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Old 05-12-2005, 22:23   #1
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Exclamation Pacific islanders move to escape global warming

Pacific islanders move to escape global warming
Mon Dec 5, 2005 4:36 PM ET

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
MONTREAL (Reuters) - Rising seas have forced 100 people on a Pacific island to move to higher ground in what may be the first example of a village formally displaced because of modern global warming, a U.N. report said on Monday.

With coconut palms on the coast already standing in water, inhabitants in the Lateu settlement on Tegua island in Vanuatu started dismantling their wooden homes in August and moved about 600 yards (meters) inland.

"They could no longer live on the coast," Taito Nakalevu, a climate change expert at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, told Reuters during a 189-nation conference in Montreal on ways to fight climate change.

So-called "king tides," often whipped up by cyclones, had become stronger in recent years and made Lateu uninhabitable by flooding the village 4 to 5 times a year. "We are seeing king tides across the region flooding islands," he said.

The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement that the Lateu settlement "has become one of, if not the first, to be formally moved out of harm's way as a result of climate change."

The scientific panel that advises the United Nations projects that seas could rise by almost 3 feet (a meter) by 2100 because of melting icecaps and warming linked to a build-up of heat-trapping gases emitted by burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and autos.

Many other coastal communities are vulnerable to rising seas, such as the U.S. city of New Orleans, the Italian city of Venice or settlements in the Arctic where a thawing of sea ice has exposed coasts to erosion by the waves.

CORAL ATOLLS

Pacific Islanders, many living on coral atolls, are among those most at risk. Off Papua New Guinea, about 2,000 people on the Cantaret Islands are planning to move to nearby Bougainville island, four hours' boat ride to the southwest.

Two uninhabited Kiribati islands, Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea, disappeared underwater in 1999.

"In Tegua, the dwellings are moving first. The chief has moved, he has to start the process, so his people are now following," Nakalevu said. A church would also be dismantled and moved inland.

Nakalevu said the rising seas seemed linked to climate change. It was unknown if the coral base of the island, about 12 square miles, might be subsiding. Most villagers rely on yams, beans and other crops grown on higher ground.

To help Lateu, Canada had provided $50,000 to build a system to collect and store up to 9,500 gallons (36,000 liters) of rain water to break dependence on springs by the coast.

In the Arctic, indigenous peoples in Shishmaref in Alaska and in Tuktoyaktuk in Canada were considering moving because of climate change, U.N. officials said.

"The peoples of the Arctic and the small islands of this world face many of the same threats," Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's executive director, said in a statement.

"The melting and receding of sea ice and the rising of sea levels, storms surges and the like are the first manifestations of big changes underway which eventually will touch everyone on the planet," he said.
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Old 05-12-2005, 22:52   #2
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What amazes me is that there are still global warming denialists out there. The OVERWHELMING opinion in the scientific community is that climate change is occuring and that at least some or most of it is due to human activity.

As the biggest polluter, the U.S. has a moral obligation to take the lead on this issue. Instead, the current leadership (certainly a generous description) in Washington has dithered and dawdled. It seems the price of saving the planet may be a short-term reduction in profits for Bush and clan and their oil barron campaign financiers.

Sad, very sad.
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:20   #3
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Keep in mind that the US produces 25% of the world's air pollution, whi;e we have only 5% of the population. Why start pretending to care now.
There is no way to undo what is done. The best we can hope for is to cut the losses.
Fortunatly, sailors are very adaptive, and self sufficient people by nature. We and those like us will continue to thrive regardless of the stupidity and greed that pervails. While the hate mongers preach that conservation means stepping back into the dark ages, those of us out to survive in the harshest environment on Earth are aware that inovation and advancement are the real key to surviving change. Perfecting already efficient means of survival can be far more effective than finding more complicated and expensive ways of consuming natural resources at the existing rate. Everyone is excited about the new hybrid technology, but why. Cars that cost $30,000 are getting 45-50 miles to the gallon and are callecd new technology, but compare them to 20 year old technology such as the GEO Metro that cost under $10000, and, that also got 45 miles to the gallon, or go back another 40 years and look at the Morris minor, that got 40+ miles to the gallon. The why is simple. Oil runs the world, and the idea that oil could be replaced by some other, and better fuel is terrifying to the low lifes sucking the life blood out of this country. Since they have the money, they have the control. They have figured out that people will always buy a good sales pitch, so the pitch is, only one solution. That solution is find different (not necessarily better) ways to use fossil fuels. It is all about power.
RANT RANT RANT! I'll stop now. Take a breath, and realize that if I am this angry, as old and tired as I am, someone a lot younger, with allot more energy is probably just as angry. So there is hope.
One positive thought, DC is not far above sea level
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:26   #4
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Yep. Washington DC, is on former marshlands. And the sealevel is not far from that. Being a part of the Chesapeke, and I believe the Atlantic ocean. I have forgtton how far DC is from the Atlantic. But, I know it is not that far?
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:29   #5
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And getting closer every day
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:34   #6
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I can say one thing. Those rich SOB's that have those summer homes on Martha's Vineyard will be gone, one of these days too !! :-)
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:41   #7
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I do not condemn wealth, only corruption.
The first time I read that article it was not surprising. Unfortunate, but these are the things that are happening. I think I picked up something in the tone of Scott's reply that set me off. Oh well. Those of us without our heads buried in the sand know global warming is real. Is it part of the natural cycle of the Earth? Who knows? It's for darn sure that the general population of the US is not going to give up oil until they are under water.
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:45   #8
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The way you mentioned that. Reminds me of that Kevin Costner movie, "Waterworld."

I don't think it'll get that bad !! But granted, some prime real estate will be underwater.
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Old 05-12-2005, 23:57   #9
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The Earth is ever changing. As fast as land disappears, new land is formed. The fact is, this is far more about human nature than nature. Even if a large part of the Earth ends up under water, there will be sufficient land to sustain the population. The real question is, will greed allow the people to sustain themselves. The Earth is an ever changing place, and human beings have adapted so far, but when corruption gains control, the means to adapt are often taken away.
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Old 06-12-2005, 00:06   #10
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Anarchy. Civil War. Revolution. The poor could mass together. Just like the French did to King Louis the 16th and his queen wife Maire Antoinette. And rid of alot of them enough to take the power back?
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Old 06-12-2005, 00:09   #11
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That is a whole other rant. I am going to quite before this thing turns left again. Suffice it to say that things will get worse before they get better, and the best solution is to just go sailing
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Old 06-12-2005, 00:11   #12
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You got that right, Kai. And hopefully, alot of sailing will do the trick? ;-)
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Old 06-12-2005, 16:35   #13
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Seems like I recall in the late 1980's the big fear was that another ice age was "imminent.".....??????????
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Old 06-12-2005, 16:39   #14
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Actually the big fear of the 1980's was nuclear war with the Russians!!
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Old 06-12-2005, 18:29   #15
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Lightfin is correct, but it just goes to show how little we really know abotu our environment. The measured effects are real and provable, but what does it all mean. That is the real question.
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