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Tuesday, February 20th 2007

Boo Hoo

More sympathy would come with a less arrogant tone. A diplomat claims Bangladesh is currently sinking due to Global Warming.

I invite anyone who remains cynical about the impact of climate change on the planet to visit Bangladesh. We have more floods. Our droughts have become more intense. The biggest mangrove forests in the world – the Sundarbans – are dying. We are losing precious biodiversity. You can see the effects of global warming with your own eyes.

Blaming these current problems on Global Warming appears like weapons grade balonium. There’s no evidence that the frequency of flooding is increasing, and no one with actual data that I can find seems to be blaming the increased size of the floods on Global Warming. The description of a UN University Press published report says,

Lateral river embankments and the disappearance of natural water storage areas in the lowlands seem to have a significant impact on the flooding processes.

Not a mention of Global Warming that I saw. Although it does mention higher ground water tables and more rain (which some GCMs predict). Still, I bet you’d find similiar lack of evidence for claims that Global Warming is causing the loss of biodiversity.

Okay, give the man a break and some credit for his concern for his country and people. Being concerned about the future of Bangladesh in a warming world seems much more even footed than blaming its current environmental problems (many made by the actual inhabitants of Bangladesh) on Global Warming,

[I]t is estimated that by the end of the century up to 20 per cent of its land will be under water. We are talking about millions of people being displaced by permanent flooding.

We’ll see. My trumpet of the fallibility of global climate models has taken on a life of its own on this blog, but at the least Mr. Ahmed’s concern for the future appears more valid than his rant blaming Global Warming for current problems in Bangladesh.

By UNEP’s Estimation – 1.5 Million Displaced Over The Next 150 Years*

You can read more on rising sea levels and Bangladesh at the United Nation’s Environment Programme.

Finally, Mr. Ahmed doesn’t make me a friend with his last words – a cross between a plea and a threat,

In this, the question of accountability is paramount. At the moment most Bangladeshis are not angry with anyone in particular because they do not understand the science behind what is happening. But slowly their frustration may turn into anger because this poor country had absolutely nothing to do with global warming. And yet, as ever, it is they who suffer.

H/T Reddit

*Potential impact of sea-level rise on Bangladesh. (2000). In UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library. Retrieved 22:03, February 20, 2007