off appliances like televisions and computers for half an hour
    ● 77% of voters said they would be interested in turning the air conditioning off for half an hour
    Technology has overtaken ideology,” said Dan Cass…
    DOWNLOAD Publication
    http://www.tai.org.au/content/australians-prefer-demand-response-over-new-power-stations-poll

    both above and below polls were carried out by Research Now “an online sampling and data collection company that collects visitors’ digital data by tracking their social networks and referring sites. The company provides the digital data they collect to their clients” (Wikipedia):

    9 Oct: TheNewDaily: Paul Bongiorno: Political time bomb ticks closer for Malcolm Turnbull
    The real culprit for that, of course, is his predecessor Tony Abbott, just as he is the catalyst for Mr Turnbull’s excruciating difficulty in landing another of his preferred positions – a clean energy target. Not that Mr Abbott is a lone wolf here.
    Two of the constitutionally-at-risk Nationals politicians, Mr Joyce and Senator Canavan, are even louder in their coal advocacy.
    Just how Mr Turnbull and his energy minister Josh Frydenberg think they can successfully abandon the target modelled by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is a mystery…

    And just to emphasise the political danger for Mr Turnbull, a ***Research Now poll for the Australia Institute has found overwhelming support for a clean energy target.
    Seventy-eight per cent of Australians support a target to encourage the construction of new clean energy sources. And that includes 72 per cent of Coalition voters and 58 per cent of One Nation voters…

    Climate change denialists seem to be getting their way
    Mr Frydenberg on Monday was laying the groundwork to stop doing just that. It seems placating the climate change deniers in the government party room has priority over this public, scientific and business sentiment…
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/10/09/political-time-bomb-malcolm-turnbull/

    9 Oct: The Australia Institute: Polling – Clean Energy Target
    Most Australians support a Clean Energy Target and they want it to build renewables, including most voters for the Coalition and One Nation.

    The Australia Institute surveyed 1,421 Australians in September 2017 about whether they supported a new Clean Energy Target.
    •Four in five (78%) said Yes: the Australian government should introduce a new Clean Energy Target to encourage the construction of new clean energy sources in Australia…
    •88% of 18-24 year olds supported the CET…

    •81% said the CET should build renewables like wind and solar…
    DOWNLOAD Publication
    http://www.tai.org.au/content/polling-clean-energy-target

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      el gordo

      Yep, its our darkest hour, mass delusion is rampant and I blame auntie.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Surveys like that depend entirely on how the questions are phrased. Is there are clear definition of, “demand response”, in the survey? Were those surveyed given the details of how “demand response” would actually work in practice? Were the alternatives explained?

      I remember Julia Gillard suggesting that, “people wanted nice clean energy from solar power, rather than have dirty energy from coal, that had to be dug from the ground by strip mining”.

      Contrary to opinion, Australians aren’t thick. But they are a very trusting people, who tend to “look after their mates, and see them right”. Politicians, and academics with personal agendas, can use that trusting nature, to seriously tilt the table to their own advantage. It is becoming a major industry.

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        el gordo

        Perfectly true and the other thing worth mentioning is that The Australian Institute is a centre left think tank with pseudo marxist leanings.

        I want a second opinion on what Australians think.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Flying is the only quick way to get from one island to another, especially if your destination is over the horizion. The Maldives are well spread out.

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    pat

    peanuts, but it all adds up:

    9 Oct: FairfaxBrisbaneTimes: Slow progress on key $12 million Queensland climate change policy
    By Tony Moore
    Why it matters
    Queensland is beginning to notice an increasing frequency of storms and warmer-than usual winters.
    Councils appear to have an ad-hoc approach to prepare for an 80cm sea level rise.

