All I Want for Christmas is a Climate Refugee

If all you did was read sites like news.com.au, you would really think that the world is about to be overcome with ‘climate refugees’:

RISING sea levels are already forcing one American town to relocate, with warnings that many others will follow.

The US Government announced this year it would pay $US48 million ($AU63 million) to help residents of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana to move as coastal erosion threatens to sink the community.

Residents of the town have been called the first climate refugees in the US and live in a town that can only be accessed using one road surrounded by marshlands along the Gulf of Mexico.

Such is the parlous state of the mainstream media these days, I instinctively found myself Google searching ‘Isle de Jean Charles’ to see what was really going on.

Predictably, the first page of results was the usual rag-tag bunch of mainstream media outlets all co-incidentally saying THE SAME THING:

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The second page was more of the same.

It was only when I changed the search to ‘Isle de Jean Charles climate change’ and made it to the third page that this interesting article came up:

The people of Isle de Jean Charles aren’t the country’s first climate refugees

Isle de Jean Charles is endangered for the same reasons that much of coastal Louisiana has become part of the Gulf of Mexico: The land is sinking, river levees are preventing it from being replenished, oil and gas drilling accelerated erosion — and on top of that, seas are rising.

In May, when the community of Isle de Jean Charles received a federal grant to relocate from the crumbling marshes in Terrebonne Parish, headlines around the world proclaimed them “America’s first climate refugees.” The label has stuck.

But are they?

Experts familiar with the issues in Louisiana and other coastal areas of the U.S. would disagree.

The issues go beyond semantics to the root of the island’s problems. If coastal researchers were to write a headline about what’s happened to Isle de Jean Charles, they have several options that would be more accurate.

Their first choice: “America’s first subsidence refugees.”

If the headline were to address the causes of subsidence, it might read, “America’s first river levee refugees.”

Some geologists think there is an even more accurate headline: “America’s first geological fault-line refugees.” They believe the major cause of the sinking is activity in the scores of faults in the area.

Although researchers agree subsidence, and all of its causes, is the primary reason the people of Isle de Jean Charles must move, they also agree that sea level rise has magnified its problems

Hurricane storm surges amplify the impact of those small increases.

So what would be the most accurate headline for the impending move by the residents of Isle de Jean Charles?

If the story followed the consensus of among coastal scientists, it would probably read something like this: “America’s first subsidence/levees/oil and gas drilling/fault lines/climate change refugees.”

I thought to myself, ‘this kind of objective stuff must have been written by some out-of-town, right-wing nut job lobbying for the coal industry’… Or not:

From 2013 to 2017, Bob Marshall covered environmental issues for The Lens, with a special focus on coastal restoration and wetlands. While at The Times-Picayune, his work chronicling the people, stories and issues of Louisiana’s wetlands was recognized with two Pulitzer Prizes and other awards. In 2012 Marshall was a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Loyola University School of Communications Den of Distinction.

Ever the objective reporter, Bob also managed to generously find some space for a climate church representative to have their say:

Those losses will probably become even larger in the future because climate scientists expect the frequency and duration of large hurricanes to increase as the climate continues to warm, said Virginia Burkett, a Louisiana-based U.S. Geological Survey researcher. She has studied coastal impacts of climate change for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This is linked, in part, to warmer sea surface temperatures that are caused directly by the warming of the atmosphere,” she said.

Extreme cyclone carbon theory

Regarding Virginia’s first point, any time a climate fundamentalist like her tries to peddle extreme cyclone carbon theory, kindly tell them that:

  • show them this picture:

globaltclandfalls2012

  • and these ones too:

frequency_12months

global_running_ace

Gas-liquid inversion theory

As for the second point – that the Earth’s warming atmosphere is warming the ocean – please ask any climate church fundamentalists you may come across to consider the following:

For some fun at home, take a heater into your bathroom, fill up the bath tub with cold water and close the door. Without electrocuting yourself, turn the heater on to maximum power and see how long it takes for the bath water to increase in temperature. By all means, feel free to use a thermometer. Just before you die of boredom, repeat the experiment – this time, put the heater away, empty the bath tub and then refill it with hot water. Then, sit back and experience what happens to the air temperature in the room.

I know, I know… wow.

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31 Responses to All I Want for Christmas is a Climate Refugee

  1. jupes

    Good on ya marcus. Who knows one day the media might develop a hint of skepticism of this rubbish. Until then keep fighting the good fight.

