Richard Black And Tuvalu
Not for the first time Richard Black has mentioned Tuvalu as an example of a place experiencing “catastrophic” climate change. He has also mentioned the Maldives in the past as well.
In his latest propaganda rant, I mean piece of balanced journalism, Richard amongst the rambling has again mentioned Tuvalu as a place on the brink of disaster.
My challenge is very simple:
IS TUVALU BEING SWAMPED?
From the evidence, my conclusion is categorically “no”.
Lets cite some reasons why I believe that Tuvalu’s demise is nothing to do with climate change.
1. Sand has been extracted from the coasline to build with, eroding the beaches and giving not only an impression of an encroaching sea, but also allowing the sea to erode the coast line more efficiently.
“The island is full of holes and seawater is coming through these, flooding areas that weren’t normally flooded 10 or 15 years ago”
– Tuvalu environmental official, Paani Laupepa.
“This erosion is caused by man-made infrastructure. Tuvalu is being used for the issue of climate change. People are telling all these lies, just using Tuvalu to prove their point. No island is sinking. Tuvalu is not sinking. It is still floating.”
–Elisala Pita, environmental official, Tuvalu.
“The land loss in Tuvalu is mainly caused by inappropriate human activities including coastal engineering and aggregate mining, and partly caused by cyclones. Moreover, all recent measurements (satellite altimetry, thermosteric sea level data and tide observations) so far have not been able to verify any sea level rise around Tuvalu islands.”
“Causes of land loss in Tuvalu, a small nation island in the Pacific” – Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology
2. Erosion as cited above has been accelerated by these “environmentally threatened” people developing the land at the expense of its stability. This is due to the usual increasing population problems. Yes, despite the fact that 1000 people a year are leaving, the population has still grown by 1000 people since 2003!
Even worse, the population in 1985 was 8000, it is now more than 12,000 – a ONE THIRD INCREASE.
The “Government” of Tuvalu has been screaming for their population to be resettled for 20 years now. It seems to me their agenda is motivated by getting a better deal for their people alright, as the deal on Tuvalu is poor even if it remains above sea level for ever, and they can see the population time bomb about to explode.
3. French scientists have studied satellite from the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite and have concluded that thermal expansion in recent times from strong El Nino’s is the reason for measured water level increases that some scientists have found to be occurring locally. Basically, when the water gets hot it expands, when it cools it contracts. This makes local, temporary rising and falling of sea levels more dramatic.
This graph shows recent changes in the Pacific ocean, from University of Colorado data, and you can clearly see the peaks as El Nino’s gather strength (2006 as an example).
“One definitive statement we can make is that there is no indication based on observations that sea level rise is accelerating.”
– Wolfgang Scherer, Director of Australia’s National Tidal Facility
My take is that for Tuvalu, the climate change panic is their Government’s “get out of jail free” card. Their population has exploded in the past 20 years, at a time apparently that everyone on the islands could see that it would be suicide to stay and increase their population.
This population bomb has also led to the fragile land being contorted beyond its limits, speeding erosion processes and forcing the land downwards in recent times.
There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, including in the study from the University of Hawaii that has been measuring tides on Tuvalu for 15 years, that sea level increases in that area are accelerating. They also cannot be sure what the proportions of sea level rise to land level fall actually is.
Tuvalu has problems, just like Bangladesh, Taiwan etc, but as usual most of their problems can be traced to population explosions causing the draining and altering of landmasses that lead them to erode and subside. This, coupled with a historically low, but persistent rate of sea level rise, is just making their problems accelerate.
Tuvalu should never have been home to anything more than a few fishing communities. Human population growth is causing us to over-populate areas that anyone with a brain can see will suffer from sea level rises and falls over time.
It’s not the climate, it’s us stupid.