NZ Green Party
Climate change is now – urgent action needed for Pacific

One person who won’t be impressed by the Government’s greenhouse gas emissions target announcement (so pathetic that John Key was labelled a piker by Jeanette Fitzsimons on National Radio this morning) is Reverend Tafue Lusama of Tuvalu.

He speaks at 1.15pm today at Samoa House in Auckland, where he will appeal for stronger action on climate change that threatens the very existence of his homeland.

 

Reverend Tafue – who is chair of the Tuvalu Climate Action Network – recently returned from the Pacific Islands forum at Cairns, where he and others tried to get action on climate change.

 

Reverend Tafue was part of a panel at Wellington’s Te Papa museum on Saturday that included fellow Pacific Island climate change activists Pelenise Alofa Pilitati of Kiribati and former Attorney General of the Federated States of Micronesia Marstella Jack plus Dr Teresia Teaiwa, senior lecturer and programme director of Pacific Studies at Victoria University, climate scientist Jim Salinger, Oxfam NZ executive director Barry Coates and academic/author Claudia Orange.

 

The heartfelt plea for action that came from Saturday’s panel discussion at Wellington is likely to be repeated at Samoa House in Auckland today, that the effects of climate change are not some theoretical concept for Pacific Islanders but a very real and urgent threat.

 

Oral traditions are based on topography of islands and around food gathering will be lost forever once those sinking islands are abandoned and their inhabitants become climate change refugees.

 

Just check out this film about the Carteret Islands being swamped by seawater, killing food gardens and forcing the population to migrate to mainland Bougainville.

  

Reverend Mua Strickson-Pua of the Tagata Pasifika Trust is hosting Reverend Tafue today in a 11am session with Pasifika youth, followed by a 1.15pm session where Reverend Tafue will address members of Auckland’s Pacific communities. The sessions will either be upstairs at the Tagata Pasifika Trust rooms or downstairs in the Samoa House fale, depending on numbers. All are welcome.

 

Reverend Tafue is from Funafuti, capital of Tuvalu, the world’s fourth smallest country and home to only 12,000 people.

 

He is the Secretary for Peace and Justice at the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (Christian Church of Tuvalu), and is the Chairperson of the Climate Action Network Tuvalu. He has holds a Master of Arts in Religion, and wrote his thesis on Climate Change from a theological perspective.

 

Reverend Tafue has been travelling around the world attending meetings, speaking and campaigning on climate change issues for several years now.

 

Tuvalu, a group of eight low-lying islands half-way between Australia and Hawaii, has already seen significant internal relocation of citizens as a result of climate change and could be the first nation in the world to disappear because of rising sea levels.

 

Tuvalu has a land mass of 26 square kilometres, and the highest point is just 16 feet above sea level. Three small islets of Tuvalu have already become completely submerged in the past 20 years.

 

Reverend Tafue says Pacific people will not accept losing their homelands: “Becoming climate refugees is absolutely intolerable to us. We will become homeless people, roaming the face of the globe. We will lose everything our identity is tied to.

 

“I do believe people are listening, and trying to do what needs to be done. The problem now is the political will. My aim is to convince people to lobby their Government to support a coherent and realistic deal to come out of Copenhagen.”

 

110 thoughts on “Climate change is now – urgent action needed for Pacific

  1. And have you failed to think about the millions who have to endure freezing cold winters each and every year and doesn’t even have a decent summer to reward them?

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  2. Pathetic john-ston. I see that the plight of our Pacific neighbours has really made an impression on you.

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  3. # john-ston Says:
    August 11th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    > And have you failed to think about the millions who have to endure freezing cold winters each and every year and doesn’t even have a decent summer to reward them?

    What about the tens of millions in Bangladesh alone who stand to lose their homes and farmland due to rising sea levels?

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  4. Sea levels are not rising in the South Pacific.
    Please get yourself up to date with the Sea Frame programme.

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  5. Owen McShane Says:

    August 11th, 2009 at 8:39 pm
    Sea levels are not rising in the South Pacific.
    Please get yourself up to date with the Sea Frame programme.

    And so there are no climate refugees having to be resettled elsewhere?
    Clearly we have missed something. Perhaps you could further explain?
    After all, the posting cites a group of seriously concerned people from the region and your remark seems arrogantly unconcerned.

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  6. “Perhaps you could further explain?”

    I will.
    These people are ‘geology’ refugees, not climate refugees.

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  7. Owen McShane Says:
    August 11th, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    > Sea levels are not rising in the South Pacific.

    as yet, sea levels are not rising significantly, though there is some damage from higher storm surges. But as the melting of sea ice around Antarctica and Greenland continues to uncork glaciers, sea levels will rise. The phenomenon of higher temperatures leading to more snowfall over Antarctica can balance it off for a while, but not forever.

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  8. Kahikatea, the island is sinking under its own weight.
    It’s sad for the people but it is a natural geological phenomenon, there is nothing that can be done for Tuvalu.

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  9. Shunda barunda Says:
    August 11th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    > Kahikatea, the island is sinking under its own weight.

