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Back in April 2011, the UN engaged in what Anthony Watts referred to as 'bureaucratic idiocy at its finest'. It all started with Gavin Atkins asking a fair enough question: “What happened with the climate refugees?”


“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 UNEP even provided a handy map. The map shows us the places most at risk including the very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean.

It so happens that just a few of these islands and other places most at risk have since had censuses, so it should be possible for us now to get some idea of the devastating impact climate change is having on their populations. Let’s have a look at the evidence:


Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.

St Lucia:

The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.


Population 2002, 81755

Population 2010, 88311

Solomon Islands:

The latest Solomon Islands population has surpassed half a million – that’s according to the latest census results.

It’s been a decade since the last census report, and in that time the population has leaped 100-thousand.

Meanwhile, far from being places where people are fleeing, no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China, Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang, are absolutely smack bang within the shaded areas identified as being likely sources of climate refugees.

Similarly, many of the fastest growing cities in the United States also appear within or close to the areas identified by the UNEP as at risk of having climate refugees.

More censuses are due to come in this year, and we await the results for Bangladesh and the Maldives -said to be places most at risk -with interest.

However, a very cursory look at the first available evidence seems to show that the places identified by the UNEP as most at risk of having climate refugees are not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world.”


(emphasis added)

Oops! After that monumental blunder, you would normally expect the UN to do something along the lines of publishing a press release that could be saying something like: “We hereby concede that we were completely wrong about 'climate refugees'. We  apologize for having unnecessarily contributed to the hysteria and panic over climate change”.

So what did the UN do?

It simply 'disappeared' the site containing its 2005 claims – when clicking on the link, browsers sudenly displayed a '404' error message instead. Then it dispatched one of its employees to comment on Gavin Atkins' article as follows:




This seemed to be a legit post, because we know that a Nick Nuttall of UNEP was quoted on the topic in a 2008 Sunday Times article on 'climate refugees', which has incidentally since then also been disappeared down the internet's memory hole.



Unfortunately for the UN there is something called a 'Google cache', and so all the evidence has been preserved. You can look at all of it here: 'Disappeared sites and articles referring 'UN Climate Refugees' claims'.

Actually, the 50 million number was the low end of UNEP's hysterical prediction range as it turns out. Here is a pertinent quote from a Spiegel article on the topic:


“In October 2005, UNU said: "Amid predictions that by 2010 the world will need to cope with as many as 50 million people escaping the effects of creeping environmental deterioration, United Nations University experts say the international community urgently needs to define, recognize and extend support to this new category of 'refugee.'"

It added that "such problems as sea level rise, expanding deserts and catastrophic weather-induced flooding have already contributed to large permanent migrations and could eventually displace hundreds of millions."

In 2008, Srgjan Kerim, president of the UN General Assembly, said it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010. A UNEP web page showed a map of regions where people were likely to be displaced by the ravages of global warming.”


(emphasis added)

So the forecast was actually for 50 to 200 million 'climate refugees'. No-one should be surprised that almost the exact opposite happened. Not a single one of the alarmist predictions made since 1980 has come true thus far.

This is because the AGW theory is not an undisputed scientific theory as is widely claimed. Similar to various scarcity stories, it serves mainly to keep the population alarmed and weaken its opposition to the imposition of onerous new regulations and taxes. Anyone looking at this dispassionately must by now come to the conclusion that it is essentially a giant scam.

And just in case you are wondering whether the UN has given up on making predictions about climate refugees – far from it! As 'Der Spiegel' also reported at the time:


“Meanwhile a new forecast is doing the rounds. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February, Cristina Tirado, an environment researcher at the University of California in Los Angeles, warned of 50 million environmental refugees in the future. That figure was a UN projection she said — for 2020.”


(emphasis added)

Well, guess what…the first of these 50 million climate refugees has just appeared on the scene!


Disappearing Islands?

Ever since they were told that their islands would be 'flooded' by rising sea levels due to the ice melting at the poles as a result of anthropogenic global warming, the inhabitants of small islands in the Pacific have tried to make money from those predictions. Who wouldn't? Given the sheer size of the AGW gravy train in the West, even a few crumbs falling from the table would make the islanders quite well off.

In this context, there was e.g. the famous underwater press conference by the government of the Maldives, together with a bunch of professional alarmists . Below is a picture of the event – you can see the Maldives' minister of agriculture in the foreground. The picture might as well be captioned 'give us more money'!



