What if we changed the climate and no one paid attention?

Rush Limbaugh, Pete DuPont, Michael Savage, the Discovery Institute and other great exponents of reality denial (generally, but not always, without drugs) will continue to rail at James Hansen’s science chops, but the universe goes on in the Real World™Global warming, climate change, takes a severe toll on inhabitants of this planet.

It’s a tribute to the propaganda value of Anthony Watts that this milestone earned so little note:  Residents of Carteret Island, Papua New Guinea, began their move to higher ground last week. The rising ocean is reclaiming their land; seasonal high tides make agriculture impossible.

Who noticed?

You can read about the refugees in The Solomon Times.  You can read about it in the Papua New Guinea Post -Courier. You can’t read it about it much of anywhere else.  The revolution is not televised, it’s not even in print.

Meanwhile, in Alaska, without serious action by the world to enact some sort of program out of the Kyoto meetings to combat climate change by nations united, indigenous peoples are meeting to figure out what they can do without government help.  The place of their meeting carries a message:

The summit is taking place about 500 miles from the Alaskan village of Newtok, where intensifying river flow and melting permafrost are forcing 320 residents to resettle on a higher site some 9 miles away in a new consequence of climate change, known as climigration.

Newtok is the first official Arctic casualty of climate change. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study indicates 26 other Alaskan villages are in immediate danger, with an additional 60 considered under threat in the next decade, Cochran said.

Here’s how the warming denialists’ diary entries should run:

“Climate change chased the Carteret Islanders out of their homes, but I wasn’t concerned because I am not a Carteret Islander, and probably couldn’t find the place on a map.”

Further reading:


9 Responses to What if we changed the climate and no one paid attention?

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    I also know that the surest way to keep people impoverished in third world countries is to prevent them from enjoying the same low cost energy sources that the developed nations took advantage of.

    Please explain why there are poor people in Nigeria, Russia, and even in Saudi Arabia.

    I’m sure the 30 – 50 million people who died of malaria after DDT was banned wished that Rachel Carson hadn’t cared so much about the thickness of egg shells.

    Please explain how a book published in the U.S. made Idi Amin refuse to use DDT against malaria. Please explain how a ban on broadcast spraying of DDT on cotton in Arkansas and Texas caused malaria anywhere. Please explain why a ban on DDT use imposed in the U.S. in 1972 cause Africans to stop using DDT in 1965.

    I’m convinced the denialists lose their ability to read calendars and maps. I hope you can demonstrate that’s not so, but not with claims like you’re making here.


  2. Mark Gillar says:

    Hi John,

    Long time no chat. I’ve always enjoyed how those who support AGW think that they are the only ones who care about people, animals, or the environment.

    I know for example that as close as Mexico 75,000 rioted because of the rising price of tortillas. I await your next post telling me how biofuel mandates had nothing to do with it.

    I also know that the surest way to keep people impoverished in third world countries is to prevent them from enjoying the same low cost energy sources that the developed nations took advantage of.

    I’m sure the 30 – 50 million people who died of malaria after DDT was banned wished that Rachel Carson hadn’t cared so much about the thickness of egg shells.

    While I appreciated the local examples you provided, It wasn’t necessary to make me care about people.

    And for the last time, the name of my site has nothing at all to do with the community in which I happen to reside!!!

    Take care John. I’ll be in touch from time to time. If you change your mind about coming in June, do let me know.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    We’ve had insurance companies pull out, but no statewide pools of note, yet. Our insurance commission is weird.


  4. John Mashey says:

    I think that’s Dash Riprock the 3rd, like Monckton is the 3rd Viscount of Brenchley.

    Thanks for the insurance reminder. I knew about the Gulf Coast part of that, but not the others.

    Has TX done anything done anything like FL, i.e., insurance companies leaving because they can’t charge enough on the coast, and the state setting up its own actuarily-unsound system instead, presumably hoping the Federal government will bail them out? I did see Texas rates highest.

    Anyway, I’ll see what happens with Mark Gillar. One would hope that there is some way to make the problem more concrete for more people. Sigh.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for the information and links, John. Good stuff.

    Texas’s future is much out of the wallets of Texans, but people like rationality’s nemesis “Dash” probably don’t know. For example, here in Texas we have trouble with homeowners’ insurance. The rates keep rising. Anyone who owns a small business knows the rates for businesses are even worse. These rates also hammer local governments, who are generally too small to rationally self-insure. It’s been over a decade now, but a coalition of municipalities — cities, towns, counties, etc. — asked the insurance actuaries to come explain to a meeting of the municipalities’ managers just why it is that insurance rates for buildings were skyrocketing. The actuaries were quite blunt: Global warming.

    Insurance companies are not in the habit of gambling. They don’t act rashly, except on the side of conservatism, especially with regard to protecting their money against payouts. The actuaries, who are bound by much law both codified and common, to make the best and most nearly correct and perfect decisions, are already charging Dash Riprock the one hundred and eleventh, or whatever his name is, for global warming. In Texas, we have seen dramatic increases in severe hailstorms, severe thunderstorms, increases in the number and severity of hurricanes and other cyclonic activity, and the insurance companies are making us pay to fix the damage.

    As he denies it is occurring to him, Dash pays more for it. Is there a better definition of lunacy?


  6. John Mashey says:

    Many people really don’t care what happens to indigenous people far away, or polar bears, or any of that. People far away from coasts sometimes don’t care much about sea level rise, and serious SLR is a ways off for most places.

    I’m working on the idea that people might think some more if one offers forecasts about what happens where they live, and water and temperature issues come earlier. Here’s a Texas-related sequence.

    Consider this thread at Deltoid.

    Enter Dash Riprock III (aka mark Gillar of Bryan, TX, right next to Texas A&M, which has a fine atmospheric sciences department. Mark has several websites, including the Hooterville Gazette, in which a guy living in in a 190000-population university represents the beliefs of rural America. He extols the virtues of Monckton, who he had seen speak recently at Texas A&M. Many interchanges follow.

    Then, see
    #37 (me)
    #43 (Dash)
    #44, #45 me (trying to relate this to TX)

    (#52, well, Monckton himself shows up)

    #92, in which Robster has bad words for (Chris) Monckton

    #96, in which Dash misunderstands Robster

    #211 (me, trying to get this onto Texas again)

    So, I don’t know this will ever work in this case, but in general, getting people to think about the likely future of *their* area, as described by local scientists, might have a better chance.


  7. Andy Greene says:

    I think we’ll need to see rising tides in bigger places before people really pay attention. This should happen in our lifetime, though. By then it may be too late.

    Andy Greene
    Green Living Tips for Rednecks


  8. […] that, in science, it’s often difficult to establish a clear, indisputable proximate cause.  Something is going on in Newtok, Alaska, and in the Carteret Islands, Papua New Guinea.  Those things should not be ignored, and cannot be ignored safely for […]


  9. […] This post was Twitted by TheGreenDemon – Real-url.org […]


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