Kiribati crisis: the blame game

by Judith Curry

Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea level rises.

Recent headlines highlight the plight of Kiribati:

New Scientist

Can we blame climate change, or more specifically sea level rise, for the problems of the atoll islands?  From a recent article in the New Scientist Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea level rises, we find:

Rising seas are eating away at small islands and will eventually turn their inhabitants into climate refugees, right? Not so for some of the world’s most threatened islands, which have grown despite experiencing dramatic sea level rise.

After poring over more than a century’s worth of data, including old maps and aerial and satellite imagery, they conclude that 18 out of 29 islands have actually grown. As a whole, the group grew by more than 18 hectares, while many islands changed shape or shifted sideways.

“There is still considerable speculation that islands will disappear as sea level rises,” says Kench. “Our data indicates that the future of islands is significantly different.”

Storms and other disturbances that churn up the sea seem to be more important than sea level in influencing stability, says Kench. Storms break up coral, which then gets deposited on the atolls. He says other coral reef islands are likely to evolve in the same way, and that the Maldives seem to be showing a similar effect.

“There will be less emphasis on external migration of ‘environmental refugees’ from atoll nations that has gained such prominence in the last few years,” he says. But he notes that the atoll-building sediment comes from productive coral reefs, which face a range of threats such as warming oceans and pollution.

Alan Longhurst

Section 10.2 of Alan Longhurst’s book Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science addresses the underlying science relevant to sea level rise and island living.  The text below is a summary provided by Alan:

Atolls or coral reef islands are accretionary and dynamic landforms that respond to changes in ambient patterns of wind and wave height, standing on coral platforms: as Darwin postulated, many of these are based on volcanic cones, now deeply submerged. They are built of wind- and wave-transported coral sand and debris, derived from the growth of coral organisms as these maintain an optimal profile across the reef in relation to sea level as this rises and falls at all time scales.

When the continental shelves were progressively flooded by the sea at the end of the last glaciation, sea level rose much faster than it is predicted to do by the IPCC during this century. During the Bølling warming at 14.6 Kyrs BP, sea level exceeded 40 mm/yr, greatly in excess of IPCC predictions and of the same magnitude to be expected from massive events, such as the fracture of an Antarctic ice sheet.

The existence of drowned coral platforms indicate that some reefs did not survive this or other fresh-water pulses but all of the coral reefs that exist today survived such higher rates, you might well conclude that atolls and reefs will easily survive the rise predicted by the IPCC.

But, unfortunately, these atolls were in pristine form when such surges of sea level ccurred and many reefs are today in such a delapidated (it is the only word) state that their reef islands are regressing; unfortunately even such ordinary activities as fishing can destroy the ability of an atoll to respond to sea level rise by growth of coral colonies – the massive release of urban sewage, implicated in the bacterial destruction of reefs off Florida is not required, and neither is the mining of carbonate rock on reefs for the production of cement in the Indian Ocean.

The mechanism is very simple. Fishing is an essential activity of people living on reef islands and their consumption of fish is very high. But many of the prized large fish species are herbivores, and if they are removed the macroalgae on which they previously grazed may progressively smother the coral and prevent its continued growth. Other large reef fish are spongivores, and their removal by fishing may similarly result in overgrowth of corals by sponges.   This problem is largely ignored, and a recent major multi-author review of coral reef problems noted that those visiting reefs today are unlikely to see the large fish that were a character of reefs in the past, but no mention was made of the probable consequence for coral organisms of their absence.

Despite the significant change in conditions in the open ocean recorded during the 20th century, including a rise in sea level close to predicted rates, a survey of reef islands over a large part of the SW Pacific shows no alarming changes: over periods of about 20-60 years, of 27 reef islands surveyed only 14% suffered any loss of area, while the other showed either some accretion or minor changes of outline – of which some could be attributed to aggregation of material caused by the building of piers or jetties.

General predictions on the future of coral reefs and descriptions of their present state are almost wholly negative and tend to emphasise global warming and to ignore other human activities: mining for coral rock to use in building runways and for cement production, fishing, pollution, the invasion of exotic species and all the other insults that this fragile habitat now receives.

Perhaps such problems are most serious in the densely-populated Caribbean than elsewhere, but they are also very important on some coral islands and atolls of the Indian Ocean; of these the tectonically-raised atoll forming the main island of the Maldives is perhaps the worst case of self-destruction by the development of mass tourism.

