9/01/2014

Drowning Islands

My favorite newspaper has an article calling for us to help small Pacific islands from drowning.  Being a nice guy I decided to create my own charity fund and  get donations to help these islands stay above rising sea level (If this proves technically challenging I plan to move their people to Australia).

Funafuti in Tuvalu, from triballink.org

To sell you the idea, here´s a quote from The Guardian´s article by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme:

“Many of the planet’s most prized destinations, places considered exquisite and idyllic, where nature seems bountiful and people appear at ease, are under threat. In less than a decade, climate change-induced sea level rise could force thousands of people to migrate from some of the world’s 52 small island developing states (Sids).


How Sids respond to threats such as sea level rise, and the degree of support they receive, is indicative of how we, collectively, will adapt to a host of climate change impacts in the coming decades.

When we think of Sids, we may be tempted to imagine small patches of paradise scattered with lightly populated fishing villages, unfettered by the demands of modernity. In fact, almost one in every 100 of us is from a small island developing state.

Sids boast a diversity of cultures, natural resources, biodiversity, and indigenous knowledge that makes them mainstays of our planetary ecosystem. From the multi-billion dollar economy of Singapore, to Papua New Guinea...

Hell, reading that article is really heart breaking.  The average worldwide sea level rise is less than 3 millimeters per year (0.12 inches per year in American)...

NOAA Graph showing average sea level rise

However, as seen in this map there is a region around Papua New Guinea where sea level is rising a lot faster:

NOAA Map showing sea level rise, notice the
 nasty looking red area around  Papua New Guinea

When you consider donating to my Fund remember this name: Carteret (Han) Island. This island is inside the red area in the NOAA map. It will likely provide the first sea level rise refugees in the 21st Century. Here a bit of information about the island for you to read before you donate:

“The (Carteret)  islands were named after the British navigator Philip Carteret who discovered them in 1767. In 1896 a Samoan-American woman, known locally as ‘Queen’ Emma Coe, bought the island for four axes and 4.5 kg of tobacco. Under Imperial German protection, she had all the trees chopped down and replaced with coconuts, and she imported Papua New Guineans from New Ireland to work the plantations. As of 2005 about one thousand people live on the islands. Han is the most significant island with partial (but rapidly dying due to saltwater introgression) tree cover, the others being small islets in the lagoon.”

This island is a really good example of what happened in the past, when irresponsible individuals like Queen Emma Coe could go settle uninhabitated islands without filing an Environmental Impact Statement. Now its up to you and me to help those poor transplanted islanders get transplanted back to New Ireland in relative comfort.

I know you, my readers, are starting to think either I flipped or this is a con. No sir, this is for real. I have researched the whole drowning island topic. I even read a book using 675 concatenated Google searches, and now I´m an expert in Coastal Environments and Global Climate Change. To prove it, let me show you some of what I have learned :


Text from Masselink and Gehrels´s 
“Coastal Environments and Global Change”,
page 403.

This information shows we got a problem. However, not all islands suffer from drowning, and quite a few may not suffer from any drowning at all. But these Carteret Han Islanders are the real deal. We can´t blame them for moving to that island from New Ireland because Queen Emma used their ignorance of climate change to make them work in her coconut plantation.

This save the environment business can be tough. I´ll have to go toe to toe with outfits  like Steiner´s UNEP, Save the Sids, and the Sierra Club. 

To strengthen my competitive position  I´ve decided to visit Greenpeace´s Corporate Headquarters incognito to steal their methods. This will  help me do an outstanding job with my Fund. The initial idea is to set up subsidiaries in every rich nation, funnel donations to a financial center in the Cayman Islands, but run everything from Spain. But I´m sure this will need some fine tuning. As soon as I got it figured out I´ll start putting up Google adds asking you to sign a petition to save Carteret Islanders, please donate a lot.

Reference

NOAA Sea Level  Rise Page

Global Greenhouse Article about Carteret

The Guardian article where I got this wonderful Idea

Forbes how to raise money for your charity

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