By Cliff Reece

Climate change activists routinely argue that numerous Pacific Islands will soon be under water due to rising sea levels caused by climate change.

But recent population patterns suggest Pacific Islanders know they are not facing substantial threats from sea-level rise. Some allegedly “endangered” islands have even built or made plans to build new airports or resorts.

Even more importantly, objective scientific evidence debunks claims that climate change is causing small islands to disappear. Rising seas bring sand and sediment, which build up coastal shorelines, often offsetting higher-than-usual sea levels.

An important example is the island of Tuvalu. Climate activists often claim the island nation of Tuvalu is sinking because of rising seas.

However, a recent peer-reviewed study found eight of Tuvalu’s nine large coral atolls have grown in size during recent decades, and 75% of Tuvalu’s 101 smaller reef islands have increased as well.

Further evidence can be found in Tuvalu’s population records. Many climate activists have warned that rising seas have started to cause or will soon cause waves of climate refugees seeking to flee islands like Tuvalu.

However, Tuvalu’s population, like the population of many other island nations, has consistently grown in recent years, not declined.

The population of Tuvalu has increased by 20% over the previous 30 years, and it had doubled compared to its population recorded in 1970.

Additional peer-reviewed studies have confirmed other islands in the Pacific Ocean are keeping up with rising sea levels. Their atolls have gained more than enough height and mass to offset modest sea-level rise.

Climate activist groups and some scientists have been making false dire warnings about sea-level rise for many decades.

For instance, more than 30 years ago, the AFP international news agency reported all 1,196 islands that comprise the Maldives could be completely underwater over the next few decades. 

Not only are all these islands still above water, people from all over the world are flocking to the Maldives, not fleeing them.

Like Tuvalu, the Maldives are benefiting from a lucrative tourist trade, not spawning climate refugees.

Despite this, Albanese has just offered ongoing permanent residency in Australia to Tuvalu’s “climate refugees displaced by global warming’’. Apart from being totally unnecessary – at least at this stage – it also sets a precedent for other Pacific Island nations to demand equal treatment.

Did our government actually check the facts before making these commitments?

PM Albanese wobbles his knees during his trip to the Cook Islands

It beggars belief that our Prime Minister has also just promised to hand over $350 million of taxpayers’ money to the Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership to supposedly ease their concerns about climate change.

This is in addition to the funding promised to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) which will likely amount to billions of dollars.

Australia joined the GCF fund soon after it was established in 2010. However, in 2018 the Morrison LNP government withdrew from the fund citing governance issues with the fund and proposing it would simply work directly with developing countries to help them develop climate resilience.

The Albanese ALP-Greens government rejoined this year, presumably having absolutely no qualms about governance issues.

The climate fund takes donations from developed countries and uses the money to finance climate mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries.

It has raised more than $20 billion in two funding rounds since it was launched in 2015, and while Australia contributed to the first round, it and the United States were notable absences in the second.

Funding includes both grants and concessional loans, and is distributed by a board made up of both developed and developing countries. Communist China is represented on the Board.

It has been criticised in the past for a perceived lack of clear direction and strategy, as well as the politicisation of decisions by board members.

Some Pacific officials have also complained it can be difficult to secure access to funding from the scheme.

In a statement, Shadow Foreign Minister Simon Birmingham said the government had to “ensure that funds diverted to the fund do not come at the expense of the direct support to Pacific Island nations”.

“The flaws and weaknesses in the Green Climate Fund are broadly acknowledged, including by many nations most at risk from climate change,” he said.

Many of us will be asking whether giving huge amounts of money – potentially billions of dollars – to an international organisation with dubious credentials is appropriate during a cost-of-living crisis in Australia.

It appears to be yet another virtue-signalling act on the part of PM Albanese and his socialist-left government.

No-one should be surprised because that’s how socialist governments have always operated worldwide – irresponsibly handing out taxpayers’ money in support of dubious ideological causes and then raising taxes to pay for things that are actually needed by their communities.

And even massive funding is not enough for some of our Pacific neighbours. Their latest demand is for a firm commitment from Australia to phase out fossil fuel entirely and end subsidies for coal and gas projects in exchange for the region’s support.

If this should ever happen, our country’s economy and living standards would rapidly decline.

Australia depends on coal and gas for both export income and for the baseload power that’s essential in order for us to maintain our standard of living.

Renewables will not meet that requirement in the short or even medium term….and certainly not by 2050.

Given that we’ve seen how our weak-kneed Prime Minister responds to virtue-signalling demands, we should be afraid, very afraid, that he might well give in to these outrageous demands like he did with the Voice proposal.

Albanese and his government have become a clear and present danger to our prosperity and need to be booted out of office at the earliest opportunity.

Many thanks to The Heartland Institute’s Climate at a Glance publication for much of the information included in this article.