Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter

Advertisement

climate change

Mar 7, 2011

Share

Reverend Tafue Lusama writes: In my home land of Tuvalu, a person without land is known as a fakaalofa — “a person deserving pity”. Not that many Tuvaluans want pity, despite the real possibility they will lose their island to the increased effects of climate change.

It is getting very difficult to catch fish now, as the ocean temperatures have definitely changed. When I grew up, my grandfather and my father used to teach me about the shift from one season to the other, and how it affects the movement of the fish in the sea from place to place. These ways have all been upset because of the changing weather patterns.

Coral bleaching (the result of ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures) is becoming very noticeable, and has contributed to a sharp decline in fish stocks. As a result, the cost of fish caught around our islands has become very expensive. It is cheaper for a person to walk into a shop and buy a tin of fish, one that is processed thousands of miles away, than it is to buy fresh fish from local fishermen.

Climate change is also reducing access to locally grown foods such as bananas and paw paw. We’ve experienced an increase in the frequency of strong winds and cyclones visiting our shores — fruit are regularly torn from branches before they can even be harvested.

During the high tides, salt water now spills onto our vegetable and fruit gardens, even bubbling up through the ground in some areas. Rising salinity has forced many people to give up growing traditional root crops such as taro and pulaka.

Niu Loane stands in his pulaka pit during the king tide.

The loss of these locally grown foods has contributed to an increased reliance on imported processed foods, in turn causing a rise in health conditions like diabetes and hypertension previously little known in Tuvalu. There is a very real concern that associated increased health costs could cripple many small Pacific island states without the resources to adapt.

When we talk about the impacts of climate change, it’s important to remember that our people depend on land. If we have land, we have life. When our land is being gradually eroded by the sea, we are literally seeing our life being eaten away. We won’t be able to give life to our children and grandchildren — that is how severe it is.

Things are shifting rapidly now, with increased impact on the land and people. Many Tuvaluans worry that an international agreement won’t be reached in time to save our island and way of life. We are dealing with the prospect of having to relocate, either further inland as the coast erodes, or to another country when there is finally no more land. Sea levels are rising by five to six millimetres annually, and Tuvalu sits just four metres above sea level. This is something I’m not sure a lot of people understand – the threat is real.

Many of my people, including myself, regard climate change as an injustice. Tuvalu has not developed or grown rich by emitting greenhouse gases, but is amongst those countries hit hardest by climate change. We’ve been raising our concerns and voices with the international community and the industrialised countries, and still we are being ignored. This is a grave injustice.

Australia and many other wealthy nations are yet to take strong action on climate change, fearing the cost to their economies. However, key reports including the Stern and Garnaut Reviews stress that the economic cost of weak or delayed action will be far greater than if we take strong action now.

The 2009 Copenhagen UN climate change meeting and its lack-lustre outcome left many disappointed, particularly in countries like Tuvalu. But I am cautiously optimistic about what can be achieved at future climate meetings, including the South Africa COP17 in 2011.

The people of Tuvalu believe in humanity and its ability to do the right thing at the right time. We believe strongly in family ties, with our neighbours of Australia and New Zealand looked upon as our big brothers. So in that line of thought, I would like to ask them to consider us and our livelihood, and give us an assurance of life continuity on our small islands.

Reverend Tafue Lusama is General Secretary of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (Christian Church of Tuvalu) and Chairperson of the Tuvula Climate Action Network. These photos were taken by Rodney Dekker for Oxfam Australia during the recent king tide in Tuvalu.

Advertisement

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola

77 comments

Leave a comment

77 thoughts on “From tiny Tuvalu: the island being destroyed by climate change

  1. Billy Blogs

    Given that the Himalayas are growing at a rate of 2inches (50mm) per annum, you’d expect somewhere you’d get the opposite effect, wouldn’t you?
    And given that Tuvalu is on the other side of the Indo-Australian plate, it is highly likely that Tuvalu (being the very top couple of metres of a 5,000m volcano) is sinking.
    Tuvalu seems to be in serious trouble from Island sinking, the world community needs to prepare to help them out.

  2. LisaCrago

    And YES I have contemplated his situation and offered REAL and practical advice. It is exactly what Islanders on small pacific islands have done since prehistory.

    What have you done you argumentitive bastard? What is YOUR solution? Bitch about the weather? Use TVs miserable situation to future your own theoretical belief.

    Oh I so have been to the shed mate and have all the regular pieces of paper to show so… and many pacific islands as well. And you? Unlike other posters on this blogg you can not even raise a reasoned real argument about any premise I have raised. You take anything sensible I have raised and twist it out of context in a weak attempt to discredit someone intelligent who may well have a valid point of view different to your own.
    Well you may be happy to see these people starve and drown for all I know as you do sound like a bit of a twisted sister and the worst example of a one eyed AGW fanatics; it is people like you that give reasoned AGW advocates a bad name.

