Prepare to retreat before climate change!

Reposted from the Fabius Maximus website

Larry Kummer, Editor Climate change, Science & Nature 27 August 2019

Summary: The latest issue of Science has a powerful paper about our coming desperate attempts to prepare for climate change. Let’s look under the hood to see how scientists produce advice for policy-makers. It reveals that the peer-review process is broken, greatly weakening our ability to see and prepare for climate change.

A melting Earth.

ID 33491903 © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.

Flipping through my new issue of Science, one of America’s top two science journals, this caught my attention: “The case for strategic and managed climate retreat” by Anne R. Siders et al. in Science, 23 August 2019. It is a powerful paper by three rising stars from Harvard and Stanford. It is getting a lot of attention (e.g., in Naked Capitalism’s daily links). From the abstract; red emphasis added on buzzwords …

“Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat – moving people and assets out of harm’s way – but why, where, when, and how they will retreat. …We argue for strategy {sic} that incorporates socioeconomic development and for management that is innovative, evidence-based, and context-specific. …

“In some cases, retreat may need to include reparations or payments for loss and damage to address historic practices that placed communities at risk or to enable communities to retreat in a way that does not exacerbate past wrongs (for example, forcibly relocated indigenous, minority, or impoverished populations, or greenhouse gas emissions from major economies that contribute to rising seas, imperiling island nations). …

“The opportunities presented by succeeding in this work are immense, and the climate risks are urgent and growing.”

That sounds ominous! But before adopting their recommendations, I read on to learn the basis for this forecast. Here it is.

Retreat in response to natural hazards already occurs. It can be driven by major disasters, when people abandon their homes and relocate permanently. Economic pressures such as decreasing agricultural yields or rising insurance prices sometimes push people away from hazardous areas. Government programs have relocated populations out of at-risk areas, moved roads and other infrastructure, imposed setback requirements, banned return to disaster-prone areas, or condemned and demolished buildings considered too risky (28). Even in areas experiencing overall growth, some people are retreating (such as in Manila, Nairobi, and New York City) (24, 710).

“Whether driven by disasters, market forces, or government intervention, people will continue to move from hazardous places as climate risks escalate.”

Let’s see those references about people who are moving “from hazardous places as climate risks escalate.”

  1. Managed Retreat – A Strategy for the Mitigation of Disaster Risks with International and Comparative Perspectives” by Stefen Greiving et al. in Extreme Events, March 2018. This discusses responses to a wide range of natural disasters. It gives no examples of retreat due to climate change, let alone anthropogenic climate change.
  1. Managed retreat as a response to natural hazard risk” by Miyuki Hino et al. in Nature Climate Change, May 2017. Gated; open copy here. They examined 27 cases of managed retreat, but linked none of them to climate change.
  1. Managed Coastal Retreat: A Legal Handbook on Shifting Development Away From Vulnerable Areas” by Anne R. Siders (then a graduate student at Stanford), a Columbia Public Law research paper, November 2013). 158 pages. It describes responses to natural disasters. I found no links to climate change.
  1. A climate of control: flooding, displacement and planned resettlement in the Lower Zambezi River valley, Mozambique” by Alex Arnall in The Geographic Journal, June 2014. I do not have access to this.
  1. Planned Relocations, Disasters, and Climate Change: Consolidating Good Practices and Preparing for the Future” by Sanjula Weerasinghe for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2014. The Google Scholar link provided does not go the paper. No examples of retreat due to climate change. They mention Alaska and Fiji, but give neither details or supporting citations.
  1. Agency-driven post-disaster recovery: A comparative study of three Typhoon Washi resettlement communities in the Philippines” by J. Sedfrey S. Santiago et al., in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, March 2018. Gated; open copy here. Again the Google Scholar link provided does not go to the paper. Typhoon Washi hit in December 2011. It was a tropical storm, fifth-strongest category on the Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale and sixth on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (i.e., the category below hurricane). Not an unusual event (details here). The paper does not mention climate change.
  1. Climate change, migration and conflict: receiving communities under pressure?” by Andrea Warnecke et al. for the German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2010. It gives no examples of retreat from climate change.