But some Pacific sea-level atolls are in no better shape; this image shows the southeast corner of the atoll-city of Majuro, not far from the ribbon-like International Airport of the Marshall Islands; special concern has been raised by the UNO for the future of the population of this island nation, which claims that it will be forced to abandon its homeland due to rising sea levels for which the developed world is responsible. But their argument ignores the fact that the living corals of their atoll home no longer retain the functionality required for them to compensate by growth for natural changes in sea level. One wonders where the carbonate rock for the cement for the runway was dredged from and where the sewage from such a large population goes to?   Majuro, together with similarly urbanised coral islands, is a disaster waiting to happen – climate change or not.

But many of the atolls of the Marshalls are uninhabited and appear to be in a viable state, so far as their main features can be discerned in satellite images. Wake Island, also in the western Pacific, is an interesting case; intensely used as an air base by US forces in the Pacific war, it is now very sparsely occupied, although the military airport remains in place: this reef island is now a wildlife sanctuary for sea birds and its coral ecosystems must be gently returning to a pristine – or at least a viable – status. The Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean is a similar case; the population was removed to Mauritius in 1960 by the British government of the day so that a NATO surveillance and transit base could be established on Diego Garcia.

The rest of the archipelago has by now largely reverted to pristine state and is hopefully to be declared a Marine Protected Area – much against the wishes of the exiled islanders who still want to return home.

The reality is that the reef islands that are formed on living coral arcs or atolls are not a suitable long-term habitat for anything other than a very light human footprint: in the not-so-distant past, limitation was placed on population growth by the size of the freshwater lens that forms by the accumulation of rainwater in the compacted sand behind the beach, and above sea level. If this becomes exhausted by the withdrawal of too much water for drinking or for growing vegetables, the human population dies out, or must migrate.

JC reflections

The alarm surrounding the Kiribati refugee crisis is yet another example of blaming human-caused climate change for human-caused environmental problems that have nothing to do with climate change.

Addressing the real cause of such problems is needed, rather than hoping for global emissions reductions to solve these problems (at best near the end of the 21st century).   Blaming this problem on human caused global warming trivializes both the plight of Kiribati and the global warming issue.

74 responses to “Kiribati crisis: the blame game

  1. George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    Here are some solutions for the ‘threatened islands’ :

    1). Build homes and businesses on solid stilts like they do along the US Gulf Coast.

    2). Raise the land by pumping sediments from offshore. The Chinese have demonstrated they are good at this sort of things when building artificial islands West of the Philippines. The Chinese also have an infrastructure bank to provide loans for these kinds of projects.

    The problem can be solved without trying to hold up developed countries and, courtes yof the UN, laying on guilt trips.

    • CarbobFarmerDave

      Nicely put, George!
      Leave it to a Geo to inject some pragmatism into seemingly difficult scenarios.

    • Reply to Dr. Klein ==> You should look to the barrier islands of the US East Coast for examples of why this solution may be futile.

      Since the turn of the century, my wife and I have sailed up and down the Inter-coastal Waterway three times (six end to end trips total) and have spent many hurricane seasons hiding out behind these barrier islands in such locals as Beaufort, NC and New Bern, NC.

      During this period, the shapes and extent of the nearby barrier islands have been altered by storms nearly every year — one year had one of the major island cut in half by the appearance of a new inlet, taking out a US highway in the process. These are islands made of sand….putting more sand on them makes nice beaches, but does little to protect them from the raging sea, which can remove/move far more sand than the US Army Corps of Engineers.

      Our winter beach, Cocoa Beach, Florida (a mile south of Cape Canaveral) underwent a massive beach sand replenishment project (at a mind-numbing cost) last winter. This winter we see that maybe 20% of that has been lost of shifted from place to place.

      The dynamical system at the interface between the ocean and the land is nominally chaotic (in the Chaos Theory sense). “The sea giveth and the sea taketh away”.

      For coral islands, the coral structures must grow upward to compensate for the rise in sea level — which they can do if they are healthy and unencumbered. The coral structure provides sand for the island and the sea moves the sand preferentially onto the island, building up the land level. But almost all coral islands are inevitably at the mercy of the sea and its rare extremely strong storms — in which stilt houses fall down too (even million dollar stilt houses).

