The hyperbolic headlines should be shocking news – if only they had any basis in real science:
- “Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100” – Science Daily
- “Society will buckle under 2 billion climate-refugees by 2100 as rising oceans displace whole cities” – ZME Science
- “2 billion people may become refugees from climate change by the end of the century” – New York Daily News
- “Climate change could threaten up to 2 billion refugees by 2100” – Huffington Post
- “Rising sea levels could create American climate refugees” – USA Today
But relax. The “research” that set off these fake news alerts was not conducted by any climatologists. In fact, it wasn’t conducted or published by anyone connected with hard science of any kind.
Instead, these apocalyptic alarms were the result of the “research” of a sociology professor at Cornell University – with the help of very active public relations department feeding a media hungry for fear-mongering over “global warming” or “climate change” – take your pick depending on the temperature outside.
What’s the dictionary definition of a “sociologist”? Someone who studies society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions and processes that people develop. Most of them work in colleges and universities – because it’s the only work they can get. Once you’re through college, no need to listen to sociologists ever again. Take my word for it.
But Charles Geisler, the author of this “study,” as it is called, is professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell. That’s an even better job for a sociologist because he doesn’t have to go in the classroom to spew his ideological bias and pseudo-scientific ideas. Now he gets to peddle them to the whole world through the press – which, as an institution, scoffs at the idea that the world could ever have faced a global flood at the hands of God, but now sees it as an inevitability at the hands of SUV drivers.
This is the guy who convinced what we euphemistically call “mainstream media” outlets to peddle his own Revelation scenario.
“We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think,” says Geisler. “The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.”
No, it won’t be gradual, because gradual is hard to measure. It’s going to hit you one day – and then it will be too late to restructure the world’s economy and put smart people like him in charge of global decision-making. That’s why we have to do it now, as all those who preach the gospel of man-made catastrophic climate change insist.
Now I don’t begrudge Geisler trying to earn a living. He’s probably very sincere in his faith about “climate change.”
The real worry is the fake-news hucksters at USA Today and even so-called “science” websites that peddle this nonsense to millions – without question, barely even without retyping the press release from Cornell.
A guy with a non-science background writes that one-fifth of the world’s population is going to drown in 83 years, and it’s reprinted the same day all over the planet. As an old-fashioned newsman of 43 years, it makes me embarrassed for the industry I have loved all my adult life.
As for Geisler, he’s got it all figured out:
“The colliding forces of human fertility, submerging coastal zones, residential retreat, and impediments to inland resettlement is a huge problem. We offer preliminary estimates of the lands unlikely to support new waves of climate refugees due to the residues of war, exhausted natural resources, declining net primary productivity, desertification, urban sprawl, land concentration, ‘paving the planet’ with roads and greenhouse gas storage zones offsetting permafrost melt.”
It’s a good plot for a science-fiction movie, as long as the emphasis is placed on the word fiction.
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