Thursday, 21 May 2015

PR China clearly not too fussed about 'dangeous sea level rises'.

From The Guardian, November 2012:

Sea-level rise is occurring much faster than scientists expected – exposing millions more Americans to the destructive floods produced by future Sandy-like storms, new research suggests...

The faster sea-level rise means the authorities will have to take even more ambitious measures to protect low-lying population centres – such as New York City, Los Angeles or Jacksonville, Florida – or risk exposing millions more people to a destructive combination of storm surges on top of sea-level rise, scientists said.

Scientists earlier this year found sea-level rise had already doubled the annual risk of historic flooding across a widespread area of the United States. The latest research, published on Wednesday in Environmental Research Letters, found global sea-levels rising at a rate of 3.2mm a year, compared to the best estimates by the IPCC of 2mm a year, or 60% faster...


Yada yada blah.

From The Daily Mail, May 2015:

Beijing is rapidly building several artificial islands in disputed waters...

It's difficult to tell from the aerial photographs, but those artificial islands are only a metre or two above sea level, so if the warmenists are right, they'll be unusable in a couple of decades and the problem sorts itself out.
------------------------------------
The artificial islands also neatly illustrate the point that 'land ownership' and 'the nation state' are synonymous.

Basically, whichever country is prepared to fight hardest gets to control the land and the surrounding sea; the country which controls the land gets to decide who 'owns' it. Let's say PR China built an island just for the heck of it of no military use and decided to sell ownership to private entities; the US government could, in its private capacity, acquire the freehold title, but the land is still part of PR China and would not become part of the USA

13 comments:

Random said...

Won't building artificial islands lead to pollution. Seems like a crazy idea. IMO, China is doing this to dominate the sea.
BTW, Mark what is Georgist view on Zionism/Arab-Isreali conflict?

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, I don't see how Georgism has anything to do with international politics.

As small govt libertarians, obviously Georgists tend towards pacifism or 'armed neutrality'.

As to the middle east, it is the bloody Arabs who enjoy killing people. What does Israel have to do with the Sunni-Shia spat or Syria or Libya? Precious little.

The Jewish people could all disappear overnight and the slaughter would continue. If anything, the existence of Israel contributes towards 'peace' in the area because at least all the Arabs have got a common enemy.

Bayard said...

"so if the warmenists are right, they'll be unusable in a couple of decades"

At 3.2mm a year, it will take over 300 years to rise a metre, by which time the islands will have probably lost all relevance.

Which is why this "rise in sea level" thing is such bunkum. The sea level has always gone up and down and even the most low-lying country isn't really going to be affected by a rise of a few millimetres.

Curtis said...

Like most things in China they are probably trying to build them for as cheap as possible, while getting th government to pay as much as possible, so the bosses and managers can cream off more money to buy land in Vancouver.

If sea levels do rise they can always build the islands higher.

The Stigler said...

I'll know when Global Warming is a real threat when rich American politicians start selling their coastal properties and buying something elevated nearby (the Lex Luthor property investment scheme).

The Stigler said...

The problem with the middle east is that almost the entire economy of the region (except Israel and some areas of Egypt) is all about land, whether in the forms of agriculture, fishing, oil or ports).

The reason we aren't fighting each other all the time in the west is that we've created productive economies. If Germany went to war with France they might gain the land around Grasse that grows the lavender for perfume, or the land in the Charente that grows the grapes for Cognac, but they would massively disrupt the industry that turns raw material into perfume and Cognac.

The Middle East isn't like that. The raw material is a huge amount of the value. It's why the Bush/Blair doctrine can't work. The most ruthless killer takes the land, and then has more of the wealth and power.

paulc156 said...

Well when you say " What does Israel have to do with the Sunni-Shia spat or Syria or Libya?" America has plenty to do with it though and you don't take account of the fact that 'Israel is America's largest air craft carrier', as General Haig once put it.

James James said...

Let's say PR China built an island just for the heck of it of no military use and decided to sell ownership to private entities; the US government could, in its private capacity, acquire the freehold title, but the land is still part of PR China and would not become part of the USA"

What about the Louisiana Purchase? I agree with you that land value is enabled by state military power. But states can conquer land that belonged to other states. In the face of military threats, it can be cheaper for both sides to swap the land for money instead of having a destructive war.

Bayard said...

"'Israel is America's largest air craft carrier', as General Haig once put it."

I thought that was the UK. Have we sunk below Israel?

The Stigler said...

paulc156,

It may be that America with Israel have problems in the region, but Sunni and Shia have been fighting each other since the 7th century. It's a split that was caused by the death of Muhammad and a dispute over his succession.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B yes of course it will take decades, that's the whole joke.

C, good point.

TS, good point. It has been widely mentioned that industrialisation, democracy and peace go hand in hand.

PC, why on earth are we dragging the Middle East conflict into this? Israel and the USA are not interchangeable you know.

JJ, that is slightly different as it appears to have been agreed that the land 'acquired' from the French would become part of the USA.

But if the French hadn't agreed to waive any sort of claim over it, the USA would have conquered it by force anyway, so the LP was just a face saver for the French.

B, Haig did describe Israel as such.

Which is fair enough - the Yanks used the UK for siting nuclear weapons and Israel for parking planes (it being nearer potential targets).

And it wasn't very original of Haig - he pinched the expression from Churchill who described Malta as "an unsinkable aircraft carrier".

paulc156 said...

MW. Someone else dragged it in first.
I think Israel and the US are 'quite' interchangeable really. I think it's one reason, [latterly the main one] that there is no realistic prospect of any kind of settlement with the Palestinians.
There's also an arguable tendency for the US to see ME issues through the prism of Israel. Netanyahu is probably more popular in Congress than he is at home!

Mark Wadsworth said...

PC, true, Random raised the topic.

But this whole "USA = Israel = Western capitalist evil and the Arabs are being oppressed" is some weird leftie meme, and as far as I can see the Arabs are a thousand times worse.

In any event, I am English-European-pacficist-non interventionist and fail to see why I should care one way or another. We have to sort our own country out and other countries are somebody else's problem.