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    The U.N. Is The Enemy Of Climate Science
    By Hank Campbell | April 22nd 2011 11:06 AM | 24 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    Many might want to believe the United Nations, a world political mediation body created in the aftermath of World War 2, would be a friend of climate science since they are the governing body behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - but they are instead advocates.
      
    When advocates take center stage and make cringe-worthy statements over and over again, they actually hurt the science they are advocating.   The UN has said baffling things to such an extent they have hurt the reputation of climate science, resulting in backlash about climate change because no one knows what to believe any more.
       
    Melting Himalayas and other grey literature published as fact can be dismissed as zealotry in an IPCC working group but in the midst of climate warming hysteria - 2005 - the UN itself made some rather silly projections that have come back to haunt them.

    The UN and its The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) made a prediction that by 2010 there would be 50 million “climate refugees” by, of all dates, 2010.  2010 may have seemed like a comfortable number in 2005, since Al Gore was saying we were doomed in 10 years back then.  They even produced a handy map showing where all of the people forced to leave home due to bad weather would come from.  

    The map has, not surprisingly, been purged in as many places as the UN can purge it, though plenty of people have looked at census data to see if this climate Exodus occurred and are now making goat noises at the UN over it.  GRID-Arendal, an official United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborating center, took it down, saying that graphic and information were produced as an "environmental Atlas" for Le Monde neewspaper and was not meant to be, you know, believed.    Oy vey.  

    But Google is kind enough to cache things on the Internet, so here it is for posterity.  You have to click to see it in any meaningful way because it's the whole world:

    UNEP climate map 50 million refugees by 2010

    Obviously a number of climate scientists aren't going to be happy about more fodder for skeptics and outright deniers, but the days of circling the wagons around advocates with agendas is long gone.  Climate scientists should have been policing their own and deriding this stuff the same way biologists and physicists would correct (and ridicule) hard science claims about silly speculation.

    Exxon could not have spent $100 million dollars and achieved the kind of credibility undermining done by people claiming to be friends of science.   Rather than let the UN and its political bodies continue to set back real environmental reform, climate scientists need to create their own body and avoid the IPCC political gerrymandering method of throwing out anyone who disagrees.     Get climate science back from politicians and advocates.  That would be a great Earth Day present for the world.  The environment is too important to let the UN risk by making science look stupid any longer.

    Comments

    As with all things espoused by liberals, the UN has no conscience, advocating only its' ends to justify its' means.
    The trick is---if they say it, if their iconic lips are moving-- look for whose pockets will be filled--- if their prevarications are believed. Suckers111

    Gerhard Adam
    As with all things espoused by liberals...
    ... and with this phrase you've identified yourself as part of the problem regarding science.  If you think that scientific issues will be resolved with conservative/liberal labels, then you're a fool. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    There are going to be fringes on both sides who interpret everything as right and left - the UN is clearly left and that may have impacted the folks behind this kooky graphic (leftwing people claim to be smarter but will believe anything if an expert or a politician says it) but it doesn't impact the overall science.    My intent on criticizing them is that by saying stupid things to help advocate a position, the UN is hurting science.     Deleting the graphic and article to try and cover their tracks (and defenders now pushing the Exodus date to 2020, still without any rationale) just makes them look worse.
    As with most AGW 'skeptic' arguments the reality is vastly different than the claims. The map and refugee figures cited in the article above ultimately derive from a 1995 paper by Norman Myers:

    http://www.climate.org/PDF/Environmental%20Exodus.pdf

    Myers estimated that "environmental refugees" (as defined in the paper above) would rise from ~25 million at the time to ~50 million by 2010. This included people displaced by environmental disasters (e.g. Hurricane Katrina, Pakistan flooding), rising population resulting in insufficient local resources, and various other factors. In short, it wasn't specifically related to climate change at all - though several climate change factors (e.g. sea level rise, desertification, et cetera) were also included.

    If we take Myers definition then the ~50 million figure is fairly accurate. However, somewhere along the line someone reworded "environmental refugees" to "climate refugees" and people have decided that must mean 'people displaced by events provably linked to AGW'... without bothering to even look at the original study the reference is drawn from.