None of those references support the claim. I see this happening more often lately (e.g., Michael Mann did it in his testimony to Congress; details here).

Here are the references the authors give to support their belief that “the climate risks are urgent and growing.”

  • _.
  • _.
  • _.

That is bizarre, for that claim is the foundation for the paper and the basis for its significance. What does “urgent” mean? What do they mean by “growing?”

More specific to the paper’s conclusions, what numbers of people will be forced to retreat under each of the scenarios used in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5)? Most simulations show relatively small effects from RCP2.6. Most show that RCP8.5 would be a nightmare. AR5 gives no probabilities for each RCP. If the authors found no studies about retreats for each RCP, that would be worth mentioning.


The authors give no evidence that climate change is forcing “retreats.” How many people will climate change force to retreat in the near future, or in the 21st century? The authors do not say. Readers do not know what the authors mean by “the climate risks are urgent and growing.” Severe inconvenience or extinction? More broadly, the paper gives no evidence supporting “the case for strategic and managed climate retreat.”

This paper is alarmism, without the details and evidence characteristic of good science. It does provide an example showing that peer-review has collapsed in fields related to climate science. If the conclusions are politically pleasing, the paper gets waved through. This does not build confidence in the need for massive police action.

About the authors

The authors are fast-tracd academics. Anne Siders has a JD from Harvard and PhD from Stanford. She is an Environmental Fellow at Harvard’s Center for the Environment. Miyuki Hino is a Ph.D. candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford. Katharine Mach is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and a lead author for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the US Fourth National Climate Assessment.

Other posts in this series
  1. The replication crisis in science has just begun. It will be big. – Climate science is just one of the affected fields.
  2. A crisis of overconfidence in climate science.
  3. About the corruption of climate science.
  4. The noble corruption of climate science.
For More Information

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon.

For a briefing on the current knowledge about rising sea levels, see these by climate scientists Judith Curry.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about doomsters, about peak oil, about The keys to understanding climate change and especially these…

  1. Let’s prepare for past climate instead of bickering about predictions of climate change – Doing something is better than nothing.
  2. Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions.
  3. Focusing on worst-case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
  4. “Climate’s Uncertainty Principle“ by Garth Paltridge.
  5. Listening to climate doomsters makes our situation worse.
  6. Enlisting peer-reviewed science in the climate crusade.
  7. How fast is the world warming? Is it burning?
  8. See how climate science becomes alarmist propaganda.
To help us better understand today’s weather

To learn more about the state of climate change see The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr., prof at U of CO – Boulder’s Center for Science and Policy Research (2018).

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change

Available at Amazon.

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August 29, 2019 6:13 am

Reparations for the wealthy to escape from their coastal mansions- that should have never been built on the ocean anyway- will be an easy sell to Congress serving their masters. Not so much for the regular Joe even though they now may be able to use the new beaches that are created when the wealthy abandon them.

Reply to  Thom
August 29, 2019 7:16 am


“Reparations for the wealthy to escape from their coastal mansions.”

Now that’s a brilliant insight! Will US taxpayers pay reparations to Obama if his new 29-acre estate on Martha’s Vineyard is submerged by rising seas?

Why not? It’s #ClownWorld!

Reply to  Thom
August 29, 2019 12:59 pm

If he has National Flood Insurance, taxpayers won’t have to foot that bill.

Reply to  Sara
August 29, 2019 5:06 pm

If he has National Flood Insurance, taxpayers are already footing the bill.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  Sara
August 29, 2019 5:47 pm

I grew up in St. Louis County, MO, and for the last several years of that time lived near the Missouri River Flats. It was about a half an hour hike to get to the river itself, though the hike involved ascending to the top of a large hill, then descending several hundred feet to the river valley.

We were isolated from the Missouri by terrain. But hundreds of people lived on the Flats themselves, essentially inches above river level under normal flow conditions. Every spring, snow melts hundreds of miles north would send huge floods down the river. Invariably, some of the people on the Flats would get flooded out. It became a sad joke that virtually every year, you’d see the same (or so it seemed) people interviewed on television sobbing about having “lost everything.” But then they’d rebuild in the very same place, and be back on TV the following spring.

