Tuvalunacy; Island Lawsuit May Force Bush to Reject Kyoto

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Byline: Christopher Horner, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As many now know, the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu loudly blames its gloomy future on purportedly rising sea levels resulting from man-made "climate change." The truth, as detailed by climatologist Patrick Michaels, is somewhat different: "In short, Tuvalu is a Tuvalu-made ecological disaster that is now an economic disaster. The natives want out because they wrecked the place."

Having despoiled their native land through resource mismanagement and plain recklessness, Tuvaluans plan to unleash a preposterous lawsuit to force developed countries to pay them to go elsewhere.

This sovereign mosh pit first demanded nearby developed countries accept its 11,000 residents as "environmental refugees." New Zealand agreed, to a point. Obviously, a nation as small and lavish with welfare as New Zealand cannot absorb the entire moveable feast. So, the Tuvaluans eyed Australia for their other host organism. Exhausted by a flood of regional migrants and knowing full well the bunkum of this crowd's alleged plight, the Aussies demurred. Enter the lawyers.

Tuvalu threatens to bring suit in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. Their claim is that Australia is, or will be, responsible for damages to Tuvalu due to Australia's refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Global warming continues apace, sea levels rise, Tuvalu drowns, or so goes the argument.

There are at least two major problems with this claim, the phony neck brace of 21st-century litigiousness. The collapsing science underpinning "catastrophic climate change" notwithstanding, Tuvalu is actually growing, not shrinking. Second, even Kyoto's breathless proponents admit it wouldn't do anything.

Climatologist Patrick Michaels cites satellite data demonstrating "Tuvalu is near the epicenter of a region where the sea level has been declining for nearly 50 years. In fact, the decline is so steep that even using the U.N.'s lurid (and wrong) median estimates of global warming for the next century will not get the Tuvalus back to their 1950 sea level until 2050."

Further, Tuvalu seeks extraordinary relief, in effect a "mandatory" injunction - that is, not preventing action but requiring it - specifically, that a sovereign nation ratify and comply with a treaty. Typically, injunctive relief requires a higher showing of evidence. Even alarmist scientists claim that complete (that is, unrealistic) participation in and compliance with the Kyoto Protocol might only prevent about one inch of sea level rise in the next 100 years. You see the legal case, if nothing else, drowning.

Of course, lacking facts, causation or reasonable basis for judgment insures against neither frivolous lawsuits nor mindless verdicts. …