Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

Professor wants to jail climate change “deniers”

Posted by Richard on March 18, 2014

Michael Schaus at Townhall Finance:

An assistant philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology has proposed a bold plan to settle the debate on Global Warming. Lawrence Torcello wrote an essay suggesting that scientists who fail to fall in line with global warming alarmists should be charged with criminal negligence, and possibly even be thrown in jail. Nothing screams academic freedom like a little intellectual Fascism. Right?

RTWT.

The safety and efficacy of vaccines is considered “settled science” in the medical community. So maybe we should jail Jenny McCarthy.

And a scientific consensus now exists that the federal corn ethanol mandate is actually bad for the environment. So maybe we should jail all the members of Congress who voted for it.

Hmm … now that I think about it, the latter idea sounds rather tempting.

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Global warming will increase murders and rapes

Posted by Richard on February 28, 2014

It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish real news stories from stories you might see in The Onion. Global warming has already been blamed for droughts, floods, record heat, record cold, more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, and earthquakes. Now an environmental economist has released a study, with support from Harvard, purporting to prove that global warming will lead to more murders and rapes between now and 2099:

Should global warming (or climate change, or whatever they decide to call it by then) continue, crime will increase — specifically, violent crime. By how much?

“[A]n additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the U.S.,” the study said.

The mind boggles.

HT: Steven Hayward (who noted “I love the precision of this forecast, which matches the faux-precision of temperature forecasts 100 years out”)

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Researchers discover climate change skeptics aren’t ignorant

Posted by Richard on June 4, 2012

Everyone knows — at least among the liberal elite — that the people who question or reject the “settled science” of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are ignorant yahoos, right? Well, no. Not according to Yale University researchers who examined the “science literacy” and “numeracy” of climate change skeptics and true believers. It turns out that climate change skeptics are pretty scientifically literate and able to understand quantitative information.

The published information doesn’t reveal just how skeptics and true believers compare in their knowledge of science and ability to reason with numbers (a telling omission), but it’s clear that the results don’t conform to the prejudices of the cognoscenti. And the statements of one of the researchers suggest that (oh, the horror!) the skeptics may be more scientifically literate than the true believers (emphasis added):

“The aim of the study was to test two hypotheses,” said Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School and a member of the study team. “The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public’s limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values. The findings supported the second hypothesis and not the first,” he said.

… The results of the study were consistent with previous studies that show that individuals with more egalitarian values disagree sharply with individuals who have more individualistic ones on the risks associated with nuclear power, gun possession, and the HPV vaccine for school girls.

“In effect,” Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”

So does the same reasoning apply to the scientists who’ve created the “consensus” about AGW — could they also be “fitting the evidence to their group commitments”? Could that explain the faking of the hockey stick and the fudging of data revealed in the leaked Hadley CRU emails? Of course not:

Kahan said that the study supports no inferences about the reasoning of scientific experts in climate change.

As for us “ordinary members of the public,” the “consensus” scientists have an explanation for our troubling insistence on doubting the “scientific consensus” despite our scientific literacy and numeracy (emphasis added):

Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said that people who are higher in numeracy and science literacy usually make better decisions in complex technical situations, but the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations. “What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”

So if you’re scientifically literate and numerate and you accept the “consensus” view of AGW, it’s because that’s what’s best for society. But if you’re scientifically literate and numerate and you reject the “consensus” view of AGW, it’s because you’re a selfish bastard.

Glad we got that straightened out. I thought I was just an ignorant yahoo.

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Celebrate Human Achievement Hour

Posted by Richard on March 30, 2012

A few years ago, the World Wildlife Fund came up with an annual event called Earth Hour, when Gaia-worshipping idiots around the world who think the planet would be better off if the Industrial Revolution had never occurred turn off their lights “to reduce energy consumption and draw attention to the dangers of climate change.”

For several years (when I’ve remembered it), I’ve marked Earth Hour by maximizing my energy consumption to celebrate the Industrial Revolution, progress, modernity, and technology. This year, Earth Hour starts at 8:30 PM (in whatever time zone you’re in) on Saturday, March 31st. I’ll turn on every light, appliance, and electronic device in the house.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a similar idea. Instead of Earth Hour, they’re going to celebrate Human Achievement Hour:

Human Achievement Hour (HAH) is a celebration of individual freedom and appreciation of the achievements and innovations that people have used to improve their lives throughout history. To celebrate Human Achievement Hour, participants need only to spend the hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on March 31 enjoying the benefits of capitalism and human innovation: Gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer, call a loved one on the phone, or listen to music.

You can also utilize one of man’s greatest achievements, the Internet, to join CEI’s in-house party, which will live stream right here at CEI.org beginning at 8:00 pm EST. You can use the chat function to tell us how you are celebrating human achievement in your neighborhood

I hope you’ll join me and the fine folks at CEI in celebrating human achievement on Saturday night. As I’ve stated before, “My ancestors didn’t survive the Black Plague and Dark Ages, create the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and bring about the past two hundred years of astonishing scientific and technological progress so that we could huddle in the dark.”

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Snow-free at last

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2012

After several days of spring-like weather, the south side of my back yard (shaded all winter by my neighbor’s fence) is finally free of snow cover for the first time since before Thanksgiving.

I blame global warming.

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A basic question of judgment

Posted by Richard on June 25, 2011

Walter Russell Meade's latest is entitled The Failure of Al Gore: Part One. Part One? Really? This calm, measured essay utterly destroys any credibility the Goracle had and leaves him a wretched, quivering mass of inconsequential protoplasm, something from which one quickly looks away. A Part Two strikes me as completely unnecessary. Although I look forward to it with pleasure; I can be somewhat mean-spirited at times, and besides, Meade's wordsmithing is simply a delight.

By all means, read the whole thing. Here's just a smidgeon to whet your appetite: 

A fawning establishment press spares the former vice president the vitriol and schadenfreude it pours over the preachers and priests whose personal conduct compromised the core tenets of their mission; Gore is not mocked as others have been.  This gentle treatment hurts both Gore and the greens; he does not know just how disabling, how crippling the gap between conduct and message truly is.  The greens do not know that his presence as the visible head of the movement helps ensure its political failure.

Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics.  The peril is imminent, he says.  It is desperate.  The hands of the clock point to twelve.  The seas rise, the coral dies, the fires burn and the great droughts have already begun.  The hounds of Hell have slipped the huntsman’s leash and even now they rush upon us, mouths agape and fangs afoam.

But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world.  He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth’s toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn’t worry.  A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation.  Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore’s sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption.  This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

Marvelous.

(HT: Instapundit)

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Fresh snow for summer

Posted by Richard on June 20, 2011

On Friday, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced that they'll be open through July 4. They still have a 50" base. By Monday evening, there may be 8" of fresh snow on top of that. Most of the Colorado mountains are under a winter weather advisory from tonight through tomorrow. Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is already closed.

It makes stories like these seem kind of silly, doesn't it? 

Oh, wait … I forgot … unusual cold and snow are also signs of global warming. Along with heat, drought, floods, tornados, hurricanes, the absence of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, … Everything is a sign of global warming. :-)

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Memorial Day skiing

Posted by Richard on May 27, 2011

If you're a skier or snowboarder, forget the backyard barbecue, camping trip, or beach vacation. Head for Aspen this Memorial Day weekend! They've got so much new snow, they're reopening Aspen Mountain for this weekend and for weekends in June for as long as conditions permit. I believe it's been at least 15 years since they've been open this late.

You know all those cold fronts that brought the terrible storms and tornadoes to the Midwest and Southeast over the last few weeks? Before heading east, each of them dumped up to a foot of snow on the Colorado mountains. The average snowpack level is at 247% of normal. 

Is Aspen too far for you? There are a bunch of other ski resorts open this weekend. Closer to Denver, Arapahoe Basin remains open daily (as is generally the case) through early June and maybe for weekends after that.

Remember all those stories a few years ago about how global warming was going to cripple the ski industry and dramatically shorten skiing seasons? :-)  

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Earth Hour forgotten

Posted by Richard on March 28, 2011

A friend chided me today, and rightly so. Saturday night, Gaia-worshippers across the globe plunged themselves into pre-industrial darkness for the absurd event known as Earth Hour. And I completely forgot to remind my readers to maximize their energy consumption during that hour to celebrate the Industrial Revolution, progress, modernity, and technology. In fact, I forgot to do so myself! Mea culpa!

I'll try to make up for it by increasing my energy consumption throughout the coming week. As I've said before, "My ancestors didn't survive the Black Plague and Dark Ages, create the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and bring about the past two hundred years of astonishing scientific and technological progress so that we could huddle in the dark." 

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Cold killed dolphins

Posted by Richard on March 5, 2011

I remember the story on NBC Nightly News, preceded by a warning about "disturbing images": dead baby dolphins were washing ashore on the Gulf Coast in unusually high numbers. The report mentioned that researchers were performing autopsies to determine the cause of the deaths, but made it clear that there was no doubt that the BP oil spill was to blame.

Oops, wrong. It seems that a precipitous drop in Mobile Bay water temperatures — caused by cold-water runoff after nearly unprecedented cold weather and snowfalls in the area — was the most likely culprit.

But BP won't get off the hook that easily. It won't be long before some clever leftist points out that, thanks to Al Gore and his acolytes at the IPCC, NOAA, and Hadley CRU, "everyone knows" the unusual cold and snow were caused by — wait for it — global warming! And of course, global warming is caused by those evil capitalist oil companies! Ipso facto, QED. Renewables! Renewables!

(HT: Instapundit)

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Everything is a symptom of global warming

Posted by Richard on February 3, 2011

The blogosphere is abuzz about Al Gore's claim that recent heavy snowstorms are a symptom of global warming. But this is nothing new. Gore made the same claim in a New York Times op-ed last February.

This time, Gore quoted noted scientist Clarence Paige: 

Last week on his show Bill O’Reilly asked, “Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?” and then said he had a call into me. I appreciate the question.

As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming:

“In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.”

“A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”

Eleven years ago, scientists at East Anglia's Hadley CRU (yes, the epicenter of ClimateGate) warned that global warming would make snowfalls a thing of the past

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

… According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

To the true believers in anthropogenic global warming, everything fits their theory: droughts or floods; warm, dry winters or cold, snowy ones; more hurricanes or fewer. As Paige put it, "all sorts of havoc" are consistent with global warming. Nothing that happens can ever cast doubt on their "settled science." Nothing can serve as evidence against their claims.

A claim that isn't falsifiable isn't science. It's religion.

UPDATE: More evidence of global warming. Instapundit wondered if it's time to "Party like it’s 1046?"

Last Thursday, Denver hit 70°. Since then, we've had a record low high of -1°, followed by a low of -17° and wind chills of -25° to -40°. Those cheap homes in Phoenix are starting to look more appealing.

Although, if another Little Ice Age is about to begin (and some people, including reputable scientists, think it is), Tucson might be a better bet. Or, better yet, Costa Rica or Belize. Maybe I should look into Rosetta Stone and learn some Español. 

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Great moments in environmentalism, part 1

Posted by Richard on January 28, 2011

Scientists at Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology claim their "research" shows that if you kill enough people over a long-enough period of time, it's good for the environment:

His empire lasted a century and a half and eventually covered nearly a quarter of the earth's surface. His murderous Mongol armies were responsible for the massacre of as many as 40 million people. Even today, his name remains a byword for brutality and terror. But boy, was Genghis green.

Genghis Khan, in fact, may have been not just the greatest warrior but the greatest eco-warrior of all time, according to a study by the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Energy. It has concluded that the 13th-century Mongol leader's bloody advance, laying waste to vast swaths of territory and wiping out entire civilisations en route, may have scrubbed 700m tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere – roughly the quantity of carbon dioxide generated in a year through global petrol consumption – by allowing previously populated and cultivated land to return to carbon-absorbing forest.

Apparently, the "research" was all done with today's favorite science toy, computer models. Why bother with all that tedious gathering of empirical data or messy experiments, when you can just write software that embodies your assumptions and cranks out conclusions? ("What are you going to believe, reality or my carefully constructed, elaborate, and expensive computer model?")

They had a lively and fun discussion in the comments at Mother Nature Network. The defenders of this "research" insisted that it was just a study, not advocacy, and everyone should calm down. But I can't help but think that the environmentalists who publish such dispassionate, objective studies are only one part of a green movement that includes many passionate advocates. And the eco-fascists of the green movement have a long history of expressing sentiments like these

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion — guilt-free at last! — Stewart Brand

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight — David Foreman, Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS — Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. — Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. — Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

I wonder what these scientists are working on next — maybe a computer model to determine whether the ecological benefits of the Third Reich's population reduction efforts outweighed the harm done by the emissions from those ovens? 

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More green supremacist imagery

Posted by Richard on October 7, 2010

On Tuesday, I posted the environmentalist 10:10 Campaign's execrable little movie, "No Pressure," and quoted James Taranto, who dubbed these anti-human slimeballs "green supremacists." On Wednesday, Ed Driscoll posted about green supremacists, too, and added another disturbing example of the mindset:

And of course, as was the wont of the original White Supremacists, the Green Supremacists really dig fantasizing about a few lynchings, as Australian journalist Andrew Bolt recently discovered. …

Writing in Australia’s Herald Sun, Bolt notes that the photo below is a screen capture of a flier promoting a tradeshow last year put on in Cannes by ACT-Responsible — the ACT stands for “Advertising Community Together.” Not at all surprisingly, Kofi Annan was announced as attending, meaning that presumably he was OK with this image:

green supremacist lynching ad

Read the whole Driscoll post, which has much more fascinating information. This image is apparently admired by the leftist advertising community and enviro-bloggers.

Then be sure to check out this Photoshopped version of the above ad, which says all that needs to be said. 

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Eco-fascist humor

Posted by Richard on October 6, 2010

The big-name, big-budget environmentalist mini-movie "No Pressure" has drawn sharp reactions in the last few days, with criticism coming from both the right and the left. James Taranto did the most thorough job I've seen of taking apart this light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, gory eco-fascist murder fantasy. He observed that in the past, white supremacists have blown up children, as have Islamic supremacists. "Green supremacists" are still only joking about it — for now: 

There's a new kind of supremacist on the scene: green supremacists. They haven't blown up any children–not in real life. But they've been thinking about it.

A British outfit called the 10:10 Campaign hired Richard Curtis, a writer and producer of cinematic comedies, to produce a four-minute video promoting its effort to encourage people to cut "carbon emissions." The result, titled "No Pressure," struck James Delingpole, a global-warming skeptic who writes for London's Daily Telegraph, as "deliciously, unspeakably, magnificently bleeding awful." He's being too kind.

Read the whole thing. And watch the movie: 


[YouTube link ]
[alternate YouTube link]
[another alternate YouTube link]

Taranto closed with: 

One may hope that Jim Edwards is right when he denies that "this is actually what environmentalists want." But it's bad enough that this is what they fantasize about–and that they manifestly felt no inhibition about airing such a depraved fantasy in public.

But we have plenty of evidence that this — or much worse — actually is what quite a few environmentalists want. We have their own words

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion — guilt-free at last! — Stewart Brand

Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. — Pentti Linkola

I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems. — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing….This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run. — Economist editorial

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight — David Foreman, Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS — Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. — Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. — Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

That's just a portion of the quotes collected at one site. There are many more here, here, and elsewhere. 