It reminds me of the guy in the wood shop who comes screaming to the foreman yelling that he just cut off his finger with the miter saw. The foreman asks “How did that happen?” And the guy takes him over to the miter saw and demonstrates: “Well, I just did this, and [ZING!]….OWWWWW! THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE!”

August 29, 2019 6:20 am

Climate “scientists” (I use the term in its broadest possible description) giving us climate scares are on the horns of a dilemma.

If they use short term periods as the basis for dire predictions then they’re (expletive deleted). As we’ve already seen, dates by which those predictions we were assured would happen have come and gone without any such event taking place. Their predictions are shown as being false and without foundation.

If they then use much longer periods for dire predictions and make the claims as broad as possible so they don’t trip up over them, then they’re not likely to convince anyone as the “it’s so far in the future it won’t be my problem” syndrome kicks in. So they’re (expletive deleted).

I think they’ve finally woken up to this dilemma and “strategic and managed climate retreat” is a way to divert attention from the fundamentals that underpin it. it’s a house built on sand.

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
Reply to  Teddz
August 29, 2019 11:47 pm

It was ever thus … the only difference is that in the “good old days”, the academics used to fall flat on their faces behind the closed doors of academia where only a few of their colleagues would laugh at them.

Now they do it spectacularly on the internet where the whole world laughs at them.

August 29, 2019 6:26 am

Please don’t insult us by requesting us to like anything on Facebook or Twitter. It is not going tto happen.

Reply to  mikebartnz
August 29, 2019 7:37 am

Nitpicking: Fair enough w/r/t Facebook, but Larry didn’t ask you to “like” something on Twitter. He suggested that you “follow” their Twitter account, if you liked their article. That seems reasonable, to me. (I am already following him on Twitter.)

Jonathan Ranes
Reply to  Dave Burton
August 29, 2019 9:47 am

Many of us don’t use those things at all and bristle at the mention of them.

Reply to  Jonathan Ranes
August 29, 2019 10:10 am


“bristle at the mention of them.”

You, of course, have the right to use what you wish. Thinking that the rest of us care that you “bristle at the mention of them” is a bit much (aka T.M.I.). Thinking that we should limit what we say because of that “bristling” is imo going too far.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Larry
August 31, 2019 3:29 am

Entitlement is all the rage these days Larry, the postmodern human is the center of the universe because of 30 years of me me me feel feel feel blame blame blame.. largely driven by left wing psychologists and sociologists

Reply to  Larry
August 31, 2019 2:50 pm


+1. That nails it.

The “entitlement” mania is a big problem. Off-topic here, but important.

Sweet Old Bob
August 29, 2019 7:03 am

Not a lot of red there 😉

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
August 29, 2019 9:18 am

The red got lost in the re-post; it was in the original:

August 29, 2019 7:10 am

I’m still looking for the 50 million climate refugees by 2010, predicted in 2005 by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Reply to  leitmotif
August 29, 2019 7:24 am


Thanks for the reminder about that sorry episode!

The UNEP moved the date of doom from 2010 to 2020. So the next 16 months will be an exciting cavalcade of disasters. That’s 488 days. Start the countdown!

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  leitmotif
August 29, 2019 11:31 am

Wasn’t that a rewrite of the 50 million climate refugees and several Asian port cities that were supposed to be under sea level rise by 2000 if we didn’t do stupid and unnecessary things back in the 1990s?

I don’t think either of us should hold our breath as this scare will undoubtedly come around again with a new deadline soon.

Where I live the land is slowly sinking and even with claimed sea level rise after 30 plus years there is still no change in the coastline. Perhaps Obama just knows the whole thing is a sham.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 29, 2019 2:48 pm

Only thing we’re retreating from in New York is De Blasio.

Bruce Cobb
August 29, 2019 7:11 am

“weakening our ability to see and prepare for climate change.”
We can’t see climate change any more than we can see ghosts, let alone prepare for it. All we can really do is adapt and roll with whatever punches Ma nature throws our way. And the way to do that is to have strong, vibrant economies with relatively inespensive, reliable energy sources including coal, NG and nuclear for reliable and affordable electricity, and an abundance of oil, mostly for transportation, but also many other things.

