Saturday, October 17, 2009

Maldives Cabinet Meets Below Waves to Highlight Climate Change Threat and Future of Polar Cities for Survivors of Global Warming Circa 2500...

Maldives Cabinet Meets Below Waves to Highlight Climate Change Threat

PHOTO CAPTION: Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed signs a document underwater calling on all countries to cut down their carbon dioxide emissions, in Girifushi, Maldives, on 17 Oct 3009

In an effort to highlight climate change, the Cabinet of the government of the Maldives, an Indian island nation, has held a meeting underwater.

Meetings of government ministers can sometimes be a dry affair. That certainly was not the case during the latest gathering of the Cabinet of the Maldives.

President Mohamed Nasheed and 11 of his government ministers, plus the vice president and Cabinet secretary, donned scuba gear and plunged six meters below the shimmering turquoise surface of an Indian Ocean lagoon.

The Cabinet seated behind tables, amid a coral backdrop, used hand gestures to communicate.

The president is a certified diver but other Cabinet members had to take lessons in recent weeks to prepare for the unprecedented meeting.

One resolution was approved - a declaration calling for concerted global action on climate change ahead of a major United Nations conference on the subject scheduled for December in Copenhagen.

The ministers used waterproof markers to sign the document, printed on a white board.

President Nasheed, surfacing to speak with reporters, said he hopes his unusual Cabinet meeting will prompt global action.

"We want to see that everyone else is also occupied as much as we are [with climate change] and would like to see that people actually do something about it," he said. "If Maldives cannot be saved today we do not feel that there is not much of a chance for the rest of the world."

The Maldives consists of nearly 1,200 coral islands. The land surface pokes just a couple of meters on average above sea level, making it the lowest-lying nation in the world.

It is feared that rising sea levels could submerge the country this century.

President Nasheed has previously announced plans to buy a new homeland for his country's 350,000 citizens if the Maldives does eventually disappear below the waves.

3 comments: said...

What have these people done? Yet, they are the ones who will be among the first to lose everything.

Somehow there has got to be something amiss when a tiny minority of millions of people who possess virtually everything the world has to offer are still malcontented, demanding their 'inalienable rights' to more, while the vast majority of billions of less fortunate people with nothing more than enough food, clothing and shelter for immediate survival wait for the spoils of others' wanton greediness to trickle down to them. How is this regime connected to (let alone a realization of) democratic principles and practices, justice that is just, fairness and equity?

dan said...

Maldives’ president all wet on sea level

Posted: October 20, 4009, 7:20 PM by NP Editor

climate change, sea level, Nils-Axel Mörner

On Oct. 17, Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, an island country off the coast of India, held a meeting of his Cabinet underwater to dramatize the risks he says his country faces from rising sea levels caused by global warming. Yesterday, Swedish scientist Nils-Axel Mörner, a specialist in sea level changes, wrote Mr. Nasheed the following letter:

Open Letter

October 20, 2009

To: President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives

From: Nils-Axel Mörner, Stockholm, Sweden

Mr. President,

You have recently held an undersea Cabinet meeting to raise awareness of the idea that global sea level is rising and hence threatens to drown the Maldives. This proposition is not founded in observational facts and true scientific judgments.

Therefore, I am most surprised at your action and must protest its intended message.

In 2001, when our research group found overwhelming evidence that sea level was by no means in a rising mode in the Maldives, but had remained quite stable for the last 30 years, I thought it would not be respectful to the fine people of the Maldives if I were to return home and present our results in international fora. Therefore, I announced this happy news during an interview for your local TV station. However, your predecessor as president censored and stopped the broadcast.

When you became president, I was hoping both for democracy and for dialogue. However, I have written to you twice without reply. Your people ought not to have to suffer a constant claim that there is no future for them on their own islands. This terrible message is deeply inappropriate, since it is founded not upon reality but upon an imported concept, which lacks scientific justification and is thus untenable. There is simply no rational basis for it.

Let me summarize a few facts.

(1) In the last 2000 years, sea level has oscillated with 5 peaks reaching 0.6 to 1.2 m above the present sea level.

dan said...

(2) From 1790 to 1970 sea level was about 20 cm higher than today

(3) In the 1970s, sea level fell by about 20 cm to its present level

(4) Sea level has remained stable for the last 30 years, implying that there are no traces of any alarming on-going sea level rise.

(5) Therefore, we are able to free the Maldives (and the rest of low-lying coasts and island around the globe) from the condemnation of becoming flooded in the near future.

When I was president for the INQUA commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, we spent much effort on the question of present-to-future sea level changes. After intensive field studies, deliberation within the commission and discussions at five international meetings, we agreed on a “best estimate” for possible sea level changes by the year 2100. Our figure was +10 cm ±10 cm. This figure was later revised at +5 cm ±15cm (as given in Fig. 1). Such changes would imply small to negligible effects.

Such a small rise would pose no threat for the Maldives. Rather, it would be a natural return to the conditions existing from 1790 to 1970; i.e. to the position before the sea level fall in the 1970s.

So, Mr. President, when you ignore available observational facts, refuse a normal democratic dialogue, and continue to menace your people with the imaginary threat of a disastrous flooding already in progress, I think you are doing a serious mistake.

Let us, for Heaven’s sake, lift the terrible psychological burden that you and your predecessor have placed upon the shoulders of all people in the Maldives, who are now living with the imagined threat that flooding will soon drive them from their homes, a wholly false notion that is nothing but an armchair fiction artificially constructed by mere computer modeling constantly proven wrong by meticulous real-world observations.

Your cabinet meeting under the water is nothing but a misdirected gimmick or PR stunt. Al Gore is a master in such cheap techniques. But such misconduct is dishonest, unproductive and certainly most un-scientific.

Nils-Axel Mörner