0_21_101709_maldivesGlobal warming hysterics Maldives style.

(Photo via ocregister.com, author unknown)



Unfortunately for this cunning plan to extract funds, most of the Pacific islands that were supposed to sink beneath the waves have actually seen their surface area growing instead of shrinking. It turns out this was another one of those predictions where the exact opposite of what was forecast is actually happening:


“An Auckland University researcher has offered new hope to the myriad small island nations in the Pacific which have loudly complained their low-lying atolls will drown as global warming boosts sea levels.

Geographer Associate Professor Paul Kench has measured 27 islands where local sea levels have risen 120mm – an average of 2mm a year – over the past 60 years, and found that just four had diminished in size.

Working with Arthur Webb at the Fiji-based South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Kench used historical aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land area of the islands. They found that the remaining 23 had either stayed the same or grown bigger, according to the research published in a scientific journal, Global and Planetary Change.

"It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown," Prof Kench told the New Scientist. "But they won't. The sea level will go up and the island will start responding.”

One of the highest profile islands – in a political sense – was Tuvalu, where politicians and climate change campaigners have repeatedly predicted it will be drowned by rising seas, as its highest point is 4.5 metres above sea level. But the researchers found seven islands  had spread by more than 3 percent on average since the 1950s. One island, Funamanu, gained 0.44 hectares or nearly 30 percent of its previous area.

And the research showed similar trends in the Republic of Kiribati, where the three main urbanised islands also "grew" – Betio by 30 percent (36ha), Bairiki by 16.3 percent (5.8ha) and Nanikai by 12.5 percent (0.8ha).

Webb, an expert on coastal processes, told the New Scientist the trend was explained by the fact the islands mostly comprised coral debris eroded from encircling reefs and pushed up onto the islands by winds and waves. The process was continuous, because the corals were alive, he said. In effect the islands respond to changes in weather patterns and climate – Cyclone Bebe deposited 140ha of sediment on the eastern reef of Tuvalu in 1972, increasing the main island's area by 10 percent.

But the two men warned that while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions.”


(emphasis added)

Well, there's at least that: even after evidence has obliterated yet another climate related scare story, we are reassured that the 'earlier gloomy predictions could be reinstated'! Ya think?

Meanwhile, the 'sinking beneath the waves' Maldives are busy building 11 new airports and are furiously developing 'luxury beachfront property'. Shouldn't they be making population relocation arrangements instead? Just asking!

There is more bad news for those hoping the islands will soon drown – the sea level just isn't rising all that much. Unfortunately for the Church of AGW, this was discovered by two 'committed warmists':


“The trouble for all these Polynesian prophesies of impending doom is that there is no evidence of appreciable sea-level rise in the past 50 years, not at Tuvalu or anywhere. The more likely causes of the nation’s ecological threats are over-population, a reduction (deliberate or otherwise) of natural barrier reefs and government mismanagement of water resources.

Two American experts on coastal construction and sea-level — James Houston, director emeritus of engineering research and development for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Robert Dean, professor emeritus of civil and coastal engineering at the University of Florida — examined decades worth of data from all the tidal monitors around the U.S. and determined earlier this year that “worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years.” indeed, the rate at which oceans have been rising has “possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.”

Houston and Dean are committed warmists. They started their study with the expectation that their results would show rapidly increasing sea levels. Instead, they found that the oceans around the U.S. had risen little in the 20th Century and that the far from rising faster due to global warming were actually rising more slowly. If the trend of the past 80 years continued, the pair estimated that at most worldwide oceans would rise by 15 cms (ankle depth) by 2100, rather than the one to two metres most recently projected by the UN, or the 10 metres estimated by Al Gore.

Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of INQUA, the International Commission on Sea Level Change, has studied real-world sea levels for nearly 40 years. Rather than relying mostly on computer models, as most climate scientists do, Dr. Morner has concentrated on using satellites, photographs and detailed measurement records to determine whether the oceans are rising, falling or remaining pretty much the same.

“The sea is not rising,” he has told anyone who will listen. ”It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” What’s more, if it rises in the 21st Century, it will be by ”not more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm.” That’s pretty much the same prediction as that derived by the other real-world measurers, Houston and Dean.”