August 29, 2019 7:12 am

From the post:
Summary: The latest issue of Pseudo-Science has a powerfullame paper about our coming desperateuseless attempts to prepare for fake climate change.

Fixed it.

Reply to  beng135
August 29, 2019 7:17 am


Good point! I meant “powerful” in terms of its publicity impact – not its contribution to science.

Reply to  Larry
August 29, 2019 9:12 am

No problemo. Off topic, I came across this video on reversing desertification. Quite interesting that livestock managed as they would live/eat/move in wild situations helps reverse desertification. And such marginal lands would only supply meat — not capable of growing un-irrigated crops:

Reply to  beng135
August 29, 2019 10:11 am


I didn’t believe reversing desertification was possible without a lot of work and money.

This is very good news!

Reply to  Larry
August 29, 2019 11:47 pm

I’ve seen this before. His results are nothing short of staggering.

August 29, 2019 7:22 am

All I can think of is Obama buying a ocean front house, martha’s vineyard, along with other rich people who have houses along all the coasts of the usa and other countries.. Florida is full of very rich politicians who are buying beach front flats/houses (read about Florida on this site)… The question arises, if we are all going to die from flooding and mega storms, then why are they wasting their hard earned stolen money??

Reply to  Sunny
August 29, 2019 8:44 am

The key word is ‘low-lying ‘ as it not much height above the very ocean they claim is going to ‘dramatically raise ‘ due to climate doom.

Reply to  Sunny
August 29, 2019 8:58 am

– So why aren’t insurance rates for coastal properties rising?
– And why would any company insure property that is ‘ soon to be inundated by rising sea levels’.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Sunny
August 29, 2019 6:07 pm

“very rich politicians who are buying beach front flats/houses” – ain’t that called “gated communities”.

Or as depicted in the TV novellas “golden girls”.

Ron Long
August 29, 2019 7:38 am

Larry, let them go on with the scaremongering. I want to buy an apartment in Miami Beach cheap. Science? I’m pretty sure they mean Social Science, you know, the kind specified by P.T. Barnum, something about fools and money.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 29, 2019 8:05 am


“let them go on with the scaremongering. I want to buy an apartment in Miami Beach cheap.”

Now that’s the American spirit. I hadn’t thought of that aspect to this fear-mongering. It’s evolution in action.

I was an arbitrator for 12 years. In a rare conversation with a con man after the hearing, he told me his Words To Live By (everybody has something), explaining why he did what he did: “Stupid people don’t deserve to have money.”

Roger Knights
Reply to  Larry
August 29, 2019 9:16 am

“he told me his Words To Live By (everybody has something), explaining why he did what he did: “Stupid people don’t deserve to have money.””

Variants are:
“Never give a sucker an even break.”
“It is morally offensive to let a sucker keep his cash.”

Samuel C Cogar
August 29, 2019 7:44 am

Excertt from article”

“In some cases, retreat may need to include reparations or payments for loss and damage to address historic practices that placed communities at risk ……

Is this one of those cases, ….. to wit:

Texas town’s lofty environmentalism leaves residents with a nightmare

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Georgetown, Texas – population 75,000 – was to be the new poster child of the green movement.

In Georgetown’s case, for it to truly go 100 percent renewable energy using today’s state-of-the-art mass-produced batteries from Tesla’s Gigafactory, the city would need a $400 million battery farm weighing some 20,000 tons to avoid a blackout on a quiet winter night. And, after spending $15,600 for each household to build such a battery farm, its backup power would be drained in 12 hours, with a second windless winter night leaving residents shivering in the dark.

Mark Broderick
August 29, 2019 7:52 am

” Even in areas experiencing overall growth, some people are retreating ”
Ummmmm, maybe they are leaving because of stupid liberal policies….

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 30, 2019 12:47 am

Or they are fleeing the onerous soaring local taxes/regulations demanded by stupid liberal policies.

