Johann Hari: fact checker extraordinaire

Leah Wickham, a young woman from Fiji, broke down as she told the conference she will see her homeland disappear beneath the waves if we do not act now.

Unlikely:

The two most important islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1,300 metres (4,250 ft), and covered with thick tropical forests.

20 comments on “Johann Hari: fact checker extraordinaire

  1. Hari doesn’t understand (or maybe he does) that the whole process has little to do with reducing emmissions and everything to do with money and control.

  2. And as the first comment points out, the claim that “Himalayan ice is rapidly vanishing and will be gone by 2035” is also wrong – how drunk do you have to be to write in a national paper that 12,000 cubic kilometres of ice will melt in 25 years?

    See this article on the BBC site that slipped past climate change moderators, possibly because it was not written by a BBC employee:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8387737.stm

  3. A lot of people stand to make a lot of money out of “climate change science.” Al Gore has already made a fortune on top of the one he already had I believe.
    The New World Order is based on solipsism. Truth is what they want it to be, facts are inconvenient. Follow by link to an interesting climate change story.

  4. 1300 metres is about the height of Ben Nevis. If they are submerged, so are the entire British Isles.

    If money is on offer for this, I might be seeing the glimmer of the beginnings of a way out of the nation’s financial problems . . . . .

  5. Earthtools offers a contour map imposed on GoogleMaps – I’ve just been to look at Fiji and, althought there are flatter areas particularly in the south-east, the young lady does look spectacularly ill-informed.

    And if Norfolk does disappear, a mere 103m for Beacon Hill to finally submerge, remember we have been promised global warming. So, although Ben Nevis is still probably only for the hardy souls, not these effete southerners, there’ll be plenty of the Southern Uplands good for more than just grazing sheep.

    And, from the Labour point of view, they’ll have won! All of these horrid bankers and their evil bonuses will be well under water. I reckon (guesstimate) that you’ll be getting in to the 22nd or 23rd floor of 1 Canada Square from your boat?

  6. “Surely the population don’t live that high up though, do they?”

    No, they’ll all sit there as the waters rise (I know, they won’t, but humour Martin…) thinking ‘Hmm, this is a bit of a pickle’ instead, will they?

  7. The BBC article states: Mr Pachauri dismissed the study as “voodoo science” and said the IPCC was a “sober body” whose work was verified by governments.

    I rather thought it was that governments relied on the IPCC.

    This arguing becomes circular, in which no one needs to be right. Does that not perhaps risk ‘everyone’ being wrong?

    Best regards

  8. So if she lives on the coast of Fiji, this would be absolutely accurate from Hari, right?

    Tim adds: No. The phrase is “her homeland”.

  9. I live in the small coastal town where I was born. Back in the early 1960s I remember every spring tide we would go to see the sea lapping at the edge of our concrete promenade. It looked like it might spill over the top, but it never did.

    Nowadays, the spring tide still doesn’t overtop the promenade. We have quite a few useful markers like that.

    What I’m saying is there is no evidence of increased sea level here, so why are they getting it elsewhere?

    I know there are lots of areas where coastal erosion is happening, but that is usually due to the constant pounding of the surf undermining cliffs.

  10. The “climate change ” excuse is going to be bandied about as a catch-all pretext for demands for “climate compensation” by all kinds of hustlers, all over the world. And the historical vulnerability of communities in locations vulnerable to typhoons, drought, and seismic activity will be swept under the carpet.

    One day we will wake up, and twig, that we don’t have to apologise to anyone for our existance. Ultimately we will refuse to be the scapegoat.

  11. If this Fijian bird’s right, my extensive property hodings in Kleinkudoeskop are going to be a proverbial goldmine. At just over 1300 m AMSL the town will be on the new riviera.

    I’m a bit worried about my English estates however. Maybe I should start checking the laws on seabed mineral rights.

  12. So you’re saying that because a lot of Fiji will remain above sea-level that it won’t dissappear beneath the waves? That argument is irrelevant because people don’t tend to establish settlements on 45 degree slopes made of rock, they are more likely to live somewhere flat where things grow, close to food and water. On an Island thats likely to be around the outside at the lowest elevations. A 2008 study (Gravelle, Mimura) specifically identified Fiji’s capital Suva, Fiji’s second city Lautoka and the port Nadi as being high risk locations.

    To be fair, it was one individual, Leah from Fiji, that made the comment, Hari merely reported that she had said it and it didn’t form part of an agreement passed or ratified at the conference. In any case I think you’re wrong to say Leah is incorrect to claim her homeland could dissappear beneath the waves. If all the beaches, towns, useful land and other resources in Fiji are washed away then I imagine a few trees on the couple of strips of rock that will remain will be little consolation.

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