Sea level isMörner Nils-Axel not rising

Sea level is not rising
Professor Nils-Axel Mörner
Copyright © Nils-Axel Mörner MMXI

The author
Nils-Axel Mörner took his Ph.D. in 1969, becoming associate professor in Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University that year. He conducted his postdoctoral research in Canada and was then employed by the Swedish Research Council. He was awarded a personal associate professorship at the Institute for Palaeogeophysics & Geodynamics, which from 1991 became a special research institute at Stockholm University. As head of the unit, he addressed a variety of geological and geophysical problems. He organized two major international conferences: Earth Rheology, Isostasy and Eustasy in 1977, and Climatic Changes on a Yearly to Millennial Basis in 1983. Professor Mörner has led several international field excursions throughout Sweden. Overseas, he was President of the INQUA Commission on Neotectonics (1981-1989) and President of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999-2003). He headed the INTAS Project on Geomagnetism and Climate from 1997-2003. In 2000, he launched an international research project on sea level in the Maldives. Among his numerous publications (this paper is his 547th in a 42-year career) are studies on the following –
 

the interaction between isostasy and eustasy;

the oscillating regional eustatic curve of NW Europe;
  

the changing concept of the geoid; the redefinition of the concept of eustasy;

the dynamic-rotational redistribution of oceanic water masses; the interchange of angular momentum between the Earth’s hydrosphere and lithosphere;

a new sea-level curve in the Maldives (showing no sea-level rise);

a new sea-level study in the Sundarban delta of Bangladesh.

In 2008, at an international meeting on sea level in Portugal, Professor Mörner was awarded the Golden Chondrite of Merit from the University of the Algarve “for his irreverence and his contribution to our understanding of sea-level change”.

Sea level is not rising
Professor Nils-Axel Mörner

Main points
 At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per

century. It is probably not rising at all.

 Sea level is measured both by tide gauges and, since 1992, by satellite

altimetry. One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all. from 1993-2000, shows a slight uptrend in sea level. However, after exclusion of the distorting effects of the Great El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998, a naturally-occurring event, the sea-level trend is zero.

 The raw data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON sea-level satellites, which operated

 The GRACE gravitational-anomaly satellites are able to measure ocean mass, from which sea-level change can be directly calculated. The GRACE data show

that sea level fell slightly from 2002-2007.
 These two distinct satellite systems, using very different measurement

methods, produced raw data reaching identical conclusions: sea level is barely rising, if at all.
 Sea level is not rising at all in the Maldives, the Laccadives, Tuvalu, India,

Bangladesh, French Guyana, Venice, Cuxhaven, Korsør, Saint Paul Island, Qatar, etc.

a group of Australian environmental scientists uprooted a 50- year-old tree by the shoreline. The true facts are to be found in nature itself. .  Since sea level is not rising. This is a further indication of political tampering with scientific evidence about sea level. aiming to conceal the fact that its location indicated that sea level had not been rising. the chief ground of concern at the potential effects of anthropogenic “global warming” – that millions of shore-dwellers the world over may be displaced as the oceans expand – is baseless. unethical “sea-level-gate”. since a proper evaluation depends upon detailed research in multiple locations with widely-differing characteristics.  Modelling is not a suitable method of determining global sea-level changes. In the Maldives.  We are facing a very grave.

Professor Mörner alone took the trouble to climb up and down 100 feet to calibrate his GPS altimeter accurately. who.Foreword By The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley I T IS with particular pleasure that I commend to the reader this revised and updated version of Professor Niklas Mörner’s recent paper on sea level. Above all. as the Professor demonstrates in this admirably clear. He has clambered over the glaciers that others merely model. On the other stand the scientists old-fashioned enough and careful enough to observe. He found that sea level in Bangladesh had fallen somewhat. The sea-level scare is the big one: and.” . proclaiming – that they had tilted the sea-level record for the entire satellite era to make it show a rate of increase. if there is little or no sea-level rise there is little or nothing to worry about even if the world warms as fast as the profiteers of doom would have us believe. luridly and profitably predict anthropogenic apocalypse. it is just that – a big scare. As King Charles I said on the scaffold. On the one hand lurk the computer modellers. He has caught out Australian environmentalists uprooting a tree on the Maldivian shoreline whose location had demonstrated no sea level rise for half a century. originally published in 21st-Century Science and Technology. relying upon their X-Box 360s and Playstations. the Professor has heard the keepers of the global satellite altimetry record of sea-level rise admitting – nay. “Liberty and freedom consists in having of government those laws by which the people’s life and goods may be most their own. The implications of this fabricated scare for the future of democracy are already evident in the hikes in taxes. and a baseless one. as this revealing paper shows. fuel prices and energy bills that the European Union and its satraps in the Department of Climate Change are ruthlessly imposing. to measure and then to think. In the dialogue des sourds about the climate. On a recent visit to Bangladesh with others who called themselves experts. Professor Mörner is in the latter category. for the raw data from the satellites show no sea-level rise at all. there are two schools of thought. As Professor Mörner often points out in his lectures. concise and yet comprehensive paper. Most of these do not subscribe to the Doomsters’ Union.

