New permanent feature: the "Climate FAIL Files" – help needed

The revelation that the UN predicted 50 million climate refugees by 2010, it failed , and then the UN “disappeared” the evidence that they ever made such a prediction brightly illustrates a common theme to global warming aka climate change that has been repeated again and again.

Many times, these climate failures get a mention, and then fade into obscurity. When we try to find them later, search engines aren’t as useful or cooperative as we’d like. I want to change that by providing a central repository for such failed claims. I’ll make it a special page, part of our menu bar, with an icon link on the sidebar, suitable for placement on other websites. The Climate FAIL files page exists here.

To populate the page, as a starting seed resource, we have the excellent NumberWatch UK warm list, which lists all manner of claims about global warming, some contradictory, some silly, some serious. It is a good place to start.

Like with, this project can benefit from crowd-sourcing the work. WUWT readers are already quite sharp-eyed, providing hundreds of items to our Tips & Notes section each month. I see this as simply a logical extension of what is already being done.

Here’s a good example, posted in Tips & Notes today:

Predicator says on 2011/04/16 at 9:10 am

I’ve been searching for those ‘by 2010′ things that didn’t exactly come true. Here’s one find:

Solar costs to match coal by 2010

Monday, 9 April 2007

The cost of producing solar power will fall to that of coal-fired electricity by the end of the decade, according to a report by Europe’s Photon Consulting.

There, a perfect example of a testable prediction. That prediction can be easily documented as true/false today with available data at hand. Have at it folks.

I wish to make it clear that this new feature isn’t to be as free form as simply dropping a comment, as I don’t have time to research and chase down every claim, that’s where the crowd-sourcing comes in. I want each entry to be testable, and documented. Let’s use the scientific method, applied to claims made by figureheads, government, science and media.

For each entry, we’ll need the following:

  • The claim itself – what was stated as factual or predicted? A clear unambiguous statement, such as “50 million climate refugees by 2010”
  • Proof of the original claim – website, documents, photos, audio, video that clearly and unambiguously show the claim being made sometime in the past.
  • A test of the of the claim, and the results – website, documents, photos, audio, video that clearly and unambiguously show the claim not coming true or not meeting the claim.

and /or

  • Proof of change in the claim (if applicable) – often, when the claim fails to materialize, goalposts get moved, such as we saw with the “50 million climate refugees” story that was originally set with a due date of 2010, is now set for the year 2020.

All of this, once documented fully, will be added to the list. It will give a reference which can be used to debunk overhyped, modified on demand, or simply false claims that we see over and over again.

Some tools to help you are listed below

General purpose search engines

Obviously there’s Google, but Google has clearly made a recent change to algorithms that may not give the results you are looking for, here’s some alternates:

Obvious ones: Aol Search

Some “not so obvious” ones:


Specialty search engines

engine for scientific enquiries:

Google scholar:

Gooble Books:

The Wayback Machine (finds old versions of websites) (even broader search to include audio, images, books)


Archiving tools

Webcite (makes a permanent copy of any web page, free)

Tinypic (free storage of screencaps and images)

Local website archive (free and paid versions, allows saving entire websites to disk)


I’ll add to this list as new ones are suggested in comments.

The new page on WUWT is Climate FAIL Files and is ready to be populated. Start your discussions here and if you have subjects to tackle, list them in comments. I’ll add them as we go.

Discussion will move to a new thread at some point, but let’s start here first.

Here’s how I propose to format the entries:


The Claim: 50 million climate refugees will be produced by climate change by the year 2010. Especially hard hit will be river delta areas, and low lying islands in the Carribean and Pacific. The UN 62nd General assembly in July 2008 said:  …it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010.

The Test: Did population go down in these areas during that period, indicating climate refugees were on the move? The answer, no.

The Proof: Population actually gained in some Carribean Islands for which 2010 census figures were available. Then when challenged on these figures, the UN tried to hide the original claim from view. See: The UN “disappears” 50 million climate refugees, then botches the disappearing attempt

The Change in claim: Now it is claimed that it will be 10 years into the future, and there will be 50 million refugees by the year 2020.


OK, you know what to do.


