UNITED NATIONS — With their boundless vistas of turquoise water framed by swaying coconut palms, the Carteret Islands northeast of the Papua New Guinea mainland might seem the idyllic spot to be a castaway.Uhhh...no...thanks to tectonic shift, the islands are sinking. Rising sea levels are not the cause.
But sea levels have risen so much that during the annual king tide season, November to March, the roiling ocean blocks the view from one island to the next, and residents stash their possessions in fishing nets strung between the palm trees.
Now if you ask just about anyone living on the islands why this is happening, they will immediately shout "global warming." I was surprised they even knew this term, but they will point north and describe the melting of the ice in Greenland to make their case for climate change. Other people we interviewed described the tumultuous history of the islands, where at one time they used dynamite to fish with resulting damage to the protective coral. They also remind us that the islands are actually part of an old volcano that has a natural history of sinking back into the sea.I wouldn't be surprised that they knew the term. The United Nations has been force feeding it to them.
*Snort* I remember watching an the Tonight Show back when Johnny Carson was running things, and Bob Uecker (baseball player and all around jokester) was a guest. He noted that he had gone fishing for the first time the week before. He used dynamite...and got 200 bass on his first cast.