Hong Kong Climate un-Ready for fast change and sea level rise

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    In March, I received this email:

    The Environment Bureau has recently launched a Climate Ready (CR) website (http://www.climateready.gov.hk) to raise public awareness in combating climate change.

    In the CR website, there is a public event calendar in which climate change related events and activities are shown for public information.  If you are interested to have your climate change events and activities included and shown in the above calendar, please complete and return the attached form (in both English and Chinese) [see attached Form 1] to us by 17 March 2017 (Fri).  You may continue to keep us updated when there are any new events.  Depending on the feedback, our plan is to update the calendar biweekly.  

    In addition, there is a video webpage in our CR website (https://www.climateready.gov.hk/education_centre.php?section=video).  If you would like to share with us any climate change related videos, please provide us your video weblink (e.g. youtube link / website link) in the attached form (see Form 2).  We will consider including your suggested link as appropriate.  If there are other resources (e.g. publications, links to other useful websites) that you think can help enrich the CR website, please also feel free and let us know.

    For the videos or other resources you send to us, please confirm that you have proper ownership / copyright of the provided materials.   Please understand that we will review the events, videos, and other resources you send to us and may include them in CR website as we see fit.

    Apart from the above, we would like to invite you to add an icon / link in your website which could hyperlink to the Climate Ready website.  Please let us know if you find our invitation agreeable.

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 2594 6525 ([email protected]).

    Thank you for joining hands with us to be climate ready!

    I was not impressed by info I found, and replied:


    Thanks for the email.
    I appreciate being invited to become involved with government efforts re combating climate change; below are several links to articles I’ve done that may be of interest.
    Depending on response to these, I could well be fine adding link to the Climate Ready website.
    Note, however, that I am highly sceptical re the value of the Climate Action Plan – believe it is more a climate inaction plan, with relatively little being done, compared to the great magnitude of the problem.
    To me, this is a report from bureaucrats, not climate scientists.
    Notably, it is highly deficient and optimistic regarding sea level rise. 
    Citing the 1 metre rise forecast by 2100 is an example of this: does not note that this figure is on conservative side; there are indications that could be double this, even more.
    “The U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Association is predicting maximum sea level rise of 2.5 metres by the year 2100, as opposed to the previous projection of one metre by 2100.”
    – and NOA is hardly some wild source.
    But with this 1 metre rise, seemingly far off, may make those pushing for reclamations, even an East Lantau Metropolis, feel content. 
    Never mind the consequences of their actions if the higher rise proves true. – and not really noting that the rise won’t stop by 2100, but will continue for many decades, even some centuries.
    Nor is there any detail that I noticed on what storm surge really means, including its impacts on Hong Kong and the Pearl River delta even before climate change.
    – I strongly believe that to most people, the term has little meaning in Hong Kong nowadays. It will take a surge to demonstrate what it involves.
    Anyway, on to those links.
    On the importance of climate science, especially, at a time of anti-science rising:
    Professor Euan Nisbet and his team investigating methane emissions, including in Hong Kong, as important for understanding climate change:
    Folly of HK reclamation projects given sea level rise and storm surge threats:
    Politics may hit headlines; but climate change is of huge and lasting importance:
    Hong Kong might reflect on Typhoon Haiyan damage in the Philippines; Pearl River Delta has historically been far more severely impacted by storm surges than s Philippines:
    Retirement of James Hansen, to become an activist regarding climate change:
    I hope this may be of interest, and prove useful.
    Don’t have any videos to link to; though I did help Hong Kong Observatory make a public information film for Typhoon Committee of the World Meteorological Society on dangers of typhoons. You can view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aBMgzNNrpg

    I’ve followed up with more emails; will post in comments below, rather than make this single post too long.


    Emails from me to Climate [un]Ready contact:

    Just to add re estimates of sea levels rising, as get more info on process with ice etc
    ‘“If you look at the history of sea level rise projections over the last 20 years, they’re going up through time,” said Colgan. “Not just because of sea level actually rising, but also because of our understanding of the processes improving through time.”’

    Maybe of interest, if you haven’t seen.
    Perhaps of note if HK wants to be “Climate Ready”.

    Rapid escalation of coastal flood exposure in US municipalities from sea level rise


    Just had a look at the “Climate Ready” site; seems there are no updates on such news.
    Looks like a fossilised website; not your fault I’m sure.


    just to government, some time after receiving email on ‘Invitation to join Environmental Protection Department’s “Climate-related Publicity Events and Activities List” (Hong Kong Outdoors)’

    Well, there seems to be precious little discussion on this “List” – maybe it’s just something that looks good on paper, sort of bureaucratic step re climate change that involves not actually doing anything.
    Anyway, all will have noticed Hurricane Harvey; also got better idea of what “storm surge” means thanks to Typhoon Hato – especially for Macau, where casinos etc on reclaimed land were hard hit.
    Surely further warnings for Hong Kong, particularly regarding whether building reclamations for “metropolis” that will be prone to storm surges, sea level rise, will be foolhardy. 
    “Houston’s lessons relevant to Asia’s coastal cities, say experts”

    Sea levels could rise by more than three metres, shows new study


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