  3. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    LisaCrago, I can tell that you have never been in the shed so what would you know? The author of this article (Lusama) asks that the reader contemplate his situation. He doesn’t ask for an opinion on what someone else thinks his problem is.
    You LisaCrago, present an opinion that Tuvalu is “…. a sinking island”, without any evidence whatsoever, in complete rebuttal of the author’s point of view. You say he is wrong and that his problem is something geomorphological rather than climatological. You say he should get another island as if that is the first thing that came into your head. It’s a silly, disrespectful and gratuitously patronising statement – probably one of the smartest you think you’ve ever made. Good on you LisaCrago.

  4. LisaCrago

    poor Hugh, not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    how about you do your self a favour and try and engage in some constructive critique of peoples post you do not agree with using reasoned debate, as opposed to such pathetic attempts to take words out of different posts and twist them into different contexts to TRY and score cheap points.

    If you do not understand what a reference to a/the geopolitical world order means here is a VERY simple definition for you that you may understand; The study of the relationship among politics and geography, demography, and economics, especially with respect to the foreign policy of a nation.

    or a more accademic one; International relations is often portrayed as a sphere of anarchy, of innate disorder, political geographers and others have identified patterns in the development of modern international politics which they call geopolitical world orders.

    Now even one such as yourself can understand the difference of the above and playing climate politics with people on a sinking island.

  5. danr

    Band aids are analogous to CO2.

    You could plaster yourself with band aids. Looks bad but It doesn’t prove there is a wound underneath.

    Likewise more CO2 is not proof that the temperature is rising.

    Satellite measurements are proof of that.

  6. danr

    PB Everyone knows that the Earth is ALWAYS cooling.

    As this happens we can expect less and less CO2 will be expressed from Earths core.

    Recent times (geologically) have been, as you said, very low in CO2.

    It may be that we need to work out ways of getting more CO2 into the atmosphere to preserve our habitat.

  7. danr

    “your understanding of the economics of climate change”

    At least we did one economics course in our Uni Degree. All competent scientists and engineers need that to avoid misapplying themselves to solutions that are ridiculous.

    Ever heard the old saying; the cure was worse than the problem?.

  8. danr

    I thought we’d done with the “Kuning-Dreuger effect”.

  9. kdkd

    PeeBee #66

    Whereas the skilled rate their performance as much poorer, and understand the limitations of their knowledge much better. Which is why I don’t bother explaining the details of climate science to the delusionals any more. It’s done much better else where, and it’s complicated enough that I’ll stuff it up if I tried.

  10. Rohan

    Gotta love it.

    danr #64 thought his post was such a work of genius that he posted it in the Lomborg thread as well.

  11. PeeBee

    Kdkd,

    Senior doesn’t believe that sea levels are rising. He raise this point in another thread. And part of HIS evidence was:

    “In 1842 the “Isle of the Dead” in SE Tasmania was selected for the site of a “Mean Sea Level” refernce mark by Capt. James Clark Ross. Today this mark can clearly be seen 35 cm ABOVE the current mean sea level.”

    I asked him how far above the MSL it was when Capt. James Clark Ross put it there back in 1842.

    A bit like seeing one end of a rope with the other end of the rope hidden behind a corner and saying ‘look, this is a long rope!’

    I don’t think senior looked for the answer, or if he did, he must have concluded that Capt Clark Ross was part of the global conspiracy to hoodwink the population cop it sweet for a carbon tax.

    Not bad for a man who has been dead for a hundred years.

  12. PeeBee

    KdKd,

    The Duning-Kreuger effect explains everything, particularly: “The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is”

  13. kdkd

    danr:

    [ There is currently no evidence or possible mechanism known to science which causes carbon dioxide to act as a temperature accelerant. ]

    You’re delusional. This is false. Your understanding of the science of climate change is clearly absent.

    Oh yeah, for good measure, your understanding of the economics of climate change mitigation comes straight out of the astroturfers big book of idiot economics as well. Seeing as you’re so hard of thinking, it’s probably worth pointing out that the sceince and economics of the problem are totally different things.

  14. danr

    The issue of climate change and our collective guilt over the production of Carbon Dioxide is a sociological and psychological phenomenon of astonishing proportions.

    We are told by politicians, economists and global warming advocaats that our consumption of fossil fuels produces “harmful” CO2 and we are endangering our future.
    The paradox, as seen by scientists, is that Carbon Dioxide is perhaps the only industrial bye product of this process which is harmless to the environment and humans and an essential building block in the Earth’s biosphere.
    Perhaps we need a judicial inquiry to sift out the misinformation, pseudo science and assertions motivated by self interest to allow the scientific reality to assert itself once and for all.

    In calling for reduction in CO2 we seem to be putting the cart before the horse. Before engaging in costly, ruinous carbon reduction schemes we must first show that CO2 produced by man is damaging the environment.

    There is currently no evidence or possible mechanism known to science which causes carbon dioxide to act as a temperature accelerant.

  15. kdkd

    senior #62

    [ So whose got the delusional thought pattern here?]

    That’ll be you. It’s quite easy to demonstrate as well.

    [ someone who knows carbon pollution has got nothing at all to do with small pacific islands disappearing or some media outlet who has got every freethinking fruitcake in the palm of their hands. ]

    A classic non sequitur which starts with a supposedly scientific statement, and follows it up with a nutjob political statement. So in this case we can clearly show that you’re delusional with a lack of insight. For academic achievements we call this the Duning-Kreuger effect. This is where the person making the mistakes lacks the expertise to understand why their they are wrong.

