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|Small Islands Voice - www.globalcoral.org|
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|Posted by:||Sep 23rd 2004, 02:20:12 pm|
|chapel||"I think we are panicking unnecessarily about sea level rise and global warming", writes Temakei Tebano from Fiji (Pacific). Thereís so much to be learnt from the icebergs and the deep ocean, search the internet for both sides of the story and do not get glued to one side. Let us not be fooled by those who just want to make money out of people's fear. They talk but cannot do anything. They keep changing their figures, meaning it is just guesswork and they do not know what they are doing. Balanced information is what we need, not a one sided 'story'...
But not everyone thinks we are panicking unnecessarily. Tepa Suaesi from Samoa
(Pacific) compares climate change to other global problems: Global warming and
rising sea level, like terrorism, are global problems requiring a superhuman
global commitment from every nation right down to the last inhabitant on this
planet. Itís a tremendous challenge which requires resources far, far beyond
human capacity to gather. Where we get the resources to raise humanity up to a
higher level of motivation to cope with this rising challenge is the question
Charles Lee of Taiwan (Pacific) also feels that something can be done. Sea
level rise in Tuvalu and maybe in Kiribati is a real headache issue. To flee
from, or to stay in the lands of oneís ancestors is a difficult decision. Why
don't we look at places where this has already happened, like the city of
Venice in Italy, and in the Netherlands. I believe these countries have fought
with similar problems for centuries. Why don't those islands States send a
letter to the United Nations to seek assistance from the experts in Venice and
the Netherlands. Exchanges between these European countries and the Pacific
States could provide ideas and suggestions about what to do.
Thomas Goreau from Jamaica (Caribbean) has a different view: While all low
lying islands are threatened by global sea level rise in the coming decades,
their vulnerability is in fact greatly increased on much shorter time scales.
Severe coral bleaching caused by high temperatures has killed over 90% of
corals in the Maldives and also affected all other low lying island nations.
Because living, growing, self-repairing healthy coral reefs are essential for
shore protection from waves, the loss of reef corals will greatly increase the
rate of shore erosion, and intensify the effects of sea level rise much
earlier than expected. A strategy has been developed by the Global Coral Reef
Alliance for large scale coral reef restoration. This has been tested in the
Maldives and Palau and produces corals with faster growth rates (3-5 times),
greater survival from high temperature and other stresses (16-50 times), and
greatly increased fish and shellfish populations. Sadly, effective large-scale
restoration is not yet supported by any government or international funding
agency. The Kyoto protocol is irrelevant, even if it were observed by
governments. It is only a formula to stabilize the rate of increase of
greenhouse gases. Even with a total stop to all coal and oil use now, warming
would continue for many centuries. For a long term survival strategy, island
nations need to grow their way out of global climate change. It is critically
urgent that governments ACT on this agenda at the January Summit of Island
Nations in Mauritius, instead of wasting more precious time with talking.
Otherwise they will certainly make abandonment the only remaining option for
Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, and thousands of other
low lying islands and shore communities. Asking the leaders of the rich
countries to please reverse their use of the world's non-renewable resources,
which is killing our reefs and islands, is pointless. We can't stop global
climate change now, so our only hope is build our sustainable resources to
outgrow it. For more information see: http://www.globalcoral.org
Title: Are we panicking about climate change?
By: T. Goreau, C. Lee, T. Suaesi, T. Tebano,
Title: Are we panicking about climate change?
Author: T. Goreau, C. Lee, T. Suaesi, T. Tebano
Date: Tuesday, 21 September 2004
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