    I presume you’re talking about Tava’a.

    I’m not talking about Tava’a. I’m talking about the fact that melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will cause rising sea levels.

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  10. Climate always changes.

    Remind us of Al “Dubious Chart” Gore’s prediction on sea level rise? Now tel;l us what the sea level rise really is…..

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  11. Most recent report:
    EA LEVEL IN THE SOUTHWEST PACIFIC IS STABLE
    Posted 4 August 2009

    “Graphs of sea level for twelve locations in the southwest Pacific show stable sea level for about ten years over the region. The data … suggest that any rise of global sea level is negligible….. Sea level studies have not been carried out for very long, but they can indicate major tectonic components such as isostatic rebound in Scandinavia. ..Modelling to show alarming rates of sea level rise (associated with alleged global warming) are not supported by primary regional or global data. Even those places frequently said to be in grave danger of drowning, such as the Maldives, Tuvalu and Holland, appear to be safe”. – New paper by Cliff Ollier, University of Western Australia.
    I suggest you read the report on the SEAFRAME programme here:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/pacificsealevel/presentations/briefing_paper_spslcmp_nov_2006.pdf
    And look at the graphs on table 13 on page 5. The whole Pacific island story was initiated by the great El Nino events of oof the meid seventies which caused sea levels to FALL around these islands by about 30cms in some cases. Then when it rose again everyone read this as a long term trend. There have been no changes in sea levels since 2000.

    The Netherlands Meteorological Institute reached the same conclusion and said they could easily adapt to any rises in any of the IPCC scenarios.

    Holland, also known as the Nederlands or lowlands, is particularly vulnerable to an alarming rise of sea level.
    Yet in a piece in the December 11 issue of NRC/Handelsblad, Rotterdam’s
    counterpart to the New York Times, Wilco Hazeleger, a senior scientist in the global climate research group at KNMI (the Royal Netherlands
    Meteorological Institute) wrote:
    “In the past century the sea level has risen twenty centimetres. There
    is no evidence for accelerated sea-level rise. It is my opinion that there is no need for drastic measures. …
    Fortunately, the time rate of climate change is slow compared to the life span of the defence structures along our coast. There is enough time for
    adaptation.”

    LINK to download pdf

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  12. BP

    The sea level rise is the last act of the tragedy BP. It isn’t much now, it comes after all the other calamities and drowns the wreckage of civilization.

    You do have to get the order right. As for Gore, he didn’t tell you when… he just told you how much. At 390 ppm, the how much is probably about 25 meters based on the paleoclimate.

    A possible answer for Greenfly about the odd trolling that has appeared.

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/08/astroturf-trolls-for-the-blogosphere.html

    BJ

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  13. bj – that’s just charming. I don’t think ours of of that type … yet, more a dribble than a deluge.
    Our self-appointed ‘interrupters’ might be interested in getting paid for what they do though :-)

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  14. Are you suggesting that quoting the most informative information on sea levels in the south pacific is “trolling” and that I may be being paid to do this?

    Tuvalu does have some real problems with salt water incursion but it is not caused by rising seas and to go along with this deception is cruel.
    If you don’t get the cause right it is hard to find the right solution.
    Many islands have been mining the coral reefs for road building and over irrigation extraction of aquifers for pineapple groves is encouraging sea water incursion.

    If you regard this kind of information as an “interruption” then I wonder about your green credentials.

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  15. Owen: …the most informative information on sea levels…

    To be precise, an article by an Aussie climate crank, not a peer-reviewed publication by an oceanographer.

    The rest of your info seems to come straight from Morner, and he’s been roundly debunked.

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  16. I don’t think its you being referred to Owen, as you come with information prepared to debate. BP, on the other hand is just flinging sh*t around, so he’s surely the target of that comment.

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  17. The information is from a scientist you decide is a crank, but the Report on SEAFRAME is from the people in Australia who set it up, and SEAFRAME was not set up by any single person and nor are the reports on it. There are a number, and the data is routinely posted on the SEAFRAME web page but I chose to use a media release type document.
    Morner is a Swede (and he is no crank) but the Royal Netherlands Meterological Institute is just what it says and I chose to quote a paragraph from one of their recent media releases because they are accessible to lay people.
    The people of the Netherlands have good reason to be accurate and reliable because they have a lot at stake. They too have completed a study of the South Pacific endorsing these other findings. The scenarios of catastrophic sea level rises and scenarios generated by computer models and are just that.
    There is no evidence of any dramatic increase in the rate of sea level rising anywhere – but in many places sudden shifts in tectonic plates have caused rising and sinking because these shifts (especially after earthquakes) swamp any swamping by background changes in sea level.
    However, I do not suppose you can find comfort in any scientific reports which could impact sales of your book, so I don’t really expect it.

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  18. Sea-level – up but not a big problem yet.

    http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/synthrepfig1.jpg

    Atolls in general

    http://www.geoberg.de/text/geology/07051601.php

    More on Tuvalu specifically

    http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3406/features/4536/sinking_feeling.html

    Subsidence in general

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/12/did_global_warming_claim_an_in.php

    and finally I reckon I should say something.

