50 Million Climate Change Refugees

or maybe not after all…….

A new post, The UN “disappears” 50 million climate refugees, then botches the disappearing attempt | Watts Up With That?, has the following to say:

In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.

The claim by the UNEP claim has been found (of course) to be absolute bunkum, and they have now deleted the claim from their website. Unfortunately for them, the claim was still available as a cached page on Google, along with a high resolution image of where the refugees will come from. Some quick fact checking finds that the refugee crisis has simply not taken place. Although the UNEP has dropped the claim from its website, perhaps most interestingly, the claim has not disappeared, but the timeline has simply been moved to 2020. This from AFP:

WASHINGTON — Fifty million “environmental refugees” will flood into the global north by 2020, fleeing food shortages sparked by climate change, experts warned at a major science conference that ended here Monday.

“In 2020, the UN has projected that we will have 50 million environmental refugees,” University of California, Los Angeles professor Cristina Tirado said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“When people are not living in sustainable conditions, they migrate,” she continued, outlining with the other speakers how climate change is impacting both food security and food safety, or the amount of food available and the healthfulness of that food.

It is a major problem with the scares around climate science. When the facts do not fit, just pretend that there is no problem and carry on regardless. Whilst the media trumpeted the claim about the refugees, there is no follow up, and nobody is held to account for the scare statements. Nevertheless, these erroneous studies grab attention as they are released, raising a sense of panic about the impacts of anthropogenic global warming. When the claims are falsified, it is left to a band of bloggers to flag the problem, but the majority of people will never hear that the original scare has been refuted.The problem is that the majority of people will never read the blogs.

The problem is this. People are bombarded with these scare stories, and it is therefore no wonder that so many worry about climate change. The problem is that the other side of the coin, the final conclusion of ‘nothing to see here….’ never makes the headlines. The problem is that the skeptic view must deal with both the science and the media, but most of the media, in particular in New Zealand, just do not seem to be interested in anything that dis-confirms the scares.

The big question here is how it might be possible to get these stories into the hands of the wider public? I have no easy answers, but it is a question that absolutely needs an answer. As long as people do not have the full picture, how might they make an informed judgement?


One response to “50 Million Climate Change Refugees

  1. United Nations Ambassador Phillip Muller of the Marshall Islands said there is no sense of urgency to find not only those answers, but also to address the causes of climate change, which many believe to be responsible for rising ocean levels.
    “Even if we reach a legal agreement sometime soon, which I don’t think we will, the major players are not in the process,” Muller said.
    Those players, the participants said, include industrial nations such as the United States and China that emit the most carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases. Many climate scientists say those gases are responsible for global warming. Mary-Elena Carr of Columbia University’s Earth Institute said what is now an annual sea level rise of a few millimeters will increase dramatically by the year 2100. “The biggest challenge is to preserve their nationality without a territory,” said Bogumil Terminski from Geneva. International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Now lawyers are asking what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists.
    t present, however, there appear to be at least three possibilities that could advance the international debate about ‘climate refugee’ protections and fill existing gaps in international law.
    The first option is to revise the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees to include climate (or environmental) refugees and to offer legal protections similar to those for refugees fleeing political persecution. A second, more ambitious option is to negotiate a completely new convention, one that would try to guarantee specific rights and protections to climate or environmental ‘refugees

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