The tiny nation of Tuvalu is facing a crisis. A number of the islands including the capital Funafuti are suffering acute water shortages. On the island of Nukulaelae it is estimated that without intervention the water supplies would have run out by week’s end.

Palm trees knocked down by rising tides. Pic: Tricia Johnson

Australia and New Zealand are immediately responding by shipping in temporary desalination plants and fresh water supplies and helping repair existing desalination units. Water tanks, the great bulk of which have been supplied through Australian aid, are part of the longer term solution.

Yet water tanks are only of use if it rains. And here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu is experiencing a drought.

Tuvalu is a country comprising nine coral atolls: Low lying strips of land never more than a kilometre wide – usually much less. Parts of Funafuti are as wide as the road.

The sea is omnipresent and the people are seafarers. Their lifestyle, their culture and their sustenance is all about the sea. While in past centuries this centred on fishing and traditional forms of navigation, today the largest source of private sector income is derived from remittances of Tuvaluans crewing large international ships.

And so when the sea, a fundamental source of security and comfort, is transformed by climate change into a source of threat and fear, the feeling of vulnerability is indescribable.

While rising sea levels force the people of Tuvalu to comprehend their homes literally sinking in the future, it is a related threat which is challenging their existence in the present. Changing weather patterns are undermining their water security.

In a country with no rivers or dams small variations to weather patterns wreak havoc. Even a mildly longer drought than normal has the potential to be catastrophic. And one of the longest droughts in the history of the country has left traditional water collection methods along with modern water tanks bereft of water.

Anote Tong is the President of another coral atoll nation: the Republic of Kiribati. Like its neighbour Tuvalu it faces all the challenges and feels all the vulnerabilities presented by climate change. Together they are the canary in the global coal mine of climate change.

At the end of 2009 in Copenhagen, President Tong came to international prominence as he sought to tell the story of the most vulnerable communities to climate change in the world. Australia’s special relationship with the Pacific compels us to lend our voice in the telling of that story.

In July this year, along with Marcus Stephen the President of Nauru, I participated in a debate in the United Nations Security Council on climate change. The debate was sponsored by the nations of the Pacific Ocean to highlight that for them climate change represents an existential threat to their security every bit as real as any armed conflict.

What struck me at the Security Council was that virtually no-one in that room had ever seen the peculiar nature of life on a coral atoll. The idea that there are countries where there are no hills to run for, and that water is ceasing to flow from taps right now was beyond the parameters of the understood threat.

The debate helped lead to the first ever visit by a UN Secretary-General to Kiribati. To witness Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon see firsthand the sea erosion which comes to within a few meters of the country’s main runway, the spoiling of the water table which means that many of the island’s wells are no longer useable, and to meet people who have the sea come into their living room every king tide was to witness a moment in history.

Richard Marles and Ban Ki-Moon planting mangroves in Kiribati as a natural sea wall.

The water crisis in Tuvalu has its connection with the debate around a carbon price in Australia.

This is not to say that the motivation for pricing carbon in our economy is to provide secure drinking water in Tuvalu. We all understand that Australia alone will not redress climate change.

The motivation for pricing carbon in Australia is to ensure that Australia is not left behind as the rest of the world moves. In a global economy where dependency upon carbon is penalised we cannot allow ourselves to be so exposed. And living, as we do, in the most carbon dependent economy in the developed world the prosperity of our future industry demands that we move to address our carbon dependency now.

Yet the connection does lie in the global story of climate change. For lest there be any doubt that the world is in fact moving, the very real experiences of Tuvalu and Kiribati along with those of the Aral Sea, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Amazon Basin are the driving force which will see the global will to act on climate change grow in intensity each and every day.

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    • Super D says:

      05:47am | 12/10/11

      Exactly what impact will Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism have on sea levels at Tuvalu? 

      While modest sea levels are of great interest to the people of Tuvalu and those who would harness their plight for their own political goals why should the world at large really care?  The fact is that these atolls would have been submerged before in the history of the world and just because some 10000 people now occupy these atolls is no reason to think they will never be submerged again - man made CO2 induced or otherwise.

      If Tuvaluans are truly concerned about their fate let them ask to become part of Australia.  Their citizens could sell their land and move here, our property developers who doubt that the atolls will be swamped could by their properties and move there.  If the worst happens they’ll be coming to Australia anyway so they may as well demonstrate their beliefs now.

    • Nathan says:

      06:31am | 12/10/11

      you really don’t get it do you. Its peoples homes not everyone wants to live in Australia and sell to property developers (they better not come here on a boat). Climate change is more than likely (im not saying 100%) a cause that affects many of these places but their own actions did not cause them.

