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 surfacestations.org, 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.
- 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:
Some “not so obvious” ones:
Specialty search engines
engine for scientific enquiries: http://www.scirus.com
Google scholar: http://scholar.google.com/
Gooble Books: http://books.google.com/
The Wayback Machine (finds old versions of websites)
Archive.org (even broader search to include audio, images, books)
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.