Media outlets, such as, Fox News, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and The Epoch Times are abuzz with former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore’s performance at the annual World Economic Forum at Davos.  Gore, part of panel of eight speakers, gave what several media outlets have called an “unhinged,” rant about climate change. Among other things, Gore claimed climate change was causing boiling oceans, rain bombs, and creating 1 billion new climate refugees.

Watch the video:

Gore’s boiling oceans and rain bombs remarks can be easily dismissed as hyperbole, but his claim about climate refugees was less hyperbolic and more than just wrong. This same claim was made two decades ago, and it never happened. In fact, there has not been a single proven and documented case of a “climate refugee” since global warming, a.k.a. climate change, arose as an issue on the world stage more than three decades ago.

Gore and the other climate crusaders can’t even keep their numbers straight. A 2017 study predicted that as many as 2 billion people could become “climate refugees” by the end of the century, due to rising sea levels. Most famously, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) quietly removed a web page claiming that 50 million “climate refugees” would exist by 2010. The UNEP botched the attempt to disappear its extreme claim. Later UNEP pushed its prediction to 2020, another date that has come and gone with not a single provable climate refugee in sight.

In attempts to actually find “climate refugees” some activists have claimed 19th century U.S. immigrants were actually ‘climate refugees.’ Other people have even gone so far as to claim that Rubbish Dump Polar Bears are “Climate Refugees.”

One man, Ioane Teitiota, from the island nation of Kiribati—which was said to be sinking under sea level rise, but actually isn’t—sued to become the first legally recognized climate refugee, in New Zealand. The courts rejected his claims back in 2014, denying his climate refugee status. He appealed the ruling only to lose his appeal in 2015.

As reported by Channel 7 News (Australia);

The Supreme Court of New Zealand on Monday declined an appeal by Teitiota to overturn a decision to not grant him refugee status on those grounds.

In its ruling, the court said it did not believe there was enough immediate threat to Teitiota to cover him under international refugee laws.

“In relation to the Refugee Convention, while Kiribati undoubtedly faces challenges, Mr Teitiota does not, if returned, face serious harm and there is no evidence that the government of Kiribati is failing to take steps to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation to the extent that it can,” it said.

The tribunal described Mr. Teitiota’s case as “fundamentally misconceived.”

At Climate at a Glance: Climate Refugees and at Climate Realism, The Heartland Institute has pointed to multiple lines of evidence that refute claims that climate change is creating climate refugees or forcing mass illegal immigration.

Given the historical context, copious amounts of evidence to the contrary, and repeated prediction failures, why do Al Gore and others keep bringing up the thoroughly falsified claim of climate refugees?

The answer is simple. Gore and others use this claim to motivate people with scare tactics, so that they’ll become part of the climate activist movement and push for extreme climate policies. It is summed up in this quote:

“Fear again. If you want to control someone, all you have to do is to make them feel afraid.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts. He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues. He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website


  1. Or in this quote:

    ” The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”,
    H. L. Mencken


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