    • iansand says:

      07:22am | 12/10/11

      Tuvaluans are 1,000 people.  They could easily be accommodated in Australia or NZ (although I have problems with the idea that they should up sticks because the rest of the world can’t be bothered about them, but that’s another story).

      It will be less easy to accommodate the millions of Bangladeshis who may find that their low lying delta farms are uninhabitable.

    • acotrel says:

      07:48am | 12/10/11

      ‘Tuvaluans are 1,000 people.  They could easily be accommodated in Australia or NZ ‘

      Some of them might be Muslims ! !

    • andye says:

      09:01am | 12/10/11

      @Super D - Exactly what impact will Australia’s direct action plan have on sea levels at Tuvalu?

    • Super D says:

      09:36am | 12/10/11

      @andye - none.  It is equally pointless in terms of its supposed impact on global warming, it may produce some other benefits.

      @Nathan - the point is that Tuvalu will one day sink between the waves whether this is due to manmade global warming or not.  Given that the Tuvaluans believe that this is imminent due to inaction on global warming they may as well sell up now.  If they are right and Tuvalu is washed away then whomever they sell their land to does their dough in which case they will be in Australia with a fistful of cash laughing at the deniers.  If they are right and haven’t sold then they end up in Australia as penniless refugees.  I’d rather have no home and a fat wad of cash than just no home.

    • Max, of Rocky says:

      11:32am | 12/10/11

      @ acotrel

      Your flippant comment could be considered to be religious intolerance.

      They have the right to seek haven here as refugees.  With the government waffling on about how wonderful they are in the Pacific it would be a piece of cake for them to take them in.

    • Dean says:

      02:14pm | 12/10/11

      Yet again the predicament of Tuvalu is not conclusive evidence of Climate Change but is one of the token current phenomenas being bandied around by the Global Warming Alarmists.  This is not meant to diminish the current situation in Tuvalu but rather questions its cause.  First off, lets begin by understanding why Coral Atolls are formed in the first place.  Darwin’s theory is the most widely accepted and you can read more on it here
      and here
      So in regards the current situation in Tuvalu and other Pacific Islands is it in fact Climate Change causing the seas to rise or rather subsidence of the ocean floor causing the Atoll to sink?
      Yet again this shows that the science is not settled at all.

    • acotrel says:

      09:37pm | 12/10/11

      ‘They have the right to seek haven here as refugees’

      Tell Tony !

    • Nathan says:

      06:03am | 12/10/11

      not our problem is it cause apparently we can’t do anything till China or the USA does. Cause god forbid another country take the lead

    • Super D says:

      06:40am | 12/10/11

      While it can be desirable to make a unilateral stand for the benefit of others on a matter of principle it is rarely sensible on a matter related to trade or economics.

      As a middle power Australia’s best course would be to announce we will move as soon as China or America do.  While we wouldn’t get the undergraduate level “win” announcement of moving early, we would be more likely to get a meaningful result.  This is particularly important when no one else even talking about making a similar economy wide transformation.

    • Pete from Sydney says:

      07:22am | 12/10/11

      Super D, hasn’t China just introduced a’climate change’ tax?

    • Nathan says:

      07:24am | 12/10/11

      “it is rarely sensible on a matter related to trade or economics” well trade has nothing to do with it and as far as economics goes what has been proposed will have marginal impacts according to the majority of economists.

      Australia has an opportunity to move first and starting to develop new clean technology to respond to what the market wants or will be forced to have in the future.

      I get your point that our impact will be marginal but there is allot to be said for starting the debate. The carbon tax in Australia has been talked about in Canada for instance that then starts to put pressure on their government. This could be a bit pipe dream i admit but i firmly believe that if their is only a 10% this is real we have to start acting now

    • iansand says:

      07:26am | 12/10/11

      China is moving.  California (an economy larger than ours) has moved.  Other US states have taken steps.  UK and Europe have moved.

      We are not in the forefront.  We are trotting along nicely in the pack.  Exactlt where you think we should be.

    • Arthur says:

      08:01am | 12/10/11

      Being an advocate of the carbon tax demonstrates a complete and profound lack of understanding of what’s happening in the world.

      If, as a few have said, Europe, the US, Canada and Australia implement a carbon tax. That leaves plenty of others (India, South American countries, other south east countries) to gobble up all the cheap coal and oil. Their populations will explode and we’re back to WORSE than square one. These extra people will need housing, food, infrastructure, transport. All of which will need land clearing to accommodate this.