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The Daily Bayonet has count down clocks in the side bar.
Right now there is;
1156 day until Al Gore says the ice caps will be gone
260 days until 4.5 billion people are dead from AGW
627 days until Nissan sells 500,000 EV’s a year
3533 days until V Bites outsells McDonalds

Eric Anderson

Anthony, I think this has the potential to be a very useful resource. May I humbly suggest that before it gets too far down the road there is some thought put into creating categories that stories/claims can be categorized into. This will take a couple of extra minutes up front when stories/claims are documented, but will make the resource immensely more useful down the road.
There is a big difference between a claim made by a graduate student as part of a thesis and a claim put out by the IPCC or a large scientific organization. In addition, there is a difference between a claim made off the cuff to a reporter, one made orally at a conference, and one made in a peer reviewed paper. I think it would be very helpful to categorize the claims based on the strength/type of provenance, and this would also help to track back to the original sources. For example, if a claim shows up in a news report that is fine, but if it can then be tracked back to a published paper it makes the claim that much stronger.
In addition, there are claims about different things, and it might be useful to categorize them at least at a high level. For instance, the two claims you cite above are both quite interesting (50 million climate refugees and solar as cheap as coal), but potentially have very different audiences. Perhaps it would be possible to categorize claims based on the area covered: CAGW-caused natural disasters, renewable energy, resource scarcity, etc.

May I suggest that someone set up a website that archives screencaps of the pages? The website would also categorize such events for easy reference. For example, I just checked, is available. I suggest to register a domain name. If you go to you will see that GoDaddy will pull down a website and give the owner little time to make a defense.


UK Met Office predictions are always a farce. I’m trying to find that prediction up to 2014 but that also seems to have disappeared. Something along lines of half the years up to 2014 being warmer than the warmest on record.

Warmists have learned from 1984 : put everything into the memory holes.
Hell, even in Canada we can see that the planet isn’t warming up. The Prairies (in the middle of the continent) are supposed to become a desert. But according to many locals (in Regina, Saskatchewan), it has gotten wetter since 2005…


Politicians and Patricians should be a separate category. Idiots like Boxer, Waxman, Prince Charles, etc should provide a wealth of info.

To be fair, you should also invite Warmistas to post claims that have been verified, ‘Alarmist Success’, if you will.
I don’t expect there will be many.
/Mr Lynn

David L. Hagen

Actual global temperature has been below IPCC’s 1980 predicted global warming trend. Since 2001 global temperature has been cooling instead of warming.
In 1980 IPCC Predicted 2 C/century warming. A1B SRES in the AR4:
By contrast, Don Easterbrook made a prediction in 2001 for a cooling trend due the shift from warm to cool PDO phase beginning about 2007 is now clearly showing up in the global cooling trend since 2001. e.g.
Don Easterbrook’s AGU paper on potential global cooling

The IPCC predicted global warming of 0.6° C (1° F) by 2011 and 1.2° C (2° F) by 2038, whereas Easterbrook (2001) predicted the beginning of global cooling by 2007 (± 3-5 yrs) and cooling of about 0.3-0.5° C until ~2035. The predicted cooling seems to have already begun. Recent measurements of global temperatures suggest a gradual cooling trend since 1998 and 2007-2008 was a year of sharp global cooling. The cooling trend will likely continue as the sun enters a cycle of lower irradiance and the Pacific Ocean changed from its warm mode to its cool mode

Lucia Liljegren compares global temperatures and trend uncertainties against IPCC models.

Notice that the trend associated with the multi-model mean is outside the range consistent with the ARIMA uncertainty intervals for HadCrut. . . It is worth noting that the projected trend is well outside the uncertainty intervals estimated using ARIMA; this is best evaluated by comparing the slope of the dashed green lines to the slope of the dashed black line. The mean of the observations is below the multi-model mean; . . . Currently, these results indicate a fairly strong rejection of the hypothesis that the multi-model mean and HadCrut agree.