but in the light of the Hon. the Professor concludes. his recent publication record would be envied by a younger man. I first met Professor Mörner at a debate on the climate at the St. When a true-believer in the New Religion of “global warming” got up and sneeringly advised the Professor to see if he could get his ideas about sea level published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. most of them about sea level. Professor Mörner has been as good as his word: as the extensive references in this paper show. “The true facts”. and hence to diminish their economic democracy – their right to decide for themselves how to spend what is theirs. Gentleman’s strictures I will undertake to try harder in future. Professor Mörner writes as charmingly and as accessibly as he speaks. The undergraduates loved it.” . Andrews University Union – the oldest undergraduate debating union in Britain – in the spring of 2009. and the St. It was not difficult to see why the citation for the award to him of the Gold Chondrite of Merit the previous year at an international sea-level conference at the University of the Algarve had spoken not only of his “contribution to understanding of sea level” but also of his “irreverence”. The Professor’s witty. hard way – by going out into the field and taking careful observations and measurements – and the mere silly computer games of the modellers.Predatory pricing mandated by the State. His paper demands no prior scientific knowledge.” The House collapsed in helpless laughter. combined with confiscatory taxation. “are to be found in nature itself. integrity and independence of mind to stand against the prevailing political tide and to demonstrate that the real tide is not rising dangerously. without which there would be no “global warming” panic pandemic. if at all. It demonstrates the growing disparity between results obtained the old. his answer won us the debate: “Madame President. eclectic and relentlessly charming speech captivated the House. Andrews University Union was the first student audience in Britain to vote “global warming” down. conspire to take away the people’s goods. When the climate scare is over – and it is already well on its way out – the Professor will be remembered as one of a tiny handful of scientists who had the courage. I do apologize that in a 40-year career I have only published 530 papers [now 547] in the peer-reviewed literature.

Carie. Scotland February 2011 . Rannoch.

After 1965. our field observational database from the Maldive Islands was described in detail. my short sea-level booklet The Greatest Lie Ever Told (Mörner.Introduction I N an interview and paper published in 21st Century Science and Technology in 2007. A new study in Bangladesh was published in 2010 (Mörner. the two curves start to diverge. I continued to present new data demonstrating that sea level is stable. Yet a rapid and perhaps dangerous sea-level rise is the main threat in the scenario offered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In subsequent papers. If sea level is not rising at a high rate. there is no serious threat and no real problem. New data with respect to general sea level changes were published in a further paper (Mörner. 2007b. 2010b). Fig. In Mörner. the two curves start to diverge significantly (the area marked with a question mark). Which of these views is tenable? . The curve marked “Observations” represents the observed eustatic sea level changes in the field up to 1960 according to Mörner (1973) and (in this paper) thereafter. 2010a). Also. 1 illustrates the differences between the IPCC models and the observational facts. This paper will highlight the differences and examine the question what data we should trust and what we should discard. Here I will investigate the rates of sea level changes projected by the IPCC and others. I showed that global sea level is not rising alarmingly. 1840-2010. 2007c) was updated in new editions in 2009 and 2010. Modelled and observed sea-level changes. The curve marked “Models” represents the IPCC’s combination of selected tide-gauge records and corrected satellite altimetry data. separated by the area with the question mark. After 1965. Figure 1. presenting two totally different views.

2009).0 mm yr–1. Bangladesh. where sea level has remained stable for the last 40-50 years (Mörner 2010a). I will try to straighten out the question mark in Fig. No reply has come. Observation and measurement in the field Clear observational measurements in the field indicate that sea level is not rising in the Maldives. it has been claimed that sea level is rapidly rising. This claim has been discredited by my study in the Sundarban area. 1 by undertaking a critical examination of the rates given in Fig. I addressed the divergence between his claim and our field observations. The reality is different from what the IPCC claims. according to calibrated satellite altimetry.0 to 3.2 mm yr–1. and French Guyana (Mörner. 2007abc. Bangladesh is a nation cursed by disasters—heavy precipitation in the Himalayas and coastal cyclones. The IPCC group and the Presidents of the Maldives and Tuvalu continue to claim that the flooding is in progress. The erroneously-inferred sea-level rise is the basis for wild claims that tens to hundreds of thousands of people may be drowned and “millions of individuals will be displaced from their homes over the course of the century due to sea-level rise” .2 mm per year. 2. Obviously. The projected rates of sea-level rise range from 0. Tuvalu. Vanuatu. not all these rates are correct. Figure 2: Projected and observed rates of sea-level change (mm yr–1). where the IPCC and its ideological associates have predicted terrible flooding. however. In an open letter to the President of the Maldives (Mörner. As if this were not bad enough. All these are key sites in the sea level debate.Fig. The spectrum of proposed rates of present-day sea level changes ranges from 0. 2 shows the spectrum of present-day sea level estimates. to 3. and will soon swamp these island nations and wipe them off the surface of the globe (or rather ocean). 2010ab). according to observational facts from a number of key sites all over the world.

The north-west European coasts are interesting because here we have sites that are experiencing both uplift and subsidence. The eustatic component (the difference between the polynomial curve and the linear trend) can now be extended up to 2003.000 years. 2008). 2010b). The gray area gives the actual tide-gauge reading for the German North Sea port of Cuxhaven for 1843-2003—that is. In Vanuatu. that is. Figure 3. refuses to print a comment from me “that focuses on empirical data. Subtracting the subsidence factor. Ethics and International Affairs. Cuxhaven tide-gauge record (cm). . 2007). as discussed further below. instead. satellite altimetry gives a sea level rise of 3. if the entire empirical basis for those concerns is absent? The President of Tuvalu continues to claim that his islands are being flooded. the tide gauge indicates a stable sea level over the last 14 years (Mörner. 2007ac). The sea-level record from Venice may be used as a test area for global eustasy. 2010b. Yet the tide-gauge data provide clear indications of stability over the last 30 years (Mörner. the Venetian record reveals no rise of eustatic origin. This is a serious exaggeration: yet the journal that published it. 2007ac. no acceleration whatsoever in the last decades. it shows a sea level falling around 1970 (Mörner. is located at the hinge between uplift and subsidence for the last 8. The tide gauge at Korsør in the Great Belt (the strait between the main Danish islands of Zeeland and Funen).” With surprise. Adding the eustatic component of Mörner (1973) for the period 1840-1970. followed by a continuous fall until 2003. and it shows a halt in the sea-level rise at around 1960.0 mm/year. This casts clear doubt on the satellite altimetry value. for 160 years. for example.(Byravana and Raja 2010).4 mm/year. A polynomial curve was fitted by Jörn Herold to this tide-gauge record. It exhibits variations around a stable zero level over the last 50 years (Mörner.6-year tidal cycles (Gratiot et al. 1. For the same area. Murphy.. we must ask: What is the meaning of raising moral concerns. This tide gauge shows no sea-level rise in the last 50-60 years. a trend totally different from that proposed by the IPCC models but in full agreement with the observational facts recorded in Fig. 2007c). 1843-2003. From the coasts of French Guyana and Surinam there is a very excellent sea-level record covering multiple 18. gives a straight line of subsidence with a rate of 1.