      A carbon tax will not stop the eventual and complete consumption of fossil fuels. A tax is the wrong plan (Unless it’s to conserve fuels for future generations).

      The problem is too many people. A growing global population is decimating land that used to lock carbon in plants. It is population that’s killing us. However politicians don’t like that issue because big business don’t like that issue. We are being conned. Again.

      Be part of the solution. Understand what’s going on and tell politicians it is population both here and overseas that we want addressed.

    • Joan says:

      08:22am | 12/10/11

      iansand : China 300+ coal fired power stations fueled by cheap Australian coal and 13+ nuclear power stations - busy churning out unreliable window turbines and short-life solar panels to supply the world suckers.  Laugh - Australia think they can outsmart, outdo   China, India and USA. - by implementing a Carbon Tax - totally delusional like Gillard. Nothing stopping Australians developing technologies without big Carbon Tax slug.  -Just like pink batts , and BER building rorts the scammers will make the most out Gillard Carbon Tax.  - thats what Australians are good at - the big rip off.

    • Anubis says:

      08:38am | 12/10/11

      Australia will be taxed $23 per tonne to start with. In Chicago Carbon Credits are currently priced at $0.05 per tonne. Any one see a problem here?

    • PTom says:

      08:48am | 12/10/11

      India has a carbon price.
      Brazil has Amazon Climate Exchange cashing in on carbon credits

      What is really disappointing is the State government could be earning revenue without taxing us on carbon credit market by using the National Parks.

    • andye says:

      08:52am | 12/10/11

      @Joan - And yet we are pumping out 4 times the carbon per person as China.

      If you crunch the numbers you will see that China is actually close to average worldwide per capita for carbon emission. They have the largest emissions total because they are 20% of the worlds population.

      Australia is basically freeloading on this issue and saying “hey we are small. just ignore our excessive carbon output.” And the people who are mostly against this overlap quite considerably with the people who would be angry at “dole bludgers” or “asylum seekers” taking more than their share.

      Hypocrisy at its finest.

    • Arthur says:

      09:11am | 12/10/11

      I read it twice andye.

      “”““hey we are small. just ignore our excessive carbon output.” And the people who are mostly against this overlap quite considerably with the people who would be angry at “dole bludgers” or “asylum seekers” taking more than their share.

      Hypocrisy at its finest. “”“”“

      I miss your point.

    • Joan says:

      09:34am | 12/10/11

      andyne: if the rest of the world had same population density as
      Australia 2.9 per square kilometre the world be a cleaner place in every way .  The per person stat is a lazy persons way to trivialise argument. - the real effect is the mass total effect. Just go into a room where just   one person smokes two cigarettes and then go into room of same size where 200 people are smoking 1 cigarette each-  bet you can spot the difference in air quality.

    • nihonin says:

      10:29am | 12/10/11

      andye states ‘@Joan - And yet we are pumping out 4 times the carbon per person as China’.

      So you’re stating we produce more carbon than China, if based on population.  I didn’t know the Australian population count was the same as China, thanks for the up there andye.  Idiot

    • Joe says:

      01:59pm | 12/10/11


      Australia could do a lot better on the CO2 per head stakes by allowing 500milion people or so to live in squalor in Australia, you know a bit like China and India.

      Most of India’s and China’s CO2 emissions are ultimately used by a small percentage of their populations.

    • nihonin says:

      03:04pm | 12/10/11

      andye says:

      01:15pm | 12/10/11

      @nihonin - Do you understand what “per person” means? I didnt say “per capita” because that seems to confuse some people.

      If I take you as an average australian and compare you to an average chinese person, you are producing 4 times as much carbon as them.

      Oh andye, great and wise one I beg forgiveness, for you are truly wonderful and I am but a schmuck in your glowing presence…....not.  I still call you idiot.  You know nothing about me yet still waffle on about me producing 4 times as much as a Chinese person.

      I drive a dedicated LPG Futura, ride a pushbike 22 klms a day (return) to work and my power bill of $175.00 a quarter.  Yet I’m still going to have to pay for this damn tax and people like you, waffle on as to how YOU are saving the planet and you’re more than likely not going to pay but be compensated.

    • andye says:

      08:47pm | 12/10/11

      @nihonin - I meant as an average Australian. If you aren’t an “average australian” in that sense I can only know this once you have told me.

      In return you have made an assumption about me: “people like you, waffle on as to how YOU are saving the planet and you’re more than likely not going to pay but be compensated.”