See Lucia’s Figure: The Blackboard April 16, 2011
Hadcrut3 versus Multi-modal mean


We should try to find it at the Source, with one or more Peoples real Names, titles and ‘officialness’.
New stories, web pages blogs etc. and the generic term ‘scientists’ will not be as effective as Actually Naming the Person or Persons that said it, then the students, other professors, other polititions and people in the un-biased media will Know who said it, when. Things like the minutes of the house of commons, offical pubilcations etc. would be nice to have.
I think that if we can ‘go to the source’ then actual list of Names might be smaller than many people would think.

Hey, I just noticed your new addition on WUWT.
A few years ago I started writing down predictions as I heard them on the TV, and saving articles from the newspaper. Its more of a “climate prediction watch” as it has long term forecasts, such as this one:
Written down on April 3, 2007:
2007 Hurricane Season: 17 storms 9 hurricanes
Get ready for drastic change, due to climate.
2050 – Non reliable snowmobile season, Extinct species, Impossible Rideau Canal skating.
Something about lime disease and a 20 C rise in temperatures in 100 years.
I was thinking you could add a separate section for predictions to watch.
While I was composing this comment, you have a new post about this new WUWT feature and I see from comments that some blogs have “count down clocks” for various alarmists predictions.
On second thought on prediction watching, isn’t the IPCC reports just chock full of such things? Your watch page, if you created one, would quickly become overwhelmed with items.
One trick on predictions using accelerating trends is that in the short term, its hard to tell a linear trend from an exponential trend near the tangent to the curve. But in time, the likelihood starts to reveal itself, so that even years before the final date one can tell how bonkers the prediction was.

David L. Hagen

Kilimanjaro ice cap

In February of 2001, Thompson presented his amazing findings at an annual gathering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. But he had just returned from an expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in West Africa and he also had some alarming news to share: the ice cap on the mountain was disappearing at an incredible rate. According to Thompson’s data, 82 percent of the ice cap had melted between 1912 and 2000, and the rate of disintegration was accelerating. He predicted that by 2015 the cap would be gone.

Lonnie Thompson Biography
Prediction failing:
Kilimanjaro regaining its snow cap


You sure that you have enough webspace for this?

Bob Diaz

RE: Solar costs to match coal by 2010
I don’t want to nitpick you, but if you look at the price of solar electric per watt from 1980 to today, there is a clear downward trend. –>> IF <<– the trend continues, solar will match coal in around 30 or so years. You are correct, the prediction of 2010 was flat out wrong. However, around 2040, it MIGHT be possible. This raises an interesting question of how to rate a prediction that gives the date as too soon, but it happens much later on.

I’ve been doing something similar myself on and off (tagged “Warble Gloaming Dates For Your Diary”) and off the top of my head I know that the first entry on my list is the James Hansen’s claim that the West Side Highway in New York would be drowned by the Hudson by now, as detailed right here on WUWT.
I see that it’s also had the revisionist treatment and is now supposed to have been 40 years and due around 2030, but as you point out there it’s still pretty dubious since you’d expect to have seen a significant rise in the water level by now. Worthy of inclusion IMO, and you already have all the info here.
Also we have the specific claim by Dr David Viner in 2000 that British children will not know snow by 2005, give or take a year, which has been disproved by a succession of three or four pretty cold winters with plenty of snow.
And in July 2009 David Attenborough claimed that the world’s tropical reefs faced “imminent destruction” and while it’s only been 18 months the word imminent implies that again we should have seen something happening by now.
Of course that same article has another claim, by a marine scientist called Charlie Veron, that the Great Barrier Reef will be gone within 20 years, which is not what I’d call imminent but is certainly specific and worth remembering so we can check back in 2029.
We have a few due this decade too. Someone’s already mentioned The Goracle’s well publicised claim that the Arctic will be ice free in five years, which would be 2013.
Though of course Pen Hadow reckons ten years:
Either way we won’t have too long to wait before those claims can be tested.
The only other ones I’d come across were fairly non-specific alarmism of the “only X years to get it all under control or everything’s screwed” variety by WWF (parroted by The Teletubbygraph’s Louise Gray, natch), the His Royal Strangeness the Prince of Fails (twice) and his mates from the 100 months mob, and of the UK’s Met Office. I have links if you want them but the lack of specifics seem to make them a bit vague for this.

