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The UN “disappears” 50 million climate refugees, then botches the disappearing attempt

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Watts Up With That?
April 16, 2011

Hoo boy, government bureaucratic idiocy at its finest. Not only is the original claim bogus, the attempts to disappear it are hilariously inept. Apparently, they’ve never heard of Google Cache at the UN. Rather than simply say “we were wrong”, they’ve now brought even more distrust onto the UN.

Back on April 11th, Gavin Atkins of Asian Correspondent asked this simple question:

What happened to the climate refugees?

It is a valid question, and he backs it up with census numbers. Here’s the first part of his story:


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 100,000.


After Asian Correspondent posted the story on April 11th, it was picked up by news outlets around the world such as Investor NewsAmerican Spectator and was cited in the Australian newspaper. It was also a report on Fox News.

Since that story appeared, the “handy map” he cites in his original story, which has this URL:


…seems to be gone down the memory hole. This is what you get now, note my yellow highlight:

Only one small problem there UN people, a little annoyance called Google cache, which has that page archived here.

It pulls up this page that had been removed, with the 50 million refugees title, but the map is missing. Click to enlarge.

Fear not dear readers, because as astoundingly smart as those UN people think they are, they forgot one very important yet tiny detail. The map links to a hi-resolution version of the “climate refugee map” and if you delete the page above and the map it contains, you also have to delete the hi-res image it links to.



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Universal cancer jab: Vaccine that stops all tumours in their tracks could be here in two years 260310banner2

I’m always happy to help the UN in times of “need”, sooooo I’ve recovered it and saved it here on WUWT, because that image link is likely to go down the memory hole on Monday.

Here’s the map at web resolution as it would have appeared in the disappeared web page above.

And here it is in full sized hi-resolution glory, suitable for printing, slides, or coffee mugs…wherever it might be appropriate to show the folly of these boneheads. Click the link for the hi-res image:

11kap9climat.png 3012 x 1699 pixels PNG (577K)

And there you have it folks, another bogus climate claim rubbished by reality, followed by an inept cover up attempt.

Thanks to the reality of census numbers, followed by the UN’s handling of this, we can now safely say that the claim is “climate refugees” is total fantasy. Be sure to leave comments on any website that makes this claim, and link to this and the Asian Correspondent website.

Kudos to Gavin Atkins for asking this simple question after 6 years of this fantasy being used to push an agenda

UPDATE: A couple of commenters asked for the source of the predictions. Happy to oblige. This is what the UNEP web page originally said and the author cited:

Fifty million climate refugees by 2010. Today we find a world of asymmetric development, unsustainable natural resource use, and continued rural and urban poverty. There is general agreement about the current global environmental and development crisis. It is also known that the consequences of these global changes have the most devastating impacts on the poorest, who historically have had limited entitlements and opportunities for growth.
Sources Norman Myers, ‘Environmental refugees, An emergent security issue’, 13. Economic forum, Prague, OSCE, May 2005 ; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005 ; Liser, 2007.
Link to web-site http://www.agassessment.org/
Emmanuelle Bournay
Appears in IAASTD – International assessment of agricultural science and technology for development
Published 2008

UPDATE2: The goal posts are already being moved, now it is 2020 instead of 2010, see below.

click image for original story

And here’s the source of this new goal post, an announcement at the AAAS meeting in February:

Which a compliant media has bloviated all over the net, as if this new bogosity is somehow better than the old one. The professor who made that new 10 years hence claim, UCLA’s Cristina Tirado, has a public web page at UCLA here.

I’ve sent her this message tonight:

Dear Professor Tirado,

It appears that the original claim made by the UN of 50 million climate refugees by 2010 has been proven totally false by a simple census count. UNEP has already removed the claim from their website. See this story: http://wp.me/p7y4l-9T0

At AAAS in Feburary, you made a nearly identical claim, but simply 10 years into the future. On what basis did you make this claim, and in light of the failed prediction and removal by UNEP of the old claim, are you prepared to retract the new 2020 refugee claim you made here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jnW80NlFZ259UCgMAHSd3ekHutiQ?docId=CNG.aa651167cd0af745b3cb395cf1d402e3.c41

Millions of readers await your response at WUWT. Thank you for your consideration.

Anthony Watts


UPDATE3: Reader Andrew30 provides the linkage of this farce to the main body of the UN, not just the UNEP as some have complained.

General Assembly, 8 July 2008
Sixty-second General Assembly
Informal Meeting on Climate Change and Most Vulnerable Countries (AM)

SRGJAN KERIM, President of the General Assembly, opened the discussion by saying that 11 of the last 12 years had ranked among the 12 warmest since the keeping of global temperature records had begun in 1850. Two points were significant: that climate change was inherently a sustainable-development challenge; and that more efforts than ever before must be exerted to enable poor countries to prepare for impacts because it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010.

Panel Discussion
The Assembly then held a panel discussion moderated by author and journalist Eugene Linden. The panellists were Reid Basher, Senior Coordinator at the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; Ian Noble, Senior Climate Change Specialist at the World Bank; and Veerle Vandeweerd, Director of the Environment and Energy Group at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Source: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/ga10725.doc.htm

This article was posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 4:09 am

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