This polynomial curve gives a slightly sinusoidal rising trend that represents the mean relative sea level changes in the area. Superimposing the subsidence record here on the uplift record from the Stockholm tide gauge. Some further field observations that I have recently made are given later in this paper. Cuxhaven. The values of NOAA’s 159 tide gauge stations indicate that they range from uplifted areas (bottom left zone) to subsiding areas (top right zone). extended up to the present and double-checked for the pre-1970 section (the difference between the polynomial curve and the straight line). there is a very good fit between sea-level rise and rotational deceleration. Fig. and partly the eustatic component. . 1973). Consequently. Adding to this the eustatic component of the northwestern European region (Mörner. The regional eustatic sea level change decelerates after 1930-1940. on the German coast. we get partly the local rate of subsidence (the straight line). This is well below the rate estimated by the IPCC and satellite altimetry (as discussed below). These data are combined in the “Observations” curve in Fig. installed in 1682. This provides firm evidence that sea level is not rising at all rapidly today: rather. the Earth’s rate of rotation decelerated at a value which corresponds to a 10cm sea-level rise (see. 1973). 1996). 3). In that 100-year period. and falls from 1970 up to the present. showing a centennial rise of 11 cm from 1830-1840 to 1930-1940. I was able to isolate a eustatic factor for 1680-1970 (Mörner. there is the opposite trend: a slow decline.. If the uplifting and subsiding sites are excluded. is the oldest in the world. in an area that represents the subsiding segment of the North Sea coasts. Mörner. Spectrum of rates of sea-level rise (mm/year) reported by NOAA’s 159 tidegauge stations. e. which seems to provide a measure of a global sea-level factor (the polynomial curve with respect to the linear trend-line in Fig. personal communication). 3 shows the annual mean values for 160 years.0 and 2. we are left with 68 sites (central dark zone) where the rise in sea level ranges between 0. Tide gauges Figure 4. has a tide gauge dating back to 1843. 1.The tide gauge in Amsterdam.g. becomes flat around 1950-1970. with a long-term trend polynomial fitted to it (Herold.0 mm/year.

Church et al. 2004).0) mm/year. 1995.45 mm/year (Fig. the IPCC story-line prescribed from the beginning of the project—is imposed in the selection and identification of their “representative” records. Satellite altimetry Satellite altimetry is a wonderful. 2010. a naturallyoccurring. Problems remain with respect to the zero level chosen and to the long-term trend. The Fig. Douglas (1991) chose 25 tide gauges and obtained a rate of sea level rise of 1. These sites give a present rate of sea level rise of ~1. and the Liverpool tide gauge is the third-oldest. Casenave & Llovel. This leaves 68 sites of reasonable stability (still with the possibility of an exaggeration of the rate of change. is to exclude those sites that represent uplifted and subsiding locations (the bottom left and top right zones in Fig. The trend thereafter is less clear.0 (± 1. Having applied all technical correction needed.6 mm/year (Burton 2010). The mean of all the 159 NOAA sites is 0.0 mm/year is established by taking the linear trend. The Amsterdam tide gauge is the oldest. 2007c. followed by the JASON mission. 5). This is far below the rates given by satellite altimetry. and Holgate (2007) selected 9 tide gauges and got a rate of 1. 2004.4 mm/ year. quasi-periodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean every few years. This implies that their personal view—that is. 2). Mörner.5-0. recorded variations in the altitude of the ocean surface with high resolution. This graph . as shown in Fig. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide-gauge database has 159 stations (Fig. Fig. a method which overlooks the fact that substantial high point in tidal cycles 175-200 was caused by an exceptional El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). With this selection methodology. 4). (2006) selected 6 tide gauges and obtained a rate of 1. for sea level not only changes vertically but also horizontally. installed in 1768. 1996). The horizontal redistribution of water masses was first observed for centennial-to-decadal sea-level changes in the late Holocene (see e. The IPCC authors take the liberty to select what they call “representative” records for their reconstruction of the centennial sea level trend. Most tide gauges are installed on unstable harbor constructions or landing piers. Menard (2000) and also Aviso (2000) presented a first sea-level graph for 1992-2000 (Fig.g. Therefore. 2010). records from tide gauges are bound to exaggerate sea-level rise. however (Mörner. A much more realistic approach is to treat that ENSO signal as a separate event superimposed on the long-term trend. the Stockholm tide gauge is the second-oldest.8 mm/year. as discussed above). 6 (Mörner.Tide gauges were installed at harbor constructions to measure changes in tidal level and long-term sea-level changes. A better approach. however.g. Nicholls & Casenave. installed in 1724/1774. installed in 1682. 6 shows a variability (of ±10 mm) around a stable zero level to end 1996 and a strong ENSO-driven peak in 1997. 2008). 4). It is also clearly shown in the satellite record from 1992-2010 (see e. new technique for reconstructing sea-level changes all over the ocean surface. 5 trend of 1. The TOPEX/POSEIDON mission. This is vital.