August 29, 2019 8:07 am

I took a look at the ‘experience’ of one these scientists, K ‘Joy’ Mach, because she looks nice! ( am I allowed to say that?). So one of the lead authors of the 6th IPCC report finished her studies as a Biologist in 2010 when she immediately went off to work for the IPCC. She left in 2015 since when she seems to have been employed to go round the world telling anyone who will listen that we need to plan to ‘retreat’. Having read a few of her speeeches I am none the wiser about what we should retreat from , or indeed why.
Isn’t it wonderful that our future is in such capable and experienced hands.

Reply to  JimW
August 29, 2019 10:34 am


That’s an important point. I didn’t want to make this too long, so didn’t open that can of worms. She has roughly the same shiny bio posted at a dozen different institutions, none with the key details. I found none with her CV or publications, which seems unusual.

LinkedIn has a CV with this info, as of sometime in 2019. 67 publications.

She has rocketed up the ladder. Climate warriors are on the fast track in climate science. “Don’t sweat the details” appears to be their mantra.

It shows that she has advanced up the ladder at warp speed, although

Reply to  Larry
August 29, 2019 11:39 am

Mach speed, surely? 😇

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 29, 2019 12:36 pm

+1 !

Coach Springer
August 29, 2019 8:07 am

“A powerful paper from three rising stars from Harvard and Stanford.” Three shared opinions – not science – attaching to irrelevant institutional authority.

Tom Abbott
August 29, 2019 8:08 am

“Three rising stars”.

What does it take to be a rising star among the alarmists? I suppose one would have to be exceptional at sounding the CAGW alarm. I suppose these three authors would qualify on that count.

And as usual, this “study” is based on the unsubstantiated claim that CO2 will cause the Earth’s atmosphere to overheat and destroy human civilization.

The facts are there is no apparent reason for anyone to have to move from their location due to CO2. It’s Science Fiction and these three rising stars can’t see it for what it is. Can you say: Gullible? Or should it be: Disengenuous?

Roger Knights
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 29, 2019 9:19 am

“What does it take to be a rising star among the alarmists?”

It probably doesn’t hurt to be female, as all three authors are.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 29, 2019 1:26 pm

They are “rising stars” because they call for an evidence-based strategy to combat climate change, while at the same time ignoring that absence of evidence is fundamental to CAGW alarmism.

It’s the latest way of rewarding sleight-of-hand magicians and charlatans.

August 29, 2019 8:35 am

Aww Larry, picky,picky,picky.

You know that climate carpetbaggers don’t do evidence – it’s just about “the vibe” for them.

August 29, 2019 8:39 am

It is rich to talk about “retreating” from conditions that are and will be, at least as long as we keep warming, and not cooling, the very best conditions the Human species has ever lived under.

Warm is good. Warm has always been good for humans and most biological organizms that have ever lived.

After all, pretty hard to live on top of a 2-km thick ice sheet covering 2/3 of all the dry land on the planet, and which then makes the other 1/3 nearly uninhabitable due to cold conditions that kill food sources and thus kills humans.

Repeat after me – Warming is Good! Cooling is Bad. Always has been, always will be.

Reply to  Duane
August 29, 2019 1:32 pm

Where do the bulk of the politicians, celebrities, and environmentalists go for vacation? Some place 10 to 30C warmer!

Reply to  joe
August 29, 2019 2:35 pm


I hadn’t thought of that. A simple sharp insight!


Reply to  Larry
August 29, 2019 3:41 pm


Thanks. Now I’m going off on a jet to some place warm. Perhaps I’ll see Loydo, Michael Mann, or some U.N. officials on the plane! 🙂

August 29, 2019 8:42 am

Oddly this paper is itself an example of ‘peer-review has collapsed’ otherwise it would never have got published given its failings.
And I remain amazed that standards demanded of undergraduates on most course when handing in a course essay are beyond the professional ‘high flying ‘ academics in this area.
No wonder it attracts so more third rate people with thin skins and massive ego’s

August 29, 2019 9:32 am

If the citations don’t support the claims in this paper, then Science should be informed of the failure. In the information for authors section Science makes this statement: “Science is committed to thorough and efficient evaluation of submitted manuscripts.” If in fact the evaluation was not thorough in this case, the paper ought to be corrected or rescinded.

