Marshalls or Marshmallows?

I note the most recent gCaptain News has a pleading post “All eyes on IMO” from the Marshall Islands blaming shipping (among other forces of darkness) for sinking their islands.
Have we had enough of this tripe? I have.
Apparently the Marshallese have discovered that CO2 is an evil that needs to be defeated … or more likely that these low-lying islands can cry poor to the rest of the world who are causing the sea levels to rise to send them money. Just imagine all the poor kiddies drowning as the seas engulf them. And it is you nasty big rich places that are doing it to them.
Feel guilty, you sinners and repent … or, better still, send cash.
Am I right to sense a certain preachiness on this subject here? Is there any debate? I haven’t noticed.
Man-made global warming (soothingly retitled ‘climate change’ so as to cover freezing events as well as warming - it’s been so nice and balmy in N America) might be over our heads scientifically, but surely we can chat about the maritime aspects.
Studies of such Pacific islands have proved the majority are growing (by normal coral atoll growth, reclamation etc) or at least staying the same size. The ones most in danger are in strife because of overpopulation on their main islands, overuse of fresh water wells, human pollution, or ill-conceived sea walls.
One thing is certain, the once-predicted waves of climate refugees from sinking islands is a myth. One bloke tried it from Kiribatti to NZ and was told to bugger off, nicely by the courts.
The Maldives, where a government cabinet meeting was once held in scuba gear underwater to highlight their sinking plight, has built a massive enlargement to its airport to accommodate the largest passenger jets full, no doubt, with cash.
I’ve sailed all these waters, visited these islands, and know the situation. I wouldn’t care to live in such poverty and squalor -, but that’s not the argument.
So can we all put our tissues away and stop sobbing for them?
Let’s start discussing this issue logically.

How does one discuss climate change logically if you have already dismissed it out of hand?

1 Like

I didn’t dismiss it out of hand. I pointed out scientifically verifiable facts that Pacific islands are mostly growing or not reducing in size. I pointed out that a poor nation is using a false tug on the heart strings to gain sympathy.
Start there.

1 Like

They have the second most tonnage of any flag-state. I don’t reckon there’s many sobbing for them. They have leverage, and I can’t begrudge it to them:

  • Power at the IMO based on the tonnage that they flag
  • Power to make rules governing their tonnage
  • Power to set policy within their sovereign nation, and take their people’s thoughts and feelings into account at the IMO and for ships that fly their flag.

My thoughts and feelings on climate change don’t align with theirs, but I’m not Marshallese, so it doesn’t matter how I feel about it. I’d be surprised if the Marshallese people have more power on this front than the ship-owners who flag there: that will be interesting to watch. But since I’m not a ship-owner, and not a citizen of there… so what?

Free nations should be free, even if they are very small. Its maybe not-so-fun for nations who consider themselves to be super-powers when the little guy flexes what-ever muscle he has, but that’s how the system is set up. That’s why the US Senate is set up so that Wyoming and North Dakota have as much power as California and New York. Sovereignty doesn’t mean power to the powerful.

If you don’t reckon there’s many sobbing for them why is their environment minister begging as follows ““In the next days, the IMO will determine whether Marshallese children born today will have the chance of a secure and prosperous life or will have to leave the land of their ancestors and set sail across the oceans to an uncertain future,” said Mr Paul.”

Great to see you’ve stopped sobbing for them. Well done!

Sea level is rising? Crying wont help. If anything, it only makes things worse.


Nope. Those tears won’t do it.

My wife’s family is from the Pingelap atoll, and they are crying much the same. While atolls do grow, there is also ocean floor subsidence which also affects water levels on these small islands, as well as changes in sea level. Personally, I feel that the attempts at leveraging cash IS a money grab and less of a reality, especially when one considers the available living space on an island as small as Pingelap and the fact that it is still above water. . .

The old growth ice that is falling off the poles isn’t going to glue itself back on. It’s mind boggling to see the countless number of glaciers floating off of Antarctica. The newspaper reports & documentaries don’t do the event justice. Almost all of those big bergs are at least 10,000 year old. We aren’t going to be growing them back anytime soon. Those poor souls on those islands need to be ready to move. It won’t be the first or last time groups of people & civilizations have migrated due to climent change. Before our last mini ice age Greenland & Patagonia had growing population, by the 1500’s those places were nearly lifeless due to the long harsh winters. Its just the way it is, having council meetings under water with scuba tanks won’t change a thing.