The sea-level changes as recorded in Fig. allowing for the El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998. so that a “reinterpretation” of the raw data needed to be carried out in order to obtain the desired result. 2000). and they extended the trend up to 2003. Figure 6. 5. Sea-level changes from Fig.0 mm/year was identified.provides no indication of any rise in sea level over the time-period covered (Mörner 2004. Figure 5. When the satellite altimetry group realized that the 1997 rise was an ENSO signal.2). 2007ac). A slow. long-term rising trend of 1. Annual mean sea-level changes observed by TOPEX/POSEIDON in 2000. 5 are presented here with a more realistic trend analysis that treats the 1997 ENSO peak as a separate event superimposed on the long-term trend. was orally confirmed by a member of the satellite altimetry team in 2005 when I attended a meeting on global warming held by the . they faced a problem they had not expected: there was no discernible sea-level rise visible. Source: Mörner 2004. The fact of this “reinterpretation”. but this linear trend may have been largely an artefact of the naturally-occurring El Niño Southern Oscillation event in cycles 175-200. 2007c. This shows stability over the first 5 years (to end 1996) and possibly over the whole time period covered.3 mm/year (later 3. after technical “corrections” were applied (from Menard. which turned a near-zero trend in sea-level rise to a trend of 2.

Peltier 1998) or 1. it seemed that this extra. 7 . on the Internet and in journal papers.8 mm/year (IPCC 2001) The isostatic adjustment is intended to allow for the deformation of the Earth’s crust by tectonic influences. a fact well known to local geologists. We must now ask: what is the justification for this tilting of the record? Originally. In most reproductions of the graph representing the satellite-altimetry sea-level record. This is exactly the same as the apparent trend in sea-level rise over the decade 1992-2003 in Fig.3 (±0. Instead of the near-horizontal trend of 1992-2000. which showed little or no sea-level rise.3 mm/year. which show no real uptrend in sea level. 7). suddenly there was an uptrend of 2. this single tide gauge record is an outlier: it is contradicted by the four other records existing in Hong Kong. At the Moscow global warming meeting in . 2008). 2003) suddenly took a new tilt. From where does the new tilt come? The data that lie flat in Fig. which is the reference point for calculating the global isostatic adjustment.1) mm/year (Fig. passed through Hong Kong. 7 shows that the keepers of the satellite altimetry record have introduced a new calibration factor – an upward tilt compared with the raw data. the record suddenly has a new trend representing an inferred sea-level rise of 2. According to Peltier (1998). As presented by Aviso (2003). 5 of 2000 are tilted sharply upward in Fig. but the “correction” has not been disclosed so as to permit independent verification (see Mörner 2007c. for example. it is not even stated that the graphs do not represent trends taken from the raw data as read by the satellites. This means that the original records presented in Figs. must have been tilted to show a rise of as much as 2.3 mm/year relative to the isobase. unspecified “correction” referred to the global isostatic adjustment. as the satellite altimetry groups do not specify the “corrections” they carry out.1 mm/year. Nevertheless. given as 2. some sort of “correction” has been made.Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. where a single tide gauge gives a sea level rise of 2. 5-6. Sea-level changes after “calibration” in 2003. In 2003. but trends only after “corrections. The satellite altimetry record from the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellites. Exactly what was done remains unclear. the satellite altimetry record (Aviso. 5-6. followed by the JASON satellites. and obviously represents a site-specific subsidence. the zero isobase.” Figure 7.4 mm/year (see. seen in Figs. 7 of Aviso (2003): see also Aviso (2000).3 ±0. However. Obviously. Fig.

it is a matter of personal opinion. since it is based on a probably unrepresentative subset of the tide-gauge stations (see Fig. in answer to my criticisms about this “correction. The rate of 1. and see Casenave and Nerem 2004. The “global sea level factor” (box A) is never clear and trustworthy. and segments must be identified and subtracted. but rather the opposite (this applies for the 6 sites used by Church et al. Leuliette and Scharroo 2010). Other important factors are the global isostatic adjustment and vertical movements of the tide-gauge sites. the graph reproduced here as Fig. rather. as expressed in the boxed equation below: Each of the three boxes (A. implying some sort of circular reasoning.8 mm/yr is surely an overestimate that is strongly affected by subsidence at the tide gauges selected (Fig. 7 was tilted back to its original position as indicated by the unaltered data from the satellites (Fig.1 mm/yr. just segments that need individual treatment (as in the case of the Bombay tide-gauge record. 2). I replied: “Did you hear what you were saying? This is just what I am accusing you of doing. Mitchum (2000) states that. The calibrations applied to the satellite altimetry readings were discussed in Mitchum (2000. are far from vertically stable.0 mm/yr – little. 2010a).2005. In my opinion. El Niño Southern Oscillation events (and especially super-ENSO events such as that of 1997-8) must be subtracted. C) encompasses multiple variables that need painstaking and skillful handling. The 1. which certainly has not been done by the groups dealing with the satellite altimetry records and the IPCC community.” In other words. Very often there is no long-term trend. discussed by Mörner. sea-level rise. the actual data did not show sea level rising at all. “the tide gauges were assumed to be vertically stable”. as illustrated in Fig.” Therefore. 6 and shown for the Tuvalu record by Mörner (2007c.8 mm/yr rate is not well established. 1995) of 1. “We had to adjust the record. B. 2010b).8 ± 0. The tide-gauge records play a central role in this calibration. The tide-gauge records. if any.” and that. 2 & 4. Cyclical trends. especially those selected. event signals. The local land motion at the tide-gauge sites (box C) is another intricate issue that calls for geological understanding of the specific site in question. and so on) are a prime . Both of these assumptions are wrong. 2). as well as the 25 sites used by Douglas). a better value would be at or a little above 0. in my 2007 booklet (Mörner 2007c). as seen in the wide range of global sea-level change estimates set out in Figs. 5). Mitchum (2000) provided the following relations. To establish a local tide-gauge trend (box B) is far from straightforward. Local sedimentary ground changes (such as compaction. Numerous different variables affect and interfere with the long-term trend. “we adopted the rate given by Douglas (1991. in part. otherwise there would not be any trend. water withdrawal. in part.” one of the persons in the British IPCC delegation said.