  16. senior

    So whose got the delusional thought pattern here, someone who knows carbon pollution has got nothing at all to do with small pacific islands disappearing or some media outlet who has got every freethinking fruitcake in the palm of their hands.
    Politics don’t have as much to do with it as you think, when a politician tells you about how negligent we are for polluting they’re just buttering you up so when they tax you on it you cop it sweet, not sour. Lisa, do you think most of the people reading this thread know much about tectonic plates. ….greenies, ya gotta love ’em, hash pipe in one hand, soy milk in the other.

  17. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    LisaCrago, in your post 59 you warn against “playing politics” and then in your next post 60 you urge the reader to “look at the geopolitical order”. If it’s a real nightmare then stop looking at it….. or as the Pope might have said, you’ll go blind(er).

  18. LisaCrago

    Hanashi
    Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    I hope you pulled thru ok mate.
    Darn scary stuff.
    Escpecially the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant…Onagawa nuclear power plant seems stable atm.

    It is unfortunate that the enviromental debate and the international organisations that control it are so concerned with the weather that their focus is diverted from by far the most devistating thing on this planet, nuke power plants and weapons.
    In fact, arguements about not burning coal are leading to MORE nuke programmes which will lead to more wars as the The International Atomic Energy Agency pretends they have it all undercontrol.
    I am sorry that this earthquake has poisoned many people maybe even yourself.

    You will mostly only find people on hear who want to talk about the weather as the biggest danger to mankind. I am NOT one of those people as I have both eyes wide open and see that the weather is the least of our problems. Just look at the geopolitical order, now that be real nightmares.

    Hope you are alive and well.

  19. LisaCrago

    Dear senior
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Absolutely priceless…..everyone on the planet sure should stop driving their cars and stop using electricity and i can guarantee the poor inhabitants of Tuvalu they will never have to worry about strong winds and high tides ever again. You climate change idiots are totally unbelievable, but you love it don’t you, you know the atmosphere contains a minute amount of co2 and only a fraction of that is emitted from human activity. Yeah it’s great to believe in something but oneday you’ll realise your just being tricked.
    How stupid would someone have to be to think people are influencing weather events like cyclones and floods. The only fact about agw is that if you believe it you should be ashamed of yourself for being so stupid and ignorant.

    Fcking PRICELESS POST. So Good I just had to repost it
    THANKS FOR THAT I needed a good laugh this morning.
    You could also mention that people in the pacific are also at the mercy of deep underground fissures fault lines and volcanic activiy eathquakes the list of geological influences that have nothing to do with mankind is endless. And Lets not talk of sturctual geography and complex things such as plate tectonics and how islands are formed and lost.
    Anyone from the Warm Earth Society on this list managed to link the japanese earthquake with AGW yet?

    I will restate my premise. IF we are to help the people on this Island then we must move them and do so immediately. Politisicing their natural problem by the advocates of AGW WILL NOT HELP THESE PEOPLE.
    Small Islands in the pacific and elsewhere come and go, this is a fact.

    Now for all the hippy trippy climate self confessed experts on everything here may I draw your mind back to the lost city of atlanis or the demise of the Minoan people…. caused my man…or nature. I can raise about 100 other prehistoric examples and a few more recent if you like. But SHOULD they have moved to higher safer ground like those on Tuvalu….. yes is the common sense answer.
    So, stop playing politics with these peoples lives to promote your own cause, for it will not help them.

  20. PeeBee

    Senior, rather a strong statement The only fact about agw is that if you believe it you should be ashamed of yourself for being so stupid and ignorant

    So naturally, you are well qualified to make such a statement. Just tell us what education you have had in this topic. Please cite, universities studied at, what field of study you majored in and to what level. It would be nice if you could provide references to your peered researched work.

    What! Haven’t got any formal qualifications…. fair enough. Then I suggest that perhaps you shouldn’t be calling people who do study these things, ‘stupid’.

    I liken your situation to an abattoir slaughterer criticising a surgeon who performs heart lung transplants. Extremely presumptuous and egotistical.

  21. kdkd

    senior #56

    Let’s look at the structure of your reply there, to see how it fits the climate delusional thought pattern.

    1. Stupid pointless statement that suggests a ludicrous solution to the problem.[1]
    2. Blatant display of scientific illiteracy leading to:
    3. The assertion that one’s own scientific illiteracy is much more valid assessment than the 200 odd years of scientific research on climate issues, and the consensus statements of all of the world’s major academies of scientists.

    My the climate delusional trolls are out in force on this blog again. It’s pretty depressing really.

  22. senior

    Absolutely priceless…..everyone on the planet sure should stop driving their cars and stop using electricity and i can guarantee the poor inhabitants of Tuvalu they will never have to worry about strong winds and high tides ever again. You climate change idiots are totally unbelievable, but you love it don’t you, you know the atmosphere contains a minute amount of co2 and only a fraction of that is emitted from human activity. Yeah it’s great to believe in something but oneday you’ll realise your just being tricked.
    How stupid would someone have to be to think people are influencing weather events like cyclones and floods. The only fact about agw is that if you believe it you should be ashamed of yourself for being so stupid and ignorant.

  23. danr

    I rented ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ about two years ago, got a bottle of beer and sat down for a few laughs.

    It was hilarious watching the Algorism weaving his spell.

    It reminded me of The Poseidon Adventure.

  24. danr

    Joke

    If Carbon pollution is CO2 then what is Hydrogen pollution.

    Yes, RAIN.

    If either was missing from our lives we would not be here. Both are life essentials.

  25. danr

    “Sometimes he talks in riddles and makes no sense,”

    Apologies for the sarcasm.

    We all have faults.

  26. PeeBee

    Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Sorry I read it repeated in a few of danr’s posts and thought he was referring to himself. It seemed a credible conclusion considering all the non scientific dribble he has come out with.

    Sometimes he talks in riddles and makes no sense, so I have given up even trying to work out what he is talking about. When asked specific questions, he is evasive and just rants. Can’t be bothered really.

    By the way, I saw ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ for the first time last night. It was made 6 years ago and it struck me as how little has happened since it was made on abating CO2 emissions.

  27. danr

    Hi Hanashi,

    Sad that Japan had that quake but this is about Global Warming here and the quake sure as eggs wasn’t caused by burning fossil fuels.

    As to the nuclear damage; let’s wait and see.

    “A greenpeace guy”

    Not very reliable as a source of engineering info.

  28. Hanashi

    The BBC has an interesting article that includes this island.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10222679

    Also, I’m in Japan having heart attack every 10 minutes as each aftershock hits. Are Earthquakes and tsunamis not part of the environment. I’m extremely anti-nuclear and a couple of hundred km from me a nuclear power plant has exploded. They (not crikey but other news sources) say that there is little chance of a melt down but the Japanese government and nuclear industry have been know to be ultra selective in the information they make public. Why are there no cricky (or “Rooted”) stories on these aspects of the environment?

    A greenpeace guy I saw interviewed on the BBC website said that the situation looks terrible. A British nuclear physicist said the fact that the building containing the reactor blew up is not a good sign. The Australian consulate is closed for the weekend so they are no help. I called the department of foreign affairs in Australia but I seemed to know more than them. We are watching the Japanese news but, like anything remotely important in this country, you need to know Japanese fluently to understand. So, while there is another tedious crikey discussion about CO2, I’m left here, unable to go to sleep because my building keeps rocking every ten or 20 minutes and all I can think about is the cloud of nuclear gas that my imagination is telling me is on its way.

    Good night everyone in OZ. Sleep well.

  29. danr

    The phrase “‘no science past high school’ ” was referring to you two.

  30. danr

    The Algorism said : the oceans will rise 9 metres in the next 100 years..

    If you have any mathematical capacity you will calculate that in 60 years at Al’s rate the ocean should rise 5.4 metres.

    If Al is right then where I stood with my feet dry at high tide 60 years back there should be 3.6 metres of water over my head right now.

    I dont need to tell you that there is no sign of any such ocean rise. Not half of it, not a third of it, not even one tenth of Al’s prediction.

    I want my money back for “an inconvenient truth” because it wasn’t true.

    CO2 increase has been blazing away all that time.

    Or does the Global Warming catastrophe start tomorrow?

  31. danr

    The problem with uneducated people is that they grasp onto stuff from the net and wont let go.

    There is a lot of science that is so basic that it is effectively “LAW” or “PROVEN”.

    Climate change science does not come into this category.

    Look under science fiction. Dewey Decimal Classification* …… Science fiction – 808.838.

  32. danr

    “However, to clear the air, perhaps you would like to tell us where you did you do your two science degrees, to what level and in what area?”

    Well PeeBee. I’m not answerable to you but to a higher authority.

    SCIENCE

    Science is timeless and reproducible. The basic claim of CO2 induced manic climate change is scientifically laughable and anyone who believes it is obviously uneducated in the appropriate areas of science.

    I’ll bet you have a giant computer. That really wont help.

    An education teaches you to think for yourself.

    Try it sometime.

  33. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    PeeBee, follow the thread properly. I am the writer who first wrote “I’m no scientist”. I have said it again so that danr could show off his qualities but instead he asserts that I appear to have “no geology qualifications at all”. Well, hey dude (danr) – can you even read?
    I have been flicking again through some of the more colourful bits of Plimer’s book (heaven+earth, connorcourt 2009) just to remind myself how cleverly science, including geology danr, can be manipulated to tell a tale. Peer reviewed science is in a different category but I’ll steer away from complexity just to help you stay on task. What is your second science qualification? Your “applied science” first one doesn’t seem to be helping much here.

  34. PeeBee

    danr, you claim that you have two science degrees beggers belief. Coupled with your admission on another thread that you have no science past high school, I find one of your claims absurd. The one I am tending to go with is the ‘no science past high school’ as you claim “I’m no scientist”.

    I mean to come up with a claim that sea is not rising because I looked at a rock for 60 years is absurd.

    However, to clear the air, perhaps you would like to tell us where you did you do your two science degrees, to what level and in what area?

  35. danr

    “Why don’t you measure something or ask someone who has measured it. And since you weren’t there 5000 years ago, ”

    That’s the expert consensus of several geology PHDs. Also it is such basic geology that if you are not aware of the sea level rises and falls over the last 20,000 years I’d say you had No geology qualifications at all.

  36. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    So, as a non-scientist, I put forward my understanding of an explanation for the process of coral reef formation and potential de-formation and a couple of scientific yodellers tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, although they can’t personally help out with an alternative narrative.
    Danr, if you’ve spent 60 years looking at the same rock for signs of sea level rise then you’ve got rocks in your head. Why don’t you measure something or ask someone who has measured it. And since you weren’t there 5000 years ago, you must have read about that higher sea level in some book or seen it on TV. Why don’t you read a few more pages to see what happens next – or better still, wait for the ad-break to be over – the creation science show you are watching will reveal far more than your university degrees (from East Bumcrack no doubt) could ever do. Actually, what was that second degree, the one that wasn’t about modelling? Was it fashion design or something in the mystical sciences?

  37. kdkd

    danr. That’s funny, I have two science degrees and a postgraduate qualification in which modeling was a core component. And it’s abundantly clear to me that your position is delusional and has no merit. And your understanding of the physical chemistry theory underlying the science of climate change is ludicrous in the extreme.

    So I’m assuming that you’ve got degrees in numerology, and phrenology from the University of Yourhouse.

  38. danr

    Actually I have two science degrees. The first in applied science where we learned about modeling and how to do it properly.

    Like, you cant just make things up.

    Basic science is o simple when you are educated.

    It means you can easily see the rungs missing off the IPCC – Greenie ladder to the stars.

  39. PeeBee

    I’ve been going to the same piece of ocean shoreline for over sixty years.
    There has been no noticeable change in max or min tide levels.

    “I’m no scientist”

    Your not kidding!

  40. PeeBee

    danr@36

    It is a bit rich advising people Get an education then you wont be vulnerable to this sort of clap trap when you have not obtained any science education past high school.

    Perhaps you should practice what you advise and go get a science degree.

  41. danr

    Lisa

    I’ve been going to the same piece of ocean shoreline for over sixty years.
    There has been no noticeable change in max or min tide levels.

    If Algore was right then the increased CO2 levels occurring in my lifetime should have cause ocean level rises that would swamp my favourite rock by several metres.

    In contrast, there is acknowledged geologic evidence, yes from PHDs, that my pet rock was covered by two metres of water as little as 5,000 years back.

    The water level has “dropped” 2m in recent times, why.

  42. danr

    No; I’m certainly “not interested in correcting my understanding to bring it into line with” someone elses delusional “reality”.

    Get an education then you wont be vulnerable to this sort of clap trap.

  43. danr

    “I’m no scientist”

    I totally agree.

  44. kdkd

    danr

    You’ve shown on other threads in this forum that your opinions are based on egregious misconceptions about the science, and that you’re not interested in correcting your understanding to bring it into line with reality.

    Mind you, so long as the we all understand that everything you have to say is delusional and worthless, I don’t see that there’s any harm in continuing to waste your time demonstrating that fact.

  45. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    danr, I’m interested in your postulation that “…heat from the sun liberates CO2 held in the ocean”. Is this something that you have discovered by….? Has anyone else noted this phenomenon which, are you really saying this, has not been admitted by climate science?
    When this CO2 is “liberated” where do you think it goes? Back into the atmosphere? So there would be a relationship at the ocean / atmosphere interface where the relative concentration of CO2 would be continuously sorted. If the concentration in the atmosphere is steadily rising because of human industrial emissions (as the measurements show – you aren’t disputing the measurements are you?) wouldn’t that tip the balance in favour of more CO2 dissolving into the ocean? Other measurements seem to show that ocean water is becoming slightly more acidic which would indicate that more CO2 is present.
    I think the logic about the corals is that the calcium carbonate secretion mechanism in corals is in a delicate balance with the pH of the surrounding water. As acidity increases (by infinitely tiny amounts) so the calcium carbonate secretion slows by tiny amounts. I’m no scientist but the logic of that washes for me.

  46. danr

    Lisa I agree with you that this whole Tuvalu thing is shameful. It is a sad reflection on politics in the West that people are led by TV and mass media and can no longer think for themselves.

    safety in numbers??

  47. danr

    Give it a break. How can any serious scientist take that sort of article on Tuvalu seriously.

    Charles Darwin had it right when he outlined what was happening to these small pacific islands and more recently a high profile IPCC contributor has backed him up.

    Volcanic activity as in heating and cooling or expansion and contraction of the island base controls where water level sits. The oceans are not manically rising out of control.

    In a number of cases of claimed rising water levels it has been shown that the locals have damaged the fragile coralline environment through greed. We cant be held accountable for that.

    Nils Axel Morner has dissociated himself from his former collaborator, IPCC, and regrets their current politically motivated push to link fragile coral environments with CO2. Scientifically it doesn’t wash.