Anthony, this is an excellent idea and many thanks for providing such a list and in such a prominent location.
Here’s the laundry list of horribles due to Global Warming taken from California’s notorious AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. There are no specific dates associated with any of these calamitous predictions, however. Note that none of these has yet come to pass, instead, sea levels are decreasing, snow pack is growing, and electrical supplies are quite ample.
“SECTION 1. Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) is added
to the [California] Health and Safety Code, to read:
ACT OF 2006
Chapter 1. Title of Division
38500. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the
California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Chapter 2. Findings and Declarations
38501. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Global warming poses a serious threat to the economic well-being,
public health, natural resources, and the environment of California. The
potential adverse impacts of global warming include the exacerbation of
air quality problems, a reduction in the quality and supply of water to the
state from the Sierra snowpack, a rise in sea levels resulting in the
displacement of thousands of coastal businesses and residences, damage to
marine ecosystems and the natural environment, and an increase in the
incidences of infectious diseases, asthma, and other human health-related
(b) Global warming will have detrimental effects on some of
California’s largest industries, including agriculture, wine, tourism, skiing,
recreational and commercial fishing, and forestry. It will also increase the
strain on electricity supplies necessary to meet the demand for summer
air-conditioning in the hottest parts of the state.”
Here’s the text, broken into the exact predictions:
1. the exacerbation of air quality problems,
2. a reduction in the quality and supply of water to the state from the Sierra snowpack,
3. a rise in sea levels resulting in the displacement of thousands of coastal businesses and residences,
4. damage to marine ecosystems,
5. damage to the natural environment, and
6. an increase in the incidences of
o infectious diseases,
o asthma, and
o other human health-related problems.
7. detrimental effects on some of California’s largest industries, including:
o agriculture,
o wine,
o tourism,
o skiing,
o recreational and commercial fishing, and
o forestry
8. increase the strain on electricity supplies necessary to meet the demand for summer air-conditioning in the hottest parts of the state.
web citation:
also in California Health & Safety Code, at 38501:

Hi Anthony, Thank you so much for this feature. I rummaged over this idea myself a few months ago, but didn’t take action. Well, the credit for actually doing something must all be yours. One necessary extra though is the credibility rating of the authority behind the claim: scientific (peer-reviewed, or by the central ‘team’ or an official climate body like NOAA or CSIRO etc.), or political (the UN, a national government, a president etc.). In other words, how devastating is it to the AGW claim that this prediction fails? I don’t think that we need go as far as Eric suggests above. People can categorise their interests for themselves; the central point of the show is to prove that AGW is either not scientific, or, if scientific, has been disproved. The central point of science is testability. Has the theory made a prediction that failed? That is what matters.
You are sure to be criticised for only looking at the negative. Well boo hoo, half the planet is sifting the sands of trivial factoids looking for the positive. But perhaps a side bar reserved for REALLY unexpected predictions that did come true (not rubbish like “more droughts” followed by a drought). I can’t think of any, but you never know. If any of the resident trolls think they can suggest some, we should be open to letting them put their case in the normal article blog and see how it stands up to scrutiny.
Thanks again!

John F. Hultquist

Robb876 says:
April 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm
By 2012 you will be the most hated skeptic in America….

That’s testable! In 259 days.

Anthony, you might want to adjust that to “The Proof Of Falsification/Refutation” or “Falsification Proof” or even occasionally “Validation Proof” if one is to be scientifically neutral about it.
Great idea by the way. Had it myself but it’s likely much better here since you get the leverage of the crowd sourced brains.

Engineer Bob

Everyone’s crystal ball is cloudy, especially about the future.
I’m more interested in prediction success rate, rather than individual examples. So, like Mr Lynn above, I’d like to see successful predictions archived too.
That may be hard, since only gloom-and-doom predictions get enough publicity to be noticed. But somehow the world continues, so most of the gloom and doom never happens.


If this page is going to be around for a while, can you please spell island correctly in The Proof section: “Population actually gained in some Carribean Isalnd…” — John M Reynolds
[Fixed, thanx, ~dbs]

Hey contrarians, remember that over 97% of the experts (who know better than you) agree with the young people. They are not going to idly put up with your nonsense for much longer – the Civil Rights movement comparison is apt – it’s a moral issue.