For instance. (2009) presented a corrected rate of 1. and now to ocean mass changes. One thing is for sure.9 (±0. The difference is significant. to sea level records. it is profoundly dependent on those variables. 2003-2007. 2005). causing distortions that invalidate any tide-gauge reading there.12 (±0.. Instead. Site-specific knowledge is key. In the harbor in the Maldives capital of Malé.9) mm/year (upper curve).06) mm/year (lower curve).factor in the assessment (Mörner 2004. 2009). Crustal movements and seismotectonics are other factors. 2010b). Inferring a global isostatic adjustment correction. . Satellite altimetry is not providing what is often claimed: a measure of sea level changes truly independent of tide gauges and global isostatic adjustments. many tide gauges are installed on harbor constructions and landing piers that are far from stable. which given an approximation of changes in mean global sea level (Fig. The question is whether or not this “correction” is justifiable. Casenave et al. which is to be questioned. It appears that without these corrections there is little or no room for any global sea level rise. 1998) but contradicted by other data (e. The space gravimetry readings from the GRACE satellites record changes in ocean mass which are approximately equal to changes in mean global sea level (Casenave et al. The concept of the global isostatic adjustment is a model supported by some data (see e. The raw data show a slight fall in sea level over the period by –0.g. Ocean mass changes obtained from G RACE satellite data. Satellite measurements cannot help here. 8). Mörner. 2009). to satellite altimetry data. the island is so heavily overloaded by building that the harbor constructions fracture. Peltier.g. With the space gravimetry observations from the GRACE satellites it has become possible to record changes in the ocean water mass (Casenave et al. Figure 8. Global isostatic adjustment corrections have been applied to tide gauges.

This suggests that the satellite record is strongly affected by “corrections. showing no signs of any sea-level rise.2 mm/year over the period 1993-2007. it is a dangerous shortcut applied by scientists who are not sea-level specialists by training and hence lack the skill to undertake careful site-specific stability analyses themselves. and tectonics.4) mm/year. The (GRACE) GIA-corrected trend (Fig. Fig. sedimentation. from two independent sources of actual. A blind global isostatic adjustment model correction may provide quite wrong results. the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimetry record of Fig. 8 for 2003-2007. 9 is back-tilted to fit the original trend in Figs.” In Fig. 9 shows the satellite altimetry records as presented by NOAA (2008). Figure 9. waves. which suggest a sea-level rise of 3. Satellite altimetry as given by NOAA. compaction.Correcting tide gauges for global isostatic adjustment or regional crustal movement is not the correct way of treating records of this type. The TOPEX-JASON satellite data provide a record suggesting a mean sea-level rise of 3. Instead.2 (±0. wind. loading. unaltered data. each site must be evaluated individually with respect to stability. 8) for 2003-2007 (arrowed line) agrees with the JASON data. The original record . 10.” Consequently. This gives an un”corrected” satellite altimetry graph. 5-6 for 1992-2000 and the raw data from the G RACE satellites in Fig. this satellite altimetry graph has a long-term trend which is significantly greater than that which actual instrumental measurements provide: it is created by inferred “corrections.

Various types of corrections may be applied. 5. Figs. .2 mm/year rate of sea-level rise arising from the “adjusted” data (Fig. 9 satellite altimetry record is significantly altered by nontechnical “corrections” (whatever they may be). The original TOPEX/POSEIDON raw data for 1992-2000 showed variability around a stable horizontal zero line (Figs. This implies that the Fig. 9). France’s space agency. Together. NOAA. The “calibrated” satellite altimetry record tilted back to match the original. This is not the case with the presently-circulated trends in sea-level rise from satellite altimetry (see e.for 1992-2000 is restored (cf. altogether eliminating the apparent 3. these two untampered datasets indicate that global mean sea level trend has remained stable over the entire period 1992-2007. 6) and the GRACE raw data fit the record perfectly well: Figure 10. The “corrections” applied are not specified by the responsible groups at NOAA and the Centre National des Etudes Spatiales. provide that they are clearly declared and described. 6). The G RACE raw data (Fig. 8) show a gently falling trend for 2002-2007.g. 2008). Aviso. 5. 2003. un“corrected” data.

we are facing a very grave.If the “corrections” applied are not clearly specified (and discussed and argued for). 6. Therefore. otherwise there would not be any trend. 2000).g. secondly. 8) and the interpretational record from the University of Colorado (Fig. after additional subjective “personal calibrations”. 2003. This fits the observational . Stage 1 is the collection of readings from the satellite by altimetry. How “corrections” change sea level rise of ~0 mm/year to ~3 mm/year. 5-6: Menard. which is actually little more than zero. in Stage 3. 2008) that imply sea-level rise in the order of 3 mm/year (Fig. As reported above. un“corrected” instrumental satellite-altimetry record (Fig. In Stage 2. 2008) that the satellite altimetry recording consists of three steps: first. appropriate technical adjustments are applied to the satellite instrument readings. and is not a true “instrumental record” (Mörner. NOAA. interpretational graphs were produced (see e. unethical. If so. “sea-level-gate”. the “interpretational record” represents disinformation. 9). Aviso. and thirdly. Fig. Aviso. the “instrumental record” after appropriate technical correction. 11 illustrates the difference between the instrumental record (in this case from the TOPEX/POSEIDON and GRACE satellites: Figs.0 mm/year (Figs. Our examination of the satellite data seems to confirm that this is indeed the case. 10) gives a true sea-level rise of around 0. I have previously asserted (Mörner. 2000. the raw data read by the satellites. It may be mere disinformation. to yield the correct sealevel rise.0 mm/year. 2008). 9): Figure 11. perhaps disseminated with the intention of supporting the IPCC’s wild claims about sea-level rise.” No trend means no sea-level rise. an IPCC member discussing subjective adjustments to the instrumental record told me: “We had to do so. However. These corrections were applied to the original altimetry graph (Figs. 5-6. 2. the “interpretational record” after the application of what I have called “personal calibrations”. 10). For the actual. then the resulting corrected data cannot be objectively evaluated. The “instrumental record” gives a sea level trend on the order of 0.

