[extropy-chat] global warming eats island

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Mon Dec 25 14:54:51 UTC 2006

Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] global warming eats island

Spike (& Damien),

You are right to be somewhat skeptical.  This may be the "poster boy" of
examples of new persons falling all over themselves to to "push" global
warming...On the other hand it is relatively accepted that the Indian plate
is diving under the Asian plate giving rise to the Himalayas... Robert

Damien wrote:


...Rising sea levels are playing havoc across the Sundarbans ­ two islands
have already been submerged. More islands are facing the same fate, reports
Subhra Priyadarshini...

This is interesting in several ways.  The article seems to suggest that
these low-lying islands are the planet's mine canaries for rising sea
levels.  But it doesn't actually say that the islands themselves could be
sinking, and that they could disappear even if the sea level was actually

In my own misspent youth, I recall going camping on the sandbars out in the
Indian River.  Go to Google Earth, type in Titusville Florida, look at that
body of water just east of the town and note the string of sand bars.  My
favorite one was just to the south of Brewer Parkway.  It has a few trees on
it, some picnic tables just below the resolution limit of Google Earth.  One
really couldn't camp out there on a full moon or a new moon, for the water
would come right up to those trees.  The island itself would change shape
with the tides, for the "Indian River" isn't a river, it's a lagoon.  That
is brackish water around there, closer to seawater than fresh.  The tides
are a little less than sea-tides in the river, but it does rise and fall
with the regular tide.

I and several other boy scouts went camping there and on other sandbars in
the 1970s.  One of the boys brought some devices which he called "reefers"
which were smoked by some, resulting in our acting silly.  We did not
actually need any reefers to act silly in those happy days.  From the
silliness level alone, it was unclear which were the reefer-imbibers and
which were not.

I had a newly minted driver's license 30 years ago today, for my friend
called and said his folks had given him a canoe for christmas, and would I
like to go paddling around in the Indian River; of course my response was
hail yes.  I do recall that day because it was about 80F, clear warm
Christmas day, hot actually.  We paddled to the various sand bars, all of
which are only a couple feet above sea level.

When articles appear, suggesting that global warming is causing islands to
be swamped, consider the effect on communities such as Titusville.
Thousands of people drive up and down US1 every day.  One can see those
islands from the road; many old timers have fond memories of picnics and
camping on those sandbars, which look pretty much the same today as they did
when I was a larva.  My canoe buddy's (late) great uncle lived on Cape
Canaveral in the 1920s before Kennedy Space Center was built, spoke of
boating on the Indian River and Banana River.  Those populous communities
such as Titusville Florida would realize in unison that if sea levels were
really rising, those sandbars would disappear.  

I see it as something the global warming people should watch carefully: to
point out that every sinking island and every oddball weather phenomenon is
not necessarily a result of global warming.  No one has yet suggested
treaties to halt plate tectonics.  There will be communities with their own
low-lying islands in plain sight of the mainland, and their own freakish
cold waves (Florida is cooler today than the old-timers recall).  If the GW
crowd fails to qualify their claims, it makes them appear as mere political
propaganda to those voting masses who have been visiting a favored island
for decades.


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