[Thanks, fixed. ~dbs, mod.]


Bob Diaz says:
April 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Even if the cost of solar matched coal, you couldn’t install enough to make a dent in energy needs. To start, you need about 10,000 km^2 of PV or other solar. Good luck.


We will look forward to all the failed files.


How about one section for photo’s of wind turbines failures – thinking of burning, disintegrating, inoperable or abandoned images and video


Mr. Watts, this is less an example of a prediction than of a nice disappearing act, and it is a good warning to take screen grabs as I have revisited the story (thanks for the inspiration) and they have erased the fingerprints, even from the Wayback Machine. It’s your story from 11/3/2009 about the Inconvenient Kids Science Web Page NOAA tried disappearing (they have since apparently been successful as all Wayback links now redirect to the current pro-AGW line-toeing purged page):
I had used this in my dealings on another site (that turned into a lot of fun) but now it is apparently gone for good. It should be a lesson to us all to take screen grabs (even the linked page in your story is showing the current page rather than the old one). If you want the full text of the offending original page, it is here in my original comment:
I love that the person replied to me by calling me a liar and beautifully calling the text I had quoted from NOAA “re-written to twist it to the utter nonsense of deniers.” It was a good day and I have you to thank for it. Keep up the great work.

Way back in 1998, Igor Panarin was predicting the downfall of the USA by 2009. His latest review came out I think on the Wall Street Journal article in June 2010
OK, the US has survived and appears to be on an economic upturn, with Dr Matthew Ashton having a relevant comment on his Blog at
(sarc)Not CAGW – but just as accurate (/sarc)


To be fair, the “change in claim” section for the refugee claim example points to a secondary source — namely Dr. Tirado attributing the 2020 date to the UN. Is there a primary source? (Such as the disappeared web page, or the mention in the 2008 proceedings.)


Yo, Dr. D, that sounds pretty threatening. Idly putting up with our nonsense? What do you suggest they’ll do, go all James Lee on us?
AGW is a movement all right, in every sense of the word, but you have chosen the side of the immoral who would limit the economic development of the world’s poorest to make it more “sustainable.” Nice ring to it, I’ll give you that, but it’s a death sentence for millions. I guess, in part at least, that’s the point though.
As for your 97% meme, I have covered that one several times now, but hey, since there are folks like you out there still parroting the nonsensus, I’ll direct you to my comment at JoNova’s site as I have done so before when confronted with that AGW fan favorite. It is comment #49 (could not sort out the permalink):
Do yourself a favor and rid yourself of the 97% come-on doc. That might work wonders with “the young people” at your gigs, but not for long. They’ll grow up too. Until then, Cheers!


Claim: Arctic Ice May Melt by 2010
By: Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet
Proof of the original claim: – website dated 16 November 2007
[text copy and image copy of this website has been done]
Arctic Ice May Melt by 2010: Scientists Scared
By Jim Harris on 16 November 2007 – 12:28pm
“The Arctic Ocean ice may completely melt by 2010 — something that hasn’t happened for more than a million years, according to Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet, a leading polar researcher.”
The Test: Did Arctic completely melt by 2010? Answer: No
Proof: I’m not sure which is the best source!

Pete H

Must pop over to Donna Laframboise’s blog. She is a treasure when it comes to digging the dirt on these purveyors of lies!

Roy UK

@ Dr Bob Davidson
“…remember that over 97% of the experts (who know better than you)…” Keep making predictions. That fail.
I am sure if you can find proven catastrophic prediction, Anthony would post it up for you. I bet you don’t.

son of mulder

I looked at as suggested and as it’s early in the morning I thought I’d just look at one link “Alligators in the Thames”
before going out for my morning constitutional risking life and limb by my local Thames tributary.
This references the story to be debunked,27574,25114359-5009760,00.html
Aaagh Page not found! Is there a pattern developing of Global dissappearance of failed predictions?
Ah well off to fight the alligators.

Jack Savage

Do it.
We will publicise it.
I have a challenge outstanding with a friend of mine for him to find any catastrophic AGW induced prediction that has come true.
I am still waiting.

slow to follow

Bob Davidson – I think you mean “It’s a marketing issue”?