1 Like

They never talk about subsidence… it is always circumvented for political or financial reasons…

The islands in the Western Central Pacific are all former emerging volcanoes.
Some of them, during their subsidence, had no time to form or maintain a coral reef, and became seamounts or tablemounts.
The others, with a large barrier reef, became an atoll; those with just a fringing reef became an isolated island (e.g. Nauru).

The thickness of the coral body is rarely aware to the public at large…

During the atomic tests at the Eniwetak Atoll (the Marshalls, former Eniwetok) the US drilled holes to find the basaltic, former volcano. They found it at >1300 meters below sea level.

That means the corals vertically built 1300 meters of the present atoll; sometimes overflowed, sometimes emerged…

1 Like

Since you didn’t post links, I dug around to see just what it is you were referring to.

Interesting article. That said, the planet is indeed heating up. We have plenty of other evidence. A cold winter in your neck of the woods does not negate that.


Cateherder, you say the planet is heating up and we have plenty of other evidence but that wasn’t my point. I’m not the one trying to set the world’s temperature.
I just pointed out that low lying island nations using false “what about our children” arguments to get money for nothing is wrong and we should reject them. Temperatures may rise (they don’t in the tropics) and sea levels may rise but their islands also rise.
Furthermore reducing CO2 emissions from ships won’t stop the seas rising. CO2 isn’t pollution. You breathe it out and so do I. Are we emulating King Canute?
And I live is sunny Western Australia (where the sea levels have risen a horrifying millimetre or two). My comment on the wintry conditions was in reference to the warmists mantra that freezing conditions were a sign of global warming which they’ve now had to call climate change or, better still, global climate disruption. It’s apparently never the weather, you see.

1 Like

The sky is falling and we all are going to die, deal with it.

And just for completeness, there’s also rebound: the lifting of crust (oceanic or continental) after ice recedes. It makes the ocean shallower in places, Hudson’s Bay for example. It has been and continues to rise since the last glacial maximum (27 odd thousand years ago). Its part of the climate recovery that’s been going on since then and continues today. Interesting thing about it is that it brings the methane clathrates up to a depth where they destabilize and release the real green house gases. I can’t see the future, but it seems like its going to get some warmer. If it wasn’t for the Himalyas’ ongoing orogeny, we’d be getting there faster. So, what I mean to say is: if you want to protest planet earth’s habits and Dr. Milankovich: “sea level drop” (rebound) is the real threat.

I looked that up. But maybe you can tell me: Pingelapesian? Pingelapan? Pingalese? Pinguan? What’s do they call themselves?

And just for complete completeness, there’s nothing so esoteric as “sea level”. I could get a dozen sea level experts in one room and none would agree on what the proper definition is as related to the globe. There would be a fight, pencils and insults hurled, and no winners.
The point is that there’s only one sea level that matters in this context and it is the local one and its historical changes.
So the Marshallese trying to big-note themselves as global warming warriors and making noises about saving their children won’t have the slightest effect on the sea level in the Marshall Islands.
The poor kiddies will still drown despite the smug, self satisfied sanctimony of their environment minister if that is what the sea wants to do and he hasn’t the brains to do something useful.
Has anyone here, mariners all, ever known of sea levels changing because someone righteously thought they jolly well should?

aside from the above mentioned experts? You’re right, it depends on the datum. Nothing about sloshy liquids is straight-forward, it turns out. In a more or less ridged small structure, like a ship, I will continue to believe that there are people out there who have a handle on it. But a mushy, pushy, constantly accelerating multiphase container like an interconnected series of ocean basins: I’m sceptical. Especially of people who aren’t a certain species of geologist.

1 Like

For those interested, here’s a few graphs of sea levels at Kwajalein.
Been there but didn’t get a T shirt.

Emrobu, how do you do that snazzy bit of displaying bits of my comments on your responses?

hit reply, and then highlight the part you want to quote. Then hit the grey box that says "Quote

Ta. Learn something every day.

1 Like