The Human Face of Climate Change


(Huene Island, pictured above, part of the Carteret Island chain, has literally been cut in two by rising sea levels)
Papua New Guinea’s Mission to the United Nations recently announced that it would evacuate the Carteret Islands, a horseshoe-shaped group of islands in the South Pacific. 2,000 Carteret Islanders slanders will receive funding to resettle on Bougainville Island, which is a four-hour boat ride away.
The Carteret Islanders are not the world’s first climate refugees, but since they have all been displaced together, they may become some of the best known. Meanwhile, people like Jim Inhofe insist that we sit on our hands.
Below is the press release from the Papua New Guinea Mission to the United Nations (I’d link to it, but as you can see, the PNG Mission web site isn’t quite up and running).

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 17) – The Carteret Islands are almost invisible on a map of the South Pacific, but the horseshoe scattering of atolls in eastern-most Papua New Guinea is on the front line of climate change, as rising sea levels and storm surges eat away at their existence. For 20 years, the 2,000 islanders living there have fought a losing battle against the ocean, building sea walls and trying to plant mangroves. Each year, the waves surge in higher, destroying vegetable gardens, washing away homes and contaminating fresh water supplies. Recently, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare appropriated PGK4.1 million [US$1.4 million] to resettle PNG villagers affected by global warming. The funding was part of a PGK1.6 billion [US$569 million] supplementary budget handed down by Treasury and Finance Minister Patrick Pruaitch. Out of the PGK4.1 million funding, PGK2 million [US$712,000] will go to the Bougainville Autonomous Region’s Carteret Islanders. The local Bougainville government has an ongoing resettlement program which it hopes to complete by the end of the year. Rising sea levels will not only displace human populations. Coral reefs are expected to be affected by changes in ocean levels and sea surface temperatures.
— Scott Paul


7 comments on “The Human Face of Climate Change

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oops, I accidently called Scott “Ron Paul”. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll avoid that mistake in the future by renaming Scott Paul “the Edsel man”.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Doing a bit of an internet search, I see there is quite an argument as to whether the islands are sinking due to coral degradation and volcanic proccesses, or if in fact the sea level is rising.
    Much like concealing the painted over bondo putty on a used car lot lemon, our trusty salesman, Ron Paul, ommitted mention of this important facet of the story.
    Personally, I think global warming is real, and an immediate emergency of historical proportions. But only presenting one side of the scientific debate is irresponsible and misleading.
    What I find interesting about the debate is that the answer can easily be determined by taking satellite based altitude measurements of the islands. The fact that this has not been done, (or if it has been done the data is apparently not included in the debate), would seem to reinforce the idea that the sea level is rising, because those seeking to marginalize the spectre of global warming are those with the power to suppress such data.


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ron, I am sure you will link us to the sourcing for your assertion, right?
    Hello??? Ron???


  4. Ron says:

    Do you wonder why the sea is rising around those particular islands faster than anywhere else?
    Do you wonder why the rate of sea level rise seems to be different for those various, close together islands?
    Does this make sense to you?
    Have you considered the possibility that the islands are actually SINKING and this is just another example of human suffering being dishonestly used to sell the global warming doctrine?
    That’s what IS happening, actually. The islands are sinking. The ocean isn’t rising. The sky isn’t falling.
    It’s the propaganda stupid.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Or, perhaps Russia and China have decided that WE get the short straw. But rest assured, SOMEONE gets it. Soon.


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Considering that we are all on this planet together, we all sink if the ship goes down. With that as a premise, I have to believe that our illustrous “world leaders” expect a catastrophic decline in the world’s population, because it is quite obvious that our planet cannot sustain the current exponential rise in the world’s population and creation of pollution, nor can our enegy resources keep pace with demand. A whole shitload of us are about to be erradicated. Perhaps it is the Muslims who have drawn the short straw.


  7. Carroll says:

    We will continue to sit on our hands until we “scare” the masses into demanding action.
    We need to copy the “Jesus” cars that operate on a local level. I noticed the Jesus car driving around yesterday. It drives around all day and in and out of mall parking lots broadcasting how to be saved over loudspeakers on top of the car.
    If we had government and climate watch Jesus cars in all our towns broadcasting every political dirty trick and every time an icecap melted or some beach house got swallowed up by a raising sea level and every time someone died in a war and made all the news bad news eventually we might have the people freaked out and psyched out enough to do something.


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *