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  • Live at Copenhagen: The Trouble With Tuvalu

    The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Groves and Ben Lieberman are live at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference reporting from a conservative perspective. Follow their reports on The Foundry and at the Copenhagen Consequences Web site.

    The tiny Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu is a perfect microcosm of what is wrong with both global warming policy and the UN Copenhagen climate conference. Although it has a population of only 12,000, Tuvalu has garnered a great deal of attention here at Copenhagen, thanks to the claim that it is perhaps the nation most vulnerable to climate change.

    The Island sits barely above sea level, thus Tuvaluan officials (along with their many activist friends here) are claiming that they risk being obliterated by rising seas caused by global warming. “Being one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, our future rests on the outcome of this meeting,” said Ian Fry, an official with Tuvalu’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

    As is so often the case, the global warming threat is overstated. Even the United Nation’s 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (putting aside for a moment the Climategate-fueled concerns that this study is overly alarmist) projects 7 to 23 inches of sea level rise by century’s end. The lower end of this range is little different from historic rates – sea levels tend to rise between ice ages – and is a far cry from Al Gore’s scary claim of 18 to 20 feet in his book and documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

    Even more amazing, measurements show no sea level rise at all (actually a slight decline) around Tuvalu for the last half of the 20th century, even during decades where temperatures increased. (Cabanes et el., Science, “Sea Level Rise During Past 40 years Determined from Satellite and In Situ Observations, vol. 294, pp 840-842.)

    Unwilling to let the facts get in the way of a good handout, Tuvalu is demanding foreign aid from the U.S. and other developed nations in order to cope with global warming. Tuvalu has also joined with other small island nations in demanding that developed nations to ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions.

    The misuse of global warming fears as an excuse for a self interested agenda – what is true of Tuvalu is true of much of what is on display in Copenhagen.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Live at Copenhagen: The Trouble With Tuvalu

    1. Dave, Florida says:

      Has anyone bothered to check if Tuvalu is actually sinking rather than the ocean rising? With GSP technology that is a simple matter.

    2. Evan, Washington says:

      I agree wholeheartedly – the science of global warming aside, it should not be exploited for political purposes.

      Yet, it presents a unique opportunity for free democracies to demonstrate the benefits of liberty and self-determination to the world. If Tuvalu garners foreign aid from the US, the US should at least support the desperate efforts of Taiwan to involve themselves in the UN's talks (because this kind of support runs no concrete cost to the US – and China is nowhere near as powerful as most people imagine it to be).

      It is possible to capture the "new world order" in this regard for the cause of liberty and democracy. If we don't play the politik game, then the only people taking advantage of it are the neo-authoritarian regimes in developing nations.

    3. steve, Illinois says:

      Crying "wolf" does work…at first. As the scientific evidence mounts…more cooling than warming; more polar bears; record cold; and falling sea levels…I am left wondering if man-made warming comes only from the mouths of these prophets.

    4. Lawrence Baker says:

      Global Warming-IS- Human / Industrial Pollution

      The best indisputable SCIENCE example that should be the #1 item on the Copenhagen Agenda would be the toxic waste dump, the size of Texas, 900 miles off of the United States and Canadian West Coast.
      That is a Big SCIENCE problem with no dedicated U.S SCIENCE and INNOVATION DEPARTMENT to address the issue. The U.S (or Canada) has not even sent out a SCIENCE research vessel to evaluate this ecological disaster; neither country wants to take the responsibility for the industrial/human pollution or even acknowledge its existence.

      No Profit-No Action!-No SCIENCE! Will the World Trade Organization and the New Industrial World Order address the issue? Where is their World SCIENCE Department? Advancement in SCIENCE would outmode the use of fossil fuels.

      Can the problem be solved with SCIENCE? Probably so, Americans are very ingenious primarily because we were raised with the compliments of Freedom and Democracy and are free thinking individuals. We could probably figure a way to clean up the mess and possibly make a profit doing so.

      We can do nothing until we have a DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE that is free to address SCIENCE and to develop the advancement of SCIENCE. (Yes, for the sake of humanity; SCIENCE FIRST-PANDERING SECOND.)

    5. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      There are thousands of islands, coral reefs, and atolls at sea level. Always have been.

      Nothing we do will prevent a titanic catastrophe if a 200mph typhoon followed by a tsunami lands a direct hit on Tuvalu.

      So, the greatest country in the world should wreck its economy long-term and give untold trillions of dollars in a global wealth redistribution scheme?

      We lose 50,000 people every year in auto accidents. Let's ban privately-owned automobiles immediately.

      The idiots will destroy us all.

    6. Wesley Sugai, Hawaii says:

      Tuvalu, like any other island, including mine, is at the end of its life cycle. It will disappear under the waves under natural causes, not anthropogenic global warming.

    7. Sharon Tipton- Clovi says:

      All that Climategte stuff going on at Copenhagen will just make the "Inconvienient Liar" Al Gore a billionaire is all – all a bunch of hoooie and backed up with emails to prove they are fixing the books!

    8. Gordon says:

      Why don't we just relocate all 12,000 citizens of Tuvalu to Chicago and save everyone a bunch of money. The entire economy of Tuvalu is based on foreign aid and everyone works for the government so they'd fit right in. Hey, maybe they could guard the detainees in Thomson, IL!! I hear they have job openings for 12,000 guards to watch 100 vicious detainees.

    9. Aqua Fyre says:

      Dave, Florida writes:

      "Has anyone bothered to check if Tuvalu is actually sinking rather than the ocean rising? "

      Let me answer it this way.

      There are over 20,000+ islands in the South Pacific.

      Yet only two : Tuvalu & Kirabati claim to be being swallowed up by rising seas.

      If that were truly the case, we would be hearing a lot of screaming from other nearby islands including The Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nieu, American Samoa, Tonga, New Caledonia, Howland & Baker Islands, Tokelau, Vanuatu, Fanfuti, etc etc etc..

      But the silence is deafening.

      Aqua Fyre

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