The Media Suggests We Label Puerto Ricans As ‘Climate Refugees’

 From The Daily Caller



FILE PHOTO: People line up to buy gasoline at a gas station after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 22, 2017. Picture taken September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: People line up to buy gasoline at a gas station after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 22, 2017. Picture taken September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez/File Photo

Media outlets are already suggesting the thousands of people predicted to leave Puerto Rico over the next year could be America’s first massive wave of “climate refugees.”

Experts say hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans could flee their devastated island in the next 12 months. Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned “thousands if not millions” could leave the island without massive federal assistance.

The media was quick to suggest Puerto Ricans could be classified as “climate refugees” in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which left most of the island’s residents without power or clean water.

E&E News reported the potential migrants “might be among the nation’s newest ‘climate refugees,’ a demographic that includes former residents of southernmost Louisiana and the shrinking islands of Alaska’s Bering Strait.”

Bloomberg warned Wednesday a mass migration from Puerto Rico could “offer a preview for Americans of one of the most jarring potential consequences of global warming: the movement of large numbers of people pushed out of their homes by the effects of climate change.”

Even meteorologist Marshall Shepherd asked if Puerto Ricans could be called “climate refugees.” He said he didn’t know the answer, but then wrote a lengthy post opening on the meaning of the word “climate refugee.”

The idea isn’t new. The United Nations has been predicting a huge increase in the number of “climate refugees” do to human emissions of carbon dioxide. These are people forced from their homes by natural disasters, like hurricanes, floods or droughts.

Scientists predict global warming will exacerbate extreme weather events in the coming decades, though there’s little evidence to support claims today’s natural disasters have gotten measurably worse.

The UN Environment Programme predicted there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010, but quietly removed a web page once that prediction didn’t come true. The UN pushed its prediction to 2020.

Bloomberg reported “climate change forced an estimated 1 million people to leave their homes in 2015” in Africa, and that “the World Bank has urged Australia and New Zealand to open their doors to residents forced off small island nations such as Tuvalu and Kiribati.”

“Even in Syria, internal migration sparked by a historic drought contributed to the civil war, which has added to the wave of people trying to enter Europe in recent years,” Bloomberg reported.

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105 thoughts on “The Media Suggests We Label Puerto Ricans As ‘Climate Refugees’

  1. Just you wait a bit, and all those failed predictions will come true. Heard that one before a few times too many.

    • Exactly! My great grandparents immigrated here at the turn of the 20th century from Switzerland and Ireland. They were clearly climate refugees as they were moving to a warmer and more benign climate. My grand parents were also climate refugees when they retired to Florida to flee the ravages of Michigan and Ohio winters.

    • In fact, the number of climate refugees that have fled the cold weather worldwide no doubt dwarfs the number of refugees of war, starvation religious and ethnic persecution, communism etc etc etc put together.
      This is yet another good reason to do absolutely nothing that could interfere with the tiny amount of beneficial warming the the human race is currently enjoying.

  2. Given how many hurricanes in the past have impacted the islands of the Caribbean, I’m surprised they are are still populated at all.
    (Not meaning to sound insensitive to those effected, but it seems that referring to “Climate Change” as a plea for more cash isn’t limited to just research grants.

    • Well, can we do a retrospective to 1989 and blame anthropogenic CO2 emissions for causing hurricane hugo? Hugo really did a number on P. R. as well as some of the Bahamas and the Carolina coastal cities.

    • Folks, the climate in Puerto Rico has, over centuries, included large and dangerous hurricanes and tropical storms. Anyone in Puerto Rico who wants to move to the states to get away from that climate is truly a climate refugee. I wouldn’t stay there if I could get away because of the hurricanes. I wouldn’t be able to stand the climate. Nice beaches, warm weather, snorkeling, and other pastimes might suit some, but not me, when the weather turns bad. Thunderstorms are bad enough.
      Besides, for most of it’s history Puerto Rico had many fewer people. The island can’s sustain(love that word) a semi-modern economy with many more people in the face of hurricanes that can completely destroy the modern infrastructure in a day or two. Instead of 3.5 million it can probably effectively sustain maybe half a million, as long as the tourists all fly out before the hurricane hits.
      Let ’em come to the continent. I’d much rather have US citizens moving in than illegal immigrants.

