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low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls

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on October 11, 2007 at 3:37:20 pm



2. Low lying inhabited Pacific atolls are being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming.

In scene 20, Mr Gore states "that's why the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand". There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened.




The Wikipedia article on Tuvalu says:


As low-lying islands lacking a surrounding shallow shelf, the island communities of Tuvalu are especially susceptible to changes in sea level and storm patterns that hit the island undissipated. It is estimated that a sea level rise of 20-40 centimetres (8-16 inches) in the next 100 years could make Tuvalu uninhabitable.[2][3] The South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission suggest that while Tuvalu is vulnerable to climate change, there are additional environmental problems such as population growth and poor coastal management, which are affecting sustainable development on the island, they rank the country as extremely vulnerable using the Environmental Vulnerability Index.[4] While some commentators have called for the relocation of the population of Tuvalu to Australia, New Zealand or Kioa (Fiji), the former Prime Minister Maatia Toafa said his government did not regard rising sea levels as such a threat that the entire population would need to be evacuated.[5][6] New Zealand has agreed to accept an annual quota of 75 evacuees.[7]


so this amounts to evidence of some evacuation. However "have all had to evacuate" does seem excessive. Can someone confirm these words in the movie? Specifically the use of the word "all" would make quite a difference.


There was some talk in 2001 of a mass evacuation of Tuvalu to New Zealand, but it doesn't seem to have happened. But 75 people per year out of less than 11,000 is a pretty big evacuation, about a half percent.

Five years on, the government of Tuvalu has noticed many such troubling changes on its nine inhabited islands and concluded that, as one of the smallest and lowest-lying countries in the world, it is destined to become the first nation sunk by global warming. The evidence before their own eyes - and forecasts for a rise in sea level of up to 88cm in the next century made by international scientists - has convinced most of Tuvalu's 10,500 inhabitants that rising seas and more frequent violent storms are certain to make life unliveable on the islands, if not for them, then for their children. A deal has been signed with New Zealand, in which 75 Tuvaluans will be resettled there each year, starting now. As the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean creeps up on to Tuvalu's doorstep, the evacuation and shutting down of a nation has begun.


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