Kiribati "Climate Refugee" loses appeal

National flat of Kiribati, public domain image source Wikimedia
National flat of Kiribati, public domain image source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Kiribati man Ioane Teitiota has just lost his appeal to the New Zealand Supreme Court, to be recognised as the world’s first climate refugee.

According to Channel 7 News (Australia);

The Supreme Court of New Zealand on Monday declined an appeal by Teitiota to overturn a decision to not grant him refugee status on those grounds.

In its ruling, the court said it did not believe there was enough immediate threat to Teitiota to cover him under international refugee laws.

“In relation to the Refugee Convention, while Kiribati undoubtedly faces challenges, Mr Teitiota does not, if returned, face serious harm and there is no evidence that the government of Kiribati is failing to take steps to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation to the extent that it can,” it said.

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I thought Teitiota lost his case back in 2014, but it seems Teitiota or his supporters launched an appeal, which Teitiota now appears to have lost.

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July 20, 2015 2:58 am

I suspect he was paid well to go through this ludicrous business 😉

Dermot O'Logical
Reply to  David Johnson
July 20, 2015 3:02 am

* citation needed

Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 20, 2015 3:20 am

Citation delivered:
“How an unsuspecting farmworker from Kiribati became the brand ambassador of climate change—despite barely knowing what it was.”
“In 2011, he had inadvertently overstayed his visa, so he filed a series of court appeals in a bid to stay in New Zealand. What he wanted was something straightforward: a visa extension. What he got, however, was an attorney who decided to present Teitiota as a casualty of climate change—and to set out to change international law.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 20, 2015 3:40 am

OK, Dermot, without citation, I bet he has spent well to go through this ludicrous business. Legal proceedings don’t come for free. In fact, I bet the amount ‘he’ spent would have built him a beautiful sea-front mansion back home in Kiribati.

Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 20, 2015 3:57 am

He was getting government support for living in New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand have generous social security payments (look it up on the web, I’m not interested in giving details to a lazy wanker). He also had free legal service from the ‘do-gooders’.

michael hart
Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 20, 2015 4:30 am

You don’t need a citation for a suspicion. By definition.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 20, 2015 11:53 am

Apology needed

Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 20, 2015 8:25 pm

July 20, 2015 at 3:57 am”
I am not sure about New Zealand, but here in Aus, there is nothing generous about benefits.

Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
July 21, 2015 8:28 pm

The story indicates he was a foreman on market garden. No indication he was getting government support and seems a model employee
” His boss, Fred Argent, the owner of the farm where he works, is eager to keep the Pacific Islander as his foreman. “He’s a hard worker,” Argent said. “He’s a good, honest man.”
He doesnt seem to be popular back in Kiribati as the legal case paints the place in a very bad light which the locals are offended by.

george e. smith
Reply to  David Johnson
July 20, 2015 8:07 am

Well per their flag, not only are their islands underwater, but the oceans are devouring the sun as well. Well most of their “land” IS sea bottom; but the could stop digging on the stuff that is up in the air, and that might help.
Well lots of fishermen pay good money to go there and wade for bonefish on all of those underwater lands.

Reply to  David Johnson
July 21, 2015 2:57 am

Since I live in New Jersey,and the air comes from west to east!, can’t I sue California for the stupidity that it brings my way?

old construction worker
July 20, 2015 3:11 am
Reply to  old construction worker
July 20, 2015 3:16 am

What a pity the technology doesn’t exist to keep James alive (at his expense) until 2100 so he can eventually see how stupid his forecast is. It is even worse than those of the IPCC, which we now get so many laughs about.

Reply to  Brent Walker
July 20, 2015 9:05 am

He will then push the doomsday date out by another 50 years. Standard climastrology practice.

Reply to  old construction worker
July 20, 2015 3:45 am

I thought he had retired.

Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 20, 2015 4:14 am

retired yes…but shut up?

Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 20, 2015 5:07 am

Hansen is good entertainment value these days

Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 20, 2015 7:09 am

So, Hansen is now the mouthpiece for economic warfare. Calling for action against Canada because we want to make use of our natural resources EXACTLY as the US has done for the past 150 years.
The Pot calling the Kettle black. The second biggest source of CO2 on the planet scolding everyone else to reduce their emissions. Biggest hypocrites on the planet. Sticking their noses into everyone else’s business, telling everyone else what to do, while unable to solve the most basic of problems in their own country.
Solve your own problems first, and if the solution has merit everyone else will copy. Telling everyone else to stop pissing in the soup while you are taking a dump in the soup doesn’t impress anyone.

Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 20, 2015 10:42 am

fred, part of “solving our own problems” would be getting Hansen to leave the country.

Olaf Koenders
Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 30, 2015 7:54 pm

If only we could get him to leave the planet..

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  old construction worker
July 20, 2015 8:47 am

Old Death Train Hansen —
Always Good For A Laugh
More holy than thou
He warns you of Venus
The only thing now
That hardens his penis
He rants at the crowds
A coot with the hypers
His mind in the clouds
A load in his diapers
He quotes from the Greens —
We work for the many!
(Diversity means
The colors of money)
He quotes from the Reds —
Consensus is dictum!
(Good socialist heads
Are all up one rectum)
A Fascist he cries
This Goebbels of weather —
The truth is in lies
The bigger the better!
So just like a skunk
His sight is alarming
His science is junk
There’s no global warming
Eugene WR Gallun

Reply to  Eugene WR Gallun
July 20, 2015 9:30 am

+ lotsandlots. Inspired.

Ted G
Reply to  old construction worker
July 20, 2015 11:41 am

Climate Seer James Hansen Issues His Direst Forecast Yet (until the next one in 15 minutes) What a data smudging clown has been Hanson is. He taught all the nasty little adjustment tricks to Gavin, why doesn’t some real NASA scientist exposes these guys for the frauds they are?. Thank god for the wayback machine and sharp eyed sceptics, we know every little bit of data manipulation they have ever made made!

July 20, 2015 3:12 am

I hereby promise to take any and all threatened islands off the hands of their present owners. As they are soon to disappear below the waves, I will pay the generous amount of $1000 per Island.
Takers? Anyone? Why are there so many crickets here?…

Reply to  E.M.Smith
July 20, 2015 3:19 am

Beware what you wish for – unintended consequences, and all that stuff. Those tectonic plates might decide to start moving more quickly than expected! What an surprisingly good decision from our Supreme Court – perhaps they are not all Greenies or New Zealand Herald readers.

Reply to  E.M.Smith
July 20, 2015 10:12 am

I also advise caution.
Willis, perhaps, can provide testimony to just how many ‘islands’ there are out there. Uninhabited, uninhabitable, barely above the surface small spot of sand or rock yet still an island. Worth perhaps $1k with your generous terms.
That is before the cons show up seeking to sell islands that are not theirs, much like the Brooklyn Bridge.

July 20, 2015 3:20 am

I think it was more important for his “supporters” that he appealed, even better if he had won as they could then point to official jurisdictional recognition.

Warren in New Zealand
July 20, 2015 3:24 am
Mr Teitioa told the court that he and his family – including three children born in New Zealand – faced “serious harm” if forced to return. However, the judges backed the view of the High Court and an immigration tribunal, which concluded that they “could resume their prior subsistence life with dignity”.
They also warned that if Mr Teitioa’s arguments were accepted there and in other jurisdictions, “at a stroke, millions of people who are facing medium-term economic deprivation, or the immediate consequences of natural disasters or warfare would be entitled to protection under the Refugee Convention”.

Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
July 20, 2015 4:18 am

People become refugees if they fear persecution.

[A]ny person who: owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”. United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

The court followed that definition.

In a ruling yesterday, it called his case “fundamentally misconceived”, and an attempt to “stand the [UN refugee] convention on its head”.

It would have been astounding if the court had ruled any other way. In fact, I’m surprised that the court chose to hear the case (but I haven’t read the reasons).

Reply to  commieBob
July 20, 2015 4:59 am

So if a refugee can be someone who has

a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of…political opinion…

Then can’t climate change deniers skeptics all claim refugee status?

Ted G
Reply to  commieBob
July 20, 2015 11:53 am

People become refugees if they fear persecution. That would certainly apply to many US citizens. Obama’s promise to fundamentally change America is proving that very nicely, The list is a very long one!
Next up.
In Paris Obama and fellow freeloaders will use all the EPA plus the Popes scientific DATA to prove his climate change agenda is 99.5% indisputable! Lol.

johann wundersamer
July 20, 2015 3:29 am

classical arrangement:
with avalanches, Rockslide, Rockfall in the alps NZers do’nt mitigate to Kiribate.
Kiribaters do’nt migrate to NZ while water borders their Islands.

