A little tiny delated backdown from extreme climate hype begins

In 2018, a study of aerial photos of 700 Pacific Islands showed that 89% were the same size or growing. This rather destroyed the idea that sea levels were swallowing small nations. The New York Times said nothing. Indeed, the only Pacific things shrinking were deserted sand drifts. No islands bigger than 10 hectares were getting smaller. Measured in square kilometers that’s “0.1”. Despite the media headlines and delegations from Kiribati and Tuvulu begging for money to hold back the tide, no islands with people living on them were shrinking. None, not one island in the Pacific big enough to matter, was disappearing. The largest 630 islands in the Pacific were had not being touched by climate change for decades.

In 2023 another study of 1,100 islands came to the same conclusion. To find that many islands they included things as small as one thousandth of a square kilometer — we’re talking about spits of sand 10 meters square. (There are whales larger than that.)  The Kench team studied islands in the Indian Ocean too. In one case, they sliced, diced and drilled through one poor island in the Maldives and discovered it had a history like tossed salad. The ocean had churned and turned every part of it.

Now, six years later, the New York Times is catching up on one small part  — the Maldives, they admit, are not vanishing like they were supposed to. But the Times are still not saying that the original study came out in 2018, and that hundreds of media stories on sea levels were wrong, out of date and pointless, and all the claims of damage by Pacific Islanders were not just grossly exaggerated but utterly baseless. They’re not saying that all the anxiety that ideological scientists and sloppy journalists have whipped up has probably harmed the very islanders they pretended to care about. They’re not admitting that this must have been obvious to many of the islanders who lived there, surely, but who were happy to milk the fake crisis for all it was worth.

The Vanishing Islands That Failed to Vanish

By Raymond Zhong

Then, not very long ago, researchers began sifting through aerial images and found something startling. They looked at a couple dozen islands first, then several hundred, and by now close to 1,000. They found that over the past few decades, the islands’ edges had wobbled this way and that, eroding here, building there. By and large, though, their area hadn’t shrunk. In some cases, it was the opposite: They grew. The seas rose, and the islands expanded with them.

Scientists have come to understand some but not all of the reasons for this….

And it’s always bad news, even when islands are stable:

Only later did scientists discover a key piece of their more recent history: Swings in sea level, they realized, had drowned and exposed the islands several times through the ages. Which didn’t bode particularly well for them today, now that global warming was causing the oceans’ rise to speed up.

The Times is pretending that the “surprise” here just means that the ocean giveth as much as it taketh away. It’s a bit of subsidence and a bit of churn. The seas, they say, nonsensically are still rising. (Of course). In the world of socialist propaganda, past wild swings in sea level don’t mean that the climate has always changed, and modern  swings might be natural too. It just means ominously bad stuff, which… segue into a mention of man-made climate change.

They’re still not asking the sea level experts any hard questions, like, why didn’t you tell us this before, since we’ve had satellites since 1979? Didn’t you notice?

They’re not wondering if the UN knew this years ago and did nothing to inform the world.

The Times doesn’t question the sacred cow of rising sea levels — are the estimates of annual sea level rise really accurate? I mean, if no islands are disappearing, could those satellite estimates be wrong? Why do 1,000 tide gauges show seas are rising only 1mm a year, whereas the satellites say it’s 3mm a year? Is that because the satellite data was calibrated to a falling tide gauge in Hong Kong? Is it true that the raw satellite data showed very little rise in the 1990s, and that a lot of the rise is due to man-made adjustments?

And of course the biggy, the baddest question of all, if the islands are not sinking, the seas are not rising much, so is climate change all bollocks?


Duvat, V. K. E. (2018). A global assessment of atoll island planform changes over the past decadesWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, e557. doi:10.1002/wcc.557

Kench, P.S., Liang, C., Ford, M.R. et al. (2023) Reef islands have continually adjusted to environmental change over the past two millennia. Nat Commun 14, 508  doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-36171-2

The post Six years later, New York Times mentions that the Maldives is not sinking appeared first on Clintel.

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