Nils-Axel Mörner is a scientist, a 'sea-level specialist'. He's been to the Maldives to investigate, not once but six times.
Guess what? He thinks the Maldives will be OK. Being a kindly sort of scientist, he's written to the President of the Maldives on several occasions to set him right. The President, perhaps miffed at being contradicted in his doom-mongering media stunts, has not replied.
Frustrated, Nils has now published an open letter, printed in the Spectator and reproduced over at the Coffee House.
You really should read the whole letter, but some of the tastiest extracts (with CF's emphases) include:
"Dear Mr President,
You are obviously very concerned about the effect that sea level rises may have on the Maldives .. you have even declared that ‘we are going to die’ if the climate change summit in Copenhagen fails. I am now writing with.. good news. The scientific side of the situation is quite different to that which you imagine. You are, in fact, not going to die.
The IPCC vision is a rise that by the year 2100 may amount to between 30cm and 50cm. This is based on model calculations. Our figure is a 5cm rise, plus or minus 15cm. In a newspaper article, you have suggested that sea levels may rise by between one and eight metres. Those figures, however, do not concur with the physics and known rates of ice melting. So those figures must be dismissed as impossible.
Impossible? Mr President must be pleased: his worst imaginings are impossible. Nils-Axel has been looking into things.
"I have been on no fewer than six different field expeditions to the Maldives. .. We have always found the same thing: a total stability for the last 30 years, preceded by a 20cm drop in sea level in the 1970s.
The people of the Maldives had no problems surviving the 17th century, which was 50cm higher than now. Nor the last century, where it rose by 20cm. This bodes well for their prospects of surviving the next change.
Well. Mr President must be feeling a bit foolish. All that panic for nothing. Or was it for nothing? Nils-Axel thinks it might have been for another reason:
Surely not? Surely the President was pure in his motives, and worried only for his beloved people. In which case, Nils-Axel has good news:
"Could it be because there is money involved? If you inhabit a tiny island and can convince the world that its very existence is under threat because of the polluting policies of the West, the industrialised nations will certainly respond. The money is likely to flow in more quickly than the ocean will rise.
"So, Mr President, you and your ministers in the Maldives really don’t need to worry .. You should pass on this message to the people of the Maldives. It is high time to release them from this terrible psychological burden."
Set his people straight. Let them stop worrying. Do you think Mr President will do that?