    Progress appears slow on one of Labor’s key climate change policies to encourage coastal Queensland councils to formally adopt a 0.8-metre higher sea level to combat beach erosion and storm surge problems.
    The state government cannot say how many of the 41 coastal councils in Queensland have formally adopted the higher sea level, despite two departments being given four days to answer.
    However, funds from the $12 million set aside by the state government has now gone to 21 of the 41 oceanside councils to develop plans.
    Gold Coast City Council last week formally adopted the higher sea level when they updated their Gold Coast City Plan last week, as part of Queensland’s Climate Adaption Strategy…

    On Sunday, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad defended this section of Queensland’s climate change policy as a long-term strategy…
    “We do need to account for increasing sea level rise as a result of climate change,” Ms Trad said…
    She defended the climate change policy in Queensland saying it had attracted $5 billion from the private sector into renewable energy…MAP ETC
    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/slow-progress-on-12-million-climate-change-beach-erosion-projects-20171008-p4ywcm.html

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    pat

    lol.

    13 Oct: GladstoneObserver: Poor showing for climate event sees cancellation
    by Julia Bartrim
    The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) had arranged to host the session on Wednesday, October 4, at Rydges Hotel in Goondoon St.
    The session’s purpose was to give the community an understanding of what the Queensland Government is doing to adapt to climate change and how they might be affected…

    An EHP spokesperson advised they had received a higher number of registrations from other regional communities.
    Mackay attracted 31 people, Gympie 22 people, the Gold Coast 20, and Toowoomba 12.
    A spokesperson for local environmental group, the Gladstone Conservation Council said “it’s extremely disappointing that people had the opportunity to go and only three people registered”…

    They have rescheduled the event for Monday November 6 at 1pm and are hoping a larger audience will register.
    https://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/poor-showing-for-climate-event-sees-cancellation/3236422/

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    Doubtingdave

    Interesting , I have a friend in Kiribati , his family want to stay , whilst many want to leave and join a new community on the main land , from his perspective he lives in a over populated island and his family would have more space , but from the point of view of those that leave , would that make them the first climate refugees ?

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      robert rosicka

      No I think it would make them among the first to leave an island because of over population.

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        Doubtingdave

        That’s the point mate , they offering new schools and better health services , in exchange the authorities can claim they are climate refugees

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          No, you miss the point.

          Refugees are usually running away from an aggressor or a natural disaster. Displaced persons are forced to move by the authorities in charge at the time. Migrants are people who voluntarily change location, looking for a better life.

          Robert is correct, people who choose to leave, are not refugees, they are migrants.

          Language is important, if we are to recognise and make sense of the political propaganda.

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    pat

    this should help shift Lomborg’s view, shouldn’t it?

    12 Oct: NY Post: Now even climate-change believers count as ‘deniers’
    By Bjorn Lomborg
    Al Gore recently had a telling altercation with a journalist (LINK). The Spectator’s Ross Clark wanted to ask him about Miami sea-level rises suggested in the new film, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” The reporter started to explain that he had consulted Florida International University sea-level-rise expert Shimon Wdowinski. Gore’s response: “Never heard of him — is he a denier?” Then he asked the journalist, “Are you a denier?”
    When Clark responded that he was sure climate change is a problem but didn’t know how big, Gore declared, “You are a denier.”…

    I was recently on the receiving end of a similar rebuff from Chile’s environment minister…ETC

    Pielke left climate change for other fields where “no one is trying to get me fired.” And sidelining him has made it easier for climate campaigners to use Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria to argue for carbon-cut policies, even though these will do very little to prevent future hurricane damage.

