Epic fails

This post will be dedicated to the historical predictions made by environmental scientists and climatologists, which turned out to be spectacular failures. We will start with a chilling report published by the think-tank GRID-Arendal  in 2008 and predicting 50 million environmental refugees by 2010.


GRID-Arendal collaborate with United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and these claims were duly re-posted on the UNEP website. They even attached a handy map to inform the readers which particular countries or geographical areas the refugees would be fleeing:


The prediction was included in the minutes of the UN 62nd General Assembly Informal Meeting on Climate Change and Most Vulnerable Countries GA/10725, held on 2/8/2008:


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

Fast forward to 2011 when Gavin Atkins, in his article published in Asian Correspondent, asked the probing question “What happened to the climate refugees?”. He went through the census data and the areas predicted to be the source of refugees were actually among the fastest growing population centres in the World:


Following this embarrassing discovery UNEP removed both the report and accompanying map from their website and replaced it with a statement that they were not the authors of the report in the first place:


We have decided to withdraw the product and accompanying text. It follows some media reports suggesting the findings presented were those of UNEP and the UN which they are not.

Well, if the report was reliable enough to put it on the UNEP’s website in 2008 why did they disown it in 2011? However, new claims have since been made that we would see 50 million environmental refugees – only this time by 2020:


“In 2020, the UN has projected that we will have 50 million environmental refugees” declared of California, Los Angeles professor Cristina Tirado at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

I will now state my own prediction: the promised 50 million climate refugees will not materialise by 2020 and the timeframe of the doomsday reports will change again.

Now on to the Arctic ice cover. It has been shrinking in the last 30-40 years which may or may not be part of a cyclic, multi-decadal process. Sniffing out a chance to make the headlines Professor Wieslaw Maslowski predicted in 2007 that the Arctic would be ice free by 2013:


To spice things up Mr Maslowski added:

“Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007,” the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC. “So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.”

So what is the real (as opposed to predicted) state of the Arctic ice in August 2013?


While low by historic standards a month out from the summer equinox it is the highest it has been for 5 years and tracks for a minimum of 4-5 million square kilometres. Looks like Maslowski’s prediction will fail spectacularly.

But what about the tornadoes and hurricanes which, according to the post-Katrina predictions, were supposed to get more frequent and more damaging? Here is an excerpt from Al Gore’s statement on the tropical storm Sandy:


Sandy was also affected by other symptoms of the climate crisis. As the hurricane approached the East Coast, it gathered strength from abnormally warm coastal waters. At the same time, Sandy’s storm surge was worsened by a century of sea level rise. Scientists tell us that if we do not reduce our emissions, these problems will only grow worse. Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather.

Again, things did not pan out as projected:


we are in the middle of a tornado drought, and well below normal. Normally we’d see 1221 tornadoes in the USA, so far for 2013, only 716 have been reported. (…) When looking historically at where we are, we find that 2013 has slipped below the historical minimum, setting a new record for the ~60 years in the tornado database.


As of today, it has been 2777 days or 7.6 years since the US has been hit by a Cat 3 or greater hurricane. The last such hurricane was Wilma on October 24th, 2005. Each day forward will be a new record in this drought period. (…) Such a prolonged period without an intense hurricane landfall has not been observed since 1900


But the real killer to the hurricane-global warming hype comes from Dr. Ryan Maue (pronounced like the island) of Weatherbell Analytics.  Using satellite data that gives global coverage beginning in 1972, Maue has calculated what is called the “Accumulated Cyclone Energy” (ACE) index.  This is a mathematical integration of storm wind speed and longevity.  There obviously is  no change in hurricane energy that at all relates to warming, and it is currently near its lowest levels on record.


I cannot think of another field of human endeavour where one could make catastrophic predictions, only for the media to go into a frenzy when another batch of similar projections are made when the first lot has come to naught. There is no accountability whatsoever for what the scientists predict and any claims can be made with absolute impunity – the scarier the better.


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