      Neither of your proposed solutions will have any effect on the major issues: failed natural sand replenishment and build up, necessary to maintain land surface area of these islands or the interruption of fresh water lenses by incursion of salt water making the islands uninhabitable without enough fresh water for irrigation of garden crops and drinking.

    • Your proposal won’t work for a large coral island (those Chinese projects are rather small, very expensive, and will require a lot of maintenance, something the Chinese navy is about to start learning).

      You seem those islands move around within the atoll complex. I studied coastal engineering many years ago, and we saw quite a few documented examples of fruitless battles like you propose.

      What surprises me is the ability the propaganda machine has to create a “global warming crisis” out of overpopulation, untreated sewage, overfishing, and very poor coastal management practices.

      • FL, “What surprises me is the ability the propaganda machine has to create a “global warming crisis” out of overpopulation, untreated sewage, overfishing, and very poor coastal management practices.”

        It is just so much easier when everything is under one umbrella.

  2. I believe Kiribati may have as much as 30% more land than it did in 1960. Sadly, their population has climbed from 35,000 to 100,000 during that period.

  3. You are worried about 20 or 30 thousand of inhabitants of Pacific Islands?
    There are about 60 Million refugees now in the World, according to the UN. So, how are 20 or 30 thousand islanders that may become refugees (and may also not), in a distant future, a problem?

    • “So, how are 20 or 30 thousand islanders that may become refugees (and may also not), in a distant future, a problem?”

      As our actual problems in the world mount, problems that seem ever more intractable, there seems to be a tendency to focus on fake problems with fake solutions as a mean to feel less overwhelmed…So for one egregious example, Obama proclaims “climate change” the number one risk to our national security..

      Of course that’s laughable…and very, very sad…

      (aka pg)

      • But then Obama is always ready to blame things on others. After all he tried to blame his daughters asthma on global warming instead of his own cigarette smoking.

      • pacific islands are beautiful
        sandy beaches, blue lagoon
        think Gilligan
        raising fears that they may disappear makes perfect theater
        ‘climate change’ is the great manipulative propaganda phrase of all time

      • It seems that with the small anthropogenic aliquot of CO2 we can only improve climate, and the biome, and the wealth of all humanity.

    • “There are about 60 Million refugees now in the World, according to the UN.”

      Ah, according to the UN…


  4. My letter to the Aus on this three months ago, re an article on Vanaatu and its islands:

    “The admirable Kate Legge’s article on the inspirational Gail Kelly had one flaw (“Gail force,” August 1-2). Legge refers to “rising sea levels” as a concern for those on the atoll Aniwa Island. The sea level rise around Vanuatu is negligible at around 2.5 mm a year. Atolls are living bodies which adapt to rises and falls in sea level, and monitoring shows that many have expanded over the last 30 years. Contrast that with real concerns, such as an inter-tribal killing followed by the burning down of tourist properties on which livelihood depends.” [An incident during Legge’s visit, which she reported.]

    If there are any concerns about sea-level rise in such islands, they are probably prompted by ill-informed non-islander activists.

  5. John Robertson

    Islands such as Kiribati have a population and water problem; not a sea level rise problem. Understandably, the local politicians milk the ‘climate change’ line for all it is worth to get financial assistance for their community. The population density is now greater than that of mainland China.

    This means that the islands’ coral foundation has been extensively quarried for building material and that ever more fresh water is needed. There is a high rainfall and, if there was sufficient means of capture and storage, there would be ample fresh water even for the present population level. But it is easier and cheaper to sink a bore and pump.

    As any child at the seaside knows when you dig a hole in the beach, sea water seeps in to fill it. That is what is happening on the Islands of Kiribati. If rain water was adequately captured and stored the bores would be unnecessary and the seepage would cease.

    Dr Klein’s suggestion of Chinese style reclamation is an interesting one. One suspects that the $s per hectare reclaimed figure will be better suited to a military than a civilian project. The provision of building materials by ship might be a suitable gesture by aid-giving countries?

    Whatever be the solution, it is apparent that an ever rising population cannot be sustained on those small islands.

    • Whatever be the solution, it is apparent that an ever rising population cannot be sustained on those small islands.