You would think that the reinstatement of  'earlier gloomy predictions' could be significantly hampered by this rather important discovery. You'd be surprised. The predictions haven't merely been 'reinstated' – they never went away!

We have highlighted Kiribati further above, because the first of the 50 million climate refugees is hailing from there. Kiribati has also frequently been in the news as an alleged 'climate change victim' (in spite of the fact that it is growing, not shrinking…).  In fact, as Willis Eschenbach explains here, so-called 'floating islands' on coral reefs wouldn't even sink if the sea level did rise appreciably over the next century (i.e.,more than just 'ankle deep, plus minus an ankle depth').



Unperturbed by such evidence, Pacific islanders continue to attempt to cash in on the global warming scare (we can understand that. It is one of the biggest wealth extraction schemes in history after all, and therefore hard to resist). In the particular case presented below it is probably about moving from an economically less advantageous area to one that is economically more advantageous  – and offers a bountiful welfare state to boot. Admittedly, we are simply guessing at the motive here, as you can see further below it may have to do with other personal reasons.

According to an article at Slate:


“A man from the small Pacific island of Kiribati is launching a novel attempt to claim refugee status in New Zealand based on the threat that climate change poses to his home island. Ioane Teitiota made his appeal to a New Zealand court on Wednesday that rising sea levels made his homeland unsafe to live in, France 24 reports.

Teitiota’s first attempt to receive climate change refugee status was refused by New Zealand immigration authorities on the grounds that it didn’t meet the legal criteria, namely the fear of persecution or threats to his life at home. Teitiota came to New Zealand in 2007 and has a family there, but his visa to stay has expired, according to his lawyer.

As part of his appeal, Teitiota outlined how the island of Kiribati, which is made up of some 30 ring shaped coral reefs only a few feet above sea level, was under distress as “high tides breached seawalls and rising ocean levels were contaminating drinking water, killing crops and flooding homes,” according to France 24.

In 2009, a report by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees found that “sinking island states,” like Kiribati, “present one of the most dramatic scenarios of the impact of climate change.” An impact that may threaten the existence of these states creating a situation where “entire populations of affected states could thus become stateless,” according to the report.

According to France 24, Kiribati has an audacious backup plan, as its government “has raised the prospect of relocating the entire population or building man-made islands to re-house them if predictions the sea will rise by one metre (3.25 feet) by the end of the century prove accurate.”


(emphasis added)

You will notice dear reader that the article omits a number of crucial facts, such as the history of failed UN predictions about genuine 'climate refugees' and the attempt to cover this failure up, the data on islands in the Pacific, specifically Kiribati, which show that these islands are growing instead of shrinking, and lastly the evidence that concerns about rising sea levels have been blown all out of proportion by the alarmist faction and that the associated predictions are not supported by the evidence.

Evidently Mr. Teitiota simply wants to remain with his family in New Zealand – unfortunately the precise circumstances are not explained in more detail (for instance, it is unclear why their visas are not running out, while his is). Whether he has economic reasons for wanting to move is something we can in fact not be certain about given the paucity of information, but one thing seems clear: his reasons have absolutely nothing to do with 'Kiribati sinking beneath the waves', for the simple reason that the Kiribati atoll is doing the exact opposite. If you own beachfront property at one of the Kiribati islands, it is currently in the process of naturally growing at no cost to you.

Perhaps though something good will come of this story. The court in New Zealand may be forced to look at the evidence. Its eventual ruling could then take a bit more wind out of alarmist sails (one can always hope …).



11kap9climatThe UN's original 'climate refugees' map which was 'disappeared' when the population in the areas concerned turned out to be growing strongly instead of shrinking – map by UNEP, which disputes both its existence and origin – click to enlarge.



Addendum: Australia About to Repeal Harmful Climate Legislation

After the previous socialist government decided it was a good time to add one more to the own goals with which it has imperiled Australia's economy (the other major one was the 'mining windfall tax', a giant boondoggle which we discussed in detail in “Australia -Effects of the New Mining Tax” and “Australia's Super Profits Tax”), the new government is eager to repeal it.