    It’s past time that westerners stopped having this sort of guilt inducing stuff pushed in their faces.

    Recent floods in Queensland show that, tragically, weather will be weather.

  48. danr

    You can’t just treat CO2 as if it’s the only gas in the system. It is a complex interactive system and the reason Global Warming Protagonists wont discuss this is because it involves “real” science, not climate change science.

    Besides, heat from the sun liberates CO2 held in the ocean. This is an effect which swamps the “agw” effect.

    To top it all off, the biggest greenhouse gas is water vapour, against which effect CO2 is insignificant and man made CO2 effect barely noticeable within the error limits..

    Joke

    If Carbon pollution is CO2 then what is Hydrogen pollution.

    Yes, RAIN.

    If either was missing from our lives we would not be here. Both are life essentials.

  49. syzygium

    Lisa, since that is your real name – I don’t know if you’re still reading this, but, no, I certainly don’t call everyone who disagrees with me a troll. I do, however, dismiss people out of hand who believe that the world is flat, and other absurdities. Your subsequent posts have borne this out, and you have not served your cause one bit.

    My sense of humour gone, let me say, “How dare you accuse Rev. Lusama of being used by the AGW-conspiracists.” In your world, are rape victims who speak out also used by the international feminist conspiracy? Just think for a minute about the meaning of the first sentence of this piece, and then what you’ve said here.

    Shame.

  50. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    galeg, their island chain has no land above 4m elevation. Shocking eh?

  51. galeg

    All the reports I have seen on this Island Group and many others, indicates that even if we started to work on climate control now, remembering that it may take centuries to reverse global warming trends, then I suggest that impacted population need to start looking for higher ground within their Island chain. There will not be a great deal of help other nations can give, except engineering assistance in moving to higher ground.

  52. hegemoniac

    LisaCrago:

    You bring to mind a person who witnesses a horrific skiing accident and then brings a band aid for torn limbs while possibly insulting the person by asking them to “harden up”.

    Pretty stupid and insensitive is what I’m trying to say.

  53. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    LisaCrago, since you’re so sensitive about the use of question marks and other punctuation and since you ask retorical (sic) questions without seeming to know what the word means, it’s hard to engage you on this topic.
    The article is trying to inform us that Tuvaluans find themselves on the receiving end of global humanity’s convoluted and indirect exhaust pipe – possibly for the first time in human history. Tuvaluans believe this because the United Nations collectively (through the IPCC) and nearly all the world’s powers individually, have informed those islanders that the sea level rise they are experiencing is caused by human induced climate change. It is not just some natural phenomenon.
    There’s no point you or I arguing now about whether, in our incredibly well informed experience, we differ with the scientific community and they’ve got it all wrong. It’s too late in the day for that and you know it.
    There’s also no point in you positing that your practical and down to earth suggestion that Tuvaluans “get another island” is anything but a patronising insult given that you don’t have ‘another island’ to offer and that in any case you don’t believe that anthropogenic agents are in any way responsible for the Tuvaluan’s plight.
    You would prefer them to get another life and stop bothering you in yours.

  54. LisaCrago

    Yes move them from danger; now. Better than your solution Hugh (Charlie) McColl which is to let them stay there starve and drown, will only take one or two more big la nina wet seasons. Regardless of the theoritical cause Do you think this is the first island in the history of the world to be lost to the sea. [retorical] Pacific islanders have moved from sm island to sm island sometimes due to underwater fissure eruptions and storm damage other times due to tribal war or simply over population/over cropping.

    kdkd ; fyi my immediate policy concern is WAR, much more damaging to the worlds enviroment than any other single thing, how you people can claim to contextualise someone as a person from a few posts is nothing short of stupid.

    as to your comments sorry but I disagree, nothing to do with propaganda there is a disproportional amount of funding for proving/disprovingcliamate science as opposed to much needed areas that are no longer as sexy such as adapting agriculture to feed people.

    In my book PEOPLE are more importent than f8cking polar bears, especially women and children the real victims of war and famine. The people on this island are but a speck of humanity and should use common sense and look to improve their situation urgently like many other islanders before them.
    Right now they are being used by the politics of climate science, a science that even if it is true can not help THEM.

  55. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    LisaCrago, as someone with so much claimed experience and insight into Pacific and global affairs it must be humiliating to read this article and discover that you have nothing more practical and “down to earth” (ha ha) to suggest than ‘get another island’. Clearly, you have no idea. While you argue with bloggers, as you please, the author of the article is standing ankle deep in your (and our) hypocrisy.

  56. kdkd

    Lisa

    Fair enough, but your comment comes across as someone preoccupied with their own immediate concerns with a lack of experience about what life is like in quite large parts of the world.

    [ While much of scientific funding has been politicised into believers and non believers ]

    This really is a false statement – the result of propagana from the Merchants of Doubt I’m afraid, and is a non sequitur with your next statement

    [ many opportunities to actually REALLY help people are forsaken ]

    You’re really talking about two independent things the second doesn’t follow from the first. It’s like if I said “I don’t think we should employ weather forecasters because water management is much more important”.

