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Tuvalu Struggles To Hold Back Tide
BBC ^ | 1-22-2008 | David Shukman

Posted on 01/22/2008 7:02:07 PM PST by blam

Tuvalu struggles to hold back tide

The King Tide hits the islands of Tuvalu

By David Shukman
Environment correspondent, BBC News, Tuvalu

The fragile strips of green that make up the small islands of Tuvalu are incredibly beautiful but also incredibly vulnerable.

The group of nine tiny islands in the South Pacific only just break the surface of the ocean - but for how much longer?

During a King Tide, which is what the islanders call the highest tides of the year, waves rolling off the ocean can have a devastating effect.

The islands' main road is submerged and nearby homes are threatened by the rising waters.

"We have never seen this in the past," a concerned resident tells me. "We have never seen water coming in this far."

No respect

It is not just the shoreline that is at the mercy of the King Tide's sovereignty, the water also surges up from underground through the coral on which the islands are built.

The rising tide does not stop to pay its respects at a funeral

In the space of just an hour, the lowest areas are all flooded.

Everyone feels the impact; a priest has to step carefully through the waters on his way to conduct a funeral.

The higher the King Tides get, the harder it is to keep things going here. A woman tells me that she is unable to grow any food crops because the land has become too salty.

The sea water is poisoning the soil and people are nervous. "It makes me feel scared," another woman confesses. "What will happen to us in 10 years' time?"

Factors behind sea level rise

The rising waters are slowly creeping into the heart of these islands and slowly but effectively killing them off.

Water bubbles up in tiny streams; and everywhere you look, it just lies on the surface.

And the problem is getting worse. A local meteorologist tells me that the King Tides are getting higher, and it is a trend set to continue.

"The King Tides are getting worse and most of the coastal areas will be washed out," he forecasts for the coming decade.

Runway 'essential'

It is a gloomy prognosis for life on these shores. A typical high tide reaches about two-and-a-half metres, while a King Tide like this can be more than three metres.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts a rise of up to another half metre.

It is cold comfort for Tuvaluans, when the highest point of the islands reaches just about four-and-a-half metres above the encroaching waves.

Each scenario will cost Tuvalu precious land. Only a small rise will see parts of the islands disappear.

This includes the runway, which is a vital lifeline to the outside world.

People here say there must be a technological fix if a rich country like Dubai can build entirely new islands.

But the problem is that these islands are founded on coral which is porous; saving these islands will cost a fortune.

For the children, the floods are fun. However, for them to lead their lives on these islands will require massive international support.

But with a population of just 11,000 people, will the outside world think it is worthwhile?


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: islands; tides; tuvalu
I think I read somewhere that they're suing the industrial nations for global warming, etc.
1 posted on 01/22/2008 7:02:09 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Tiny Tuvalu Steps up Threat to Sue Australia, U.S.

"SYDNEY - The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu is stepping up its threat to sue Australia and the United States over their greenhouse gas emissions, saying these are bound to drown the island as warmer global temperatures send sea levels rising. "

2 posted on 01/22/2008 7:05:09 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

At least their island hasn’t been partially evaporated and radiated by nuclear bombs.


3 posted on 01/22/2008 7:05:51 PM PST by Rb ver. 2.0 (Global warming is the new Marxism.)
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To: blam
Oops, here they come!

The First Refugees of Global Warming

4 posted on 01/22/2008 7:07:24 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

King Canute, pick up a white courtesy phone, please.


5 posted on 01/22/2008 7:16:33 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: blam
I wonder if they will sue that volcano under Antarctica.

As for the USA and Australia... perhaps we should just run out the clock, once the island is submerged, they can't sue anyone.

6 posted on 01/22/2008 7:34:00 PM PST by pnh102
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To: pnh102
"I wonder if they will sue that volcano under Antarctica."

That bit of information does complicate things some...I expect.

7 posted on 01/22/2008 7:40:35 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

If Tuvalu ceases to exist, will the .TV Internet domain go away?


8 posted on 01/22/2008 7:44:02 PM PST by old-ager
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To: blam

I thought they sank years ago.


9 posted on 01/22/2008 7:46:34 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: blam

Tuvalu is “sinking” because they are pumping the fresh water out from under the island. and doing excavation for building. any number of studies have been done which confirm that there has been about ZERO sea level rise. Because these nutters are yammering about it all the time, it is the first stop for a photo opportunity in any global warming TV piece. It is a crock - very large one.


10 posted on 01/22/2008 7:48:09 PM PST by aaCharley
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To: blam

Everyone in the world wants a hand-out. Maybe with our own economic woes at home we’ll quit being Santa to countries who hate us.