    Hank
    The claims made by UNEP are their own.  It is not the job of the world to go back and correct the UN's manipulation of non-scientific claims to make them even more ridiculous than they were, right?  If the UN can't be trusted to issue clean statements, they shouldn't make them.   
    BTW, the "Al Gore was saying we were doomed in 10 years back then" bit is ALSO fiction.

    Hank
    Well, the movie came out in 2006 and he said 10 years but a lot of it was filmed in 2005.   I certainly agree there was a great deal of fiction in his movie but, at least at the time, 90% of it was what he at least believed and had some evidence for.  His 30ft ocean rises and 10 years were his own inventions, of course.
    I assume the quotation which you are grossly misrepresenting here is, "We have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin." If not then please supply the actual quotation.

    As for this, note that he was speaking of the time remaining to AVERT the catastrophe rather than the time in which the catastrophe would occur. I agree it is hyperbolic, but nowhere near so as your misrepresentation. Of course, this doesn't say anything about sea level rise so maybe you are misrepresenting another quotation entirely. Most of the '30 foot ocean rise' nonsense is usually about Joe Romm... who did say something like that, just before the sentence about how many centuries it would take being uncertain.

    As to UNEP, they cited Myers' study, but someone changed a label from "environmental refugees" to "climate refugees". Imprecise, but hardly the nefarious conspiracy you make it out to be. c.f. 'tempest in a teacup'. Climate scientists use one wrong word and the denialsphere hyperventilates. AGW 'skeptics' grossly distort reality and outright lie and yet their 'credibility' remains intact. THAT's the problem facing global warming science right now... not 'skullduggery by the UN'.

    I don't know where "science 20" gets its money but it would not surprise me a bit if a significant chunk of it could be traced back to Koch's anonymous. Public relations my &*$

    Hank
    I don't know what "Koch's anonymous" is but if you're the type who assumes everyone who writes something you don't like is on the take, it tells the world a lot more about you than it does us.
    Matt Damon might want to move his house back an inch or two from the waterline of the beach, since were so close to the end.

    If you don't know what I mean by "Koch's anonymous", you don't really live in the 21st century USA. But in the unlikely event that you might be interested nonetheless, http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/pollut...

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh goody ... another conspiracy theory ...
    Mundus vult decipi
    My favorite conspiracy theory is one where the oil companies are said to own the deniers minds and or hold guns to their heads making them the evil planet hating neocon republicans that they are.

    Court Action Will Come Sooner Than Later:
    Scientists made environmental protection necessary in the first place when they supposedly polluted the planet with their evil chemicals and cancer causing pesticides and so how ironic is it that we bowed like fools to our Gods of science for 25 years of “unstoppable warming”?
    Scientists are not gods and don’t forget that scientists also produced cruise missiles, cancer causing chemicals, land mine technology, nuclear weapons, germ warfare, cluster bombs, strip mining technology, Y2K, Y2Kyoto, deep sea drilling technology and now climate control. Proof of consensus not being real is the fact that scientists did not march in the streets when IPCC funding was pulled, the EPA was castrated and Obama’s not even mentioning the “crisis” in his state of the union speech. Consensus was a myth because if it were true, the consensus scientists declaring a climate emergency would act like it was an emergency and demand their CO2 mitigation be taken seriously. We believed a handful of lab coat consultants who said we could CONTROL the planet’s temperature and prevent it from boiling. Pure insanity as history will call this modern day witch burning. The new denier is anyone still believing voters will vote YES to taxing the air to make the weather colder. Not going to happen.
    REAL planet lovers don't hold scientists as Gods and bow to politicians promising to make lower the seas and scare kids with such doomsday glee.
    There is now a solid grass roots effort by the masses of former climate change believers to have the leading scientists and leading news editors subjected to criminal charges for knowingly sustaining the false CO2 death threats to billions of children for the last 25 years of the climate blame mistake.
    Stay tuned. We missed getting Bush for his false war and a wave of former believer rage will get this one right. Call the courthouse.

    Gerhard Adam
    I think it's time you started to bring back stone technology and perhaps even initiated a "Back to the Caves" movement.  After all, with all these unrelenting evils perpetrated by scientists, its high time we went back to worshiping the traditional gods and hope that they will restore balance to the planet.

