Posted by: Rosebud | March 30, 2010

Right Brain reporting “news”


Right Brain Mega-Fail!

Sorry for the “Valley Talk” but this recent news article doesn’t appear to have any left brain activity behind it!  In fact, I’m wondering if there was even a person involved in its creation.  I’m amazed at the shallow, nearly worthless reporting involved here.  I’ve copied the news article below and added my own left-brain sparks as footnotes.

Well, that’s that sorted then … ‘Rising sea levels’ end India and  Bangladesh’s row over island

For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock[1] island in the Bay of Bengal.

Now the dispute has been resolved – the island’s gone. Scientists[2] claim this is as a result of rising sea levels.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, its disappearance confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols[3].

Oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta said: ‘What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking[4], has been resolved by global warming.’


Is the Island sinking? Or is the Bay of Bengal rising?

Gone: Mangrove trees submerged in the river water in the Sundarban delta near the location of the New Moore Island in the Bay Of Bengal[5]

India and Bangladesh both claimed the empty New Moore Island, which was about 2 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.

Bangladesh referred to the island as South Talpatti.

There were no permanent structures on New Moore, but India sent some paramilitary soldiers to its rocky[6] shores in 1981 to hoist its national flag.

Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal[7].

Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 0.12 inches a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 0.2 inches annually[8], he said[9].

Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said[10].

At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well, Hazra said.

‘We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water[11],’ he said.

Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 150 million people, is one of the countries worst-affected by global warming[12].

Officials estimate 18 percent of Bangladesh’s coastal area will be underwater and 20 million people will be displaced if sea levels rise 3.3 feet[13] by 2050 as projected by some climate models[14].

The demarcation of the maritime boundary – and who controls the remaining islands – remains an open issue between the two South Asian neighbours, despite the disappearance of New Moore, said an official in India’s foreign ministry[15].


As you can tell, I’m thoroughly disgusted by this news bulletin, it really is just a novelty piece and can’t even function as anecdotal evidence of the rise of ocean levels.

Well, that’s what I get for expecting hard data from news.


Today, 30 March, the caption of the photo was edited to mention that the island was suffering from erosion and therefore sinking, rather than the Bay of Bengal rising sufficiently to cover it. 

[1] This island was a spit of land created by a Typhoon in the 1970’s. If there were any rocks anywhere on the island they were placed there by men trying to prevent it from disappearing the same way it appeared (overnight).

[2] Looking for the other scientist in the article, looks like only the now famous Sugata Hazra a purported Oceanographer contributed to the article.

[3] The famous Sugata Hazra referred to local fishermen as a source in other articles, did they perform the sea patrols themselves? Did they have scientific training so that their observations could be used by Mr Hazra?

[4] This is political analysis, what is amateur political analysis doing in this story? If this amateur viewpoint is presented, where is the counter point? Or even the analysis of his viewpoint?

[5] Looks like these trees have sunk more than 2009 .2 inches, I’m guessing it’s more like 3 feet of sinking. So, was it the Bay of Bengal rising that covered the island or did the Island descend beneath the Bay of Bengal?

[6] Again, silt islands created by Typhoons don’t have rocky shores, who said it had rocky shores?

[7] Is the Bay of Bengal rising quicker than the Indian Ocean? How likely is that compared to the alternative that this geological region might be sinking? Also, are these the scientists that say the rising Bay of Bengal is due to Global Warming?

[8] It’s left unsaid when the Oceans started rising, I think current science shows a steady rise since the Dutch started tracking it in the 1800’s.

[9] So, a thumbnail calculation shows a total increase of 2 inches over the last decade, meaning the island must have been a total of 2 inches above the sea level in 2000.

[10] So, this is nothing new, the silted spits of land in the Bay sink regularly, even inhabited ones.  So…. Is the reporter going to ask what happened to the islands? Did they slowly flood with as the Bay of Bengal rose .12 inches a year? Or was there some other geological activity going on?

[11] Again, are the waters rising? Or are the islands descending?

[12] Only if global warming causes the Oceans to rise.

[13] One of the sources I came across estimated that the island in question was 2 Meters (over 6 feet) above sea level.  Again, the question remains: “If the sea is rising due to global warming how did it cause this island to descend beneath the waves?”  If the Bay of Bengal has already risen over 2 Meters the Bangladesh is already under water.  Left brain is reeling at the lack of analysis in the article.  Just blind swallowing from one source.

[14] Don’t you mean “the most extreme” climate models, aren’t there some models that predict much less? Why not add a small adjective to give the reader a clue as to where these models fall on the scale of ocean risings?

[15] An official in the Indian Foreign Ministry made a comment about a border dispute with Bangladesh, yet there is no counterpoint from the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry.  So, do you think India might have a political reason for this story? Mr Reporter did you ever ask yourself if you might be a willing pawn of an Indian political agenda? Why would you not ask that question?

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