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« The Easter Challenge | Main | Errors in Royal Society of NZ climate change paper »

Comments

singularian

None of these idiots seem to question why it was called - NEW Moore Island.

By their logic, for it to even appear means there must have been a major drop in sea levels.

Or - maybe its a silt island in a river delta and so subject to the whims of the river that envelops it?

These people are so stupid you have to wonder how they ever got a voice in the media, and you have to wonder why the media repeats tosh like this.

AcidComments

"Or - maybe its a silt island in a river delta and so subject to the whims of the river that envelops it?"

Of interest:

The birth and death of an island in the Bay of Bengal
By Nils-Axel Mörner

In 1970, the Bay of Bengal was struck by the very powerful Bhola Cyclone. This was a truly disastrous event with a casualty in the order of 500,000 people. This event also caused severe coastal damage. Vast quantities of sediment were set in suspension, and there were significant turbidity flows.

At the boarder between India and Bangladesh, these sediments transported down the river accumulated in a muddy sand-bar that grew into an island. This newly-created islandcame to be called South Talpatti or New Moore Island.

There is nothing strange in this. Islands come and go for local reasons triggered by sudden events and longer-term dynamic forces.

On 25 March, 2010, it was suddenly announced that the island had disappeared. Many, including scientists (for example Sugata Hazra, professor in oceanographyat Jadavpur University in Calcutta), took the island’s disappearance as an expression of a rapidly rising sea level.

The fact, however, is that it has nothing to do with any global sea level rise, but is attributable to local dynamic factors operating in this part of the Bay of Bengal.

http://sppiblog.org/news/the-birth-and-death-of-an-island-in-the-bay-of-bengal

singularian

Thanks for that Acid - I figured that would be the case.

Cleo Paskal

Thanks for broadening this discussion. In fact my book, Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=385874 uses the term 'environmental change' rather than 'climate change' precisely to broaden out the debate about the myriad factors causing challenges.

The first section goes in to great detail about the range of factors that caused the tragedy in New Orleans -- where a medium sized hurricane (Category 3) in an established hurricane zone managed to take out a major city.

The point of the New Zealand Herald article which started this who online discussion http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10635956&pnum=0 was not to look at causes, but to look at legal and geopolitical implications of inundation and evacuation of islands anchoring EEZs and sovereignty -- regardless of whether the CIA blew up your island, it never existed, it was in an active delta, it was hit by sea level rise, it lost its protective reef, etc.

BTW, regarding New Moore Island. I suspect New York was there almost as long as Old York, but it may have had a different name :)

Ian Wishart

Hi Cleo, welcome in.

I appreciate that the geopolitical implications of change that results from any cause (natural or human stupidity via blowing up atolls) are separate from the climate change debate per se, but they are being simplistically and deliberately linked in a manner designed to shore-up belief in AGW.

Example would be Takuu again. I was speaking to a former UNDP official who'd worked on Takuu in an assistance role, and he was the one who first alerted me to the damage the islanders had done to their own reef system.

But one thing he said still rings in my ears: "We had a delegation of UN people come in from New York while I was there, and the message went out to island officials and residents that they were to attribute the ocean inundation purely to global warming, as this would greatly assist their requests for re-location.

AGW believers who mislead the public over sea level rises by attributing disappearing islands to a warmer climate are bringing ridicule upon themselves and island communities, because the science in regard to vanishing islands is now circulating widely and it bears no resemblance to CO2 theory.

Your thoughts on whether the UN IPCC and others need to be more careful in this area?

AcidComments

"The first section goes in to great detail about the range of factors that caused the tragedy in New Orleans -- where a medium sized hurricane (Category 3) in an established hurricane zone managed to take out a major city."

If the levees didn't have engineering problems and were properly maintained. New Orleans would have faired a lot better!

Parts of the World's coastline has increased erosion over the years partly to the fact the very authorities have DONE Nothing to maintain or upgrade the existing coastal seawall defence.

Socalled AGW/CC or any perceived sea level rises have nothing to do with it!

