Copenhagen: Nation with 0.0002% of global population brings negotiations to a halt

tuvalu

Perilously close to water…

All the talk has been of the tiny island nation of Tuvalu, most famous until this week for the .tv top level domain so favoured by TV stations across the globe. It has a population of just over 12,000 (in other words, two ten thousandths of one percent of the global population). But because it is less than 4.5 m above sea level, somehow it has become the poster child for climate change, because “rising sea levels caused by global warming” will flood the islands sooner than anywhere else.

Ironic, then, that sea levels have been rising at about 3 mm per year since the end of the last Ice Age, with no perceptible acceleration due to “global warming” – in fact possibly a slight slowing:

Clearly not accelerating…

Clearly not accelerating…

So at current rates, it will take about 1,500 years for the sea to rise 4.5 metres, so hardly a climate emergency that requires urgent action today at Copenhagen rather than in 100 or 200 or even 500 years time, when the costs of adaptation will be far less.

And furthermore, the islands are all coral atolls and reefs, notoriously unstable and most of which are known to be sinking into the sea anyway – that kind of sounds like a problem for them to deal with, rather than blackmailing the rest of the world.

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