26 October 2009

Maldives stunt just lies on climate change

President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives created a widely reported publicity seeking moment on Saturday with images of him and his Cabinet holding an underwater meeting. The whole story was to highlight the alleged threat climate change would bring to the country he leads.

The report on CNN said:

Maldives is grappling with the very likely possibility that it will go under water if the current pace of climate change keeps raising sea levels. The Maldives is an archipelago of almost 1,200 coral islands south-southwest of India. Most of it lies just 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) above sea level.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change has forecast a rise in sea levels of at least 7.1 inches (18 cm) by the end of the century.

So take away 7.1 inches from 4.9 feet and you have, more than 4 feet left. The stunt was a grotesque hyperbole.

Christopher Brooker in the Sunday Telegraph notes that the President of the Maldives was sent an open letter from Dr Nils-Axel Morner, the former head of the international Inqua Commission on Sea Level Change. It says "that his commission had visited the Maldives six times in the years since 2000, and that he himself had led three month-long investigations in every part of the coral archipelago. Their exhaustive studies had shown that from 1790 to 1970 sea-levels round the islands had averaged 20 centimetres higher than today; that the level, having fallen, has since remained stable; and that there is not the slightest sign of any rise. The most cautious forecast based on proper science (rather than computer model guesswork) shows that any rise in the next 100 years will be "small to negligible"."

So it is a monumental fraud to scare the world into thinking the Maldives will be swamped.

Furthermore, Dr Morner has sought to reassure the people of the Maldives, but its government isn't interested:

Professor Morner offered to explain his team's findings on the local TV station, to reassure viewers that their homes were not about to disappear underwater as they had been told. The government refused to allow his film to be shown. Egged on by climate alarmists, successive Maldivan leaders since the 1980s have pleaded for vast sums of international aid to save them from rising sea levels.

Brooker concludes rightly:

"If President Nasheed really believed his own propaganda, he would of course immediately ban all flights into his country and turn off the lights in all its hotels. But since this would put an end to the international tourism which is almost his country's only source of income, he would rather carry on staging his publicity stunts, while holding out the begging bowl which he hopes gullible world leaders such as Gordon Brown will soon fill with large quantities of Western taxpayers' cash."

Nasheed is a fraudster, perpetuating his fraud to whoever will listen, enjoying the tourism from environmentalists that it generates ("last chance to visit Maldives") and with the begging bowl out ("it's not our fault, but come fly to see us").

Of course the Guardian swallowed it like the true believers they are claiming the Maldives would be the first nation submerged.

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