      I am not getting compensated. According to their calculator I will be several hundred worse off a year.

      “You know nothing about me”

      Right back at you, champ!

      As for what you have told me about yourself… I hadn’t considered that at all. It made me think that there should be some way of shielding people who have made personal changes to their life to use less carbon from the extra costs… but surely you will end up paying less than they have estimated anyway? The costs will initially passed on in carbon heavy goods, services and so on… so if you are using less of those then surely you wont pay as much extra as the “average australian”?

    • andye says:

      09:02pm | 12/10/11

      @Joan - “The per person stat is a lazy persons way to trivialise argument. - the real effect is the mass total effect. “

      No it isn’t. It is the only way to compare countries of two different populations. Would you look at the GDP of China (or India) and that of Australia and conclude that people are poorer in Australia?

      It is misleading to compare the output of a country that has 1.3 Billion people against one that has 22 Million without taking into account that one population is 60 times larger than the other.

      The biggest problem with China is the rate of growth of Carbon output. That is the real problem here. Right now they are just above average. If they don’t do something about it we are probably screwed. Oh well not me. Ill be dead before it gets really messy.

    • acotrel says:

      09:41pm | 12/10/11

      ‘The problem is too many people. A growing global population is decimating land that used to lock carbon in plants.’

      Should we outlaw religions which promote population growth ?

    • acotrel says:

      09:47pm | 12/10/11

      The only problem is in your own head. You are trying to create one to fit in with your political agenda ? Which is exactly what Abbott does every five minutes ! Then he sells himself as the solution ! It is classic Eddie Bernays.

    • acotrel says:

      07:00am | 12/10/11

      Tony Abbott said climate change is a load of crap - would he lie to us ?

    • Graham says:

      07:10am | 12/10/11

      Lie - Well you are-  Tony Abbott said the Science underpinning the climate change argument is crap.

    • TM says:

      07:21am | 12/10/11

      You are the liar, you 29%er!

      Abbott said “the science being settled on climate change is crap.” The scam is falling apart, got your woollies? It’s the sun, pal.

    • Stunning says:

      08:03am | 12/10/11

      @ Graham and TM

      Jebus. Dudes. I really honestly want to believe you are both joking… and yet… hair splitting a semantic irrelevance just seems so standard right wing practice that I am led to the conclusion you are both serious… and that therefore… somewhere on gods earth.. there are creatures who have learned to type and use a computer without having any form of higher brain function, because if they did have more than one firing synapse they’d recognise the collossal ridiculousness of what you’ve both just said.

    • Arthur says:

      08:15am | 12/10/11

      There’s no doubt you are a Labor politician acotrel. No one without a vested interest could possibly continue to defend the Labor party.

    • acotrel says:

      08:53am | 12/10/11

      ‘No one without a vested interest could possibly continue to defend the Labor party. ‘

      No one with a social conscience and a sense of propriety could poossibly defend the LNP ?  Abbott as PM, you must be joking ?  In all honesty Sophie Mirabella is a better option !

    • andye says:

      09:07am | 12/10/11

      TM - Every time someone “discovers” that the climate is affected by multiple factors and has numerous cycles they immediately conclude man isn’t affecting it.

      The logic is astounding. “The climate is a delicate and variable system, therefore we couldn’t possibly affect it.”

      Did you know that the Icelandic volcano actually led to a decrease in worldwide carbon emissions? The grounded flights during that time would have actually produced more carbon than the volcano did. Think about it.

    • Arthur says:

      09:36am | 12/10/11

      @acotrel…“No one with a social conscience”

      Do you mean give, give, give. Expect nothing in return is a sustainable option for Australia?

      Your socialist views, ideology, ways are beginning to unravel spectacularly all over the western world.

    • dancan says:

      11:24am | 12/10/11

      “I know politicians are going to be judged on everything they say but sometimes in the heat of discussion you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark,’‘

      - Tony Abbott

    • Kurisu Sonsaku says:

      07:01am | 12/10/11

      Well apparently your CO2 tax will fix everything, so there is no problem

      I can’t wait for the perfect weather, dancing unicorns and rivers of chocolate your tax on a trace gas will bring.

    • Knoichiwa says:

      12:37pm | 12/10/11

      I know what you mean.
      I have no idea where the dancing unicorns and rivers of chocolate went after we addressed the ozone layer problem caused by a trace of a trace gas.
      Bring back the rivers of chocolate.

    • Semi Concerned Citizen says:

      07:12am | 12/10/11

      Richard why are you not helping alcoa and shell relocate to higher ground in your home town? What then becomes of Geelong when its few remaining industries are literally treading water

    • James In Footscray says:

      07:15am | 12/10/11

      Our Lady of Akita weeps human tears. It’s the only officially recognised weeping statue in the world.

      Similarly, Tuvalu is right now being devastated by climate change. It’s the only place on earth where this is happening.

      Could there be faith involved here?

    • stevem says:

      07:23am | 12/10/11

      Doing something about climate change is not the same as doing something useful. The carbon tax as proposed is a bad tax. Individuals will be compensated while out businesses will have to pay the tax, making them less competitive internationally. When the dollar is so high, the business climate so volatile it is a very bad time to hit hem with an extra tax.

      The GST is structured to tax domestic consumption and be exempt for exports and applied to imports. In this way our producers are protected internationally. This is the model that should have been adopted. Instead the government has proceeded with his tax with obscene haste and is determined to plant clauses to prevent it ever being rolled back.

    • acotrel says:

      08:56am | 12/10/11

      If the state EPAs had been doing their jobs and fining polluters, we’d already be paying !

    • Bananabender56 says:

      07:25am | 12/10/11

      So why are the existing desalination plants not working? Could it be that money necessary for this has been siphoned off elsewhere?

    • thatmosis says:

      07:38am | 12/10/11

      The islands are actually sinking, not the sea rising, I do wish you lieing Climate Change flunkies would get it right. As for the rain well, lets see, sometime it rains and sometimes it doesnt, thats natures way and has been for millions of years. Ask Flannery who predicted that Australia would not see rain like we did 10 years ago ever again, wrong on so many counts.  Mother nature made a complete and utter fool of him, not that it took much. As for the Tax well thats a joke of the worst order. A Tax on Nothing for Nothing, wow, we must be the envy of the world, not. Destroy Australian companies with an extra tax that will cost jobs ( and dont give me any crap about jobs created in the Alternative Energy field, look at America) make our products dearer than overseas products and generally cost each and every Australian more than we know.

    • bald eagle says:

      07:41am | 12/10/11

      People with simple minds will look at one of thousands of problems created by global warming and find a solution for that issue that works in their small mind. This can be as simple as let’s get property developers in and relocate everyone on a small group of islands to somewhere else.

      I’m sure that their simple minds will be able to solve the plight of the polar bear and the rapidly diminishing polar ice cap by by re-locating the polar bear to Australia

      Others look at the big picture and realise that we can’t fix all the problems that global warming creates with the methodology of a simpleton.

      We can’t keep putting out the fires caused by global warming, but must address the issue at it’s source, by reducing our carbon consumption.
      Don’t be afraid Australia, be brave,
      Don’t let the political boogeyman frighten you because he wants power.
      You’re smarter than that.

    • Erick says:

      08:41am | 12/10/11

      People with small minds will claim that anyone who has a different opinion has a small mind. This is because their simple minds can’t comprehend the idea that there could be more than one way to see things.

    • Nigel says:

      08:56am | 12/10/11

      I agree with your appraisal of the “move them all” as very knee jerk mentallity.
      However - We do not consume Carbon! We release it when a substance is converted into energy, ie burning coal or breathing. The total amount of carbon on the earth does not in fact change, up or down, it is simply redistributed. I believe in climate change, but to think that punie little man is the course of the earth changing is just bigheaded of us.
      I also believe that we should be cleaning our act up, pollution wise in all manner of areas. Note- Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant!
      Be brave is wonderful statement which has no forthought as to where our economy could go, was it also our JG who was going to have public consultation on these things, until it looked like the public were not on her side?
      The two biggest things wrong with the Carbon Tax are, 1. the lie JG told us, and 2. the way in which it is being steam rolled through.
      As for Global warming which you refer to, I believe this has been dispelled long ago, hence the change of tact toward climate change.

    • Warwick says:

      10:00am | 12/10/11

      Erick, you have gone straight to the heart of the stupidity and arrogance of bald eagle’s ugly post.

    • NZ Erick says:

      10:16am | 12/10/11


      Playing with semantics is very immature and you have lost the moment you start down this road.

      We don’t “consume” carbon
      carbon dioxide is not a pollutant
      global warming vs climate change
      I’m sure you understand the issues but just want to dilute the waters.

