Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tegua Islanders Move to Higher Ground

The Reuters headline, Pacific islanders move to escape global warming, confirmed the fears of the 10,000 attendants at the Global Warming conference in Montreal. Rising seas have forced 100 people on the Pacific island of Tegua in Vanuatuto 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.

The so-called "king tides," often whipped up by cyclones, had become stronger in recent years and made the coastal village uninhabitable due to flooding 4 to 5 times a year. It was unknown if the coral base of the island, about 12 square miles, might be subsiding.

Hmmm, could it be that cyclones and a sinking coral base are the culprits?

Not according to the Warmies: The United Nations climate change panel believes that seas could rise by almost 3 feet 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.

The Tegua Islanders couldn’t care less which explanation was correct. They simply moved to higher ground where the villagers grow their yams, beans and other crops. Notice the beautiful practicality! The Islanders know they have no chance of controlling nature, and surely they are not about to rely on International Organizations to fix the problem. The Tegua chief simply moved his home first and his people are now following. It’s called leadership!

It’s what people and animals have done throughout history as the ice ages came and went. When the interglacial warming period started 12,000 years ago, the polar bears retreated from Wisconsin and Vermont to pleasantly cold Canada, eventually becoming Canadians. North Africans gradually moved into Europe, and Italians moved to Paris bringing their wonderful wines and cheeses with them. No hair-on-fire hysterics –- just move to a more sensible place.

Of course there is no guarantee that UN scientists and international politicians will be as smart as polar bears.

I’ll bet that when the global temperature peaked in the 12th century, New Orleans was well under water, but an ancestor of Mayor Ray Nagin was telling the folks to stay put, FEMA was expected soon.

I wonder if the Tegua Chief would consider mayorin an American city. He’d move to higher ground for sure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Now that you've said it three times, most of your loyal readers will hopefully have understood the rather narrow point you're making.

The fact is though that most sensible people now acknowledge a general need (1) for the human race collectively to manage and limit its detrimental effect on the environment, and (2) for the US, as the biggest polluter in the world, to show some leadership (or at least participate) in the process.

Just another reason why the rest of the world thinks we're losing it.


1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post Tex! I agree with everything you've stated. Keep up the good work!


2:56 PM  

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