    I would be leery about those flint knappers though .... they have that look over early technology about them that could be difficult to manage in the future.  After all, they make sharp edges on flint and next thing you know ... people will be cutting themselves on that technology.

    Mundus vult decipi
    I think the fact that you believe that anything that breaks with your world politik is a "conspiracy theory" tells us a great deal more about you than it does about the world. The number of people who hear a particular world view is exactly proportional to the amount of money possessed by the people who want to get that message out, and if you don't believe that, you don't believe in capitalism.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh of course, and then the poor huddled masses are simply so stupid that they accept every message given to them with blind adherence, so all it takes for world domination is a few infomercials and some appearances on talk shows.

    Certainly some people are gullible and will accept any message that already agrees with their political orientation, but correspondingly there are far too many people who will also accept any message that presumes that other viewpoints are arbitrarily evil. 

    So spare me the lecture about how the world works. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    History will view this as:
    Ignorants bowing to fat politicians promising to lower the seas and make the weather colder with taxes. It was called climate change instead of climate variation and assumed that humans could CONTROL planets. We all know now of course that humans can only destroy what they create.
    Climate Change: See Witch Buring, Omen Worship and sacrificing virgins and goats.

    Much as I would love to lecture you on your awful ignorance, I fear I will not live long enough to make a dent in it. But in the ever-receeding possibility you may be interested in learning something more about the world in which you actually live, you can pay a visit to http://www.freepress.net.

    Gerhard Adam
    Of course, media reform will transform the planet into a loving, green utopia.  I know who the ignorant one is in this crowd.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Or hey, if you want to be REALLY risque, you could go to http://www.consortiumnews.com and read things like:
    --
    One can understand, without condoning it, that many Americans have become comfortable with the notion that we are somehow exceptional, and thus entitled to more than our proportionate share of the world’s natural resources.

    The FCM (Fawning Corporate Media) is a very huge help in persuading so many Americans that it is okay to ignore the suffering and devastation inflicted abroad because we have to protect our “way of life” from those who are just plain “jealous.”

    Over the past decade, this mode of thinking has found expression in several interesting ways. Here are three examples that come to mind:

    --“I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we’re going to kick some ass!” (Bush in the White House bunker, evening of 9/11);

    --“Kick Their Ass and Take Their Gas!” (prominent placard held by local Texans counter-demonstrating against supporters of Cindy Sheehan, August 2005);

    --“We go to war for oil. It’s a good reason to go to war.” (Ann Coulter, speech at Carnegie Institute, Washington, DC, April 21, 2011).

    And so it goes.

    Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington, DC. He served as a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

    Gerhard Adam
    There's no question that the media does many things wrong, but it is presumptuous to suppose that Americans obtain their views solely from the media.

    Americans believe what they do because it is part of the national mythology which they accept because they like it.  Nothing more substantive than this is necessary for the results your arguing about.  This is precisely why Fox News is popular and even nutcases like Glen Beck have an audience.   This is precisely why Americans are always going on about how this is "the greatest country on the face of the Earth", despite the reality that such an empty platitude has lost any significance or meaning decades ago.  Even when it comes to foreign policy, it is easy to see that Americans just think the world should go along with whatever they want, and if someone disagrees then they immediately want to treat them as the enemy.  It's little wonder that our political discourse is more reminiscent of a cage match than an intelligent discussion of differing opinions.  In today's climate there is no such thing as an opposing view.  If you disagree you are automatically the enemy.  You can only criticize something if you're prepared to be considered the enemy.  This isn't the media doing this ... it's part of the character of the people that inhabit this country. 

    Instead of the media, it might be worth considering why Americans can spend so much time in school and have so little knowledge when they graduate.  That's a far more telling statistic than what the media does.  It merely exploits the ignorance that's always been there.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Left or right, it doesn't matter these days. Neither of them are truly 'liberal' or 'conservative' anymore and both of them are happy to work together if it means giving themselves more power and taking freedoms and money away from everybody else.

    The UN isn't just an enemy to climate science or science in general, it is an enemy to all free people everywhere. Look at the EU if you want to see what direction the UN is ultimately heading in. EU is only a test run...