This is illustrated in Figs. 2004. Figure 12a. providing a coherent picture of no sea-level rise (or at most a harmless ~0. 12a and 12b. and further discussed in a number of papers (Mörner et al. The Maldives The IPCC and its supporters have frequently claimed that the Maldives are doomed to become submerged well before 2100. A group of sea-level experts was formed and the work commenced in 2000 with a month-long expedition in the field. The present sea level is recorded as mean sea level. 2009. All this talk is sheer nonsense. . 2004).5 mm/yr. As president of INQUA. there is an older beach with storm level. together with an indication of what my observations mean for the IPCC’s projected future changes in climate. The facts found in site after site and in all types of coastal environment were quite straightforward: in the Maldives. In recent years President Nasheed has taken the lead in maintaining that his own nation has no future and will soon rest beneath the waves. and to form interpretations and theories based on those facts. Some 20-30 cm above storm level. Shoreline profile of most islands in the Maldives (from Mörner et al. by contrast. In the 1970s sea level even fell by some 20 cm. a decade ago I launched a special sea level research project in the Maldives.R. 2011a). “B.. equivalent to 2 inches per century) over the last 50 years. sea level is not rising. I will give a brief summary of some of my recent fieldwork on sealevel changes. It has been stable for the last 30-40 years. 2007bc.. We visited several islands.” indicates a beach rock-platform. I find it natural to turn to observational facts in nature itself. now abandoned and overgrown. the International Commission on Sea-Level Changes and Coastal Evolution. however. high-tide level and storm level. Several additional field expeditions were to follow. Here. As a geologist. Personal observations in the field The IPCC bases all its argumentation on computer models and scenarios. Mörner.facts much better.

so that new land was formed. it recently fell. 2010a). 12a. however. The lowering of sea level occurred in the 1970s. natural phenomena. an archipelago belonging to India. unfortunately. They say they are amused to hear what President Nasheed of the Maldives has been saying. . The people of Bangladesh are not about to be flooded by rising sea level. They also say they understand that it is “all a matter of money”. It is recorded all over the Maldives and in different shoreline environments. An actual field section from the Guidhoo Atoll. 2011a). On the contrary. The new land is now starting to become overgrown and has been settled by terrestrial snails (Mörner. The locals are quite aware the sea level is not at all rising. The cyclones and flooding caused by heavy rain in the mountains are another factor that we cannot do anything about. Maldives. according to local fishermen. Mörner.Figure 12b. for they are. The Laccadives Just north of the Maldives lie the Laccadive Islands. 13. They took a scientific colleague to the shore and presented the clear observational fact that sea level is not rising. demonstrating the shoreline zonation illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. Again we are facing observational facts revealing no rise at all in sea level despite severe coastal erosion attributable to cyclones (Fig. The ultimate nonsense was a recent claim that 25 million to 1 billion people will have to be relocated by 2050. however. The reality is totally different. Minicoy is the southernmost island. Bangladesh There are no limits to the terrible scenarios that have been proposed for the future of Bangladesh as a consequence of an imagined global sea level rise.

Accordingly. there is a very good tide-gauge record covering three 18. we often see pictures of partially-flooded areas in Tuvalu. On the internet and in the news media. Changes in mean high-water level (cm: left axis) measured by tide gauges at the coast of French Guyana and Surinam (Gratiot et al. This implies the same level of mud-flats as the delta surface behind. Murphy. Mörner. Tuvalu and Vanuatu A continuing sea-level rise is said to threaten to flood both Tuvalu and Vanuatu. 2010a). The map of satellite-altimetry changes from 1992-2009 give a general rise over the whole region in the order of 3 mm/year or even more. The horizontal roots reveal that the trunks are from mangrove trees.0 mm/year – another revealing example of the difference between recorded facts and “reprocessed” satellite data. there has been no change in sea level (Mörner. indicating that sea level has been quite stable over the last 50 years. Erosion is not sea-level rise: The outermost edge of the Sundarban delta in Bangladesh was severely eroded by the 2007 cyclone (left above). Instead. 2007). the tide gauges in both regions show no rise at all. Figure 14.. However. . There is no basis for this suggestion.6-year tidal cycle. Satellite altimetry gives a rise of 3 mm/year in the same area. Additional information indicates. However. 2010b. which swings up and down around a long-term zero trend (the arrowed line). 2008. however.6-year tidal cycles (Fig. which spread their roots just below the mud-flats (right above). 2007c. however. The cycles vary symmetrically around a stable. that the photographs were taken at extreme high tide. 14). the tide gauges indicate stability for 14 years in Vanuatu and 32 years in Tuvalu (Mörner. Facts and fiction seem to clash. horizontal zerolevel. satellite altimetry in the same region gives a rise of 3. 2010b). Some people take tree-trunks on the exposed beach as evidence of a sea-level rise. The record is dominated by the 18.Figure 13. and do not indicate rising sea level. French Guyana and Surinam From this region.

2007c). This picture fits very badly with available tide-gauge records in both areas. 2011b). 3). A sea-level rise of 1 cm per year is. therefore. to have an upper bound on sea-level rise as a yardstick allowing us to discriminate between realistic estimates and much-publicized extreme values that can be discarded as physically impossible. The Last Ice Age ended with an extensive melting of the continental ice caps under extreme climatic forcing.000 years. with uplift over Fennoscandia and subsidence over the North Sea coasts. however.g. yet sea level rose by little more than 1 cm per year or 1 m per century. offers another test region where the global sea-level component can be isolated and identified.Venice The sea-level record from the tide gauges in Venice shows that there has been no acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise in recent decades (Mörner. they are often dominated by segments of cyclic variations (e. The process of melting took 10. Sea level rose 11 cm from 1850-1950. sea-level rise caused by ice-melt must be significantly below 1 cm a year. . It even seems to have fallen somewhat in recent decades. gives a large high over most of the western Pacific and a low over the equatorial region west of the Americas. In the short term. the tidegauge records we have mentioned above are all long-term records and are. in effect. useful indications of the trend in sea level. above the maximum rate that can arise today from melting ice and other causes combined (Mörner. This suggests that there is much still to do in calibrating the satellite altimeters to ensure that they monitor sea-level changes correctly. during which time sea level rose 130 m. the main 18.6-year tidal cycle) or large spikes caused by the naturallyoccurring El Niño Southern Oscillations every four years or so. North-western Europe The north-west European region. both before and after the data have been “reprocessed” or distorted to take account of purely subjective adjustments as discussed earlier. as illustrated by the sea-level record from Cuxhaven (Fig. time and a substantial input of energy are required. when it stopped rising.000-12. Today. satellite altimetry Most tide-gauge records are far too short to provide meaningful information about real trends. The map of sea level changes inferred from satellite altimetry in the period 19922009. However. Ice melt For large bodies of ice to melt. It is very useful. Discussion Tide gauges vs.