    Sky News channel had a great interview with Malcolm Roberts last night so the message is dribbling out. Here’s my post from the open thread:

    Josh Frydenberg – Minister for the Environment and Energy
    Mark Butler – Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
    Alan Finkel – Australia’s Chief Scientist
    Rosemary Sinclair – CEO of Energy Consumers Australia
    Amanda McKenzie – CEO of the Climate Council
    Tony Jones
    In modern Australia, this is a ‘debate.’

    The ABC are brilliant at propaganda you have to give them that. When they think they can give one of their pet causes a boost they just bring in the stacked panel. Finkel will be treated by a true guru. No one will be allowed to contradict him in the unlikely event that any of the panel were so inclined.

    On the other hand I watched a bit of Beattie and Reith (replaced by Campbell Newman) tonight. I know, I know but they had Malcolm Roberts on as their first guest and it was quality TV.

    Roberts beat both of them senseless with the cluebat (especially Beattie). Until this interview I had not realised how utterly stupid Peter Beattie is. He truly believed the Finkel report was a brilliant policy document. Dunno if he is so sure now. Roberts even called him a “mug” at one point. LOL When Beattie brought up China leading the world in “renewables” (or “intermittants” as Roberts called them), Roberts held up a paper showing China was building over 1,000 coal fired power stations.

    Newman’s position was that yes, Roberts may have a point about the science however the Finkel report could bring policy toward something more sensible. Roberts would have none of it. Policy should be based on empirical evidence and they should not compromise.

    Roberts is the best Senator in this country.

  2. Louis Hissink

    There’s another wee interesting physical fact few know of – it takes twice as much heat to raise water 1 degree Celsius than it does for ice or water vapour.

    50% of the incoming infrared radiation “disappears” as it were. Well not disappear but converts the interfacial water into liquid crystal water by expelling protons into the atmosphere as well as under the interfacial water layer (see pH plots for oceans etc).

    These emitted protons, along with the diurnal fluctuation of the Earth’s electric field, move laterally in response to electric charge buildup at dawn and dusk, and form the atmospheric winds, among other EM forcings. (The polar Birkeland currents cause the rotation of the Earth and the moving, co-rotating atmospheric charges, in the atmosphere and the Van Allen Belts, generate the geomagnetic field).

    These phenomena are the origin of Kevin Trenberth’s missing oceanic heat problem, by the way.

  3. marcus

    Jupes – I saw this interview last night. Watching Beattie run a million miles from a proper debate with Roberts on climate change was hilarious… and cynical. Roberts really wanted to talk about the science – to which Beattie immediately changed the topic by asking about ‘innovation’ on renewables and not wanting to be left behind and having to pay for other countries’ IP (on renewables). Incredible.

    I also never stick around Beattie and Reith (it’s a truly pathetic show), but managed to catch this gem of an interview and hung on.

  4. H B Bear

    Roberts beat both of them senseless with the cluebat (especially Beattie). Until this interview I had not realised how utterly stupid Peter Beattie is.

    Beattie won half his elections promising to fix stuff-ups his government had already made. This was a successful strategy because Queensland. The Smiling Apologist.

  5. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Experts? Hah! What do they know (when they disagree with the global warming consensus)?
    On a more serious note, has anything happened to the Maldives? These Indian Ocean islands were supposedly sinking (or the seas were rising) some time ago. But the last I heard, the inhabitants were merely people, not mer-people. Any up-dates?

  6. test pattern

    ‘The fate of people in this politically vulnerable region depends on global management of the limited available water. Countermeasures have been planned for a long time, and global climate models that sufficiently represent the Fertile Crescent and project its future change can now be utilized for such purposes.’

    I have posted this important joint Israeli Japan study before. The present refugee outflow from MENA is just the start of the coming mass people movement of climate change refugees from the Fertile Crescent to Europe. The Israelis aren’t dumb, they prepare for existential contingencies.

    http://www.tau.ac.il/~pinhas/chapters/2013/Alpert_et_al_Fertle_Crescent_Death_chapter_2013.pdf

  7. Rabz

    But the last I heard, the inhabitants were merely people, not mer-people. Any up-dates?

    The last thing I heard was that the stupid muslim shithead (BIRM) who ran the place was threatening they were all going to up stumps and head here.

  8. jupes

    I also never stick around Beattie and Reith (it’s a truly pathetic show), but managed to catch this gem of an interview and hung on.