    Tuvalu has a problem with sea level. It will have MORE of a problem in the future, with sea level due to global warming, but the problems it has today aren’t much related to that. Over the past century we are talking about 0.1-0.2 meters which is 4.4% of its height above sea level at worst (to be attributable to that source). Recent changes in sea level are not greatly out of step with that rate… yet. Changes in subsidence rates however, may exacerbate their problems.

    I spent more time at sea than I wanted to, but I learned that it is to be respected. Good weather today and the beach is inviting – doesn’t make it the sort of place to build your house and settle permanently. If you understand what it is capable of you won’t. It will kill you. It won’t even notice.

    So I have some sympathy about this, but I really don’t think Tuvalu is really a poster-child for AGW.

    Yet.

    As I pointed out earlier and more briefly, the AGW process will bring drought and starvation and floods and resource wars first. After we’re all worn out from that the WAIS and GIS will drop into the ocean like giant ice-cubes overflowing the drink. WAIS can move fastest I think. No telling how fast, but right now it is mostly thermal expansion.

    When it happens for serious, it will be much much too late.

    BJ

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  19. Owen

    I addressed that other thing to BP, not to you. I apologize if you took it as aimed in your direction.

    Frog, is there any way to thread the responses?

    BJ

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  20. >>A possible answer for Greenfly about the odd trolling that has appeared.

    Yes, I’m a paid up member of the vast right wing conspiracy, earning massive money annoying the 40-60 people who read Kiwiblog. I’ll even throw in some PhilU baiting for free!

    I’m not sure what the ROI is, but hey.

    Just following orders….

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  21. Where’s my apology?

    I’m right about the sea level rise. There isn’t any (of note).

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  22. Curious confession Blue. How are you annoying those Kiwibloggers exactly?

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  23. That’s how narrow this vast conspiracy is – even Farrar is defined as a leftist….

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  24. Yesterday’s post on abortion defined Farrar as a sad fool. There’s no need for you to ‘annoy’ his 40 to 60 readers, Blue, he’s done a fine job of it himself.

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  25. His ‘epic fail’ post.

    His ‘worst post ever’ post.

    His ‘sad post from a sad little man’ post.

    His ‘I’ll never be a satirist’ post.

    His ‘barrel-bottom scrape’ post.

    (shall I go on?)

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  26. Cut the green house emission across all the nations.
    If the price of the goods rise, then it will also rise in all nations, so it is fair move.

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  27. Owen: However, I do not suppose you can find comfort in any scientific reports which could impact sales of your book, so I don’t really expect it.

    I would be very pleased indeed if genuine scientific studies were to suggest that we do not face substantial sea level rise over the next century, but the balance of evidence is that we do.

    During the last (Eemian) interglacial, when CO2 topped out at about 300 ppm, sea level was between 3 and 5 metres above current levels. We’re currently at 390 ppm, and rising faster than at any time in many millions of years. Similar sea level rise is virtually inevitable – the only question is how much, how soon. The best current estimates suggest between 1 and 2 metres by the end of the century, but even a few 10s of centimetres will be more than enough to make a good number of low lying atolls uninhabitable.

    As for Morner, labelling him a crank is being kind. From his Wikipedia page:

    Mörner has written a number of works claiming to provide theoretical support for dowsing. He was elected “Deceiver of the year” by Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildning in 1995 for “organizing university courses about dowsing… In 1997 James Randi asked him to claim The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, making a controlled experiment to prove that dowsing works. Mörner declined the offer.

    But I suppose you believe in dowsing too…

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  28. Bucolic Old Sir Henry, were you by any chance involved in the scam promoting over inflated interest in the Olive industry to sell land at a very handsome profit?
    I wonder just how much credibility we should give you on your current mutterings.

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  29. “Choose your words with care.”

    Yes indeed, there is nothing that rich upper class poms love more than taking New Zealanders to court over any possible issue.
    Labour done a bang up job with the immigration department getting these chardonnay socialists into the country, it’ll be a hell of a lot harder getting their upper class snooty attitudes out.

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  30. Since I’m not a pom, your fact checking is shown to be poor, even before you start making rash accusations.

    So, remind me, shunda, exactly what are you accusing me of? Or are baseless slurs your only stock in trade?

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  31. Did you or didn’t you write a book about Olives?

    “Since I’m not a pom”

    Ok , so you are not from the UK then?

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  32. I wrote a book about olives for Canterbury University Press, in 1999.

    I fail to see how that equates to enriching myself from land deals. Care to explain?

    I am indeed from the UK, but I am proud to be of Welsh heritage. A Brit, perhaps, but no Pom.

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  33. “A Brit, perhaps, but no Pom.”

    I am afraid I make no such distinction, I have come across far too many rich British immigrants with a strong desire to bring their class system and all its stink to these shores, that I couldn’t care less which part of the mother land they are from.
    Now if you are not one of these upper class twerps, I know you will be more than sympathetic with my tone, if you are you probably have no idea what I am on about.