August 29, 2019 9:32 am

Are the same number references correct? they are all labelled 1.

Reply to  Dean
August 29, 2019 10:36 am


Good catch! The references are numbered correctly in the original post: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Copying HTML does not work perfectly between internet publishing platforms.

Reply to  Larry
August 29, 2019 4:23 pm

NP, I’m trying to practice reading slow and pondering rather than my habitual fast scan…

Amazing how much more I get out of it when i can manage it!

August 29, 2019 9:41 am

The joke is on you with Obama buying a beachfront mansion.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 29, 2019 4:03 pm

It would be nice to have a list of all the people who are climate change speakers, and see if which one owns coastal property…

August 29, 2019 9:47 am

“Retreat, hell! We’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in a different direction.”
Major General Oliver Prince Smith, 1st Marine Division, Battle of Chosin Reservoir, DPRK, November 1950

This is the sort of climate change that actually forced a “retreat”…

This sort of climate change just calls for a beefing up of USACE…

Note: the exponential sea level rise rate is physically impossible.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 29, 2019 12:27 pm

There just isn’t that much ice left to melt, given that nearly all of the ice present at the beginning of the current interglacial period is already melted.

Reply to  Duane
August 29, 2019 7:09 pm


August 29, 2019 9:57 am

I suppose with Micheal Mann on the way out, the alarmists need another group of BS artists to take over the asylum.

Steve Z
August 29, 2019 9:58 am

If sea level is rising at about 2 mm/year, there will be plenty of time to retreat, or build seawalls around low lying cities.

After Galveston, TX was devastated by a hurricane in 1900, a 25-foot high seawall was built around the city within 5 years. It’s certainly possible (using better earth-moving equipment than available in 1900) to build 1-foot high seawalls in 100 years.

August 29, 2019 10:11 am

Here’s a random report showing dangers from climate change are growing in the UK:

There are many other studies and examples… this year has again seen exceptional summer rain causing flash flooding and severe flooding in narrow river valleys in the UK… there have been frequent, multiple examples since 2000.

The UK clearly already has climate change and we are having to make changes as a result.

Reply to  griff
August 29, 2019 1:05 pm

“since 2000”

Weather. By Definition.


Reply to  griff
August 29, 2019 1:50 pm

griff…why do you post such stupid things…that are that easy to look up

there’s no “exceptional” summer rains…it’s been a lot worse in the past…so has flooding

Reply to  griff
August 29, 2019 2:12 pm


That is an article about an interesting study, but it is not about anthropogenic climate change.

“Changing climate both increases and decreases European river floods”

Knowing the trend is useful for planning purposes. But during what period in Europe’s history have riven floods not been changing – esp. on a local level? This paper does not say that anything unusual is happening. It just discusses this set of changes.

“The UK clearly already has climate change ”

Is that a joke? The UK’s climate has always been changing. Medieval warming, Little Ice Age, warming, on and on forever. Anthropogenic effects are on top of natural variability. This paper does not even mention any anthropogenic effects on climate.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  griff
August 29, 2019 6:29 pm

Griff, utter drivel.

“There are many other studies and examples… this year has again seen exceptional summer rain causing flash flooding and severe flooding in narrow river valleys in the UK… there have been frequent, multiple examples since 2000.”

The problem is not imaginary “climate change” but large-scale soil sealing with concrete and asphalt. + absolutely inadequate drainage, in the follow up.

August 29, 2019 10:14 am

The funniest part of the paper “In some cases, retreat may need to include reparations or payments for loss and damage to address historic practices” …. like that is going to happen.

What is left of the Paris agreement doesn’t even contain that and the world can’t even work the emission control part it did agree. There is as much chance of any of that being done as Loydo making a sensible comment … 0% probability.

Reply to  LdB
August 29, 2019 12:21 pm

The Norfolk (UK) coast has been collapsing for a century or more. The question of financial responsibility still has to be argued every time another house goes over the cliff. Good luck on organising anything on a worldwide scale.