July 20, 2015 3:33 am

If they had allowed the appeal they would have been inundated with the 50million plus Climate Refugees confidently predicted by the UN

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
July 20, 2015 6:21 am

“How green was my Supreme court”? Not that bloody “green”
Lets get back to using the courts for serious and genuine problems, not deciding on frivolous, nonsensical claims of the CAGW disciples.

Tom in Florida
July 20, 2015 3:56 am

What an insult to the thousands of real refugees fleeing war and persecution. Perhaps he should be sent to Syria, no danger of sea level rise there.

July 20, 2015 3:57 am

I think we are going to see a long string of the world’s “FIRST” climate refugee.
Newtok, Alaska, had them two years ago.

Reply to  Gamecock
July 20, 2015 11:16 am

We’re at least up to the seventh first climate refugees … see:
The Sixth First Climate Refugees
For years now, folks have searched desperately for the “fingerprints” of human climate change. These are things that are supposed to reveal how and where humans are affecting the climate. One of these fingerprints, which is alleged to be a sure and certain harbinger of the thermal end times, is…
Breaking News! Seventh First Climate Refugees Discovered!
Well, my heart fell when I saw the recent BBC article which proudly proclaimed that the people of Kivalina were slated to become “America’s first climate change refugees” … Figure 1. The Alaskan native village of Kivalina. SOURCE: BBC My heart fell for three reasons. First, because once again we…
All the best,

July 20, 2015 4:07 am

Here is a 2009 WUWT update on the Hansen’s original 1988 sea level rise prediction

July 20, 2015 4:10 am

Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
It would appear that someone in the New Zealand Supreme Court, just might have checked Sea-Level-Rise data for Kiribati, finding there has been none for over 30 years. Snap.
Claims Kiribati and other Pacific and Indian ocean islands are drowning due to human-driven Sea Level rise are opportunistic.
They are purely after a share of the $100 BILLION UN climate fund. Faux compensation paid for by wealthy Western nations, to poorer, less organised ones…like Kiribati.
Wealth redistribution is what this is also know as.

Reply to  Climatism
July 20, 2015 8:27 am

More than a little peculiar that an island smack in the center of a huge ocean has had no sea level rise in over thirty years, no?
What with global sea level rise accelerating and all.
/sarc off

Reply to  menicholas
July 20, 2015 8:53 am

Very peculiar, however them islands will “shapeshift” denying any sea level rise that they encounter, thus claims of sea level rise effected atolls are inherently bogus. Aimed at climate reparations, like most ‘climate’ related scams. Lots of money in that climate industry.

Jimmy Haigh
July 20, 2015 4:16 am

Climate chancer more like.

Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2015 4:25 am

50 (and perhaps up to 200) million “climate refugees” were forecast by 2010. None materialized. Oops. But have no fear, the new, real, honest-to-goodness cross-my-heart-hope-to-die-stick-a-needle-in-my-eye “forecast” is for 50 million “climate refugees” by 2020.

July 20, 2015 4:35 am

So, ZERO out of 5 million.
Wow….. What are the odds of that !
The only climate refugees I know have moved from Melbourne to Brisbane !!!

Reply to  AndyG55
July 20, 2015 4:53 am

There is nothing wrong with the climate in Melbourne.
If you don’t like it, wait an hour, it will change….

Reply to  AndyG55
July 20, 2015 1:45 pm

I know about 10 “climate refugees” who moved from Northern Germany to Southern Spain. That’s an average temperature difference of about +13 C.

July 20, 2015 4:37 am

This is not good for the UN prediction that there would be 50 million climate refuges by the year 2010.
If he’d won, at least there would only be 49 million, 9 hundred and 99 thousand left to find.
[Rather: 49,999,999? 8<) .mod]

Reply to  willnitschke
July 21, 2015 5:38 am

fear not. If he’d won, 50 or 100 millions more would have shown in a couple of days.

Steve from Rockwood
July 20, 2015 4:47 am

Great news. Now stick him with the bill.

Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2015 5:27 am

Every year, in late Fall, hundreds of thousands flee the harsh climate of northern New England and elsewhere, to the more hospitable southern regions, not to return until sometime well into Spring. Perhaps they could apply for “climate refugee” status? Just a thought.

Ken Medearis
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2015 6:35 am

I’m actually thinking that this could be the Obama administrations out with illegal immigrants. No need to change the laws or grant “amnesty” just declare everyone from Mexico and south a climate refugee and grant refugee status. A very scary thought.

July 20, 2015 6:22 am

He could make a fortune in U.S. with his claim. He just picked the wrong starting point.

