By 2010, the world was projected to be awash with refugees. This would not be your standard migration of marginalized people. Rather than fleeing war and persecution, these refugees would be the victims of climate change.
In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) issued the following statement:
“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 developmental 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.”
A map, provided by UNEP, indicated that the low-lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean were most at risk. In 2011, however, Gavin Atkins compiled census data that revealed substantial population growth in the following islands: the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Seychelles, and the Solomon Islands. Rather than witnessing a mass exodus from these locations, we have seen them continue to thrive as residences and tourist destinations.
A few months after Atkins’ piece was published, Anthony Watts wrote an article reporting on the swift disappearance of UNEP’s original map and reporting. Soon after Atkins’ story was picked up by several news outlets, the map indicating the projected sources of climate-oppressed refugees vanished from UNEP’s website. Fortunately, Watts was able to salvage the map from Google Cache, and it is preserved in the article linked above.
Of course, this massive error didn’t stop climate alarmists. They found an effective way to rally from this grand faux pas. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has taken the logical step of re-projecting the statistic of 50 million climate change refugees to the year 2020. As conventional wisdom has taught us: When you’ve dug yourself into a hole… just keep digging.