      Yes and no. Population of 100,000 in a very distant place is actually too small for economic prosperity. The islands need much more population to develop high education and businesses that need lots of customers. The islands have little or no natural resources, so the only way they can buy stuff they need is that they produce something that can be exported. There are products that are valid for the purpose, like software and design. But these product groups require high education and population which is large enough.

      The economic situation of these islands is not easy, and not many are capable of giving good hints in addition to just telling not to worsen the environmental problems with boreholes and explosives.

      • That level of education and production is unlikely for island nations like Kiribati or Vanuatu. The main ‘industry’ is tourism. Most of the population survives on subsistence level farming and fishing. Hence the egregious overfishing with overpopulation.

  6. You don’t even have to live on a post industrial revolution coral atoll to experience sh*t happening.

    Look at Easter Island, or a few others.

    Or the inhabitants of a few sunken cities here and there.

    If the continental US is more your thing, figure out how too much CO2 resulted in the collapse of the Anasazi civilisation (amongst others).

    All due to the dastardly influence of CO2? Maybe, but maybe not. Jeez!


  7. Curious George

    I would listen to Willis Eschenbach, who actually lived there and knows what he is talking about:

    • Thanks, good piece by Willis.

    • Excellent post by Willis…very interesting !

    • Mr. Eschenbach has written quite a few articles – which seem vindicated by the above.
      The key missing difference thus far: Willis also noted that the islands rest on a lens of fresh water arising from rainfall filtered through the island itself, and that increasing populations are draining this lens faster than it is replaced, thus causing island level fall (as opposed to sea level rise).
      Still, I doubt we’ll see any of the chest beating furor over this effective retraction of the “sea level rise drowning islands” meme anytime soon.
      That’s the Way of the Bullhorn: bullshit 2 steps forward, factual article one step back.

  8. I said global warming was causing the seas to rise but I never atoll meant it would be a problem. ~Barack and Hillary

  9. J.C.’ Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea
    level rises.’ .

    So sayeth Charles Darwin.

    • If that were in the slightest bit relevant to today Warren Buffett would be investing in small atoll islands.

      As it is not even the innumerate are investing. No one with half a brain would believe that cockamamie story.

      • Vaughan,

        Possibly you are right. Are you implying that Warren Buffet has less than half a brain?

        Just because Darwin used a scale of 0.517 inch to the mile, doesn’t necessarily mean that his theory is cockamamie, does it? It seems that NOAA and NASA agree with Darwin’s theory. So, apparently, do the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and MIT.

        However, apparently there are some atoll and reef systems that cannot be adequately explained by Darwin’s initial theory. Finding out why, is apparently called science. It’s OK, Vaughan –

        “But maybe, the WHOI-MIT group hypothesized, sea level oscillations could explain the curious differences between ocean island systems. Now, they’ve built a computer model to do just that.”

        See, a model. Just like Warmism. The difference is that these modellers admit that their model has limits, but seems to accurately reflect the progress in of at least one physical atoll, in the past. Better than none at all, I guess.

        Only joking. They think that Darwin got it right, under the conditions he postulated. It’s probably irrelevant. Australia is speeding North East-ish at around 5.6 cm/year. It’ll no doubt grind a lot of atolls to powder. The inhabitants can climb up the ladders the Government will throw over the side of Australia. Who could say fairer than that?

        I don’t blame Warren Buffet. He might see his investment vanish before his eyes. Has a similar thing happened to you? Better luck next time.


      • ‘General predictions on the future of coral reefs and
        descriptions of their present state are almost wholly
        negative and tend to emphasise global warming and
        to ignore other human activities: mining for coral rock
        to use in building runways and for cement production,
        fishing, pollution, the invasion of exotic species and all
        the other insults that this fragile habitat now receives.

        Perhaps such problems are most serious in the
        densely-populated Caribbean than elsewhere, but
        they are also very important on some coral islands
        and atolls of the Indian Ocean; of these the
        tectonically-raised atoll forming the main island of
        the Maldives is perhaps the worst case of self-
        destruction by the development of mass tourism.’
        Alan Longhurst.