  57. LisaCrago

    ummm kdkdkdkdkd

    You should be more measured in your assumptions of people that you don’t know especially when your aim is to attack their “narrow world view”….

    As someone who spent much of the 1980s working on Pacific islands from PNG to ones you would never have even heard of may I ask you a question:

    Just where have you done your field work in sustainble tropical island agriculture to have a better understanding of the results of tropical weather patterns on low altitude tropical islands? (question)

    While much of scientific funding has been politicised into believers and non believers many opportunities to actually REALLY help people are forsaken.
    Well hang on tight to your beliefs, I tend to have a more practical down to earth attitude to solving these problems.

    much longer answer than you deserve with your attempt at a very negative personal comment.

    IF YOU DON’T LIKE MY POSITION OR COMMENTS but have nothing contructive to add to debate the duck off and ignore me, but I will post as I please.

  58. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Lisa, you “advocate for an urgent and tangible solution to these peoples current proplems.. “, and they will thank you for it. What was that solution again..? Oh yeah, get another island.

  59. LisaCrago

    No Pee Bee I am not angry but thanks for asking.

    mind you seems I am the only one prepared on this story to advocate for an urgent and tangible solution to these peoples current proplems of not being able to feed themselves rather than bang on about the weather and possible causes.

  60. kdkd

    Lisa

    your “shit happens and it’s fine so long as it doesn’t happen to me” attitude will be hard to make jokes about, but I can try. Do you want me to use my sense of humor to attack your narrow world view, or your apparently poor understanding of climate science?

  61. kdkd

    LisaCrago:

    your “shit happens and it’s fine so long as it doesn’t happen to me” attitude will be hard to make jokes about, but I can try. Do you want me to use my sense of humor to attack your narrow world view, or your apparently poor understanding of climate science?

  62. PeeBee

    Lisa are you angry? Or am I reading you incorrectly?

  63. LisaCrago

    dear kdkd

    now thats not very nice is it you seem to have your funny bone and your bonehead all mixed up 🙂

    however laughter is laughter and I am not narcissistic enough to require you to lol with me.
    And my expense account is very big, so go for it baby, what ever floats your boat.

  64. kdkd

    LisaCrago

    I have a sense of humour. However if I was to engage with you on this forum, I would use it at your expense. We would be laughing at you, not with you.

  65. LisaCrago

    Hugh…Did I really ask any questions that I did not answer myself? (question)
    NO. (answer!!!!)
    “Why did I bother.”
    good question
    OR is that a *statement* as none of the pov in my comments were questions with question marks. In future posts I will spell out the words [question] and [rhetorical] so you don’t get too confused pet.

    at least syzygium seems to have some kind of SOH, rare for AGW advocates who are so serious they are just darn right frightening.
    by the way syzygium… do you call everyone who does not agree with you a ‘troll’? (question)
    I have been reading Crikey and on occasion writing election bloggs since it was first started way back in the early days of Hilary Bray and SM and assure you I am NO Troll and I do not hide behind some fake name.

    Now do you still want to call me silly names like troll and try and fascitly moderate/order me from commenting. (rhetorical)

  66. JillGreenwell

    What about taking up Angra’s suggestion and hearing Ursula’s Story from the Carteret Islands? Her people are indeed moving as their one island becomes two because of rising sea levels which are also degrading the shores of what’s left. Ursula’s people are re-settling, on nearby Buka.
    LisaCrago is quite right that any action taken by Australia alone to reduce the increasing global temperatures will not succeed in saving places like the Carteret Islands or Tuvalu. Even concerted international action may be too late by now to save those low-lying islands and others like them.
    However these islands are an early warning of what the rest of the world will be in for when temperatures rise 2 degrees or more on average. We in Australia will be particularly vulnerable because of our harsh environment. How enthusiastic will LisaCrago be to relocate to the other side of the world?
    It is arrogant in the extreme to be so patronising of the Pacific Islanders faced with the destruction of their livelihood and their culture.
    It’s also ignorant in the extreme to fail to see their plight as symptomatic of a future world – unless Australia joins the rest of the world and takes action, urgently and strongly.

  67. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Sorry LisaCrago but those are your questions. You suggested that Tuvaluans be moved to another island. That is your “comment” on this article. Wikipedia isn’t in the business, as far as I know, of naming islands suitable to fit your bill so maybe you could do your own dirty work. No, you won’t because you aren’t really engaged in this subject at all.
    Why did I bother.

  68. syzygium

    @LisaCrago: Okay, now you’re making me laugh. “War on People” indeed. Begone, troll!

  69. LisaCrago

    Oh Dear….Hugh….you don’t know who I know and really are starting to sound like you have a screw loose. Go find answers to your own questions, I gather wikipedia would be about your level. This is a forum for subscribers to comment on articles not fight like a mob of ranting hippies on topix.

    and to the other small but slightly saner poster on here, I don’t let my emotions get in the road of the facts so don’t tell me how or what to say thank you very much.
    To state that Australia and NZ are culpable because a king tide is washing all the topsoil off an island is a long bow to draw.
    The AGW side of the War on People are very skilled at using emotive messages and photos to add weight to their side of the ‘scientific’ debate.
    btw my aboriginal cousins have spent many years getting and keeping their sh*t together and are doing well without screaming that they are victims of anyone or anything. But Islanders have and some will always have to move due to the often unstable nature of living on small islands with poor soils.