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  34. I will take no lessons on “class” from you, shunda. Your insults say a lot more about you than they hurt me (particularly as I am from good Welsh working class stock, and proud of it).

    So, what “scam” are you accusing me of? Or is this just another insult you made up on the spot?

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  35. Shunda – you’ll be disgusted by the reintroduction of the titular honours by Lord Key and his distinguished Tory gentlemen, then?

    Their class system and all its stink indeed!

    Sir Double-Dipton et al.

    Upper class twerps indeed!

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  36. “I will take no lessons on “class” from you, shunda.”

    I’m sure you won’t, me being from the wrong part of the world and all.

    To cut a long story short, Olives weren’t exactly the new wonder crop they were made out to be were they? Great as a hobby or cottage industry (which I am involved in to a minor degree) but hardly the next big thing.
    Perhaps your advice on climate change should be taken in the same light?

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  37. Since I never presented olive growing as “the next big thing”, I fail to see how I could have been in any way involved in a scam promoting over inflated interest in the Olive industry to sell land at a very handsome profit?. That’s something you just made up to attempt to cast some doubt on my probity.

    If NZ was “the wrong part of the world” I wouldn’t have come here in the first place. I am an NZ citizen, and proud of that too. NZ is an incredibly friendly place, with one or two obvious exceptions…

    I suggest that, in the interest of good manners, you apologise.

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  38. “I suggest that, in the interest of good manners, you apologise.”

    What for? being intensely irritated at people from the UK telling us how to run our country?
    There are good people from the UK that come here for the right reasons, are you really one of them?

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  39. fly..with the double-dip dipton thing..

    i’m leaning towards ‘double-dip-bill..from dipton’.

    ..as the permanent moniker..

    ‘cos you also have the double-alliteration going on..

    with the second-letter ‘i”s..also ‘working’

    ..in ‘bill’..’dip’..and ‘dipton’..

    (isn’t ‘dipton’ (home of ‘dips’..?)..

    ..such an appropriate named place for english to hail from..?)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  40. What for?

    For suggesting I was involved in some sort of scam.

    If you do not withdraw and apologise, I will be forced to refer to you as an unrepentant liar whenever I come across your unedifying comments here.

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  41. “Since I never presented olive growing as “the next big thing”, I fail to see how I could have been in any way involved in a scam promoting over inflated interest in the Olive industry to sell land at a very handsome profit?. ”

    Yes, but that did happen and it was due to the Buzz created by some interested in the industry that caused many people, particularly in the Blenheim area to be ripped off.
    These Olive groves are now being sold for the cost of the land only.
    I guess I see the whole global warming industry the same way, people are about to get ripped off big time.
    The individuals writing the books may not be doing the actual ripping off, but they are certainly feeding the politics behind it.

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  42. “For suggesting I was involved in some sort of scam.”

    I apologize for suggesting you may have been involved in a scam.

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  43. Thank you shunda.

    You may be interested to know that my book was unfavourably received by some people in the industry at the time because I acknowledged the assistance of a fine old Canterbury tree and farming identity who had suggested that some olive developments were being built in areas where olives would never be successful. He was right.

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  44. Bucolic Old Sir Henry, are you not even a little worried that this whole emissions trading deal may simply open up the environment to a new form of exploitation?
    I have stated on this blog before that I don’t see how trading carbon is going to do anything for the environment, do you really think this will stop deforestation and all the other pressing environmental issues?

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  45. Sea level rise has definitely already affected many low lying Pacific Islands. You might wonder why I am so certain about this? Most of the people writing here have missed a critical point: its not the mean sea level which affects the Pacific islands the most; its high tides and storm surges. Estimates put the mean sea level rise over the last few decades at between 10 and 20 cm. This also means storm surges are higher by 10-20cm on average. Even before sea level rose during the last half century storm surges inundated large areas of many islands. Many of these islands are so low and flat that an extra 10 or 20 cm surge makes a huge difference to the portion of their small land area which is flooded. This is happening now, not in the future.

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  46. samiuela,

    Have launched from the same Manukau boat ramp for the last 40 years and have not seen the “estimated 20cm” rise in sea levels here. High tide mark on the ramp is still the same after 40 years.

    So unless

    a- the pacific islands are sinking
    b- sea level rises effects are only seen in some “select” locations
    c- the New Zealand land mass is rising

    the “estimates” of sea level rises are pure rubbish.

    Another reason the pacific islands are sinking is that over population has a dramatic effect on the fresh water table of the islands causing increased rates of sinking.

    The sea level non-rising study at the local boat ramp has been peer review by hundreds of other boat ramp users. Including such luminaries as the coast guard, harbour master and other profesional commercial users (fisherman).

    The “science” that sea levels have not risen in 40 years on this boat ramp is proven beyond a shadow of doubt and all non believers will be branded “deniers”.

