Let’s deal with the criticism first. This, from Simon McGrath:
“A disgraceful piece of propoganda. No attempt at all to suggest any other rason the islands may be sinking -like being in an earthquake belt.”
Now, I think I’ve nailed this elsewhere on the blog, but it doesn’t hurt to do so again here. Because you know what? Simon is right…
The Carterets are in an area with a lot of earthquakes. They also sit close to a few active volcanoes. And, at the end of the day, it is in the geological nature of coral atolls to sink. All of these on their own could be causing the islands to sink into the sea and the storms to tear away what’s left. Or it could be climate change. Or it could be that climate change is making the effects of geological sibsidence far, far worse. Or it could be none of the above.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. What counts is that people – really nice people – are going hungry and their lives on the islands are coming to an end. Soemone has to respond. Even more importantly, what is happening to the Carterets is exactly in line with our best models of what climate change will do to other people, on other islands and coastlines across the world. So we have to learn from what is happening here because we are going to face this crisis again and again and again.
Here endeth the lesson.