  70. syzygium

    LisaCrago – I’m very sorry that you took your honest emotions for the fate of Tuvalu and diverted it to calling this a ‘weep piece to get us to tax carbon”. How incredibly insensitive – you are suggesting that Rev. Lusama is in league with the ALP? Instead of dismissing your emotions, might I suggest you try, “this is honestly very sad, MAYBE we can do something. In fact, ethically, we must do something because we are culpable.”

    And please don’t suggest to indigenous people that they just move somewhere else. Our culture has done that too often in history. We have completely lost any moral authority in telling others what they should do.

  71. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    LisaCrago, you say that some people blame god for whatever happens but you don’t know any, you can’t see them, you just read about them somewhere perhaps? In other words, you make stuff up.
    I repeat my request. Name a nice big lovely island somewhere (4+m above sea level if you like) that is available for sale, is available for habitation etc. See, you can’t do it because you’re living in la la land where you just make stuff up.

  72. LisaCrago

    PS> buy then a nice big lovely Island that is not only four metres above sea level.

  73. LisaCrago

    Oh Dear Hugh, witt is really lost on you.
    btw….some people still DO blame god for what happens with the weather.
    This entire story is an emotional weep piece to back up the need to PRICE CARBON and to back the ALP Carbon Tax.
    But as advocates of Great Big New Taxes on Everything (GBNTE)…or the ALP/Green Party CArbon Tax argue like religious zellots that they are right these peoples island will disapear, like so many other pacific islands in the past.
    So keep banging your Global War on Warming mate…but….WHAT if you are all wrong and an ETS and GBNTE makes no difference to these islanders.
    I am certain if just 0.0005% of the IPCC mother load of money was used constructively to help these people you could but the a f*cking island!

  74. zut alors

    Meantime the world’s rich nations continue to rabidly consume, basing their economies and societies on material avarice. Reflect on the bleating in Oz lately about the looming prospect of petrol and electricity costing more – big deal, we’ll get used to it.

    Basically, we’re a bunch of spoilt brats who can’t possibly conceive the dilemma Tuvaluans face. Imagine the sensational scenes, consternation and heartbreak if the residents of Qld’s Gold Coast found themselves in a similar situation and had to abandon their homes and property to relocate 50 kms inland.

  75. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    No LisaCrago, you can’t “…blame it all on carbon”. You just make stuff up. No one has blamed “the Gods” in our lifetime and no one knows what the Easter Islanders thought. Maybe it was ‘nature’ responding to some stimulus. Maybe that’s what’s happening now.
    The rise in sea levels globally is attributed to accelerated global warming brought about by conspicuously measureable rising carbon dioxide AND other ‘greenhouse’ gases in the atmosphere. You know all this but you want to patronise the Tuvaluans by talking about the weather.
    Thanks anyway for your helpful contribution which included:
    “…Of course, they [the Tuvaluans] should be moved to an island that can better withstand changes in the weather… “. Like Australia for example? Is that what you mean?
    Exactly who do you think should move them and how, and can you name one democratically governed island in the world that is ready and willing to take “them”? Please don’t suggest some island in east Antarctica that you’ve read about in the Academy of Science article today.

  76. LisaCrago

    yes the climate changes. Yes islands sink into the sea as they do rise out of it. Yes entire civilizations can be wiped out by nature. People once blamed the Gods, or more recently A Go, but now it seems we blame it all on carbon.

    Will ANYTHING that Australia/NZ do make a scrap of difference to the sinking island of Tuvalu?
    Of course not.
    Do I feel sorry for the people of Tuvalu?
    Of course, they should be moved to an island that can better withstand changes in the weather ***just in case AGW is a myth and nothing we can do makes a scrap of difference***
    How about we be proactive and do somthing that really CAN help these people instead of pretending that we humans control the weather.

  77. Angra

    Oxfam have sponsored a series of films about climate change called Faces of Climate Change which are being shown in Melbourne this week.

    I recommend Ursula’s Story from the Carteret Islands in PNG. But you can see them all here –

    http://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/climate-change/what-oxfam-is-doing/faces-of-climate-change

    “It’s easy to get bogged down in the debate and forget the human impacts of climate change. Climate change is not just an abstract debate over statistics – it’s about people and the impacts they’re facing. Yet, these stories of impact and adaptation from the frontline of climate change often go untold. Until now.

    Our Faces of Climate Change short film series brings you first-hand accounts from community’s grappling with the impacts of climate change.

    Follow the stories from the Pacific, through the rice fields of Vietnam, the plains of Uganda, to the farms and fishing grounds of Australia and beyond.”

Leave a comment

Advertisement

https://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/07/from-tiny-tuvalu-the-island-being-destroyed-by-climate-change/ == https://www.crikey.com.au/free-trial/==https://www.crikey.com.au/subscribe/

Show popup

Telling you what the others don't. FREE for 21 days.

Free Trial form on Pop Up

Free Trial form on Pop Up
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.