    Another Roberts’ gem from last night (from memory):

    The problem with the cost of energy is too much regulation and Finkel’s response is more regulation. It won’t work.

  9. I have posted this important joint Israeli Japan study before.

    What’s so important about another computer model study filled with ‘mays’ and ‘coulds’?

    The present refugee outflow from MENA is just the start of the coming mass people movement of climate change refugees from the Fertile Crescent to Europe.

    You take a study that states these things maybe could happen and change it to a definite. Try again.

    The Israelis aren’t dumb, they prepare for existential contingencies.

    One study grant seeking j#w doesn’t Israelis make.

    By the way, did you notice in the very early pages of the study, the authors continually reference their own earlier works? Frigging circlejerks.

  10. duncanm

    Awesome stuff. Malcolm knows not to accept any of the bullshit assumptions.

    SABRA LANE: Power companies and big businesses are asking for a plan for the future to set about lower carbon emissions; not only to meet the targets that Australia has signed up for Paris, but bipartisanship here: the Liberal and Labor parties, say that they do want a future with lower emissions.

    You don’t agree with that at all?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: Emissions of what, Sabra?

    SABRA LANE: Er… carbon: CO2.

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: Carbon dioxide. Why would we want to decrease emissions of carbon dioxide?

  11. John constantine

    Once you have climate refugees, then climate justice demands mass borrowings to fund climate refugee justice services.

    Simple boost to GDP. Gross of course.

  12. Malcolm Roberts could have replied-
    You mean keeping your mouth shut Sabra- could be a useful idea for some people!

  13. Leo G

    If all you did was read sites like news.com.au, you would really think that the world is about to be overcome with ‘climate refugees’

    Shouldn’t that be climate tax refugees?

  14. duncanm

    ‘The fate of people in this politically vulnerable region depends on global management of the limited available water. Countermeasures have been planned for a long time, and global climate models that sufficiently represent the Fertile Crescent and project its future change can now be utilized for such purposes.’

    models models models.

    Maybe you could explain why the fertile crescent (which is not actually as fertile as it used to be) flourished during the Holocene climatic optimum when temperatures were significantly warmer than now?

    As Malcolm Roberts says — empircal evidence trumps models every .. single .. time

  15. Up The Workers!

    The people of Old Tallangatta in Northern Victoria, in that case should sue for billions. Their community was killed off by rising water levels just over 6 decades ago.

    Global Warming, C.A.G.W. (Con-Artists Gulling Workers) and rising sea levels got so bad 61 years ago, that all the residents had to abandon the town of Tallangatta and set up camp elsewhere in 1956 and have never been able to move back to their properties since.

    That ought to be worth at least a years’ equivalent of Fat Al Bores’ income in compo.

    (Just between you, me and the gatepost, I think it is all Tony Abbott, Cardinal George Pell and Donald Trump’s doings!)

  16. Bruce of Newcastle

    The people of Isle de Jean Charles

    Maybe if they ask the Chinese nicely they will build an island for them in the South China Sea.
    Oh wait…

  17. DavidH

    @Louis Hissink
    I’m confused about your statement on IR radiation and “emitted protons”. Emission of protons implies some kind of nuclear splitting or perhaps liberation of the hydrogen atom (just a proton, plus electron unless ionised) from the water molecule, but then the molecule would no longer be water (an OH- ion maybe). But then IR is not an ionising radiation – did you then mean UV?

  18. Dr Fred Lenin

    I notice the red fascistv media neglects the “race refugees” in the western civilised countries , people who are forced to leave their places of birth by the muslim and african migrant invaders ,sent there by the u.n.communist fascists . I bet there are a hell of a lot more of them than there are of “climate refugees”.

  19. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Parts of the Baltic are suffering sea level falls as the land is still rising after the tremendous force of ice that once bore down on it. The coastal areas of England’s eastern shores that abut the North Sea are falling apart due to sea-buffeting erosion (historic Whitby Abbey is mostly fallen into the sea now), and land sinking is a feature throughout the bottom part of England as parts of the top rise – ice age again.