      • never heard that PR was a “territory” of usa till today
        yet they have shipping bans in place?>
        theyre not a state so do they pay taxes to usa?
        and how are they citizens?
        i would have said island state before.
        noted the aus media reporting their claims for more assistance today more like demands than ask
        had me puzzled

  3. These unfortunate souls are ECONOMIC refugees. The current situation in PR is due to a very weak government and poor financial position. The weather disaster merely exposed the ill preparedness of the island.
    What do you call refugees from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or any other natural disaster? …unlucky 🙂

    • And if tree-huggers had their way, we would be as devoid of natural resources (that could be extracted) as Puerto Rico, and have a similarly “poor financial position.”
      Money grows on trees — if you are survivors of the “B Ark.” /sarc

    • And the complete breakdown of power and water supplies and the wrecking of all agricultural output, the smashing of thousands of homes, all “economic”??
      No hurricane involved?
      It would have done the same damage in well prepared Florida wouldn’t it?
      Your comment is offensive, given the plight of those poor people.
      Yes, there will be climate refugees from Puerto Rico

      • Griff, where were the ‘climate refugees’ from Glasgow in the winter of 2011/2 when two storms hit the central belt with higher recorded ground wind speeds than either Irma or Maria? Why wasn’t the power/water supplies devastated? Why didn’t houses collapse?
        And what did CO2 have to do with these storms developing in the very cold N Atlantic full of ice and snow?

      • Griff, ….. getta clue, ……. the damage caused to Puerto Rican by the hurricane was just “icing on the cake” of government mismanagement and waste, to wit:

        The Puerto Rican government-debt crisis is a financial crisis affecting the government of Puerto Rico. After decades of mismanagement, the government’s outstanding debt pile exceeds $70 billion (not counting an additional $50 billion in pension obligations).

        $120 billion in debt ……. Before the hurricane hit.

      • As always, Griff leaps to the forefront to demonstrate how little he knows.
        Compare the damage done by Irma to the damage done by Maria.
        In rich Florida, they have building codes. Had the homes in PR been built to Florida standards, a lot fewer of them would have blown down.
        Had the infrastructure been built to Florida standards, a lot less of it would have been destroyed and the system would have gotten back on line faster.
        The reason why they don’t do things to Florida standards in PR is because they don’t have the money necessary.

      • LOL @ MarkW……We all know MarkW abhors government regulation, but in this comment he’s touting how good “building codes” are. Everyone knows “building codes” are government regulations!!!!!

        Congrats go out to MarkW, for supporting government regulation.

      • “Yes, there will be climate refugees from Puerto Rico”
        It’s called “weather”, Skanky, not climate.
        As to being offensive, you have no room to talk after your casual dismissal of the tens of thousands of deaths in the UK due to the old and sick not being able to afford to heat and eat, and your insistence on condemning billions in the Third World to early death due to respiratory problems due to stipulating they must use worthless ‘Unreliables’ and preventing them from having decent energy networks.
        One day, with any luck, you and your egregious kind will be called to account for your lies, that day cannot come soon enough.
        Oh, and one word for you to ponder – ‘Linkedin’.

      • As always, the leftist troll can’t handle the fine distinctions that are part and parcel of reality.
        The fact that I oppose many government regulation is proof positive that I oppose all regulations.
        Be a socialist, it’s easier than thinking for yourself.

      • catweazle666: Sticks and stones
        MarkW: Thank you for acknowledging that you approve of government regulations AKA building codes. Always good to find someone that thinks government does things correctly.

  4. If we could just get CO2 back down to 300ppm, no Cat 4 hurricane will ever hit Puerto Rico or Florida again. Why would anyone oppose that?

    • If hurricanes aren’t regularly occurring phenomena for certain regions why do those same regions have a hurricane season? They may not get hit directly and may only experience tropical storm conditions, but the patterns are predictably recurring.
      Climate doesn’t mean that a particular town will experience a specific event on a particular day, only that the relative likelihood of a similar occurrence is greater for that location during the time period in question.

      • There have been no hurricanes for over 12 years? That should come as a surprise to the 7 hurricanes as well as the 15 other named tropical storms that existed last year alone . Just because they didn’t make US landfall doesn’t mean they didn’t exist.
        If the cyclonic action wasn’t occurring across the mid-Atlantic and hurricanes weren’t forming during the expected season that could be considered climate change.
        The hurricane IS NOT the climate. The conditions that allow them to spawn is climate, and as far as I can tell that is not changing appreciably.

      • I get it now….climate steers the hurricanes…so the likelihood of a hurricane hitting PR is greater for that location during the time period in question
        It rained here today…..climate change

      • Rain? My pastures should be so lucky. We’re cutting corn and soybeans like crazy here while it’s dry, though. The grain dryers are sitting idle and saving gas.

      • Obviously we need to get CO2 levels back to where they were during the last 12 years.
        That must be the sweet spot that prevents hurricanes.