    Pielke finds that we should make relatively cheap investments to reduce vulnerability, like limiting floodplain construction and increasing porous surfaces. Ignoring this means more harm…ETC
    http://nypost.com/2017/10/12/now-even-climate-change-believers-count-as-deniers/

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    pat

    13 Oct: SanFranciscoChronicle: Trump selects climate change skeptic as top adviser
    By Lisa Friedman/NYT
    President Trump has nominated a former top Texas environmental regulator, who has argued that carbon dioxide is a harmless gas that should not be regulated, to be the White House senior adviser on environmental policy.
    The former regulator, Kathleen Hartnett White, will lead the Council on Environmental Quality if confirmed by the Senate. Currently she serves as a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a free-market think tank. She previously served as the chairwoman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under Rick Perry, who was governor at the time and is now the Energy Secretary…

    The appointment is the latest in a series of disputed environmental nominations. This week, Trump nominated Barry Lee Myers, chief executive of AccuWeather, a for-profit weather forecasting company, to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last week, the president nominated Andrew Wheeler, a coal lobbyist, to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency…

    “Now you have a full house for the fossil fuel industry,” said Christy Goldfuss, who served as managing director of the White House environmental council under former President Barack Obama. She called White’s appointment particularly troubling, citing a piece she wrote titled, “Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case.” In it, White argued that labeling carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant is “absurd” and asserted that it should be considered the “gas of life.”

    White also has called renewable energy “unreliable and parasitic,” described global warming as “a creed, a faith, a dogma that has little to do with science,” and asserted that science does not dictate policy in democracies.
    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Trump-selects-climate-change-skeptic-as-top-12276453.php

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    pat

    surprised to find this in a USA Today Network publication, part of Treasure Coast Newspapers Florida:

    12 Oct: TC Palm: Six reasons we’re skeptical about global warming predictions | Guest column
    George W. Iliff and Edward F. Klima
    (George W. Iliff of Port St. Lucie is a retired engineering branch manager for the Department of Energy. Edward F. Klima of Vero Beach is a retired marine scientist who worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service Galveston laboratory)

    The earth’s temperature has been slowly inching up since the last ice age. Global warming alarmists are using this natural temperature rise to scare us into believing mankind is responsible, through our carbon dioxide emissions, for a future catastrophic rise in temperature accompanied by violent weather and sea-level rise that will flood coastal areas. Let us set the record straight…

    3. Studies have shown instances of violent weather are no more common now than they have been in the past. As for hurricanes Harvey and Irma, any current global warming had little or no effect on their intensity. Just ask a legitimate climatologist…
    Sea levels have naturally risen for thousands of years since our last ice age. The current sea level rise has been measured for the last 150 years at a rate of 1/16 to 1/8 inch per year and is no greater today. This will result in a natural sea level rise of maybe 10 inches by the end of the century.

    However, global warming scientists are predicting a ludicrous 10 to 12 feet of rise by the year 2100 based on an unfounded claim the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will suddenly slip into the ocean and rapidly melt. Fact check: NASA tells us Antarctica is actually gaining ice and Greenland is melting at a minuscule rate causing sea level rise of less than 1/32 of an inch a year…READ ON
    http://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/10/12/six-reasons-were-skeptical-global-warming-predictions-guest-column/758374001/

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    MudCrab

    Titanic metaphors.

    Not completely sure he thought that one through to the end. Ignoring the easy ‘global warming will melt the ice’ mockery, nearly all of the tragedy with the Titanic could have been avoided if the builders, owners and operators of the ship had taken more preventative measures in the first place. More lifeboats. Better subdivision. Greater care in berg filled waters.

    I, no doubt like many others here, have been involved in product safety from a professional point of view. If something happens that you never expected then you get some small degree of leeway, but if you know there is a risk and choose to ignore it then the blame is on you. If there is a problem it is not then the fault of outsiders if they fail to rescue the victims, it is the fault of you for knowingly not reacting to a problem you yourself have identified.

    If you know there are not enough lifeboats on SS KiriTanic then it is the requirement of the owners and operators to add more lifeboats, and not for the rest of the world to bend over backwards providing icebreakers.

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    John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

    Now Jo,you know you should not produce facts to destroy their narrative: that man is evil and is warming ‘the planet’ (why don’t they call it Earth- that is our planet’s name. Facts! They just ignore them.

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    Ve2

    In 13,000 years time the Holocene Era will have ended and the resultant 60 metre drop in sea level will mean they need steps to decend to the beach.