      Don’t be brave because you might be wrong.
      Isn’t uncertainty the foundation of bravery?
      If you succeed you were brave
      If you fail you were a fool

    • Joan says:

      08:00am | 12/10/11

      And Gillard Carbon Tax on everything paid by Australians is gonna stop waters rising and make it rain in Tuvalu ? India, USA and China- power through 21st century while delusional backstabber and liar Gillard plays `God `at a cost to Australians for her performance -  the carbon tax will not change world climate , will not stop seas rising and will not make it rain anywhere- period.  Gillard out to make Australian lives more costly and give away jobs to rest of the world.

    • Jane2 says:

      08:01am | 12/10/11

      I watched a doco on the weekend about the plight of these “sinking” islands and the thing that struck me was the population explosion all these islands had.

      Erosion has always been there but now these islands are supporting thousands when they used to support hundreds, that means people building on areas that are low lying that there ancestors would never have touched. It means mangroves that used to protect the islands from erosiion have been ripped out for timber for houses.

      Are the islands really sinking or are the islanders seeing the result of over population and poor land management?

    • Charles says:

      08:05am | 12/10/11

      Well if Global Warming were a true hypothesis then Tuvalu would be awash with water.  Under a ‘greenhouse effect’ evaporation is increased, precipitation is increased and humidity is increased.  What Tuvalu is suffering from is Global Cooling.

      The main problem however is over-pumping of the aquifer and contamination of the aquifer with sea water after blasting channels in the coral to improve shipping access, and also used to catch fish.  Tuvalu is mostly responsible for its own problems

    • mm says:

      08:22am | 12/10/11

      Wow charles, just wow.
      Could you please tell us what the main problem is with the rising sea levels that are affecting the 160 million people in Bangladesh?
      Perhaps someone just left a tap on?

    • Anubis says:

      08:44am | 12/10/11

      @mm - A lot of the water problemns experienced in Bangladesh is due to erosion of coastal buffers caused by storm damage and the riverine flooding they have experienced over the last 100 years or so. Bangladesh is mainly on a river delta which is very prone to erosion, which then causes increased tidal inflow to lower lying land when coastal buffers have been eroded. A known and accepted fact for decades.

    • Sigmoid says:

      09:37am | 12/10/11

      @mm,  Bangladesh is on a plain between the 3 big rivers (Ganges/Padma is one) and the tributaries and around 80% of the country is less than 10 metres above sea level. As it’s pretty much at the mercy of the annual monsoon an immeausrable amount of rainfall, flooding is pretty much the norm.

      If the rising sea level argument held water, how come the bordering coastline regions of India & Myanmar don’t seem to suffer the same fate? Just askin’

    • Sigmoid says:

      09:37am | 12/10/11

      @mm,  Bangladesh is on a plain between the 3 big rivers (Ganges/Padma is one) and the tributaries and around 80% of the country is less than 10 metres above sea level. As it’s pretty much at the mercy of the annual monsoon an immeausrable amount of rainfall, flooding is pretty much the norm.

      If the rising sea level argument held water, how come the bordering coastline regions of India & Myanmar don’t seem to suffer the same fate? Just askin’

    • mm says:

      09:45am | 12/10/11

      I see Anubis
      So rising sea levels and increasing more powerful storms have nothing to do with it.
      Another problem solved. It’s just nature at work and humans don’t contribute at all.
      Good work
      Now what explains the polar ice cap disappearing?
      When you’ve solved that on, I’ll give you another to ponder.

    • Micky G says:

      10:17am | 12/10/11

      @MM, how about the fact that Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking (and it contains 90% of the worlds Ice).

    • Anubis says:

      10:29am | 12/10/11

      @mm - Consider Axial tilt of the earth. The earth wobbles on it’s axis in a predictable and known manner. At times the Arctic is pointing more toward the sun and at other time the Antarctic is pointing more toward the sun. Current ice losses at the Arctic are balanced out by current increases in ice thickness at the Antarctic. The difference is however that the Arctic is not on a land mass where the Antarctic is. As ice builds up on the Arctic water is displaced as the ice settles deeper in to the oceans. When ice builds up on the Antarctic there is no subsequent displacement of water. Also - have a look at the links I have posted further down the page.

      You also have to consider that we are almost in the middle of an inter-glacial period where sea levels naturally rise as ice melts from polar regions and glacial areas. Also, it is only about 200 years since the “mini ice age”  that afflicted Europe following the Medieaval Warm period. The earth is still thawing from that and we are yet to rech the same average temperatures that were experienced prior to the onset of the mini ice age.

    • mm says:

      10:38am | 12/10/11

      The world’s largest ice sheet has started to melt along its coastal fringes, raising fears that global sea levels will rise faster than scientists expected.

