Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Of all the apocalyptic imagery summoned by global warming's proponents, the most compelling has been the threat of coastal devastation from rising sea levels. In his best-selling work Earth in the Balance, Al Gore argued that the selfishness of Western industrialization would obliterate small, impoverished countries.
Although the sea level has risen and fallen through different geological periods, never has the change been anywhere near as rapid as that now expected as a consequence of global warming, he wrote. .. [I]sland nations like the Maldives and Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), will be devastated if the projections made by scientists turn out to be accurate Mr. Gore solemnly predicted that millions of poor inhabitants would be forced to flee their homelands in a desperate bid for survival - unless we adopt his political agenda. It just isn't so.
In a forthcoming issue of the journal Global and Planetary Change, researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji documented changes in 27 vulnerable, low-lying reef islands in the Central Pacific. Using aerial photographs taken as early as 1944, the areas were carefully mapped and compared with modern satellite images.
It turns out that the islands did, in fact, change over time, but they are hardly sinking. Overall, 20 grew or remained stable. The island of Funamanu, for example, expanded from 7. …