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  LdB
August 29, 2019 1:43 pm

When you read a comment by Loydo, always remember: you are looking at mental illness. Internet trolling is pathological. How could it be otherwise? The troll knows perfectly well that they are unwelcome to the point of detestation; they have no compunction about posting childish irrelevant off-topic little digs that are intended to distract from the issue at hand but have no real effect; yet they return day after day and repeat their idiocies, like a machine driven by forces it can’t control and has no understanding of. This is a personality disorder of some kind, and it definitely deserves academic attention. In the real world of course, they’d just get the crap beaten out of them on a regular basis.

Incidentally, in my extensive experience, the old “don’t feed the trolls“ advice doesn’t work at all. There is no magical switch that will turn them off, but I would recommend not wasting your time trying to actually discuss the issues with him – that’s not what he’s here for. He’s just some sad loser in his mother’s basement, with a room-temperature IQ and a fixation on this forum, and without the imagination to think of something more interesting to do.

Either that or he’s actually someone like Jim Hoggan. 😉

August 29, 2019 10:18 am

Back in the 1990s, one of my job functions required me to read published research, understand the significance of it, and tell my employer if it might impact the business (a dream job, as far as I was concerned). I read far more than just the intro and conclusions.

I saw some…interesting…writing. Sometimes things were described in a manner as complex as possible (“we immersed the sample in a 20C degree liquid solution of oxidized hydrogen in the ratio of two of hydrogen atoms to one oxygen atom”). Other times, they sought to mischaracterize (“Recently there has been an increased interest in the study of ‘y’ (1,2,3,4).” Those who actually looked at the references linked to 1, 2, 3, and 4, found that they were all written by the same author, who was also the author of the paper in question).

ALL research (at that time, anyway) was a ‘novel’ approach to something; every paper used the word. And, of course, they all ended with essentially the same words, “further research and funding are required to obtain vital answers to remaining questions in this area.”

IMO, peer-reviewed, published research is highly over-rated. The truly good papers were few and far between. Be sure to have a shaker of salt nearby.

michael hart
August 29, 2019 10:23 am

“Retreat in response to natural hazards already occurs.”

And what’s more, it happens faster than the climate changes or is likely to change. The ‘internal’ rate of change of human behavior is accelerating, making climate-change considerations increasingly irrelevant. So fast that we no longer have to retreat from natural hazards. We can confront them head on and, usually, over time, win.

August 29, 2019 12:55 pm

Here’s the conclusion to the paper by Alex Arnall, you said you didn’t have access to:


Previous research has attempted to account for the failures of environment and development interventions in Mozambique. For example, Patt and Schröter (2008) attributed abandonment of resettlement areas to differences in climate risk perception between farmers and policymakers, whereas Bunce et al. (2010, 485) highlighted failures by river basin managers to take into account ‘cross-scale dynamics of change’. This paper argues that a more political perspective is required to understand the causes and consequences of flooding, displacement and planned resettlement in the Lower Zambezi River valley. It does this by taking a political-ecological approach to identify two competing ‘stories’ of environmental change: a dominant ‘erratic weather’ narrative in which the permanent resettlement of communities out of floodplains meets both ‘adaptive’ and ‘developmental’ objectives; and a counter-narrative from which resettlement emerges as a poor policy response due to the complex socioeconomic and cultural risks involved, and the failure of resettlers to be compensated by wider economic gains in the region.

To date, the first ‘erratic weather’ narrative has dominated policy debates in Mozambique in spite of the socially unjust outcomes that it produces. This is due, in large part, to the way in which it supports elite economic and political interests in and around the Zambezi River Basin concerning economic development of floodplains and securing control over rural populations. The narrative provides support to these interests in two ways: first, by drawing attention away from underlying drivers of vulnerability and poverty in the Lower Zambezi region; and second by obscuring the interests that lie behind both the displacement and relocation of people. The effect of these processes is that involuntary resettlement becomes the only viable ‘adaptation’ response in a region where future climate change threatens an increasingly ‘uncontrollable’ and ‘dangerous’ future for small-scale farmers. In reality, however, resettlement from the Lower Zambezi valley appears to be more of an ‘adaptation’ to economic rather than environmental change, in which the interests of some of the poorest and most marginalised people in society are largely overlooked. The case study therefore provides an illustration of the way in which a ‘dominating construction of climate change as an overly physical phenomenon readily allows climate change to be appropriated uncritically in support of an expanding range of ideologies’ (Hulme 2007, 9), in this instance Mozambique’s dominant neoliberal development agenda (Hanlon and Mosse 2010).