      • rocketscientist September 29, 2017 at 3:30 pm
        There have been no hurricanes for over 12 years?

        If I remember correctly, the “12 years” is since at Cat 3+ has hit the mainland US.

  5. Weather is climate, when it’s convenient.
    Weather is not climate when that’s convenient.
    Lying for graft and power seems to be an essential characteristic of the ruling class.

  6. Puerto Ricans likely love the climate there – that’s why they draw 10 million tourists a year to go there and enjoy and luxuriate in a climate they don’t enjoy in New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, the UK, or Germany.
    Puerto Ricans are likely just refugees of a broken down economic and governmental system that left them without the kind of decent infrastructure it takes to survive the kinds of storms that Americans have weathered since 1932 – the last time a major hurricane made landfall in PR. My lasting memories of staying in San Juan in a major beachfront tourist hotel was the power going out every single afternoon and evening, without any storms whatsoever, because, I was told, “that’s how it is here – we get used to it”.

    • Part of the problem is the fact it’s an island. The limited number of ports of entry (sea ports and airports) suitable for commerce have their infrastructure damaged or destroyed and must be made functional before they can receive the supplies. Pre-staging repair and relief personnel, equipment, and supplies is much more difficult than on a continental land mass. You can’t line up utility trucks and crews in anticipation of the storm as happens here in the states frequently.

  7. If the models predicted it, then it must have been from human caused climate change.
    The atmosphere at 1 deg. C warmer can hold around 4% more moisture…….but Harvey’s flooding was from human caused climate change.
    The oceans have warmed around .5 deg C and there has been no trend for hurricanes the past 20 years………. but Irma and Maria were from human caused climate change.
    Models have also been predicting adverse weather for growing crops too. Expanding and more severe droughts, higher temperatures/extreme heat, more flooding.
    A hurricane can’t speak to us to tell us if it was much worse because of the slight amount of global warming caused by humans…………but plants can.
    Hey plants, what do you say about climate change because of humans burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2?
    Plants: More CO2 please, much more CO2!
    Hey crops, what do you say about climate change because of humans burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2 and models predicting yield losses?
    Crops: “Dumb ass humans. We reward you for increasing our CO2 with bin busting yields, year after year and you still use busted models. We love this so called man made climate change!”
    Wait, I think the violent tornadoes have something to say: “You SOB’s! Warming the higher latitudes and decreasing the meridional temperature gradient is killing us off. Those dang Polar Bears are doing great……..we are the ones getting the shaft!”
    Maybe you should talk to the sun and try to arrange for some global cooling to help you out (-:

  8. Over a million Canadians each go to Florida and Mexico in winter and the Carribean may have a similar number. So how does this refugee thing work,? In this case it is to seek out the hot weather in just the countries where hurricanes and floods have been bad. Someone should research this and put out an article. BTW my place near Puerto Plata- north coast of Dominican Republic, took the Irma brunt, but we are on high ground and have a concrete house so no problem.

    • have a concrete house so no problem…..
      Same here Gary….we tagged Irma right after you did
      Lost the Suntuf roof on the greenhouse, and about 6 ft of fence out front…

    • Yup. Here in Fort Lauderdale we call them Canadian Snowbirds, and not named after the Canadian Airforce jets that regularly participate in our annual May Air Show.
      Easily recognized by four birding traits. 1. Only arrive in early NH winter. Leave before the oppressive summer South Florida heat and humidity start. 2. Usually arrive snow white ( but there are now some variants). 3. Fat (again now some variants). 4. Usually turn sunburned red after a couple of beach days.
      We have a native gumbo limbo tree that has a peculiar habit of peeling its outermost bark (a very thin near transparent layer) as it grows, with the main underlying bark being reddish brown. The local colloquial tree name is ‘tourist tree’.

  9. We have a divergence of the climate agenda. On one hand there’s the developing world’s urbanisation agenda, which is opportunistic, progressive and driven by the desperate need for upgrades in infrastructure. On the other hand we have the “green” energy agenda which is opportunistic, “progressive” and driven by the desperate need for fame and fortune.

