Under Water

A Maui Native told me something stunning: when he was a teenager, the West Coast of West Maui was a wide continuous golden sand beach. Now that beach is gone, only small patches survive, between small rocky capes. He accuses sea level rise. The Native works for a taxi service, and he is scared that the sea level will take out the road which is the lifeline to West Maui. He is even scared sea level rise will soon cut Maui in two.

He showed me where the road was cut by the waves, during high tide, and I could see the makeshift barriers the government had installed, pathetically. He says the cutting of the road has become the principal threat to his employment (and to the massive tourist sector of West Maui). Traffic crawls at 5 miles an hour when the waves come in.

Sea level is very hard to estimate: it varies continuously. Yet, as I saw in Maui, and as I have seen in other coast, full grown trees of deciduous species are not capable to grow where waves batter. Seeing tree roots exposed by waves, as I found on the French Cote d’Azur, on a particular beach which I knew, but is now under a meter of water, demonstrate clearly that sea level rise is grossly underestimated.

All This Was A Golden Beach, Now It IS Under Water. West Maui Coast, Facing Lanai.

All This Was A Golden Beach, Now It IS Under Water. West Maui Coast, Facing Lanai.

A Qatari emits 33 tons of CO2 per inhabitant per year. The average Earth citizen emits 4.5 tons of CO2. Switzerland, 5.1 tons. The average in China is 6.5 tons, and 6.6 tons for a citizen of the European Union. Citizens of the USA emit, in the average, 16.1 tons (Canada and Australia do significantly worse).

48% of world CO2 emission is to produce energy and electricity. Transportation is only 23%, Industry 19%, and the rest, including home heating, only 10%.

Coal burning creates half of the world’s CO2 emission.

The inability to cut on greenhouse gases emissions is striking: they are still going up. One problem has been the crackdown on nuclear energy: for perhaps half the planet, right now, only nuclear energy can provide clean energy. Even Switzerland, full of mountains and thus endowed with vast amounts of hydro power, gets its good number from massive usage of nuclear energy (even though some of the reactors have been installed in locations which should have been completely excluded: where are the ecologists when needed?)

Yes, I said clean, when depicting nuclear power, and let no Fukushima or Chernobyl be brandished by the morally dubious, shrilly PC. Both nuclear accidents were caused by demented risks taken by foolish operators, and derelict surveillance authorities. Both situations were deeply insane, from putting reactors where super giant tsunamis have already struck, and not being ready after that happened, to using, in the case of the Soviet built reactor, hyper dangerous technology (graphite-gas), which should never have been built (such reactors are unstable under low power).

Not to do anything about the CO2 catastrophe is incomparably more demented than building nuclear reactors in every city (not that I recommend this!). It’s more demented, not just by orders of magnitude. One cannot compare the evacuations of a few zones left to wild animals (who are very happy), to the assured destruction of the biosphere. Once again, Fukushima happened because Japanese ecologists were out to lunch, and so was the government and the Tokyo Power company. And Chernobyl was the product of a dictatorship which had at least one way worse accident, and kept it hush hush.

Pseudo-ecologists have blocked stridently nuclear power (instead of insisting that it should be made safe, and how). Result? Sea Level rise has now doubled in rate relative to what it was 20 years ago.

United Nations predict a catastrophic rise of one meter by 2100. However that does not take into account the possible catastrophic collapse of Antarctica’s WAIS, Wilkes, and Aurora basins… which I anticipate. And melt massively they will, soon.

Some will smirk, and will suggest to wait until average of sea level rise are much higher than the recently registered 3.3 mm per year average. Yes, whatever. My little theory of sea level rise by catastrophic melting of Antarctica just got a timid support in the first official academic study of the subject. They admit that, instead of taking 10,000 years, catastrophic melting is only a few decades away. (I persist, and sign, that this is a ridiculous underestimate!)

Qatar is at 33 tons of CO2 per person per year. Let’s meditate what it means. That’s evil. And one evil leads to another: a consortium of British journalists just evaluated that the number of workers killed on the world cup stadiums in Qatar was in excess of 900 (yes, nearly a thousand). As we can see, enabling evil here, make it sprout all over (and yes, Qatar enables the Islamist State). Not doing anything impactful against sea level rise is enabling that rise. Thus, it is enabling evil. As average citizens are powerless, it’s our great leaders who are evil. They wanted the job, they got it, they give us hell, surely they won’t mind be called by their names?

The president of Ecuador, triumphantly re-elected, and a professional (USA PhD) economist, says that the climate catastrophe is NOT a technical problem, it is a political problem. The president of Senegal, a country at sea level, points out that there is no plan B, so the Paris Conference cannot fail.

And you know what the political problem is, at the deepest level of analysis? It’s the ultimate, the will to have evil rule. In one word: plutocracy. The will to have evil rule has no better friend than the CO2 catastrophe. As, first of all, it teaches people to live with catastrophe, and love it (as, earlier they were made to live with the bomb, and love it!)

And yes, it’s not as urgent, but even worse than the war against fascism in World War Two. Because there is a non-human operator involves, physics itself. As it is not as urgent, the frogs feel sleepy, instead of anxious. But they will get barbecued all the same.

Patrice Ayme’

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10 Responses to “Under Water”

  1. Gmax Says:

    You really expect those who have never read the Qur’an, but know Islam, to read the sea now? Well, good luck!


  2. Paul Handover Says:

    I have mixed feelings about these present times. Part of me is very pleased that I’m the wrong side of 70 and will avoid the worst of what’s coming through death.

    Then there’s another part of me that would love to see how it all turns out and doesn’t want to miss the finale.

    Natural forces dominating all, from the large to the small.


  3. dominique deux Says:

    There are so many possible causes for a sandy beach’s disappearance – some natural, some otherwise – that I would not see it as a reliable indicator of a rising sea level. A shift in coastal currents or a developer with closer relationships with lawmakers than with the law would be all it takes.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed. However:
      1) this is on 50 kilometers. The most affected part has no hotels or developments on 30 kilometers.
      2) Clearly the sea got into big trees. Smaller ones are already dead.
      3) Clearly the road is invaded by the sea under high tides, high waves. The Natives say it was not like that before.
      4) I have seen beaches disappear. From sea level rise. I even wrote an essay on that.
      5) Officially sea level rise is 20 centimeters since 1999.Yes, I also know that it’s supposed to be only 3.3 mm (says UN). The 20 centimeter numbers come from that great sea power… Switzerland. On this I believe the Swiss (they are not biased, having no reason to be).
      6) The government of Kiribati has announced the ABANDONMENT OF THE COUNTRY. Tuvalu will soon follow.
      7) I have seen coral appear in the Med, not just my preferred beach now destroyed (or rather a meter below water).


  4. ianmillerblog Says:

    The political leaders all agree that action is urgent, and with one exception, all countries must act emphatically. The exception, of course, is their own country.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, France and China have agreed the accord should be binding. They made a treaty with each other. The USA is the only one which came out, through Kerry, as I described, to say the accord will NOT be binding. Hollande then intervened, saying something to the effect that the meeting had meaning only if it were binding.

      Of course Obama does not control Congress. However, preceding presidents did not EVEN try to CONFRONT Congress on the matter. Now, of course Obama is more squishy guava (smells good, crushes easily under foot) than hard core thinker…
      The large CO2 emitters by person tend to be large Anglo-Saxon colonies…


  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Published in meantime by New York Times: Marshall Islands are disappearing:



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