In 2005 the United Nations issued a dire warning that by 2010 the world would be engulfed with 50 million “climate refugees.” These were people who would be forced from their homes and cities due to floods, storms or expanding deserts due to the menace of global warming. It was part of a series of apocalyptic U.N. forecasts about the dangers of climate change.
The only problem is that these migrations have failed to materialize anywhere. In fact, in many places the populations living in these “environmental danger zones” have been thriving and growing. The Tatler tips its hat for this revelatory information to the UK’s indefatigable environmental scientist and skeptic Benny Peiser.
Peiser brings our attention to this week’s edition of the German publication, Der Spiegel, which report that the U.N. climate gurus now are quietly distancing themselves from their original catastrophic predictions — and air brushing out their web site maps that once depicted danger zones.
It all started back in October 2005 when the U.N. flatly stated, “by 2010 the world will need to cope with as many as 50 million people escaping the effects of creeping environmental deterioration.” They forecast “this new category of ‘refugee.'” In 2008 the Srgjan Kerim, president of the U.N. General Assembly, upped the doomsday prediction, saying there would “between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010.” Environmental activist Norman Myers, a professor at Oxford University predicted that climate change could force to 200 million climate refugees.
The U.N. specifically identified Pacific and Caribbean populations that would be ravaged by climate change. Gavin Atkins, writing for Asiancorrespondent.com reports “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.” Atkins reports that all of China’s “threatened” cities –Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang — are the fastest growing cities in the world.
Atkins also looks at other endangered locations, the Bahamas, St. Lucia, the Seychelles and the Solomon Islands. None have refugees and all have enjoyed healthy population growths.
A U.N. official has told Der Spiegel that officially the forecast is “not a UNEP prediction.” A map on the UNEP website outlining the “environmental danger zones” has been taken down.