Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Drowning Dutch

More than half of the Netherlands is under water! Unfortunately, the Dutch don't know this. They're clinging to the illusion that only about a quarter of the country is below sea level. They really need to get on board with the UN's International Panel on Climate Change.
In the Netherlands, the government has gotten skeptical of the IPCC after the UN body’s report put more than half of their country below sea level:
The Netherlands has asked the UN climate change panel to explain an inaccurate claim in a landmark 2007 report that more than half the country was below sea level, the Dutch government said Friday.
According to the Dutch authorities, only 26 percent of the country is below sea level, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be asked to account for its figures, environment ministry spokesman Trimo Vallaart told AFP.
I think that meeting will go something like this.


Jeff Burton said...

How did you get the Dutch accept so perfect? One of the hardest European accents for Americans to imitate.

K T Cat said...

I tried the voice with the German accent, but it pronounced vowels differently to the point where you couldn't tell what he was saying.

Foxfier said...

*casts about for anything that MIGHT cover it* ...they were counting the sea around the country?

That would be, what, 200 miles out from the coast....

tim eisele said...

It could be that the IPCC is exaggerating shamelessly, but it occurs to me that it is possible that they are taking "sea level" to be "maximum high tide" (which is the level that you care about from a perspective of whether or not your house floods a couple of times a month). Meanwhile, the Dutch government is almost certainly talking about "mean sea level" (which is the level you use when you are trying to define the exact border of your country for legal purposes). Given how low and flat the Netherlands are, I would expect the difference between the two to be pretty significant.

And, vaguely related: a diagram showing just how much oceanic tides vary from place to place: