'Climate Refugees' and Other Global Warming Hysteria
The New York Times has the scoop on the latest crisis.
Leftists are fascinating creatures. They claim to be the ones devoted to scientific inquiry, yet in reality they are only interested in the science that confirms their own biases, and they are willing to use government force to silence anyone offering any objections, criticisms or facts that are contrary to their preferred narrative.
For example, though Leftists claim to be pro-science, they claim that gender is determined by how one “feels,” rather than the tried-and-true method of taking a peek in one’s Fruit of the Looms. This leads to their denial of the absolute and irrefutable biological differences between the sexes, and to attributing differences in men and women not to biology, but to social indoctrination.
Likewise, despite being repeatedly and demonstrably wrong for decades, the Left also denies science in the area of global warming (or is it climate change? Or climate chaos? Or carbon pollution? It changes so often it is difficult to keep up). Hence the latest hysteria being peddled as science: “climate refugees.”
Climate refugees are those who are being displaced from their homes supposedly by changes in the Earth’s climate, which the Left blames on global warming, which is in turn blamed on man’s drive to industrialization. As they tell the story, the more mankind industrializes, the more CO2 we generate, which in turn creates a force field around the Earth that traps greenhouse gases, which heats up the Earth, which melts the polar ice caps, which causes the sea levels to rise, which will lead to all of us living next door to SpongeBob at the bottom of the ocean by the end of the century.
News reports lament the plight of small communities in Alaska, Louisiana and Syria, which are being displaced because of water issues. In Syria, the problem is a shrinking water table, making it more difficult for farmers to produce the food needed to feed the people of their country. In Alaska and Louisiana, the problem is the opposite; namely, an excess of water eroding the land on which these small communities sit, forcing them to relocate.
In each of these stories we read the truly heart-rending tales of people being forced from their homelands. Yet nature is not sentimental, and it will not redirect the path of water away from an area simply because men decided to build there, any more than tornadoes shift their track to avoid hitting houses.
In both Louisiana and Alaska, the communities at risk were built in flood plains or along the edges of rivers, where erosion will naturally occur, so it should not be at all surprising when nature does what nature does. Much like the wind is constantly reshaping sand dunes in the deserts, the natural ebb and flow of the Mississippi River has changed the shape of the Mississippi Delta every thousand years or so, right up until we started building a series of levees along the river in the 1930s. Despite the levees, the rains still come, and the river still flows, and there is only so much we can do to hold the water back.
A recent UK Guardian article tells us of the plight of people in Newtok, Alaska, facing relocation because the town is being washed away by erosion. Newtok’s population of 350 is descendant of the Yup'iks, a nomadic people that stopped in this area seasonally when berries were ready for picking … until government bureaucrats pushed them to settle in one place and send their children to school. There was nothing special about Newtok other than that it was a convenient place for barges loaded with building supplies to dock. As noted in the article, “Current state officials admit the location — on low-lying mud flats between the river and the Bering Sea — was far from perfect.” A study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the land “was too fragile and low-lying to support sea walls or other structures that could keep the water out.”
Likewise, no one with the slightest understanding of science would expect the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana, a narrow strip of land surrounded by a maze of inlets and wetlands, to escape the effects of erosion. The ancestors of the island’s inhabitants settled there in the 1830s as a result of the Indian Removal Act. In a bitterly ironic truth, the erosion of their tiny island has been hastened by the effects caused by the levees built by the Army Corps of Engineers — i.e., not climate change.
But these new “climate refugees” are going to receive $48 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for relocation.
It’s fashionable among the leftist intelligentsia these days to portray religious people as gullible, anti-science, backwoods bumpkins who can barely write their own names, much less grasp the complexity of the natural world. On the other hand, the Bible was prescient enough to tell us that the wise man built his house upon a rock, and the foolish man built his house upon the sand … and the waters came, and the winds blew, and great was the fall thereof.
The Left has been hawking global warming hysteria for decades. In fact, it started, coincidentally enough, right after they stopped hawking the threat of global cooling, or “the coming Ice Age.” Since then, leftist climate alarmists have been trying to scare us into giving up the abundant energy and higher standard of living that comes with industrialization. They warned that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years” (Harvard biologist George Wald, 1970), and that (due to scarce food supplies) “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years” (Paul Ehrlich, 1970), and that by 1980 “urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution,” and that by 1980, the life expectancy of a man would plummet to just 42 years" (Paul Ehrlich again). For more spectacularly wrong predictions about global warming, read this.
To be sure, there are lots of problems in the world to be solved, but global warming is not one of them. In fact, considering the objective truth that the most advanced, industrialized nations are the ones with the cleanest air, the purest water, and the most abundant food, it is obvious that the solution to most of the world’s problems is to increase access to the free market, which leads to prosperity, which leads to more available resources to make our environment more enjoyable for humankind.
And that is a very convenient truth, should we choose to acknowledge it.