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  47. Shunda: There are certainly aspects of carbon trading that could have perverse impacts – note the rush to chop trees in NZ before the ETS was passed into law. More trees might mean more pines rather than mixed forest, etc and so on. I have no doubt that some people will try and game any system that’s put in place, but the fundamental point – that in order to get real reductions in carbon emissions you have to put a price on them – is important. The atmosphere cannot be treated as a free dumping ground. We charge people to dump at landfills – we have to do the same with emissions.

    But the most important point of all is that we have to act fast, and act decisively (locally and globally), if we are to have any chance of restricting the damage to affordable proportions.

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  48. Gerrit,

    Maybe the sea level hasn’t risen at your boat ramp. The evidence it has risen at many places throughout the Pacific is here (for example): http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO60032/IDO60032.2007.pdf (go to page 15). Incidentally, this is the same web site Owen McShane claimed said that there was no measurable rise; he just failed to read the all the information that was available there. Notice that at some places the sea level has lowered because of other effects such as those you mention; however the average (even considering the larger uncertainties in the older data) over the region is a rise.

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  49. Bucolic Old Sir Henry says:

    The atmosphere cannot be treated as a free dumping ground.

    If we face the same challenges with ‘clearing the air’ as we do with trying to prevent the rivers and seas being used as free dumping grounds, then our chances of success are …minimal.

    I’m interested in the mechanics of why people act when the game is almost up, rather than at an earlier stage. What is it that alerts some people to an issue, such as the need to keep effluent out of water, the moment they see it, while others will only act when they realise that they might be destroyed by the practice.
    Puzzle, puzzle.

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  50. There is a counterintuitive gravitational effect. The ocean is “bumpy” depending on the undersea topography and land masses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoid

    This can cause different increases in sea level in different locations in the same ocean.

    Peculiar stuff.

    BJ

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  51. What is it that alerts some people to an issue, such as the need to keep effluent out of water, the moment they see it, while others will only act when they realise that they might be destroyed by the practice.

    As the guru said, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.

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  52. Guys, it’s not rocket science to work out that air pollution is bad, why do we need a global warming crisis to tell us that?
    Is it because taxing CO2 is in reality the only efficient way to tax air pollution? But then industry will say CO2 is not a pollutant, and they are right, so in order for this to work CO2 MUST be demonized enter anthropogenic global warming.
    Now I am not suggesting that taxing pollution is necessarily wrong, but the way it is going to happen most certainly is.

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  53. Shunda said:

    Guys, it’s not rocket science to work out that air pollution is bad, why do we need a global warming crisis to tell us that?

    Why indeed!

    Profound question.

    It would have been better to have acted earlier, before the was a global warming crisis, eh Shunda!

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  54. “It would have been better to have acted earlier, before the was a global warming crisis, eh Shunda!”

    Yes it would have.
    But now you are going to have the world thinking it has done what it needs to save the planet, while the planet continues to rot, just like child abuse continues unabated regardless of any law change.

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  55. Now I am not suggesting that taxing pollution is necessarily wrong, but the way it is going to happen most certainly is.

    But now you are going to have the world thinking it has done what it needs to save the planet, while the planet continues to rot…

    What’s your alternative plan to deal with climate change, Shunda? One that will work in the required timescale. All you do is bleat on that we have it wrong, without offering any ideas.

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  56. Shunda said:

    But now you are going to have the world thinking it has done what it needs to save the planet

    Shunda. Do you really think that the aim of the international proposals are to make the world ‘think it has done what it needs’, or can you envisage that the point of a global agreement would be to actually prevent the calamity, by taking a series of real actions, the most important being providing a powerful disincentive to pouring green house gases into the atmosphere?

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  57. Shunda barunda Says:
    August 13th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    > Guys, it’s not rocket science to work out that air pollution is bad, why do we need a global warming crisis to tell us that?

    We don’t need a global warming crisis to tell us that. Unfortunately, we have one anyway.

    > Is it because taxing CO2 is in reality the only efficient way to tax air pollution?

    Not at all. Taxing CO2 is just the logical way to tax CO2 pollution. It’s also logical to deal with NO2 pollution by taxing NO2, and to deal with SO2 pollution by taxing SO2. CO2 isn’t even a proxy for other kinds of air pollution – often if you change processes to reduce emissions of toxins, the CO2 emissions actually go up.

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  58. You fellas show me how any of this economic, politically correct environmentalism is going to improve the survival of planet earths biodiversity.
    On a local level I have witnessed the greatest clearance of native forest in my life time by farmers and other land owners due to this political environmentalism, thousands of hectares have gone up in smoke in recent years due to this nonsense.
    There will be tears.

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  59. Shunda – you mean it isn’t obvious to you that slowing the temperature climb (reversing would be preferable) will prevent the loss of diversity?
    To me it is.

    Think: receding alpine environments or oceans choked with jellyfish.

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  60. You fellas show me how any of this economic, politically correct environmentalism is going to improve the survival of planet earths biodiversity.