        Heh, VP, a serf, though perhaps of little brain,
        recommends Willis Eschenbach;s essay, on
        ‘ Floating Islands’ describing how a coral atoll
        exists in a delicate balance btw new coral and
        sand being added to the reef wall and coral and
        sand being eroded by the action of wind and
        waves. Spear fishing parrot fish reef builders that
        grind up coral in their massive jaw, which they
        excrete as new sand and replacing sand washed
        away by wind is a problem for atoll ecology.Seems
        that Parrot Fish destruction, like sand mining for
        cement, are human practices that harm coral
        atolls more than global warming sea rise.

      • Vaughan

        Whether or not the coral islands are growing or shrinking does not get away from the fact that the sea level rises they are concerned about can be traced back through the Holocene, with a major surge in levels at the start of that epoch followed by rises and falls ever since.

        The Scilly isles off the west coast of Britain was one large island until the rising waters during Roman times created some 55 separate islands.

        There was a further high water stand around 1600 when water became locked up in the severest prolonged cold event-the LIA- since the warming of the Holocene.

        That ice began melting around 1750 according to Manley and has been rising modestly ever since.


      • VP
        Would you like to run that word past me again, “cocka” what? It has a nice ring to it.
        Me thinks Vaughan has run far afield of his field.

      • Sea level is close to what it was in Roman times. The Blue Grotto is entered in a rowboat at sea level, as it was in Roman times.
        from this link:
        The Blue Grotto – History
        During the reign of Tiberius in Roman times, the grotto was used as a marine temple, and ancient Roman statues found here are now on display at the Casa Rossa in Anacapri. For many years afterwards, the Blue Grotto was avoided by sailors, as local legends told of spirits and demons living there. One day in 1826, however, local fisherman Angelo Ferraro accompanied German author August Kopisch and painter Ernst Fries to the cave, and their tales of its marvels have led to the grotto being one of the must-see sights on any visitor to Capri’s itinerary.

      • I think Vaughn was trying to make a joke, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

  10. This from NASA shows Antarctic ice sheet growth is probably also helping to slow down sea level rise|:

    • ice gains have already reversed sea level rise.
      They make adjustments and make it look like sea level is still rising, but they don’t have real data to support their alarmism.

      Now even NASA knows that ice mass has gained more than it lost.

      The end is growing closer for the alarmism.

    • 40 years ago, leap seconds were added more frequently than recently.
      That indicates that earth is spinning faster. It actually proves it.
      If oceans were higher than 40 years ago, earth would be spinning slower.
      That is how inertia and spin rate works.

      There is a lot of uncertainty in sea level measurements.
      There is very little uncertainty in Earth spin rate measurements.

  11. “Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea level rises”
    Remember Darwin?

  12. JC gets the summary exactly right. This is an example of the obsession with CO2 (and money) causing real problems to be ignored. It is sad.

    I thank Dr Curry for this post and sincerely hope that sombody on their way to Paris is paying attention.

    • Exactly,

      Before there were any serious concerns about AGW, we’d fixed all those other problems like coral mining, pollution, over-fishing etc, ’cause we weren’t distracted by AGW.

      • Don’t forget about world hunger. Billions are starving because of climate scientists.

      • I am with the moderated clown and the other joker on this one. The big CAGW scare and the resources being squandered in the feckless efforts to solve the alleged problem are taking nothing away from the resources that could be used to deal with the real and present crap that is killing us.

      • Not exactly true. UNFCCC climate policies are currently eating up about 25% of government, development bank aid to undeveloped countries. With the forthcoming UNFCC loss and damage fund, etc., this could approach 100%. So, does a family in impoverished africa want a solar panel, or help with keeping their children alive in the face of threats from malaria etc., help with agriculture, infrastructure to help with drought, etc? Stay tuned for some interesting interviews with people in asia and africa on the front lines of poverty, as to which they would prefer.

      • Judith

        With regards to ‘impoverished Africa’ it is difficult to mention population growth as people here immediately start to mutter about Malthus.

        However, it can not be ignored when talking about food, water, health, general resources, drought, agriculture or the provision of jobs.

        This is a very useful graph which illustrates the eye watering population growth in parts of that continent. At the time of Band Aid Ethiopia had a population of some 40 million. It is now 96 Million. Moving the line will show the population total at any specific year

        We can use a further example with Syria who in the 1960’s had a population of some 5 million and when the recent mass migration started was up to some 23 Million.

        It is difficult to see how a few feel good renewable energy schemes will change the lot of the impoverished or those who want to experience the good life they can now view via their smartphones.


