In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

UN embarrassed by forecast on climate refugees

Posted by seumasach on April 25, 2011

Canada Free Press

19th April, 2011

By Axel Bojanowski, Speigel

Six years ago, the United Nations issued a dramatic warning that the world would have to cope with 50 million climate refugees by 2010. But now that those migration flows have failed to materialize, the UN has distanced itself from the forecasts. On the contrary, populations are growing in the regions that had been identified as environmental danger zones.

It was a dramatic prediction that was widely picked up by the world’s media. In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations University declared that 50 million people could become environmental refugees by 2010, fleeing the effects of climate change.

But now the UN is distancing itself from the forecast: “It is not a UNEP prediction,” a UNEP spokesman told SPIEGEL ONLINE. The forecast has since been removed from UNEP’s website.

Cover up: UN tries to erase failed climate refugee prediction

By Gavin Atkins, Asian Correspondent

The United Nations Environment Programme has tried to erase one of its glaring failed predictions about climate refugees by removing a a map from its website purporting to show where 50 million climate refugees will come from by 2010.

After Asian Correspondent reviewed its findings earlier this week, the story has been linked to by websites around the world such as Investor News, American Spectator and was referred to in yesterday’s Australian newspaper and even got a mention on Fox News.

However, the website which is maintained by GRID-Arendal, an official United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborating centre, has now deleted the map.

Past Alarm. World’s Coral: 40% gone by 2010

ABC Newswatch

On Monday 22 April 2002 ABC’s flagship current affairs program, 4 Corners, broadcast the following alarming prediction in a report titled: Beautiful one day.
Across the world, coral reefs are turning into marine deserts. It’s estimated that more than a quarter have been lost and that 40 per cent could be gone by 2010.

From the transcript:

According to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, 10 per cent of the world’s reefs were lost by 1992.
27 per cent were lost by the year 2000.
And it’s expected 40 per cent will be gone by 2010.

One Response to “UN embarrassed by forecast on climate refugees”

  1. Jennifer said

    While the Earth has always endured natural climate change variability, we are now facing the possibility of irreversible climate change in the near future. The increase of greenhouse gases in the Earth?s atmosphere from industrial processes has enhanced the natural greenhouse effect. This in turn has accentuated the greenhouse ?trap? effect, causing greenhouse gases to form a blanket around the Earth, inhibiting the sun?s heat from leaving the outer atmosphere. This increase of greenhouse gases is causing an additional warming of the Earth?s surface and atmosphere. A direct consequence of this is sea-level rise expansion, which is primarily due to the thermal expansion of oceans (water expands when heated), inducing the melting of ice sheets as global surface temperature increases.
    Forecasts for climate change by the 2,000 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project a rise in the global average surface temperature by 1.4 to 5.8°C from 1990 to 2100. This will result in a global mean sea level rise by an average of 5 mm per year over the next 100 years. Consequently, human-induced climate change will have ?deleterious effects? on ecosystems, socio-economic systems and human welfare.At the moment, especially high risks associated with the rise of the oceans are having a particular impact on the two archipelagic states of Western Polynesia: Tuvalu and Kiribati. According to UN forecasts, they may be completely inundated by the rising waters of the Pacific by 2050.According to the vast majority of scientific investigations, warming waters and the melting of polar and high-elevation ice worldwide will steadily raise sea levels. This will likely drive people off islands first by spoiling the fresh groundwater, which will kill most land plants and leave no potable water for humans and their livestock. Low-lying island states like Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives are the most prominent nations threatened in this way.“The biggest challenge is to preserve their nationality without a territory,” said Bogumil Terminski from Geneva. The best solution is continue to recognize deterritorialized states as a normal states in public international law. The case of Kiribati and other small island states is a particularly clear call to action for more secure countries to respond to the situations facing these ‘most vulnerable nations’, as climate change increasingly impacts upon their lives.

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