11 posted on 01/22/2008 7:49:49 PM PST by cowdog77 (Circle the Wagons)
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To: blam

I’m in the middle of listening to Crichton’s ‘State of Fear’...


12 posted on 01/22/2008 7:52:53 PM PST by null and void (We're tired of being sucked up to once every 4 years and stabbed in the back the rest of the time.)
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To: pnh102
perhaps we should just run out the clock, once the island is submerged, they can't sue anyone.

Why? No legal standing?

13 posted on 01/22/2008 7:55:07 PM PST by null and void (We're tired of being sucked up to once every 4 years and stabbed in the back the rest of the time.)
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To: null and void

But with a population of just 11,000 people, will the outside world think it is worthwhile?

No. Just move somewhere else.


14 posted on 01/22/2008 7:58:44 PM PST by Wally_Kalbacken (Seldom right but never in doubt)
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To: null and void

Legal standing? Apparently just no place to stand at all.


15 posted on 01/22/2008 8:00:30 PM PST by Brucifer (G. W. Bush "The dog ate my copy of the Constitution.")
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To: blam
"It makes me feel scared," another woman confesses. "What will happen to us in 10 years' time?"

At a guess, you can breathe water, learn aquaculture, or MOVE.

16 posted on 01/22/2008 8:05:35 PM PST by Centurion2000 (It's only arrogance if you can't back it up.)
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To: Brucifer

(yeah, it was a joke...)


17 posted on 01/22/2008 8:38:55 PM PST by null and void (We're tired of being sucked up to once every 4 years and stabbed in the back the rest of the time.)
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To: null and void

I rather liked it.


18 posted on 01/22/2008 8:42:17 PM PST by Brucifer (G. W. Bush "The dog ate my copy of the Constitution.")
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To: Brucifer

Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal...


19 posted on 01/22/2008 9:00:07 PM PST by null and void (We're tired of being sucked up to once every 4 years and stabbed in the back the rest of the time.)
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To: blam
Sounds like its time for the Tuvaluvians to hop in their outrigger canoes, read some waves and head on out. Honor their heritage, follow in the ways of their ancestors and such. What would these folks do if, say, a typhoon blew a 20 foot storm surge their way?

Personal responsibility seems to have become a lost art. I mean crikey, when saltwater bubbles up out of the ground and forms ponds, its time to think about some practical alternatives aside from suing the US.

20 posted on 01/22/2008 9:18:46 PM PST by Ol' Sox
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To: Wally_Kalbacken

Evict the Kennedys. Give them Hyannis.


21 posted on 01/22/2008 9:23:19 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: blam

Do they pomp water from the underground?


22 posted on 01/22/2008 9:31:42 PM PST by Domangart (editor and publisher)
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To: blam

Their islands may be sinking. No one has been able to quantify any sea level rise, beyond that which is normal for a world coming out of the last ice age, to my satisfaction.
Any point of reference on the earth is subject to the quandary: sea rising, or land falling. The best satellite measurement I have found was this: in the past 15 years, the sea has risen 4mm, plus or minus 7mm. Sorry, but those are the only numbers I have been able to find; and I need numbers to do this conversation — not anecdotes about folks on the most marginal land on earth whose islands may be sinking.


23 posted on 01/22/2008 10:07:37 PM PST by Migraine (...diversity is great... until it happens to YOU...)
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To: aaCharley

You’re on target.

The islanders have used up all the resources and are now looking for a sugar-daddy to transport them to another country. New Zealand seems to be the current choice. There they have been promised welfare goodies that will allow them endless sunny days relaxing on the beach, free beer and food and numerous opportunities to belch the nonsense that global warming ruined their homes.

The UN marxists and eco-fascist liars will milk this for all it’s worth. And the idiot soccer moms will write more $25 checks to the Sierra Club.


24 posted on 01/23/2008 5:37:06 AM PST by sergeantdave (The majority of Michigan voters are that stupid and the condition is incipient and growing.)
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To: Wally_Kalbacken

“No. Just move somewhere else.”

The exact words of the wife and me when watching this story on BBC last night..


25 posted on 01/23/2008 5:40:55 AM PST by Unassuaged (I have shocking data relevant to the conversation!)
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To: blam

If the ocean were rising because of ice caps melting, then ALL islands would be going under. Instead, only Tuvalu is, which means it isn’t the oceans. (Instead, it’s mining the gravel to make concrete.)


26 posted on 01/23/2008 5:53:31 AM PST by coloradan (Failing to protect the liberties of your enemies establishes precedents that will reach to yourself.)
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To: Migraine
"...I need numbers to do this conversation — not anecdotes about folks on the most marginal land on earth whose islands may be sinking...."

Sorry, all out of valid data, so we'll rely on emotional stories instead.

27 posted on 01/23/2008 9:52:45 AM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=-
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