    It won’t. The planet will go on and continue to generate diversity. The issue is how humanity survives with something like a modern culture. This is a much bigger issue than mere loss of biodiversity, which is an issue we hold dear. Of course, if humanity isn’t of any value to you, letting it go with several billion people dying off will do wonders for earth’s biodiversity since we’re the main cause of its reduction.

    And quit tarring us with the politically correct brush. If you can’t see that bj and others on this blog are at least sincere in our concerns and proposals, you are very foolish.

    On a local level I have witnessed the greatest clearance of native forest in my life time by farmers and other land owners due to this political environmentalism, thousands of hectares have gone up in smoke in recent years due to this nonsense.

    I agree that’s terrible, but it doesn’t mean we can just stop worrying about the larger problem. And if you think you can remove politics from environmentalism, well see above.

    There will be tears.

    Many fewer of us will be around to cry them if you don’t wake up and get the various environmental issues into proper perspective.

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  61. “Shunda – you mean it isn’t obvious to you that slowing the temperature climb (reversing would be preferable) will prevent the loss of diversity?”

    There is an even faster way, its called self imposed political instability leading to an international environment more favorable for war.
    Wars are never good for the environment.
    Progress on sustainable use of resources was being made before the AGW thing became popular, the green movement has now seemingly put all its eggs in one basket, I think it is a terrible mistake.

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  62. We’re not putting all our eggs in one basket, we’re recognising that climate change trumps all other issues. Most specifically, it will create the huge political instability that we are all worried about. So much so that it would undo all other progress in other areas.

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  63. “And quit tarring us with the politically correct brush.”

    I am talking in a general sense, you guys are sincere I agree and I respect your devotion to the environment, but you are a tiny minority of the emerging picture.
    You guys won’t be running the “green” movement for much longer.
    Guess what happened to Christianity when it became politically expedient to be one.

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  64. “Most specifically, it will create the huge political instability that we are all worried about.”

    No It ‘may’ create political instability if it turns out to be real, and at a much slower rate than if the world becomes unstable due to poorly implemented carbon trading.

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  65. Shunda – are you suggesting that because of events unfolding now, everyone will become green?

    Three cheers for that!

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  66. “Shunda – are you suggesting that because of events unfolding now, everyone will become green?”

    No , everyone engages in “greenwash”

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  67. Dark Green Age. Sounds excellent. A planet clothed in green – trees from coast to coast. Green communities, Green economies, Green prosperity.
    I’m for that Shunda!

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  68. Yeah, that’s what the Romans thought too greenfly, some still refer to it as the “golden age”, some don’t.

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  69. Shunda,
    May I suggest that by making a distinction between first-generation and many-generation NZ’ers you are making a point little different, and equally invalid, to that made by many Greens here reguarding Maori.
    Just because, and this is one of the many places the americans got it wrong, someone is not born on these shores does not mean that they are any less loyal to the country, or care about it any less, than a natural born NZ’er. Infact, I would suggest the opposite is true given how many move to aussie or attempt to escape at the soonist possible point in time. That they may see things from their own political perspective is to be commended rather than shouted down. We europeans did, after all, impose out structure and views on the Maori – for the better in my opinion – and political structures evolve through debate and integration of different thought structures. Diversity of opinion can, and often is, beneficial to a nation – fear homogenity.
    As I am sure you know, BJ is american, he was not born here but would you suggest, even for a moment, that he does not contribute to the political debate on this blog, prehaps more than any of us kiwi’? He certainly seems to care about the functioning of NZ far more than the vast majority of those born here.

    Also, re: carbon tax/trading, is this what you fear: http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/shangri-la-english-dubbed-online-free . Dont worry, its somewhat extreme and extremly unlikely to eventuate :P

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  70. No It ‘may’ create political instability if it turns out to be real,

    Like US security and defence departments are planing for as we speak?

    and at a much slower rate than if the world becomes unstable due to poorly implemented carbon trading.

    People will scam any trading system, but I find it very odd you think it a bigger threat to global stability than warming itself (or the WTO/WorldBank/IMF global govt experiment, or US foreign policy, etc).

    But it seems the real issue isn’t our solution, its that you still deny there is a problem. That’s why you can’t put up a single alternative. Given that we inhabit a different planet than you – Earth :-) – isn’t it a bit pointless going on like this?

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  71. “As I am sure you know, BJ is american, he was not born here but would you suggest, even for a moment, that he does not contribute to the political debate on this blog, prehaps more than any of us kiwi’?”

    Ok, is there a wrong form of immigration Sapient?
    I have seen the stink of the English upper class creeping onto these shores, now that the hard work is done of coarse. Now Gareth Renowden it would seem, is not one of these upper class twerps, and BJ is certainly not, but I can assure you that they are here and they are stinking up the joint big time.
    I can’t see any advantage in having these people in the country at all, they have nothing but contempt for the working class kiwi, or NZers in general, they want the land and the landscape and they have the money to do it.
    The immigration department is a disgrace in this country, and the blame falls squarely on the previous government.