The leadership of the environmentalist movement is full of people who are anti-capitalist, anti-industrial-revolution, anti-modernity, anti-progress, and ultimately anti-human. There's nothing amusing about the sick self-loathing that causes a person to wish most or all the members of his species were dead. 

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Yet another climate scare

Posted by Richard on August 3, 2010

You've got to hand it to the True Believers in anthropogenic global warming — they just don't quit. Some of their leading lights were pretty thoroughly disgraced, and the laughable "investigations" that purported to clear them have been torn to shreds. But that doesn't stop them. They just crank up a new computer model, feed it a handful of dubious data, and it spits out a new prediction of the dire consequences of climate change.

Case in point: Princeton "environmental scientist" Michael Oppenheimer and some economist colleagues have come up with a computer model predicting that, by 2080 (!), as much as 10% of Mexico's adult population, or 6.7 million people, will migrate to the US due to climate change. Really.

The University of Colorado's Roger Pielke (who thinks "climate change is real and worthy of our attention") didn't mince words regarding the value of this study: 

To be blunt, the paper is guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions. …

To use this paper as a prediction of anything would be a mistake. It is a tentative sensitivity study of the effects of one variable on another, where the relationship between the two is itself questionable but more importantly, dependent upon many other far more important factors. … It is almost as if the paper is written to be misinterpreted.

… The paper reflects a common pattern in the climate impacts literature of trying to pin negative outcomes on climate change using overly simplistic methods and ignoring those factors other than climate which have far more effect.

A commenter on Pielke's post pointed out that the math makes little sense:

"The silly PNAS paper makes three mistakes"

add another oops..

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mx.html

Total mexican labor forces 46.2 million
Percentage involved in agriculture 13.7%.

46.2 * 13.7% = 6.3 million agricultural workers.

Projecting more then 100% of the Mexican Agricultural labor force emigrating due to 'tough times on the farm' seems somewhat unrealistic.

Tom Nelson noted that, according to a 2007 NewsBusters post, Michael Oppenheimer is a "science adviser" to the radical Environmental Defense Fund who helped NBC News smear "global warming deniers." 

I can't wait to see what the next climate scare will be. I'm surprised, really, that someone hasn't come up with a computer model blaming climate change for all the foreclosures, the persistent unemployment, and the failure of the economy to recover during "Recovery Summer." After all, that "blame Bush" mantra is getting pretty stale. 

UPDATE: It occurs to me that, as I was writing the above, I forgot that this stupid study projects migration through 2080 — I suppose because that's such a ludicrously long period of time that it didn't really sink in. That means that both Oppenheimer's claim that the total migration amounts to 10% of the current adult Mexican population and the observation of the commenter I quoted that it represents more than 100% of the current agricultural labor force are pointless and meaningless.

Over the 70 years covered by the computer model's projection, most of the current population of Mexico will have died and been replaced by succeeding generations (and total population will have grown). How the total number of migrants over such a long period compares with the current population doesn't matter. How does the annual rate compare with the current rate? The study claims up to 6.7 million will migrate over 70 years. OK, that's a maximum of not quite 100,000 per year.

In 2008, FAIR (an anti-illegal-immigration organization) claimed the annual rate of illegal immigration was 500,000, and they cited an INS figure of 350,000. So the Oppenheimer study's claim of what amounts to less than 100,000 is far less than the current level. Are they saying the current rate will increase by that amount? That's not what the news stories about the study suggest. They suggest that the 6.7 million number is absolute, not relative. If so, their computer model predicts a significant decline in illegal immigration due to "climate change."

If the study suggests an incremental increase by that amount — well, they should say so. And it's fairly modest as such things go — I'll bet the rate varies by more than 20% depending on economic conditions on both sides of the border. 

Either way, this study is garbage, and the way they present it is misleading, mendacious fear-mongering. Typical of global warming "science." 

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