July 20, 2015 7:21 am

The beautiful state of Florida, USA teems with climate refugees each Autumn. We call them Snowbirds. They return home when the their climate improves.

tom s
July 20, 2015 7:26 am

But according to the blowhards there are already MILLIONS of climate refugees. These judges obviously don’t follow current scientific assessments of such things. (oye!)

July 20, 2015 7:46 am

IMO, the sad thing is his kids (I know the “system” so I know what his intent was all about). He arrived in New Zealand (NZ), for whatever reason. I understand he worked, and paid plenty of tax. Fair enough. I also understand that (Several?) an application(s) to immigration failed. Thus the “climate change refugee” claim. Silly! So, he will now likely be deported along with his family.
And a personal note, I have been throught the immigration process in NZ (Aus and Belgium well before the “EU”). It is demeaning IMO!

Reply to  Patrick
July 20, 2015 3:56 pm

Pat, I know it’s tough to get residency in NZ. There are rules for a reason. Like most other nations with commodity export markets, we cannot open the doors to every poor, unskilled labourer and their family. In NZ they immediately obtain minimum wage jobs that provides them with more income that than would otherwise see in a lifetime along with cradle to grave welfare and free health care.
Those benefits are exhaustive and paid for by other residents/citizens. Please realise, his family did receive access to all those things, even while he was officially overstaying his welcome. He was also accorded all the rights available under the BoR Act and Immigration Act. He obviously availed himself of those rights.
We would love to welcome all-comers to our shores, but there is a limit to the economic capacity of 4.5m people to care for every poor refugee. We try to do our part.
Also, you must consider the failure of his own sovereign government to protect and support their own citizens. This man came to NZ to get ‘more and better’ than he had. Not to save himself from some imaginary human-induced climate catastrophe. He could offer far less than he could provide and was asked to return home. Seems fair…

Reply to  Patrick
July 20, 2015 11:06 pm

Can’t be too demeaning, Patrick, as thousands of people arrive here as immigrants every year.
Anything specific, in your case? No red carpet, maybe?
We’ve got more than enough unskilled labourers already without importing more.

July 20, 2015 8:28 am

I have been known to put on sunscreen and don a hat.
I’m a climate refugee.

Pamela Gray
July 20, 2015 10:02 am

I have freckles. Someone pay for my watermelon attorney.

Silver ralph
July 20, 2015 11:10 am

I had to put my airconditioner on. Can I sue someone to get my electric bill paid, because of this unacceptable change in the local climate here?
I sorry, I forgot, I am W and Western, and so I don’t qualify for any grievence mongering benefits. In fact, I am the fount of all evil, and should wear a hair shirt in abasement, for working so hard and earning so much money.

Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2015 12:11 pm

I believe the whole concept of “climate refugees” has lost its appeal to Warmunists. It was pretty much DOA from the start.

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA
July 20, 2015 2:37 pm

Two points about island nations like Kiribati.
1). Recent work has demonstrated that Coral reefs grow upward as sea level rises (Kench et al, 2015, Geology- NB paywall protected), thus providing a buffer to drowning.
2).. The Chinese have become very expert at raising land elevation on coral islands along the East China Sea. The Chinese also have established an infrastructure bank and surely the Kiribatians and other island nations could get a loan from them to raise their islands above projected sea level rise. That way the issue resolves itself.

July 20, 2015 4:00 pm

He should move to where the sun never shines.

July 20, 2015 4:15 pm

Ironically, I just returned to NZ from my own climate induced refugee excursion (aka holiday) in the Pacific. 35C of climate change from here to there. My family adapted well to swimming and sun-bathing instead of freezing.
I think I waved to Mr Teitiota when I passed him at the airport…

July 20, 2015 5:49 pm

Who he XXXX would want to migrate to NZ or Australia for that matter. Here we call it miserialandia LOL

July 20, 2015 11:24 pm

Patrick July 20, 2015 at 8:25 pm
I am not sure about New Zealand, but here in Aus, there is nothing generous about benefits.
Benefits are very generous in New Zealand. I’m a national superannuitant (what used to be called an old age pensioner in less politically correct times) and manage pretty well. Part of my pension is paid by the Australian government and from what I know of their system it’s also generous.
Of course, if we add too many freeloaders from overseas, the scheme will become less generous.

July 22, 2015 7:21 am

Graphed Kiribati Monthly tide gauge data. 14mm rise in 38 years. I think he might have an argument in 1372 years!

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