however. mean global surface temperature was about 2. It was once generally believed that sea level was some 2-4 m higher than today. . Therefore.5 C° warmer than today. The amount of expansion is in the order of centimetres up to a decimetre per century. This has raised new interest in the actual sea level of the last interglacial. this rock-cut platform is likely to mark the maximum sea level of the last interglacial. owing to the strict stratification of the oceanic water masses. 1996. Rock-cut platform from the Last Interglacial in Hong Kong. there is less and less water to expand. There have even been claims that sea level was 7-10 m higher. the effect is zero. Only the upper part of the ocean may be heated. including the IPCC’s current maximum of 2 m per century) must be dismissed as impossible. Hidden in the adjacent forest is the foot of a steep fossil sea cliff.000 years ago.000 years ago. At the shore.5-2 m above the present sea level. ~125. The elevation is only 1. It has sometimes been suggested that if temperature were to rise as the IPCC has projected the Earth might return to the climatic conditions of the last interglacial period. mean surface temperature was 4 C° warmer than today and sea level was generally higher than today. A fact often ignored is that as the water depth becomes shallower towards a coast. ~125. 2011b). hardly more (Mörner. 6000-8000 years ago. Figure 15.All claims of a sea-level rise by year 2100 exceeding 1 m (and there are several. During the last interglacial. The last interglacial During the mid-Holocene. Thermosteric expansion of seawater The water column will expand when heated.

Tide gauges tend to exaggerate rising trends because of subsidence and compaction. French Guyana. Bangladesh. Therefore. Satellite altimetry is shown to record variations around a stable zero level for the entire period 1992-2010. At all the previous solar minima (e. Whatever the next Solar Minimum will bring.The western Mediterranean is widely taken as a reference point for changes in sea level during the last interglacial. empirical geology and scientific ethics (Mörner. Reported trends in the order of 3 mm/year represent “interpretational records. Qatar. 15) from the last interglacial. the Maldives (and also the Laccadives to the north of the Maldives). In 2010 an international excursion was therefore devoted to field evidence from Sardinia (Carboni & Lecca. The same result is evident from the passive continental margins of east South America and Tanzania. 1687-1703. This is the case in key sites like the Maldives. there is no reason to hypothesize that any similar event would be likely to occur in our near future. Saint Paul Island.g. Consequently. The next solar minimum The next solar minimum is due in 2040-2050. 2011b). Tuvalu. . it will be likely to invalidate all the linear and exponential extrapolations of temperature change in the IPCC’s models. Here. 2010. It is a serious mistake to look for horror scenarios in the behaviour of sea level during the last interglacial. there is a quite clear rock-cut platform (Fig. Full stability over the last 30-50 years is indicated in sites like Tuvalu. and Korsør (a stable hinge for the last 8 . Conclusions Observational facts indicate that sea level is by no means rapidly rising. they violate the laws of physics. Cuxhaven (after subtracting the subsidence factor). India. 1 and claim that the “models” (upper curve) provide an illusory picture of a strong sea-level rise and that the “observations” (lower curve) provide a good reconstruction of the actual changes in sea level over the last 170 years. the climatic conditions generated “little Ice Ages” (Mörner. Its elevation is only ~2 m above today’s sea level. When Hansen & Sato (2011) propose a 4 m sea-level rise between 2080 and 2100. 1440-1460. Early in 2011 I visited Hong Kong. No catastrophic sea level rise at the end of the last interglacial can be substantiated. with stability over the last 40 years. Two peaks in sea level are well recorded. and northwest Europe. Vanuatu. varying in elevation between +2 and +4 m. where we have worked extensively. 1809-1821). Venice. It is quite stable.000 years). Venice (after subtracting the subsidence factor).” after the application of subjective “personal calibrations” which cannot be substantiated by observational facts. 2011c). however. Mörner. 2010c). we can now return to Fig.

/century). 2000). 2004) and 10 ±10 cm (INQUA.7 mm/year seem realistic.g.7 mm/year (<3 in. Observational facts suggest 0.We can now return to the spectrum of present-day sea level rates (Fig. 2007). 16. That was the main threat in the IPCC’s arsenal of bugaboos. This fits well with the values proposed for year 2100 by INQUA (2000) and Mörner (2004). In that paper. A group of Australian environmental “scientists”. realizing that the location of the tree was fatal to their notion of ever-rising sea level. This result agrees with estimates of a possible sea level rise of 5 ±15 cm by 2100 (Mörner. indicating significant coastal erosion (caused in part by the clearance of mangroves to make way for shrimp-farms) but no sea level rise at all (Mörner. Values >1.0 mm/year to at most 0. There are also the trees on the beach in Sundarban. The validity of the spectrum of rates of sea-level rise shown in Fig. This is illustrated in Fig. I hope that by this research we can free the world from the artificial crisis to which the IPCC has condemned it. I described the significance of the lonely tree by the shore in the Maldives which indicated that sea level had been stable for 50-60 years. Some data depend heavily on interpretation. Figure 16. I have often said that “trees don’t lie”: see e. however. 2007c.4 mm/year are untenable overestimates. but is well below the 37 ±19 cm projected by IPCC (2007). and now it is gone. Consider trees. Only rates in the order of 0. 2) and evaluate the various values proposed. Values close to 1 mm/year represent minor centennial rises and falls. They are certainly not to be found at the modelling consoles. The true facts are to be found in nature itself.0 mm/year to maximum 0. still in leaf.3 to 3. 2007c. Other evidence. 2010a). There will be no extensive or disastrous global sea-level rise in the near future. Reliability of different proposed rates of sea-level rise. The idea of an ever-rising sea drowning tens of thousands of people and forcing hundreds of thousands or even millions of people to become sea-level refugees is simply a grave error. lying on the strand. 2 can now be assessed. Mörner. uprooted it and left it. hereby revealed as an illusion. If sea level is not rising fast. . and is not going to rise fast. but differs significantly from the values proposed by the IPCC (2001. is clear and straightforward. then the greatest threat imagined by the IPCC disappears.

