An Alaskan island is losing ground – Los Angeles Times
The LA Times article is worth the read only if you want to gain an understanding of how the global warming alarmists turn unrelated facts into incoherent fiction. Honestly, I feel sorry for the author, Alan Zerembo. I guess it was either pay for lunch or write the daily “We Are Doomed” piece. The following is what happens when you only have three bucks in your pocket.
Kivalina is disappearing, the victim of a warming world and a steady natural erosion that probably began long before the Eskimos settled here 100 years ago.
Ummm…someone needs to tell the new guy that he better not mix fear-mongering with common sense. The elevation of Kivalina, a glorified sand bar, is a mere 13 feet. Dennis Rodman can jump higher than that. Kind of hard to blame global warming for erosion that has been ongoing since before…well, since before Gore invented global warming.
Call me overly cynical, but while I was reading this I got the sneaky suspicion that the residents of Kivalina might just ride the global warming wave for all the cash it’s worth. I wasn’t disappointed.
“Village leaders have squabbled for years with state and federal officials over relocating, which could cost as much as $250 million. No one has offered to pay.”
Some want to head to higher ground, others want to stay on the coast. And while they can’t agree on which option is better, they can all agree that anyone but themselves ought to pay for it. That anyone, by the way, would be us taxpayers.
The article continues on with the crashing of waves and the desolation of the sand bar…I mean, island. Zerembo, trying hard to add some tragic nuances to his piece, says this:
“There is no heroic battle to stop the advancing water.”
Yea, because that would be like trying to hold back the ocean or something stupid like that.
Then, in a serious lapse of judgment, Zerembo infuses this little factoid:
“Kivalina is nothing but fine sand,” said Oscar Swan, an 84 year old resident.
Oops. Sunday school student or not, everyone knows you don’t build your house upon the shifting sand.
Obviously tiring of the global warming slant, Zerembo’s piece starts to read like one of Oprah’s feel-sorry-for-the-downtrodden episodes in which her highness, Madame O, showcases her benevolence.
Today, about 70 homes sit on short stilts above the permafrost. Most homes have no running water and the standard toilet is a 5-gallon bucket. A shower costs $3 at the “washeteria.”
Life in Kivalina can be as bleak as the landscape.
“There is little work in town, and those who want to make a decent living have to head to the borough seat in Kotzebue or the Red Dog Mine, the world’s largest zinc operation, about 45 miles away. For those who stay, the center of social life is the city-run bingo hall, where the average adult loses $750 a year.”
“Last year, three people committed suicide. In the last eight years, there have been three killings.
“Some have gotten numb to their pain,” said Lowell Sage, the pastor at Kivalina Friends Church, whose brother was stabbed to death by a neighbor several years ago.“
If you’re a Go Green junkie it’s easy to see how Global warming is to blame for the lack of jobs, the killings, and the bingo losses. If your not an avid Greener, you’d probably check to see if you turned to the wrong page of your newspaper for the article’s continuation.
Zerembo, after receiving a thwack on the back of the head from a colleague for digressing, got back on track…sort of.
It’s often biting cold, but in recent years, people have begun noticing tiny changes. For the first time anybody could remember, it rained in January. Furnaces were turned off after May.
The key here is the line, “For the first time anybody could remember…”. So because nobody remembers it, it never happened before? I don’t remember a blasted thing about the Police’s Synchronicity concert I went to when I was 17 (because I was blasted), but it happened nonetheless. Once again, the reliance upon memory as a means of measuring plausibility is deployed by the left. Think Hillary- “I don’t recall.”
When Joe Swan Sr., 72, checked his cold cellar, a deep hole in the ground where meat is aged over the summer, he found that his caribou and seal had rotted. The surrounding permafrost had thawed, filling the pit with water.
He had heard about global warming, and some of his neighbors embraced the idea, especially after storms in 2004 and ’05 cut huge swaths out of the beach.
But he has remained skeptical because Kivalina has always been eroding. An 1838 explorer’s account said the island was about 1,800 feet wide, three times what it is today. Most of that was lost long before anybody talked about global warming.
Once again, the facts got the best of Zerembo. But he quickly got back on track.
But what really got people uncomfortable was when the rest of the world started pointing at them as the leading edge of an impending climatic apocalypse.
If Zerembo’s boss hadn’t been looking over his shoulder I’m sure this would have read, “But what really got their opportunistic juices flowing was when the rest of the world started pointing at them as the leading edge of an impending climatic apocalypse.”
This is exploitation on a grand scale. This is the left in spades.