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    pat

    for the record, Anthony Watts thinks the nomination of Barry Myers is a mistake, though not all who comment at the thread agree with him:

    12 Oct: WUWT: Anthony Watts: Trump’s nomination of Barry Myers to head NOAA is a mistake
    I’m sure this nomination is a not good idea. Here’s why:
    1. Barry Myers is a businessman and a lawyer. He has no meteorology training or science training of any kind. His brother, Dr. Joel Myers, does.
    2. There will be, that I perceive, a conflict of Interest. His company, AccuWeather, makes heavy use of NOAA products…ETC
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/12/trumps-nomination-of-barry-meyers-to-head-noaa-is-a-mistake/

    Ben D, in the comments disagrees and links to the following highlighting ***:

    12 Oct: Science Mag: AccuWeather’s Barry Myers nominated to lead NOAA
    By Paul Voosen
    His nomination is a sign that the Trump administration could seek to further shake up parts of the country’s weather enterprise, says Cliff Mass, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “No NOAA administrator has been willing to make the substantial, but necessary, changes,” he says. “Is it possible that an outsider from the private sector might consider a fresh approach?”…
    Still, given the administration’s proposal, it will be tough for Myers to win over the workforce, says David Titley, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University in State College and a former chief operating officer for NOAA. There’s a genuine risk that NOAA’s best researchers, who aren’t lacking for opportunities, could flee, Titley adds. “That damage lasts for years or even decades.”…

    ***Myers has rarely said much about global warming, and AccuWeather, unlike its rival The Weather Company, has not taken up the cause of climate change. The company did not seek to stifle commentary, but neither did it foster it, Myers has said. “We have said to our scientists, if you have special skills in climate, if you want to voice your professional opinion, our platforms are open to you,” Myers told The Wall Street Journal in 2014. “We do not want people getting involved in the political aspect of this debate.”…

    Although Myers may not be a strong voice for climate science, some meteorologists are hopeful that he will focus on what he knows best: the weather…READ ON
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/accuweather-s-barry-myers-nominated-lead-noaa

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    manalive

    Pity the ABC though. I wouldn’t want to be them when Australian’s realize that they are paying for an internet rerouting service from socialist troughers, freeloading gravy hunters and pagan czars …

    They’ll blame Tony Abbott for causing “uncertainty”.

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    Nils-Axel Mörner

    Well, in 2015 I had an Open letter ti the President of Kiribati.
    It is accessible on the net at: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2766.4723
    all the best wishes
    Nils-Axel

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    Graeme#4

    There are quite a few excellent articles on Kiribati earlier on WUWT – one good one on 9 March 2012, that deal with reasons why Kiribati is having problems. Worth chasing them down and reading them for more background info. One of the islands was originally called Tarawa. Looks like President Tong tried the same approach back in 2011. The March article also mention Willis Eschenbach’s article about coral islands and a link to that article.

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      Graeme #4

      To add to this, see Willis’ excellent coral reef article is on WUWT 27 Jan 2010, where he discusses why coral reefs continuously adjust to rising sea levels and how fresh water floats in lens-shaped pools under the coral. Also how beaked fish such as parrot fish help to maintain the reefs. Fascinating stuff. Coral apparently grows at a rate of 150mm/year, do it can easily keep up with the current SLR.

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    feral_nerd

    Like all the other atolls, Kiribati will “never” be inundated, because it is composed of coral. Corals, which construct limestone enclosures, are very prolific, and grow rapidly, right up to the surface. Wave action grinds the coral into sand, and wind action piles it up above the water’s surface. Subsidence plus eustatic rise would have to be many times the current rate to overpower the coral’s natural rate of growth. Eventually, though, tectonic action will carry Kiribati into waters too cool to support coral growth, at which time it will slip gently beneath the waves. That’s likely to be a few million years, though, so no need to rush.

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    Harry Twinotter

    Global sea level rise is around 3.4mm per year.

    10