Philip Mulholland

galileonardo says April 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

It is comment #49 (could not sort out the permalink):

Here you are:-
How to do it:-
Open the Source page in your browser using menu options:-
FireFox: View>Page Source
Internet Explorer: View>Source
On the Source page use the Find Option (Control F) to search for a string of characters that occurs within the target you wish to locate (e.g. YourName)
Inspect the code to find the comment identification # number associated with your target. e.g. #comment-167671
Append the comment identification # to the full webpage address of the original page.

galileonardo says:
April 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm
…the Inconvenient Kids Science Web Page NOAA tried disappearing
I read your comments from:
and later there your write “All they have done is delete the offending paragraphs and replace them with the filler “Fast Facts” feature. I am curious as to what will ultimately replace that passage, but rest assured it will toe the AGW line.”
I don’t know if you have checked subsequently but sure enough, the Fast Facts filler at the moment is as follows:
“Fast Facts
To see the full effect of a greenhouse effect, look to the planet Venus. The atmosphere of Venus consists of 96% carbon dioxide, 3.5% nitrogen, with the remaining amount, less than 1%, of other gasses.
The carbon dioxide atmosphere has allowed the temperature of the surface to exceed 900°F (482°C). This is hot enough to melt lead. Space craft that have successfully landed on Venus, despite being well protected, have lasted only about an hour in the excessive heat and crushing pressure.”
As many WUWT readers will know, you have to compare the temperature at the same atmospheric pressure, and you find the temperatures are comparable to earths temperature when comparing at similar pressures.
Just reaffirms that politics is indeed dressed up as Climate Science.


This references the story to be debunked,27574,25114359-5009760,00.html
Aaagh Page not found! Is there a pattern developing of Global dissappearance of failed predictions?

Here, in the Internet Archive’s Wayback machine:,27574,25114359-5009760,00.html
..and I see it references a story in New Scientist. I don’t know whether its worth following the trail any further, to see if there’s any named person who pronounced the nonsense. I suspect not

mindert eiting

A good idea, Anthony, but confine the issue to very well testable aspects, like depopulation of certain areas. Note how ill-defined ‘climate refugee’ is, as it refers to someones motives. Even tourism can be captured under this term.

View from the Solent

There is, of course, the infamous 2000 report in the UK Independent newspaper .
Complete with the quote from CRU “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,”
Proof that the claim was false? Where to start? Any report of snowbound UK during the latst winter will do. And the previous winter.


It is quite funny how they stuck to the 50-million claim up until last year:
“Climate change will displace 25-50 million people by next year. The situation will be the worst in the poorer countries,” says Koko Warner of the UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security.

son of mulder

“malcolm says:
April 17, 2011 at 1:09 am
This references the story to be debunked,27574,25114359-5009760,00.html
Good find malcolm, I got back safely from my walk. I note my anxiety was unfounded as the original article made no mention of alligators in the Thames as they will all be too busy basking off the English coast.
I did see a black cat stalking a crow but am pretty convinced it wasn’t a puma or leopard that has migrated to London to escape the increasing seering heat of tropical climate change.
There were 2 newly hatched fluffy little ducklings on the river and immediately I was concerned that they might be at risk from a climate change induced sea-level rise sweeping up the Thames washing them and the fluffy black pussycat away like in the film.
Who can I sue for psychological damage caused by such scare story induced flashbacks?

A Lovell

Earth Day 1970 is a rich source of failed predictions with a wealth of famous names. I often show this to people who are willing to listen. I’ve had a very good results with many who had accepted the AGW line, but hadn’t done any of their own research.
It’s always good for a giggle too!

P Wilson

March 2000 … “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”, according to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU)

Krishna Gans

Find here out of the cache the original files and maps of the UN prediction, with German comments

Joe Lalonde

The movie “The Day After Tomorrow” has a huge error in the climate model that was being predicted.
The models of cloud cover vastly crossed the equator.
Just follow any satellite mapping.

Rick Bradford

I’m sure there must be rich fishing in the pronouncements of David Suzuki over the years.