The Spectator

Letters | 10 December 2011

All at sea

Sir: The Spectator’s cover article last week was entitled ‘The Sea Level Scam’. You can rest assured that no such scam exists. Most claims of the author, Nils-Axel Mörner, have never been published in peer-reviewed articles so cannot be independently verified. However, he published on his research in the Maldives in the journal Global Planetary Change in 2004. His findings about a possible sea-level fall in the region and the geological coral record, and his interpretation of satellite measurements of sea-level change have all been subsequently refuted.

He is correct to point out that there is widespread geographic variability in patterns of sea-level rise. But his central claim, that the Maldives are not under threat from future sea-level rise, is both misleading and dangerous. In the late 1990s Dr Mörner published a prediction of 10cm global sea‑level rise for the year 2100. About half of this rise has already occurred.

Professor Roland Gehrels
President, INQUA Commission on Coastal and Marine Processes
Plymouth University

Sir: I very much enjoyed the article by Nils-Axel Mörner. One factor Mörner did not mention is fluctuation in ocean floor level. If the Maldives were to sink due to lowering of the ocean floor, this could hardly be blamed on western-generated pollution. I am not necessarily an anthropogenic climate change sceptic but I am always suspicious of causes where there is so much apparent agreement; the cause itself assumes the nature of a religion or cult; and data are apparently falsified for social engineering purposes.

Leon Le Leu
Googong, New South Wales, Australia

Treating truancy

Sir: For all his empathy with pupils, Charlie Taylor (Diary, 3 December) has a strange penchant for putting truants’ parents in prison. Truanting is a rational decision made by children who have been utterly failed by their schools. One in five pupils qualifying for free school meals arrives in senior school with a reading age of a seven-year-old.

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