    The earth’s crust is a dynamic system which makes measuring any sea-level changes mostly immeasurable unless other factors are considered, including the impact of ice ages, undersea upheavals from volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

    ‘Overwhelmed’ islands have always been with us. The Scilly Isles at the end of Cornwall were once land bridged. Scotland and Northern Ireland are separated by only twelve km at one point an you could once wade from Ireland to Wales (as the Welsh god Bran did in mythic memory). Archipelagos are swamped land unaided by human activities (fly low over The Buccaneer Archipelago at the top of the Kimberleys for a good illustration) or simply consider The Dogger Bank, where hunting tribes once dwelled when the European land bridge brought early settlers to Britain.

    Media beat up. Pathetic. Well outed, Marcus.

  20. amortiser

    On a more serious note, has anything happened to the Maldives? These Indian Ocean islands were supposedly sinking (or the seas were rising) some time ago. But the last I heard, the inhabitants were merely people, not mer-people. Any up-dates?

    The government of the Maldives dramatically held a cabinet meeting under water to emphasise the danger they were in from rising sea levels. They were in fact so terrified of the imminent inundation that they built a brand spanking new multi billion dollar international airport to cater for tourists.

    Don’t listen to what they say, take careful heed of what they do.

  21. Bruce

    And for the “paleo”‘ buffs:

    Some serious rocks have fallen from the sky in that region.

    Start with the Chicxulub crater. The one that is widely taken to be associated with the demise of the dinosaurs.

    Fracturing of deep substrates and the re-ejection of secondary missiles is the norm for these events. Plus the usual mega-Tsunamis, blotting out of sunlight, earthquake shock-waves doing multiple circuits of the planet, etc., etc.

  22. Andrew

    Google Maps doesn’t list is, but it’s basically at

    Pointe Aux Chene Marina

    Worth having a look at the map. To describe is as “land” would be a euphemism. If The Simpsons is any guide (and they’ve been right about everything else), the drilling from Burns Slant Drilling Co caused subsidence that would be more than enough to wipe out all the land for 20 miles.

    More to the point, I live at 10m above sea level (plus another 30m or so). Why would I care? The cost to me of the first metre of sea level rise (call it 2500AD) is zero. And the next 9m are probably net positive.

  23. Jimf

    FMD News.com is basically Woman’s Day magazine , but even worse with Malcolm “mud guts , button popper” Farr featuring as the resident politico lefty wanker.
    Give it a wider berth than fatty Mal’s girth.

  24. Jimf

    It’s like a lame News Corp attempt at indulging “the boys ” by producing a wanna-be youth rag. You know , pat it on the head and say “good dog”.

  25. Rob MW

    “Residents of the town have been called the first climate refugees in the US and live in a town that can only be accessed using one road surrounded by marshlands along the Gulf of Mexico.”

    Don’t need to be an expert to know that if you decide to live below sea level, expect to get fucking wet. Swarming blood sucking mozzies on the other hand are enough to turn anyone into an occasional refugee. Best advice if you don’t like either getting wet or eaten by mozzies, get out of the fucking swamp.

  26. Hydra

    For some fun at home, take a heater into your bathroom, fill up the bath tub with cold water and close the door. Without electrocuting yourself, turn the heater on to maximum power and see how long it takes for the bath water to increase in temperature. By all means, feel free to use a thermometer. Just before you die of boredom, repeat the experiment – this time, put the heater away, empty the bath tub and then refill it with hot water. Then, sit back and experience what happens to the air temperature in the room.

    I know, I know… wow.

    I had never thought of this.

    Mind blown. So simple, but huge.

  27. Louis Hissink

    Weather is the physical behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Climate is an abstract idea invented by humans. Climate change is thus a change in an imaginary state invented by humans, and it is quite correct to point out that humans cause climate change, because clearly they do. Climate change cannot change unless it is changed by its originator, the human.

    And if you find that being presented with evidence for a future event that has not yet happened, you are correct, you are dealing with mentally disturbed people.

    And to take a blue or red pill becomes an interesting choice.

  28. Mark M

    The Maldives Has Just Built its Eleventh Airport. That’s How Scared it is of Global Warming…

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/06/19/the-maldives-has-just-built-its-eleventh-airport-thats-how-scared-it-is-of-global-warming/

    Maldives switches focus from climate threat to mass tourism
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/03/maldives-plan-to-embrace-mass-tourism-sparks-criticism-and-outrage

    RELIGION OF PEACE UPDATE
    Maldives Blogger and Activist Yameen Rasheed Stabbed to Death.

  29. marcus

    Mark M – thanks for this. I’ve added it to my news feed at the TMR site (a new feature I’ve just added).

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