  10. The world has always had natural disaster refugees. Probably the oldest story in the book, other than conflict based refugees fleeing their caves when the tribe next door invaded the territory next to them. History is full of both. And it happened to everyone, everywhere, sooner or later.
    Calling them ‘climate refugees’ would entail waiting 30 years to see if the weather that precipitated their exodus was indeed a shift in climate. Or was it just really weather all along? I think we all know the answer to this. Allowing a new definition would be tantamount to admitting that the whole CAGW meme is true, and most of us here don’t accept blindly that that every weather event now is the result of excess CO2 caused by humankind. If the new ‘attribution’ of ‘carbon’ can be pinned on everyone that ever utilized something that generated CO2, then it logically follows that compensation is required to remedy the damages. This CO2 boogeyman is almost as scary as the Salem witch trials, where Sat@n was the guilty party.
    While it is sad to see such destruction caused by major hurricanes in the Caribbean and southern USA after such a long 12 year drought of Cat 4-5’s , these storms are not in any way unusual in the course of history either. I think the term ‘climate refugee’ fails for these reasons. At least for human caused climate change refugees, although all climate change is now attributed to humankind. I wonder how long this narrative will have any traction whatsoever.

    • Worse, they’re confusing climate with climate change. The Puerto Ricans might be climate refugees (much like most Floridians) but they are not climate change refugees.

  11. The syrian claim has been refuted repeatedly, most recently by Mike Hulme who posted Climate Change and the Syrian Civil War Revisited The study concluded:
    “For proponents of the view that anthropogenic climate change will become a ‘threat multiplier’ for instability in the decades ahead, the Syrian civil war has become a recurring reference point, providing apparently compelling evidence that such conflict effects are already with us. According to this view, human-induced climatic change was a contributory factor in the extreme drought experienced within Syria prior to its civil war; this drought in turn led to large-scale migration; and this migration in turn exacerbated the socio-economic stresses that underpinned Syria’s descent into war. This article provides a systematic interrogation of these claims, and finds little merit to them. Amongst other things it shows that there is no clear and reliable evidence that anthropogenic climate change was a factor in Syria’s pre-civil war drought; that this drought did not cause anywhere near the scale of migration that is often alleged; and that there exists no solid evidence that drought migration pressures in Syria contributed to civil war onset. The Syria case, the article finds, does not support ‘threat multiplier’ views of the impacts of climate change; to the contrary, we conclude, policymakers, commentators and scholars alike should exercise far greater caution when drawing such linkages or when securitising climate change.”×350.jpg

  12. in other important news, Canada has a new Chief Science Adviser, Dr. Mona Nemer.
    And CBC Bob McDonald, the Quirks & Quarks guy had select audience asked questions… As we can easily guess, it is 2017 and thus the two main ideas behind her appointment are… [drum roll]
    Climate Change and Gender & Diversity.

    MN: Climate change is on everyone’s mind, after the summer that you’ve seen, and the various summers and winters that we’ve seen. Climate change is a reality, not a fiction, the scientific data is clear on this. I think that we need to roll up our sleeves and address it. Science and the research are a critical components of the solutions.

    MN: Yeah that’s a tall order. Gender and diversity issues in STEM are certainly also very dear to my heart. As a female scientist, I’ve gladly done outreach at different levels from high schools to young scientists and early professors and researchers. So I think for me, it is not simply a gender or a minority sort of gap, it’s a societal issue that needs to be addressed by the entire society.

    MN: Let me first say that yes, I know this survey, and I am quite preoccupied and at times, I would say distressed by it. Science is not about beliefs and opinions. Science is about facts.(…)

    Political correctness is obviously of the first order in this appointment and proselytism is CBC’s main goal since this story is as usual not open to the readership comments.

  13. This is just a continuation of the “the stupid, it burns” department. But WUWT could probably do one or more of those everyday. So much material, so little time and bandwidth.

  14. “Climate refugees” is far too understated. Better to use “climate VICTIMS”. … as in victims in the crime of failing to take action to stop climate change.
    Victims can sue for damages — sue all countries based on fossil fuel, including themselves, which makes them victims of themselves too. It’s just too stupid to keep riding this same lame concept of climate evil.

  15. In Dec I’ll be a ‘climate refugee’….
    we’ll be flying south for a few weeks in the warm to escape a drab cold British winter.

      • We have climate refugees in the trucking industry also. We call them “snow babies”, or other less polite names, because they refuse or call off of loads headed for places where the forecast is for a winter storm, icing, etc.

  16. The whole idea of “climate refugees” of course, is laughably dumb. However, the mass migration in the 30’s due to the Dust Bowl could possibly qualify. Even that, though, was a highly localized event, and caused in large part by poor farming practices.

  17. If I lived on a tropical island that got hurricanes I would have lots of survival gear hidden away in a shallow underground safe box in my back yard, water, canned and dry food, fuel, a generator…you know, just in case a hurricane hit.