fr Aviso. S. E.columbia.aviso. W. doi: 10. J. M.pdf Holgate. E. Gardel.. 169-172. 2001. My sincere thanks. INQUA Project 0911–CMP Commission. Gratiot.A. Out of this work the present paper A. 2008. Workshop on “Decoding the Last Interglacial in Western Mediterranean”.T. S. J.1038/ngeo127.C. References Aviso. Casenave..C. Burton. Hunter. LO1602. Berthier. 2010. 2. Carboni. London & New York.. www. Nature Geoscience 1.. 96. Proisy. K. S. Sato.cis. 34. Contemporary sea level rise.J. The ethical implications of sea-level rise due to climate changes.1029/2006GL028492. Without the vision and input of my friend Christopher Monckton. 1995. 2000.html Byravana.cnes. On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century. Mean Sea Level as seen by altimeters. this paper stands out as a Mörner & Monckton contribution. Ann. Rajan. Ablain.. 239-260. Observing the oceans by altimetry. Present-day sea level changes: Observations and causes. Analysis of global linear mean sea level (MSL)-trends. 2004. B. Larnicol. 2010.. Climate Change: the Physical Science Basis (J. Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change. Marine Sci. Rev.aviso. Global sea level changes: determination and interpretation.J. Res. Rammien.).6 year tidal cycle to regional coastal changes. www. Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution.E. Gaucherel. Guinehut. White & J.Acknowledgements With deep gratitude. Church... Geophys. the paper would never have appeared. 145-173. & M. C. Press. Nerem. For me. and G. Field Trip Guide. 6981-6992.. B. satellite altimetry and Argo. Ethics and International Affairs 24:3. 2009. Llovel. A. G.burtonsys.pog.J. N. Anthony. S.. Sea level budget over 2003-2008: A re-evaluation from GRACE space gravimetry. Llovel. & R. 12-22).su.C.oceanobs. Christopher Monckton sensitively extracted the introductory main points. Douglas. Geophys. A. 83-88. 1-20.. Global and Planetary Change 53. Lecca. Geophysics 42. 155-168. C.. . 2006. 2010. Global sea-level rise. Global and Planetary Change 65. IPCC. pp. 2008. Geophys. & L..R. www. Madrid. 48 pp. Cambridge Univ. Sea-level rise at tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. (from 2005: www. Houghton et al.S.cnes. Observing the oceans by altimetry.pog. Significant contribution of the 18. Hansen. Aviso. eds. Douglas. A. ETS. www.aviso. Rev. D.T. Casenave.A. 2011. including distanceweighted averaging. 2000. 1991. and especially not in this elegant and expressive form. I acknowledge the skilful input into this paper of Christopher Monckton as editor-in-charge. and redrew several graphs and asked for additional observational material. Rev.cis. 33. Lett. Casenave. INQUA. 2003. www. N. & W. Dominh. & J. Wells. 2007. Its origin lay in a paper published in 21st Century Science & Technology (winter 2010/2011. 2010. doi:10.

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The world. who shall govern them. Pandya Director . youth organizations and institutions of higher learning.T Why the Centre for Democracy and Independence? HE CENTRE for Democracy and Independence conducts research. Abhijit P. Has the nation had its day? Is the globalization of governance a public good? Can democracy survive it? Should it? Should the use of the ballot-box be extended? Should supranational and global institutions of governance be elected? Should the people have the right not only to make and unmake their lawmakers. however necessary it be that nations should collaborate and cooperate in matters of common concern. the Aztecs. publishes papers and educates the public and students in schools. governance became truly global for the first time. providing a non-partisan forum for informed discussion on questions of policy in the United Kingdom and worldwide which may affect – for good or ill – the rights of the people openly and freely to debate. and secretly by ballot to decide. became regionally supranational by the swords of the great empires of the Chinese. at will. Therefore.G. but also. Governance. what laws they shall live by and what imposts they shall endure. the tendency towards global governance is gathering both momentum and permanence through entities such as the United Nations. the Law of the Sea Conference. the Organization on Economic Cooperation and Development and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. by the people and for the people the custom. the World Trade Organization. With the British Empire. the Moghuls. notwithstanding the sunset of that first global Empire. the Moors. never had sweeter masters. every cession of sovereignty from a nation to a supranational or global entity at present entails a real transfer of legislative and increasingly of fiscal power from elected to unelected hands – both legislation and taxation without representation. said the philosopher Santayana. to make and unmake their laws? The Centre for Democracy and Independence exists to ask and to illuminate questions such as these. formerly confined to the territorial jurisdictions of city-states and then of nations. Yet not one of the multiplying and expanding institutions of supranational and now global governance is truly a democracy. Today. Only at the level of the nation-state – and even then by no means universally – is government of the people. the Spaniards and the Austro-Hungarians. the Romans. the Incas. and by the directives of centralizing bureaucracies from the Delian League via the later Ottoman Empire to the European Union. the Medes and Persians.

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