      • People in Poverty need low cost abundant power.

      • ClimtaeReason, thanks for that useful link.

        Looking to the future, the current UN forecasts assume that the population in Africa will continue to skyrocket so that Africa’s will reach the same population density as China has today. That’s a probabilistic exercise only. They don’t attempt to estimate the odds that Africa will be capable of supporting such high density — either physically or socially. Details here:

        These high estimates are an essential component in the severe climate change forecasts sold as “business as usual” outcomes, such as RCP8.5.

      • Tony,

        We can use a further example with Syria who in the 1960’s had a population of some 5 million and when the recent mass migration started was up to some 23 Million.

        Provides some perspective on the “global warming caused extreme, unprecedented drought that lead to civil unrest, war, and current east crisis and refugee problem” meme popular with some frequent commenters. I wonder how much global warming and CO2 may have actually prevented the drought, and water stress in general, from being worse.

      • ==> “UNFCCC climate policies are currently eating up about 25% of government, development bank aid to undeveloped countries. ”

        Could you link to your source?

        Are you talking about aid targeting 1) adaptation, or mitigation as a (2) principle (transport, energy, water) or (3) significant (agriculture, rural development) objective?

        The most recent document that turned up in a quick use of The Google:

        It would be interesting to see data that is broken down in the manner of Chart #1 in that document.

      • I’m citing numbers that I’ve seen from economists. There will be lots more discussion of this running up to Paris

      • I’d say that without some specifics, that number is pretty useless. You have no idea what the money is spent for, actually, so setting it up as being in contrast to development aid seems rhetorical bit not meaningful. How much is for agricultural development or adaptation?

  13. A quick review of the 20 US and International NOAA tidal gauge stations on Pacific Islands shows 5 with trends over 3.2 mm/yr and 9 under 2 mm/yr. The largest are Guam 7.23 mm/yr (+/- 4.61) and Fiji 6.30 mm/yr (+/- (1.51). Some have had a dramatic drop since 2010, (Guam), while others a significant rise (Samoa with earthquake). Just within Micronesia the trend goes from -.41 mm/yr up to 3.87 mm/yr.

    The trends and challenges in these islands seem to be a microcosm of those globally. Wide variances of trends, disparate local conditions, crises stages spread over multiple decades, wide span of impact on populations, full array of adaptability and mitigative options considered.

    From a policy perspective, what are the societal and economic tradeoffs when a very small geographic area in totality with, in some cases, an extremely small population base, is threatened, given a wide range of mitigative and adaptability choices in certain locations that can be implemented with minimal disruption to that local population.

    • Ironic. A population that exists because of the migration of their ancestors, likely due to population pressure, sits on an atoll waiting to be rescued. Why not just get the heck outta there? I hear Germany has rooms at the inn, complete with free food, free medical care, free education and, for the eccentrics, jobs.

  14. Among the many factors damaging coral reefs is one too slowly getting recognition: the chemicals in sunscreen. Like fishing with dynamite and poison, regulating it is a money-loser — with no political gain to the powerful.

    Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections“, Roberto Danovaro et al, Environmental Health Perspectives, 3 January 2008.
    Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands“, Craig Downs et al, Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, in press (gated).

    The latest article produced a flurry of news stories, to be forgotten under the next wave about effects of CO2. Sad that we can only focus on one thing at a time.

  15. This is just in the nick of time for Paris. And, well, I don’t know how to say this folks, but this paper on economic impacts of climate change is, well, it’s not good. In fact, the impacts are REALLY BAD. But, hey, didn’t they just know it all along? Oh, and naturally, the approach is unprecedented!!! From the article:

    Climate change may have many economic impacts, including loss of crops, changes in water supply, increased incidence of natural disaster, and spikes in health care costs related to infectious diseases and temperature-related illnesses. However, hard evidence about the effects of climate change on economic activity has been inconsistent.

    A new paper published in Nature takes on the ambitious task of connecting micro- and macro-level estimates of climate costs. The study finds that climate change can be expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23 percent by the year 2100. This study is important because it solves a problem that has existed in prior models of climate change effects on economics: discrepancies between macro- and micro-level observations. This study presents the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled in some way to global climate. The study also sets up a new empirical paradigm for modeling economic loss in response to climate change.