We are referring to the crazed 'carbon tax' the Socialists introduced under the pretext of 'saving the planet'. Legislation to rescind the measure is being prepared, while Tony Abbott is urging the socialist opposition to 'repent'. Unfortunately there is also a plan to leave the offsetting goodies the Gillard government has installed in place, so the end result will still be more State:


“Tony Abbott is ramping up the pressure on the Labor Party, releasing draft laws to axe the carbon tax with a warning to the Opposition to "repent" of its support for the measure.

An exposure draft of the legislation to repeal Labor's carbon pricing scheme has been released on the Environment Department's website. Mr Abbott says the bill will be the first considered by the new Parliament, as promised before the election.

"It is a bill designed to not only keep the Government's commitments, but to do the right thing by the people of Australia," the Prime Minister told a Canberra press conference on Tuesday. The Government says abolishing the scheme will save households $550 a year, including through lower electricity and gas bills.

The compensation measures brought in by the Gillard government, such as increased pension and family payments, will also remain in place.”


(emphasis added)

The reason why Abbott is pressuring the socialist on the matter is that he doesn't yet have the necessary majority in the Senate to push it through with the votes of his own party. The Socialists and Greens who have the decisive votes are trying to keep the law in place. Abbott is pushing them around a bit not because he expects them to vote in favor, but because he knows their intransigence is likely to harm them politically. They are obediently falling into the trap:


“If the Labor Party persists in saying, 'Yes, we support the carbon tax', they will effectively be saying 'No' to the people of Australia," Mr Abbott said. "The people of Australia understandably want lower cost of living, and they want more secure jobs. This bill gives them both.

"That's why the pressure on the Labor Party in the end not to oppose this bill I believe will be irresistible. "We are giving the Labor Party a chance to repent of its massive breach of faith with the Australian people in the last Parliament," he added. "I think that the Labor Party, being pragmatic, political survivors, will ultimately embrace that opportunity."


In his first press conference as Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten said he would fight to maintain Labor's scheme.

The Greens, who will hold the balance of power in the Senate until July next year, have also said they will not support any moves to repeal the carbon tax.

"The Greens will stand steadfast to protect the Australian people from the climate change criminality of Tony Abbott," deputy Greens leader Adam Bandt said.”


(emphasis added)

Being called a 'climate criminal' by the authoritarian 'green on the outside, red on the inside' Greens is almost a badge of honor. Unfortunately Mr. Abbott is still swallowing the official alarmist line overall, as he remains 'committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 5%' and citing the latest IPCC findings. It would be more refreshing if he were a genuine 'climate criminal' attacking the AGW religion on a broad front. Oh well, as we always say, let's give it time. In about ten to fifteen years, the next 'global cooling' hysteria is likely to begin.





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You may have noticed that our header carries ab black flag. This is due to the recent passing of the main author of the Acting Man blog, Heinz Blasnik, under his nom de plume 'Pater Tenebrarum'. We want to thank you for following his blog for meanwhile 11 years and refer you to the 'Acting Man Classics' on the sidebar to get an introduction to his way of seeing economics. In the future, we will keep the blog running with regular uptates from our well known Co-Authors. For that, some financial help would be greatly appreciated. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.


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4 Responses to “Finally … Meet the World’s First Ever ‘Climate Refugee’”

  • Why don’t we call it what it really is, a political and elitist hoax to soak money out of the common man and possibly to commit genocide, as a side effect. The problem with these people is they hold positions, which induce a lot of people to believe them, their misinformation is repeated over and over again and the masses still believe them when their fictions are put out front. Note our President brings this subject up every chance he gets, despite the fact the science has pretty much been disproved. You would never know it by him. I think they might come up with an order to have the sun shine 30 seconds less a day, to solve this seeing as they have this habit of commanding people and economies around.

  • RedQueenRace:

    “Unfortunately for the UN there is something called a ‘Google cache’, and so all the evidence has been preserved.”

    There is also the Wayback machine at http://www.archive.org. Simply copy and paste the link into the text box and click “Take Me back”. It will present a calendar with highlighted dates showing when snapshots were taken. By default the current year (2013 in this case) will be shown but graphics along the top going back to 1996 can be clicked to select a different year.

    For example, here is the February 17, 2009 snapshot of that page:


  • bubbly:

    Apparently, UNEP now admits that the map and the text existed their website, but supposedly it wasn’t their prediction.

  • No6:

    Abbott did say ‘The science behind climate change is absolute crap’
    Somewhat refreshing for a politician.

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