  18. The eco-chondriacs should get on their sailboats and beat it down to the islands and set up all their little windmills and solar arrays because we can’t be having fossil fuel supplies and a nasty new conventional electrical grid built, can we? Maybe a giant tidal generator or two will do the job, guys. Better get on that right away. Time’s a wastin’.

  19. Does climate have to change in order for people to become climate change refugees? Obviously not.
    Has the intelligence pendulum ever swung this far to the ‘stupid’ side?

  20. Of course the folks forced to leave Puerto Rice are Climate Refugees! They are the victims of The President’s actions in withdrawing from Obama’s Paris Climate Accord. Since they will clearly fare even worse now under this administration it is obvious that they need to seek refugee status in France (or somewhere else in Europe) where they will be given the help they really deserve from people who really know what they are doing.
    [are both snark AND sarc. too strong a label here?]

  21. Luckily, billionaire businessman Richard Branson has emerged from a wine cellar to find his private Caribbean island “completely and utterly devastated” in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

    He made no mention of hangovers among the group however, having posted before the storm that “knowing our wonderful team as I do, I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge”.

    I’m so glad that Richard is OK and that their ABC was able to cover this wonderful and heartwarming story of good spirits arising from the devastation. /sarc

  22. I actually know refugees, and I can assure you, the absolute last thought on each of their minds would be: ‘I wish they could change the climate where I was so that I could go right back to the hellhole I came from!’
    Before one takes my word for this let one ask just how many refugees has a representative from the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, E&E News, or … Bloomberg, tap danced up to and queried, “Excuse me kind sirs, or ma’ams; are you fleeing the paradise you’ve been living in because human CO2 has made the weather there unbearable?” For some reason I think nary a one.
    And, that would be because sentient human beings know precisely why those refugees are fleeing. And the reason would be an embarrassment to quite a few member states of the UN.

    • Soon we will have millions of climate refugees and not one of them will know that is what they are! Good thing we have uber intelligent leftist who sure know how to take advantage the hardship of poor people for their own political gain! (I tried to make a comment without sarcasm, but the nature of this article doesn’t seem to allow that.)

  23. Can anyone explain why CNN listed Rose Perez, during her interview today, as a Puerto-Rican American? And why the mayor of San Juan, when being interviewed by Anderson Cooper tonight, said that she had “lived in the United States for 12 years”. I have always thought that Puerto Rico is part of the US, and all Puerto Ricans are US citizens.

    • Yes, they are U.S. citizens and statehood would deprive PR of a lot of U.S. federal cash. And their IRS tax code regulations are different.

    • PR is an unincorporated territory of the United States, although Puerto Ricans are US citizens, while they live there they can’t vote in presidential elections and have no representation in the Senate or Congress. In order to be able to vote they have to reside in one of the States, so from their perspective they don’t live in the United States when in PR.

  24. … made exceptionally stupid by the fact that since Rico is surrounded by water and in the equatorial region it’s climate isn’t going to change at all.

  25. Whenever local weather doesn’t support the global warming agenda, we hear “weather is not climate”. So, is a hurricane weather or climate? Aren’t these people weather refugees instead of climate refugees?

  26. Meh. Climate refugees likely spread human existance around the Earth to begin with and many times over since then.

  27. I can’t even read that nonsense without cracking up. Climate refugees? Puerto Ricans are US citizens. They can come here any time they want to, and they do. They sound like they come from either New York or Chicago, depending on where their relatives are located. This is twaddle.
    The media, including the one local news station that I actually watch because the weatherman is a good, accurate forecaster, hasn’t mentioned that the US Navy’s Seabees and the Marines have been there for more than a couple of weeks now. There are cargo containers full of supplies sitting on the docks that need to be unloaded and distributed, but he roads, power lines, downed bridges and some flooded areas are the real problem. The Navy has sent USNS Comfort, and medical ship to Puerto Rico.
    Calling these people refugees of any kind is as ignorant as you can get.

    • The USNS Comfort left yesterday, announced by the government two days after Hillary Clinton suggested it.
      If someone leaves their home because it has been destroyed and moves to the US permanently I’d call them a refugee.

  28. If believers of AGW want those devastated to be classed as climate refugees then they should also follow their logic and demand that not another penny be spent after any disaster anywhere they believe will be underwater in the future anyway.
    Hey hey, ho ho,
    Rebuilding in the tidal zone has got to go!

  29. I was watching “West Side Story” the other day. The scene was when the Sharks and their girlfriends were on the roof-top arguing and dancing (“Everything’s right in America”- “If you can fight in America”). Anyway Bernardo’s girlfriend sited hurricanes (along with opportunity) as one of the reasons Puerto Ricans moved to New York. The movie was released in 1961

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