  16. Arch Stanton | November 2, 2015 at 10:41 am |
    The future is well in hand.–b1xNpbL8O_x

    Says the nearly undefeated Monopoly champion of the world.
    But the sad truth here in the US is this. Our “representatives” are now listening only to the billionaires. I’m pretty sure they’ve decided not only that capitalism isn’t up to saving the world, our Democratic Republic is ALSO not going to cut it.

    They are going to have to have total control in order to save the world. The Brits wonder why we like Trump so much. He doesn’t need their money, he has his own and he still like capitalism and thinks global warming isn’t all it’s cooked up to be.

    The US is being taken down from within.

    • Another billionaire speaks:

      Rights groups have criticized Orban for building a razor-wire fence on the border, tightening asylum laws and boosting his support among voters with anti-immigrant rhetoric. Soros, who was born in Hungary and is one of the biggest philanthropists in eastern Europe via his foundations and university, gives grants to organizations that provide legal assistance to asylum seekers.
      Soros said in an e-mailed statement that a six-point plan published by his foundation helps “uphold European values” while Orban’s actions “undermine those values.”
      “His plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle,” he said in the statement. “Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”

  17. Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  18. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Claims that Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls are sinking as a result of human-driven sea level rise, are scientifically and empirically false, and are therefore opportunistic.

    The purported plight of The Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and other Pacific Island nations, serve merely as emotional arguments to promote the ‘climate change’ political/economic agenda. Whilst less organised and cash-strapped Pacific Island nations use the associated climate guilt as a vehicle to pursue compensation ($100 Billion UN Climate fund) to be paid for by wealth Western nations. Economic outcomes in line with the United Nations’ wealth redistribution agenda.

  19. Two things are obvious. These islands can support only a very limited number of humans, and western civilization bears some responsibility for populations rising above sustainable levels.

    Before westerners arrived, the population regulated itself through death and emigration. We can be sure that these were not always voluntary. Many emigrants were certainly lost at sea, and those that arrived somewhere – were often not greeted with stuffed animals and muffins.

    In as far as we find the old methods of population control distasteful, we should provide another option.

    As I see it, the choices are:

    Plan A: Provide full service to all these islands. We ship in everything they need and remove all refuse. At the same time we forbid the inhabitants using any more local resources than are sustainable.


    Plan B: We encourage emigration and provide those seeking a better life elsewhere with a decent place to go. With a reduced population, poverty and birthrates could then be reduced to sustainable levels.

    Plan A is a terrible idea.

    If Plan B is the only plausible option, then we take responsibility and offer it. We could do a lot for the price of a couple carbon capture machines, eh, Bill Gates?

    • Now tell us where this “Decent place to go” is. Will the forced migrants regard it in the same light. In the UK, we’ve experienced this in the 1950s, with children of the poor being dispatched to Australia & New Zealand.

      • Well. (takes deep breath…) probably here with us.

        I know, I know ,we’ve got plenty already. That’s because Germany decided to hold a first come, first serve Facebook party. This serves no humanitarian purpose. In fact it exaborates human suffering.

        However, accepting selected migrants, under controlled conditions, might be the easiest and cheapest way to mitigate envrionmental damage that is occuring over a vast region. If somebody had a thought out plan (not some willy nilly “We can do it” stupidity) – I could support it.

  20. He may be dead and gone now.

    “In the run-up to the Wall finally toppling, Schabowski was the only Politburo member to go onto the street to meet demonstrators.

    During his subsequent trial over deaths at the Wall, he acknowledged moral guilt and asked for victims’ forgiveness.

    He was accused later by some communist party faithful of being a “traitor”.

    Schabowski, who was married to a Russian-born former TV journalist with whom he had two sons, told the Tagesspiegel daily in 2009 that any attempt to build a socialist society was doomed to failure.

    “Man is not able to turn off his egotism and therefore it’s always a mistake to try socialism.”

    The ego remains the same.

  21. Chris Schoneveld

    Even if the corals are in prestine condition sea level rise will eventually drown all the coral islands that are built up with permanent infra-structures like houses, roads and the like. The uninhabited coral islands will continue to grow because coral sand will be allowed to build up during storms and wind leaving the islands about 1 meter to 1.5 meter above the rising water level. This is not the case when you want to preserve a road or a building.

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