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  72. Shunda

    Green isn’t about CO2. It isn’t about just one sort of activity, but the social problem of “too many people” has already been shown to be too difficult for us as a species. We are programmed by nature to gobble down sugar and fat, fornicate and make babies. We do all those things with breathtaking efficiency and it takes a government like Communist China to push back at it.

    So Greens address the smaller local issues, this factory here, that bit of biodiversity there, the wolves in Alaska, and then we notice that there is a bigger problem that threatens every single one of those things, caused by us. We’re setting off CO2 bombs in the atmosphere and we will drive a fairly major extinction event by doing so. Might even include ourselves.

    oops. Maybe we should have listened to the population control advocates back then. Too late now.

    We don’t have another answer (I do, but it isn’t a “green” answer).

    So we HAVE to limit the CO2 emissions and properly speaking, if we’d had a price on the destruction of the commons for the past 50 years we’d have had less population and industrial growth and nothing like the problems we have now. The important thing is we have to pay the real price of our activities. That breaks the business models currently in place in much of the developed world.

    It isn’t about hating business, it is about making it treat future generations as having a right to a fair share of the planet.

    the green movement has now seemingly put all its eggs in one basket, I think it is a terrible mistake.

    That’s because it is a terrible truth. All our eggs ARE literally in one basket. We have one planet. Every egg is here. Literally. We are sh!tting on those eggs in that basket and it is clear in the science that this is precisely true.

    So we are just a bit more intensely focused on this issue than the likely demise of a species of dolphin, however shameful that may be. At least I am in that position.

    You fellas show me how any of this economic, politically correct environmentalism is going to improve the survival of planet earths biodiversity.

    All of the extinction to date is a drop in the bucket to what will happen if we trip one of the feedbacks and the temperature goes up 4-6 degrees. We do that and we’ll be lucky to survive it ourselves and I doubt seriously that we’ll get anything less than a 50% die-off. I’d bet on something more like 70%. That is how our actions relate to the issue of biodiversity and the many smaller pictures, but I take no consolation in that either.

    We have to put a price on the use of the commons and as Kahikatea noted the best way to do that is to put the price directly on the things that “use” it, not on things indirectly related to them.

    I have scant hope that the human species will survive long enough to grow wise enough to work together and control itself. The economic debacle, still unfolding, is an excellent example of what we are capable of doing. Unbelievably (except to me) the banksters are still in charge. The sort of knowledge that EVERY American must have to make that democracy work is simply lost. The only question is how long it will take for it to devolve.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  73. Shunda,
    A wrong form of immigrant?
    The vast majority of Pacific Islanders would be an example I suppose, being both without finance and without skills. Definatly not a combination that benefits NZ in the slightest.
    If the immigrant has finance and something to offer then they present a potential benefit to NZ. These upper-class brits that you seem to despise so much are likely to contibute to NZ through the finance you seem to hate so much. If they do indeed immegrate to NZ then that finance will tend to stay in NZ and not take the majority of wealth generated back overseas. It is this kind of investment that we need.
    Additionally, it is fair to say that most of these brits will be well educated and have skills our economy is sorely lacking, after-all family money only goes so far, and will hus be able to contribute to the nation via those skills.
    If we were arguing against impoverished and unskilled refugees then I would be arguing with you but in this instance the immegrants represent a significant gain for NZ; a gain that could prehaps be equalled only by sending a shipload of bludgers to aussie.

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  74. “These upper-class brits that you seem to despise so much are likely to contibute to NZ through the finance you seem to hate so much.

    So we are selling citizenship to the highest bidder? These Brits are actually not upper class, they are middle class with upper class ambitions. They come here, their money is worth twice as much, they buy all the best land on all the best hills, and spend the rest of their days poking fun at all the stupid kiwi’s in the valleys.
    They usually start some pseudo ‘bed & breakfast’ to satisfy immigration and then spend the rest of their time grizzling about how things are done in NZ so wrong.
    THEY OFFER NOTHING TO OUR SOCIETY.
    All we get is inflated land/property values so the average Kiwi will never own an equivalent piece of paradise, and prime horticultural land gets subdivided off and lost to productive use forever.
    We are selling out to people who couldn’t care less about our country at all.

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  75. Shunda asks:

    So we are selling citizenship to the highest bidder?

    YES Shunda, we are! You must know about National’s new criteria for citizenship and the monetary figure that goes with it. You must!

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  76. I guess we can’t win can we greenfly. Did you know that they are trying to sell off some of the best horticultural soils in Canterbury for a huge subdivision? in the Marshlands area I believe.

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  77. Shunda,
    If we must allow immegration it is better to allow in those whom can support themselves rather than those whom will bludge. They introduce money, the money circulates and so do the profits rather than going dirrectly back to overseas sources. This is a contribution. As is the tax they will pay and, potentially, the jobs they create.
    If you have a problem with them buying up the land and artificially inflated prices then you should support (a) only citizens being able to purchase land, (b) land value tax, (c) no zoning, and (d) an end to easy finance. I dont have a problem with them buying land so long as they must first be citizens, this would decrease by far the land grabbing behaviour you fear. Land value tax would ensure that productive land is used in the most productive manner, be it residential or agricultural, if these immegrants want to use it for residential when it would be better as agricultural then who cares; they will be contributing to the coffers. Zoning is the major cause of artificially high land prices, remove zoning (while introducing land tax and internalising externalities) will result in properties moving toward the proper price. The other major contributer to inflated prices is easy finance, i hardly have to explain why.