The article rambles on about how the residents braced and evacuated for a big storm… that didn’t come.
Fears of global warming came to a head in September, when weather reports warned that a powerful storm was on track to strike Kivalina.
Bad storms usually came in the fall, but this time borough officials ordered an evacuation and dispatched small planes to whisk away the elders.
Mayor Austin Swan and Vice Mayor Enoch Adams Jr. went door to door, warning residents to get off the island. All-terrain vehicles were loaded onto metal skiffs, and evacuees crossed the narrow channel at the south end of the island, then rumbled down the beach in a ragged caravan.
Raymond Hawley, 74, a hunter and carpenter, couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. It always stormed in the fall, and from what he had heard on the radio, this one didn’t sound particularly bad.
Two of his children were already off the island, in prison. He and the rest of his family were staying.
Yea, had to mention the part about the kids being in prison. That was relevant.
While reading this I was waiting for the part about global warming being the cause of the storms non-arrival, but Zerembo never mentions that. Instead, he hops down another bunny trail and reports how a certain family, the Swans, horde all the jobs on the island. I couldn’t help but wonder what that had to do with the article. I’m still wondering.
Interestingly, while Zerembo reports that there was no storm, he says:
The aftermath of the storm was a hectic time.
Well, like Zerembo, the people of Kivalina took full advantage of the…(non-existent) storm…caused by global warming (also non-existent). A member of the infamous job-hogging Swan family, Colleen Swan, flew to Anchorage to testify before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery about coastal erosion. Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Adams was on the phone begging for more sandbags.
As he pleaded for more sandbags, the CB radio crackled in the background: Somebody had stolen a seal skin and some beluga meat during the evacuation.
“These children need to behave,” the voice on the radio ranted.
All in all, global warming made for a chaotic autumn.
“We’ve got to get off the island. It’s obvious,” Adams said.
These children need to behave? It’s apparent an ability to write coherently is not required at the LA Times.
Of course, no article about global warming would be complete without playing the Bush card.
A class at the high school was assigned to write to President Bush. “Erosion is destroying our island,” wrote Kelly Hawley, 17, a senior. “We ask if you can provide help for our poor island.”
Obviously President Bush’s last surviving fan, Hawley is under the impression he can hold back the ocean.
Propping her 8-month-old baby on her lap at home, Hawley explained that the issue isn’t just about erosion, it’s about making a new start in life. “I want to move,” she said. “We have no flush toilets or running water. There’s not many places to hang out.”
I had to work at it, but I managed to get the connection Zerembo was trying to make: Global warming is the cause of teen-age pregnancies on Kivalina. Personally, I’m of the opinion that global warming is the least of their problems.
And lest anyone think I’m too harsh and judgmental when I say the residents of Kivalina are trying to capitalize on the global warming myth, the Times validates my point:
There were no offers to pay for relocation, but Adams, the vice mayor, thought the village’s chances were good because of all the publicity that had turned Kivalina into an icon of climatic disaster.
“The federal government will give us the money,” he said. “Global warming is going to sell itself.”
The people of Kivalina had wanted to relocate to Kiniktuuraq, a “rutty patch of oceanfront tundra just a couple miles down the coast.” Sort of reminds me of those California types who like to build their homes in areas known for mud slides. Not too bright.
But after a two-year study of possible relocation sites, the Army Corps of Engineers concluded last year that Kiniktuuraq was no good. It too was vulnerable to erosion, flooding and permafrost thawing — and would become more vulnerable as the planet warmed.
That last part, “…and would become more vulnerable as the planet warmed” wasn’t part of the Army Corps of Engineers report. That’s called creative license, but the MSM calls it “reporting the facts”.
Building there [Kiniktuuraq] would require depositing a layer of gravel at least 9 feet thick, adding $100 million to the cost of relocation, according to the report.
The corps favored two inland sites on higher ground: Imnakuk Bluffs and Tatchim Isua.
The report put village officials in a bit of a bind. The specter of global warming was now sinking their chances of moving to the site they wanted.
Translation: We don’t want an option that makes sense. We want to live in an area that will flood so we can cash in on this global warming thing.
Don’t believe me?
Pastor Sage said he was still confident Kivalina would eventually be moved. It will just take a big enough storm. “If Kivalina floods or something really bad happens, then they’ll move us,” he said. “That’s the only time we’ll get money.”
Zerembo failed to report that the residents of Kivalina are now praying for global warming to increase exponentially so that their island will be washed from the face of the earth and they will finally get paid to relocate to New Orleans–Elevation: below sea level.