WSJ Magazine, a product of the Wall Street Journal, told an outlandish climate change falsehood about Tuvalu and sea-level rise yesterday in an article about Bill Gates. In the article, titled “Bill Gates Has a Master Plan for Battling Climate Change,” WSJ Magazine claims, “Residents of Tuvalu, an island nation in the South Pacific, are jockeying for space as their archipelago is swallowed by rising seas.” The truth is exactly the opposite.

For background, climate activists have made Tuvalu – a nation of coral reefs and small islands in the South Pacific – a poster child for climate change. Activists claim rising seas are swallowing the nation and its islands. However, as documented by Climate Realism here and here, the majority of Tuvalu’s islands are growing in size, not shrinking.

While seas are modestly rising, modestly rising seas bring new sediment and allow for new coral to grow. The result is net land growth for islands like those in Tuvalu.

For example, a recent peer-reviewed study found eight out of Tuvalu’s nine coral atolls have grown in size during recent decades, and 3/4ths of Tuvalu’s 101 reef islands have similarly grown in size. Also, Tuvalu is experiencing net immigration rather than net emigration. There are 20% more people living in Tuvalu now than 30 years ago. Tuvalu’s population has doubled since 1970. Far from “jockeying for position” on an island being swallowed, people are flocking to Tuvalu, instead.

Additional peer-reviewed studies (see here, here, and here) confirm the same processes are allowing – and will continue to allow – other Pacific islands to keep up with rising seas.

The lesson to be learned at WSJ Magazine’s expense is that just because “everybody knows” or “Al Gore says” that some asserted climate harm is happening, that does not make it so. Trust scientific data, not the propaganda of climate activists and their messengers.

Climate Realism hopes to address other aspects of WSJ Magazine’s Bill Gates article in the days to come, although there are so many daily media climate falsehoods to debunk….

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.



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