      The East Antarctic ice sheet, which makes up three-quarters of the continent’s 14,000 sq km, is losing around 57bn tonnes of ice a year into surrounding waters, according to a satellite survey of the region.

      Scientists had thought the ice sheet was reasonably stable, but measurements taken from Nasa’s gravity recovery and climate experiment (Grace) show that it started to lose ice steadily from 2006.

      I’d stay away from those denier sites if I were you.

    • Jane2 says:

      10:40am | 12/10/11

      @mm, no the problem lies in over populating. The western world keeps hundreds of thousands of bangladeshi alive each year that even 50 years ago wouldnt have survived. A growing population spreads onto land that is not ideal to live on (farm yes, live no) and then the annual floods come. End result, lots of homes flooded, several hundred dead. Its a given as it occurs to anyone that lives on deltas, including in Egypt.

    • jg says:

      08:08am | 12/10/11

      While rising sea levels force the people of Tuvalu to comprehend their homes literally sinking in the future, it is a related threat which is challenging their existence in the present.

      The word you seek is erosion.

      And droughts happen, nothing unusual I’m afraid.

    • Mike says:

      10:16am | 12/10/11

      Posting paranoid delusional climate denier links makes you look more than a little silly.

    • Anubis says:

      10:32am | 12/10/11

      @ Mike - nothing to counteract what is stated in those papers?

      Maybe you should consider that supporting delusional warmist scare campaigns may make you look more than a little silly. Have you had a good look at the sort of tripe that the Australian delusionist nTim Flannery regularly promotes. A fair bit of delusional thinking there.

    • mm says:

      10:41am | 12/10/11

      Stay away from whatsupwiththat.

      It only exposes you to ridicule.

    • Wynston Cruso says:

      11:22am | 12/10/11

      I love the smell of a deniers ‘reliable’ sources in the morning.

    • RyaN says:

      02:43pm | 12/10/11

      @mm & Wynston Cruso: What it brings out is the fact that you alarmists cannot produce one shred of evidence that shows an actual human marker in global warming, not one, so unfortunate considering the billions of dollars that have been thrown at trying to prove one.
      How about you recover your credibility and post us a peer reviewed scientific paper showing a definitive human marker. Until you do yours is shot.

    • mm says:

      02:57pm | 12/10/11

      ryan it’s been done to death.
      Everyone but you and your band of deniers know that whatsupwiththat is a crock.
      Change the record all we here now is the noise at the end of the track

    • Stephanie Dewhurst says:

      04:19pm | 12/10/11

      Almost 92,000,000 hits - far surpassing the alarmist propaganda blogs - people come to both and judge the quality of articles and end up sticking with WUWT - all rational people do. Only irrational or emotive people believe the alarmist forecasts of impending doom. A scientific study even proved taht skeptics were smarer than warmists. And no skeptic ever turns warmist yet warmists are turning skeptic every day all over the world. Even Nobel Prize winners are publicly renouncing the ‘faith’ - carbon tax is a green religion indulgence. You can try and smear the science and skeptics with ad hom attacks but every person will judge the science for themselves, only sheep appeal to authority and blindly follow the IPCC (council of nicae) and Al Gore (Pope Constantine)

    • RyaN says:

      04:27pm | 12/10/11

      @mm: Done to death perhaps, but still irrefutable, not one shred of evidence showing a definitive human marker in global warming and you alarmist New World Order types know that.

    • mm says:

      05:04pm | 12/10/11

      Let’s see
      NASA, IPCC, thousands of peer reviewed papers, the fact that no scientific body of national or international standing rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.
      A retired radio weatherman supported by vested interests.

      Tough choice that one Dewhurst., but hey if you find that site sticky, that’s your problem.

      PS - My website has more than 2 billion hits - see how easy that was?

    • Arthur says:

      08:30am | 12/10/11

      Tax bill just passed in the lower house.

      This means our government can dither with this non solution to anything while the real issue of horrendous over population goes undebated for another few years. At 90 million EXTRA people on the planet every year that’s another quarter of a BILLION people while our politicians clean their navels.

    • Mike says:

      10:27am | 12/10/11

      Ryan mate, that’s not science, that’s conspiracy theory rubbish and re posting it makes you look like a looney. Try going to or and get a real education.

      Try reading the full article before you go mental. It doesn’t say Tuvalu is sinking or going under the waves, it says they’re running out of water.

      The article states that Tuvalu is in a drought. That is a fact. The article states that Tuvalu is experiencing coastal errosion, that is a fact. The article states that tuvalu is at risk of any sea level rise. That is also true.