A recent case in point in a part of France where the seawall hadn't been maintained by the authorities their since it was first built in the Napolean era. Leading to increased coastal erosion.

Shunda barunda

New Orleans?For goodness sake! A documentary was aired on NZ television several years before the catastrophe there regarding the deficiencies in the levy system.
The doco made it quite clear it was apathetic attitudes by the city and state that was the culprit certainly not climate change!
And the hurricane was not a cat 3 when just offshore, the strength before landfall is important regarding storm surge.

Cleo Paskal

It was a Cat 3 when it hit.

The whole point of the section on New Orleans in the book was there was widespread failure (faulty levee design and implementation, major subsidence, draining of wetlands, building on flood plains, etc.) as well severe failures in governance, emergency rescue, etc. and that without dealing with those other issues as well, vulnerability assessments are incomplete.

I sort of feel like some here are making assumptions about my research and work based on their attitudes towards other researchers.

I am not responsible for anyone else's work. I do my own research and come to my own conclusions. And hope it would be judged on its own merits.

Ian Wishart

Yes, and I'll defend you on that point Cleo. Your work is entitled to be judged on its merits, and in context.

Like I said, I appreciate the distinction you are trying to make about the downstream impacts of change, regardless of cause.

Those changes create opportunities or crises, or sometimes both.

However, my point is that if we allow simpletons to attribute everything complex to the mantra "climate change did it", it is going to provoke strongly negative reactions from many who know the science doesn't support that.

I asked you earlier whether you think the AGW believers need to be more honest about this issue. I'd still appreciate your comment.

Cleo Paskal

I would hope my position is clear from my work. Below is an excerpt from my paper UK National Security and Environmental Change (April 2009) http://www.ippr.org/publicationsandreports/publication.asp?id=657

__

WHAT is the threat?
Facing up to environmental change, and not just climate change

To understand the upcoming threats to global security and the challenge for policymakers, it is not enough just to focus on climate change. Climate change is one component, albeit a central one, of the larger problem of uncontrolled environmental change.

Humans regularly make direct and substantial alterations to the physical environment. Sometimes it is for the better. Irrigation (which substantially changes regional environments) made early large-scale civilization possible. More recently, the Hoover Dam supported the development of the western United States. More often than not, however, the effects are not as beneficial. The past century alone has seen a substantial population increase, which has put stress on global resources. In 1900 there were around 1.65 billion people on the planet, by 2000 there were around 6 billion, and the figure is currently closing in on 7 billion. That scale of population growth has resulted in major environmental changes such as groundwater depletion, deforestation, exhausted farmland, stress on urban infrastructure, overfishing and developments in marginal areas such as flood plains. To understand the complex challenges to global stability, these other aspects of environmental change must be factored in as well.

Incorporating the other causes of change into assessments is particularly important because, as humans push the boundaries of the carrying capacity of the planet by, say, increasing population while decreasing arable land and building on flood plains, there is less of a margin for error and a smaller degree of climate variation has larger implications. In many current problem areas there was already weakened resilience due to other environmental change factors before climate change brought the situation to the brink.

While climate change may highlight and exacerbate existing problems, if there were no climate change, some substantial current problems would still exist. The textbook example of this is the political, social, economic and security crisis in the United States created by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The Katrina strike was well within expected parameters. When Katrina hit the New Orleans region, it was only a Category 3 hurricane (out of a scale of 5), in a known hurricane zone. However, its impact was amplified because the naturally dynamic US Gulf Coast was already undergoing a period of direct man-made environmental change, including large-scale subsidence (in one area of New Orleans by about a metre in three decades). This subsidence was probably caused, at least in part, by the draining of wetlands, the extraction of groundwater, and inappropriately designed waterways (Burkett et al 2003, Dixon et al 2006). This geophysical instability was compounded by, among other factors, faulty levee design and implementation on the part of the US Army Corps of Engineers, poor town planning, a failure of emergency services, and a breakdown in the chain of command at a time of crisis (Hoar 2006, Ahlers 2006).