    There not upper class but middle class with upper class ambitions? Well why didint you say so! That just means they contibute more as it effectivly means they are in exactly those skill jobs we need and effectivly eliminates the family money effect.

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  78. They are upper class by NZ standards “new money” if you will. The problem is they are not working when they get here, they are lifestylers who couldn’t possibly have the level of ownership back home as they do here.

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  79. Shunda,
    What is wrong with them having a level of ownership here that they couldint have there if they intend to live here?
    Even if they dont work they still contribute for unless they are entirly self-sufficent they will be paying for goods and services with money earnt over seas and as such will be introducing more money to the economy. When their money runs out they may work, they may start a business, who knows; but it would still be a greater contribution than the average immigrant by far. Better than a bludger or someone with no finance or skills any day.

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  80. Good recommendation jh -

    I liked:

    The result was Poles Apart: Beyond the shouting, who’s right about climate change? His conclusion: “The Alarmists were right, and we shouldn’t call them alarmists any more – or at least not all of them! And further, it has to be said that only a few of the Sceptics are actually sceptics. Too many are gadflies and deniers.”

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  81. Well, I was trying to tell you….

    But apparently Gareth is “just a stockbroker”….

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  82. Is he? I took note of your recommendations at the time you made them, Peter. You and I differ when it comes to the ‘what to do about it’ bit.

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  83. PS: Seriously awful article.

    “I’ve long been amazed at how the internet has made stupi-duty an epidemic”

    Stupi-duty is reading the MSM these days. Garbage journalism. This is a question of science, and until that science is clearer, then positioning hardline either way is jumping the gun.

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  84. I don’t know Peter. This was good:

    Like the rest of the world we have a small but very vocal group spreading their stupi-duty. Most gather at the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (www.climatescience.org.nz) website – Terry Dunleavy, Vincent Gray, Owen McShane, Chris de Freitas, Brian Leyland – to name a few. It should be pointed out the Royal NZ Herald has given all of them vast amounts of space to expound their views. In a democracy, debate, no matter how barking, is allowed

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  85. Just tribalism, though. When someone says something we agree with, we cheer. We boo the other team.

    Fun, and all….but I’m not sure it moves any of us closer to the truth.

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  86. Heh heh…my GMI monthly client report just arrived in my inbox…Lord Gareth must be watching….

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  87. “Pegasus, Shunda?”

    No, its closer to town and much much bigger, the council aint keen so hopefully the land will remain as is.

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  88. “Of the denialist campaign Desmog blog (www.desmogblog.com) says: “It has been a triumph of disinformation – one of the boldest and most extensive PR campaigns in history, primarily financed by the energy industry and executed by some of the best PR talent in the world.””

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  89. This is a question of science, and until that science is clearer, then positioning hardline either way is jumping the gun.

    When the science is clear enough for you, we are all going to be treading water BP. There are two reasons this is a BS argument. The first is your absurd standard of proof. Good Grief man, I can count the actual scientific skeptics on my fingers… and have a few left over. None of them have much going for them except wishful-theories. This isn’t a court of law, it is science and there is always doubt. We doubt ourselves most of the time. The AGW theory is more like evolution than the dowsing for dollars in the pockets of the people that you seem to think it is.

    The second thing is that the theory, rather inconveniently, tells us that we are going to be too late if we wait to the last minute. It tells us that we’ve pushed what can only be regarded as a step function increase into the complex network of climate change forcings and feedbacks, and we haven’t even heard most of the response. That network is going to ring like a bell for centuries. The CURRENT CO2 can push this planet over the edge.

    Adding to it as though there is no cost to doing so is part of the business model for everyone on the planet. That worked when there were less than a billion humans. The commons could regenerate. It can’t work now, it IS NOT working now. It WILL change and the longer you try to put off the change the harder it will be on the people who happen to be alive when it finally comes.

    So “doing something” about it is most definitely indicated, and since we’ve had all the climate denialist crap the planet’s fools could generate over the past 2 decades, the actions required are now significantly more difficult to take. Yet they pale to insignificance compared to the consequences of not protecting the atmospheric commons.

    BJ

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  90. Shunda

    Taking steps to reduce AGW is not totally ignoring the other problems, as they are not completely independent. Any measures that reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere will assist reducing AGW and also reduce ocean acidification. Any measures that replace fossil fuel use with harnessing renewable resources will also help with peak oil/gas/coal/uranium. Any measures that reduce coal use (in favour of renewables) will cut down the pollution from coal such as heavy metals and the release of trapped radioactive radon gas.

    Trevor.

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