    • mm says:

      10:42am | 12/10/11



    • RyaN says:

      11:18am | 12/10/11

      @Mike & mm: OK try the BBC then
      If you are going to try to discredit something in the basis that they say something you don’t like, try actually addressing the facts rather than making yourselves look like complete morons.

      The article intends on claiming that the drought in Tuvalu is because of that completely unproven human induced global warming. Not one scientist to date will claim that humans are inducing global warming with proof.

      The article also claims “And so when the sea, a fundamental source of security and comfort, is transformed by climate change into a source of threat and fear, the feeling of vulnerability is indescribable.” which is in fact a barefaced lie.

    • jak says:

      12:40pm | 12/10/11

      Too late ryan

      You let the cat out of the bag with your whatsupwiththat link.

      Captured by the enchanting spell of a no nothing liberals leader.

    • RyaN says:

      02:07pm | 12/10/11

      @jak: Did you actually have something to contribute other than poor spelling?

    • PTom says:

      08:36am | 12/10/11

      Can any right-Whinger care to explain why is WA,NSW and VIC ask for a GST be put on the carbon tax? Would that not mean the Liberals are taxing a tax?

    • NZ Erick says:

      10:17am | 12/10/11

      They have form on this.

    • RyaN says:

      10:26am | 12/10/11

      @PTom: evidence please!

    • David says:

      08:59am | 12/10/11

      How gullible are some people.  The Earthquake in Japan moved the Island nearly a meter, similar movements have occurred in New Zealand.  Volcanoes and shifting of the plates are having a significant impact on seal levels.  Melting ice is a drop in the ocean compared to other forces of nature.

    • Mike says:

      10:36am | 12/10/11

      It’s kind of a big drop in the ocean. The greenland ice sheet is 2,850,000 cubic km volume or about 3 trillion litres. Enough to raise sea level about 7m and that doesn’t even consider Antactic ice, Iceland or any other glacier.

    • Anna C says:

      09:12am | 12/10/11

      Imposing a Carbon Tax on us mugs won’t do squat for Tuvalu or Kiribati’s problems. What Australia and New Zealand must do is draw up plans for the future so that we can gradually absorb the populations of these tiny islands into our own.

      Islands both appear and disappear over time. This is nothing new and has been happening for millennia.  It’s just Mother Nature at work. The sea is reclaiming its own.

    • Lapun says:

      09:41am | 12/10/11

      Richard, a little off your subject but nonetheless related.  The picture with your article showed coconuts downed on the seas shore and reminded me of the appearance these days of our own Pacific Ocean beaches here in North Queensland - places like Mission Beach, Cardwell, etc., where the beaches are being eroded due to the desecration of (largely) coconuts.  But here it is being done by the joint action of councils because falling nuts can be dangerous (although nets or de-nutting would fix that) and by the concerted action of Green groups who insist that Coconuts are not indigenous to Australia and therefore must go.  How the latter can reach that opinion I don’t understand.  For how many years do coconuts have to wash up on beaches and, self planted, grow to hold the beaches together?  At what stage, since we haven’t planted them, do these coconuts become indigenous?
      Whatever the answer the wanton removal of these valuable trees from the edges of our beaches is undoubtedly a large part of the erosion of our beaches and esplanades and costing the community more than the cost of de-nutting to retain these beauties.  What great work for our visiting Back-Packers to earn some cash from!

    • Coaster says:

      01:04pm | 12/10/11

      The science of man made climate change is under substantial challenge by many scientists and the facts, the Earths temperature has stabilized and arguably decreased since 1998.
      Climate change is a reality, man’s role in climate change is a theory at best.
      I suspect the small Pacific nation’s problems have more to do with population increase than any climate change.
      Climate change cannot be judged by a few years observations, the cycles involved last decades if not hundreds of years and the primary influence is the Sun.the Earths climate fluctuated by up to 4 degrees average in the medieval periods with both benefited and penalized mankind.

    • Brewsta says:

      02:41pm | 12/10/11

      Corals atolls form around sinking islands. Perhaps, just maybe the apparent rise in sea level around the nine coral atolls that form Tuvalu means that the geological formation which gave rise to them is still sinking.

    • I hate pies says:

      03:43pm | 12/10/11

      Just freaking move..problem solved. Populations (animals and humans) have continually adapted and moved around the globe since the dawn of time. We should focus on how to adapt to a changing climate not how to stop the climate changing, because naturals changes will be far greater than anything us mere humans can do.

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