The devastation caused by Katrina can be used to show how poor regulations, planning and emergency response can aggravate the crises that will almost certainly increase as a result of climate change, but one cannot say that the tragedy in New Orleans was caused by climate change alone. Curbing climate change without also addressing the myriad ways natural and built infrastructure interact will not stop other 'Katrinas' (though it may keep the number from accelerating).

By broadly labelling most environmental change-related security issues as solely the result of 'global warming' or 'climate change', the military, Government, United Nations and others are inadvertently limiting the range of possible responses, and potentially laying the groundwork for even greater crises. The result of the focus on climate change to the exclusion of other factors is that cutting greenhouse gas emissions appears as the magic wand that will make most of our problems go away. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Urgent measures are needed to combat climate change. Fortunately, we are capable of doing more than one thing at a time and it is also critical to accurately assess the causes of specific threats, and to understand how they relate to larger, multidimensional risks. While it is possible to parse out challenges that are directly caused by climate change, such as a melting Arctic, it is vital to remember that even should the advance of climate change be halted, there is a whole other suite of dangers, such as those that caused the disaster on the US Gulf Coast, which will need different solutions requiring a broader focus.
___

BOX 1
Scenario
Concern over carbon emissions is used to justify tariffs on certain foods from the developing world without examining how the tariffs might affect the exporting nations.

Possible outcomes:

o The developing nation finds few buyers for its product and impoverished farmers are no longer able to afford to farm. There is added environmental stress as arable land degrades and farmers cut down trees to use for fuel (cancelling out the emissions savings). Some members of farming families are forced into urban areas where they resort to illegal activity to survive. Tensions increase with the poverty and displacement, possibly to the point where the implications are global.

And/or

o With access to UK markets restricted, agricultural nations in the developing world put in place long-term country-to-country export deals with other nations. As a result the emissions are not avoided and the UK finds itself in a difficult position when trying to secure food supplies on the open market during years of crop failures.
Box ends
___

BOX 2
When looking for solutions, the entire environmental change constellation must be taken into account or there is a risk of, at best, failing in the objective and, at worse, creating new threats to stability.
Box ends
___

bammbamm

Gawd- is this man made global warming argument still ongoing?

Scientists have better things to research than this nonsense.

Mack

Cleo Paskal,
"Urgent measures are needed to combat climate change" Yeah yeah yeah (yawn)
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Cleo Paskal

Hi Mack,

I assume that by pulling out that one line, that is the one thing you disagree with.

So do you agree with all the rest?

For example:

"that scale of population growth has resulted in major environmental changes such as groundwater depletion, deforestation, exhausted farmland, stress on urban infrastructure, overfishing and developments in marginal areas such as flood plains. To understand the complex challenges to global stability, these other aspects of environmental change must be factored in as well."

Or:

"By broadly labelling most environmental change-related security issues as solely the result of 'global warming' or 'climate change', the military, Government, United Nations and others are inadvertently limiting the range of possible responses, and potentially laying the groundwork for even greater crises. The result of the focus on climate change to the exclusion of other factors is that cutting greenhouse gas emissions appears as the magic wand that will make most of our problems go away. Unfortunately, that is not the case."

It would be really helpful to find some of the things we can all agree on and start acting on those, at least.

Mack

Cleo,
I'm afraid we are just going to have to agree to disagree about the "climate change" thing.
Your concern about world overpopulation impacting on the environment is noble and we should act responsibly with respect to this, but the CO2 warming theory to which you adhere dosn't cut any ice with me.

Mack

Of interest there was a letter in the paper by another lady bookwriter with exactly the same concerns and AGW belief as Cleo,but she writes....
"... the world is a planet,round and finite,governed by a water cycle(climate)and a carbon cycle(life),and long-term varying heat from the sun,..."
Excellent analysis; so we can deduce that CO2 (part of the carbon cycle)has got nothing to do with climate.
Methinks they just keep shooting themselves in the feet.

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