Extracting 'Climate Refugees' Out Of Thin Air

The most vaporous of climate-change reports seems to have just been published, and its title is “In Search Of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement“. Even warmist Tom Zeller Jr could not avoid pointing out that:

  • The idea that drastic, human-induced climate change could have an effect on global stability, particularly to the extent that it might spur mass migrations of people fleeing increasingly inhospitable landscapes, has generated a good deal of academic scrutiny and political hand-wringing over the past decade, and for good reason
  • the very notion of migration spurred by climate change remains scientifically opaque
  • there is little agreement on just how one ought to describe — or even measure — the phenomenon
  • all [labels like “climate change refugees”] tend to suggest a singular driver behind migration — and that, several researchers have begun to argue, is perilously simplistic
  • Environmental migration “is not a real phenomenon […] the decision to move cannot be removed from the economic and political situation […] there is evidence that the decision to leave an area adversely affected by environmental conditions is more a function of political relationships
  • Other researchers have pointed out the near futility in trying to quantify the concept
  • “Because one cannot completely isolate climate change as a cause, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, to stipulate any numbers”

It gets even funnier. Here some quotes almost straight from the mouth of “Koko Warner, a researcher at United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn and one of the principal authors of the most recent analysis

  • “there’s no real science yet”
  • she was careful to note that the surveys her team conducted […] provided only anecdotal evidence
  • “You couldn’t call this statistically significant. It’s probably not a large enough sample”

Ms Warner says that “codifying some connection between climate change and migration in [a post-Kyoto] treaty […] will provide a political basis […] for dealing with whatever might come over the next several decades“. Is there any scientist left doing any science at the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security?

ps Thanks to Ms Warner also for admitting that “the numbers [of potential climate change refugees for the future decades] are all over the place“. I guess there is no shortage of methodological embarassments