Growing awareness of the true impacts of resettlement in Mozambique has helped galvanise an early counter-‘living with floods’ discourse among stakeholders who oppose resettlement as a solution to climate extremes and change. Previously marginalised national-level environmental NGOs, which have spearheaded efforts to expose the impacts of the Cahora Bassa dam, are beginning to have their voices heard within national discussion forums. There are also signals that the ‘hidden’ disquiet that resettlement creates among many relocated populations is beginning to filter through to government ministers, with the INGC stating privately that it is unlikely to attempt any future resettlement. These are promising signs. Overall, however, this paper emphasises the need for greater scrutiny of adaptation activities, and more attention to their discursive and political dimensions. As this case study demonstrates, climate change discourse can become entangled with the everyday political realities of people who occupy disadvantaged or marginalised spaces within society. For this reason, efforts to better understand how the idea of climate change is moving beyond its roots in natural sciences – taking on new meanings and serving new purposes as it does so – will be an important component of any future action by the international community to address the long-term problem of climate change.

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
August 30, 2019 8:15 am


That is useful. Thank you for posting it!

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
August 30, 2019 8:23 am


I’ve added a link in the post (at the FM website) to your comment, and a brief note about it.

Again, thank you for posting this.

August 29, 2019 1:05 pm

They’ve been crying “WOLF!!!!” for how many decades now? And the WOLF!!! still hasn’t appeared.

Moving on….!

August 29, 2019 1:06 pm

From the Alex Arnall paper. He says climate change is used in Mozambique as an excuse for rich elites to resettle people elsewhere; where they often don’t want to go. Consequently Growing awareness of the true impacts of resettlement in Mozambique has helped galvanise an early counter-‘living with floods’ discourse among stakeholders who oppose resettlement

Basically – when people are being kicked off their land by elites, one can hardly call it “driven by climate change”.

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
August 29, 2019 2:15 pm


These days reading the references is a revolutionary act!


Kevin kilty
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
August 29, 2019 2:35 pm

And if my reading is correct, the author(s) suggest that climate change can be used as the whip to convince people to move for its convenience. Of course elites would do that! Perhaps this is what justifies reparations.

August 29, 2019 2:06 pm

How many years before there’s an Arctic blue ocean event? 15? 10? 4?
This blog is funded by The Heartland Institute, which is founded by Charles and David Koch.
If there was a carbon tax, and a move away from fossil fuels, Koch Industries would lose potentially a trillion dollars in profits…..

[Not true, but presented for discussion by others .mod]

Reply to  smurfshoe
August 29, 2019 7:47 pm


Lies and smears are alarmists’ favorite tool. And they wonder why so few believe them. It’s an amazing example of self-defeating tactics.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

August 29, 2019 5:33 pm

Village relocations, or attempted relocatiuons, in Mozambique were much more to do with economics and politics than any effects of “climate change”. Certainly a lot of people live in areas susceptible to flooding and it might be a good idea to live somewhere else but if your fields are in a river valley where else are you going to live?

And climate change ? There were severe floods in 2019 which were severely discomforting for many people.
Not completely surprising in river valleys.

However in recent times there were floods in Mozambique in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1985, 1988, 1996, 1997, 1998,1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2017.

Climate change? Climate normal.

Johann Wundersamer
August 29, 2019 6:00 pm

Spinnen am Morgen, Kummer und Sorgen.

Coeur de Lion
August 29, 2019 11:01 pm

When are the rich middle class ‘believers’ sending a Task Force to Bangladesh?

Robert of Texas
August 30, 2019 9:25 am

All climate-change activists should immediately retreat to the higher ground of Canada…

(Sorry Canada, I do love you guys but…)

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