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They're all a comin'!

Pielke Jnr takes aim at an absurd article in PNAS (the journal that famously published the upside-down Mann paper and Anderegg's blacklist paper too).

Oppenheimer: "They're all a comin' !"Princeton' professor Michael Oppenheimer predicts that climate change will cause between 1.4 and 6.7 million Mexicans to move to the US, a finding that Pielke lucidly describes as "guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions".

Even more damningly, one of Pielke's commenters points out that there are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous.


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Reader Comments (36)

Obama will count them in the 2012 balloting whether they actually come or not.

Jul 28, 2010 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

According to this pdf report (and I can't find out much about the authors) it's the neo-malthusians taking over the elite US eco fascists.


This report is intended to explore how antiimmigrant
forces have corrupted the dialogue
on population and the environment,
and will examine the anti-immigrant environmentalist
network that has influenced
the environmental movement for the last
14 years.

Jul 28, 2010 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete

Presumably farm incomes are indirectly supporting another few million people in Mexico, and so in the case of a collapse of agriculture in Mexico a good proportion of the extra immigrants would not be farmers. So the 6.7 > 6.3 problem is not as stark as it appears. Not that I'm rushing to defend the paper in general.

Jul 28, 2010 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

The message when translated reads...
" Quick, pass Cap & Trade, otherwise we'll have all these Wetbacks taking our jobs & sucking up benefits"

Jul 28, 2010 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

This is another example of producing 'scientific' papers to order to support a political agenda.

Jul 28, 2010 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

This is a new low for warmists for this paper represents racist propaganda.

Would the Americans be concerned if 6 million Canadians crossed US borders? No way!

..... but Mexicans?

Well that is a different story.

I understand that Stephen Schneider edited this paper before he died; and it was Stephen Schneider who gave us the "offering up scary scenarios" quote.

What better to fuel white caucasian fears over Global Warming but to link it to an American bogeyman - the march of the Hispanics.

To see such eco-facism being published under the title of 'science' in the PNAS journal is utterly despicable.

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

What we should really do in the US is work out a deal where all Mexicans MUST move to the USA and allow all those that are in favor or freedom, liberty, equality and all the principles the founders wrote into the Constitution to move to what is now Mexico. The old USA can be called ObamaMex or MexObama. What is now Mexico can still be called Mexico but we new Mexicans get to do all the things Obama and the neo-Marxists are against namely equality, freedom, individual liberties and the value of productive work. And it makes no difference how much Obama lets us take along since we'll vastly surpass ObamaMex within a short generation.

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

If the US adopts that Cuckoo-in-the-nest, Cap and Trade, then it'll be the 65 million who go south, we should be worrying about!

Jul 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

"guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions".

The Americans have a great saying:

if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle

Jul 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

The only scare stories they have left is impotence in all humans caused by AGW, that and it affects your children in some scary way.

Jul 28, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

The US simply needs to build a new, express train service from their Mexican border right up yo their border with Canada.
The previously frozen wastes would then be green and pleasant lands needing immigrants!
Now if Obama could somehow be smuggled onboard as an early adopter?

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

@Jack: I always thought that was Scouse/Lancashire saying... it is certainly one I picked up from from my dearly departed Mater, and use it frequently when discussing CAGW...

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

The neo-Malthusian strand in the "environmental" movement is nothing new. It was e.g. enthusiastically supported by the Nazis. (This fact is often abused by critics who imply that the whole environmental movement is inherently racist. This is incorrect.)

It re-emerged in the UK around the likes of that eccentric environmentalist Sir James Goldsmith, a rabidly anti-Tory asset stripper and founder/funder of The Referendum Party, a now defunct rival to UKIP. (Ironically, Goldsmith's son Zac is embroiled in a storm-in-a-teacup expenses spat following his election as a Tory MP.)

Some describe UKIP as the thinking person's BNP but it is noted for being alone in the UK for not espousing an insane energy policy and for having recently attracted prominent AGW sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton as a member.

More worrying than the lunatic fringe of gamblers, cheats and racists who gravitated around Goldsmith prior to his late-1990s electoral debacle is that the "population control" agenda is now edging its way into the environmental mainstream with the likes of Sirs Crispen Tickell, David Attenborough and James Lovelock enthusiastically supporting the Optimum Population Trust. This campaigns inter alia to reduce the UK population to around 20 million.

Attenborough and Lovelock are both prominent public figures. Though less well known, it was Tickell who famously persuaded Thatcher of the importance of the AGW "threat" and to use her influence to strengthen the IPCC, set up the Hadley Centre, stifle those who dared question the "science" and a deal besides. (It's a pity that Monckton didn't press the case against AGW a little harder when he was a science adviser to Margaret Thatcher but that's another story.)

Whatever, though the Oppenheimer article seems unusually stupid, it is depressing that such manifest tosh should find its way into what most see as a prestigious journal and, presumably, past peers who saw fit to review it.

Also worrying is that disaster charities and the like aggressively push a similar line though the racist angle is less explicit and probably unintended. Even so, "taking money" and "false pretences" spring to mind.

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave B

Hmm, doesn't anyone do maths these days?

6.5 million by 2080. OK, 7 million over 70 years. 100,000 a year.

Current immigration into the US is over 1 million legal and about the same illegal a year.

Climate change will therefore lead to a 5% increase in immigration.

Back to sleep folks......

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Worstall

Excuse me, but even if you accept the climate change presented here, farmers will always alter their crops to match the climate. Crop adaptation has been a part of the dominant strain of Homo Sapiens since we left Africa 10's of thousands of year ago. It is what we are good at - we left hunting behind to become farmers wherever we could. It is why we thrived. Also there is nothing a few well planned irrigation/hydro schemes cannot overcome. My Dad was a mining engineer on the Snowy Mountains hydro-scheme in Australia in the 50's.

Adaptation never seems to part of any scaremongering.

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

There are over 30 million Canadian-Americans residing in the US. There has been no reported problems in the assimilation of Canadians into American society. They have been generally welcomed.

There are over 30 million Mexican-Americans residing in the US. For many decades Mexican-Americans were considered non-white, discriminated against and shunned by white American society.

I repeat, to invoke a Hispanic bogeyman to get Americans to fear Global Warming is racist.

Jul 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Mac said

There are over 30 million Canadian-Americans residing in the US.

So can we assume that for every Mexican jumping the border due to climate change there will be an equivalent Canadian moving to the newly fertile tundra back home? Plus the odd American as well.

Jul 28, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Tim Worstall

Hmm, doesn't anyone do maths these days?

Not since they came up with new math. The American educational system is a total joke.

My favorite story that came from my sister who teaches "advanced" mathematics (i.e. Algebra) in a private high school near Minneapolis. The kids complained that her test had a question they hadn't had in class before. "Can't reason worth a damn," she told me.

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

It is preposterous, and absolutely disregarding of facts. I have dealt with the matter of Mexican *and other Latin American) agriculture and climate change in "Climate change, agriculture and food security in Latin America and the Caribbean", a substantial monograph now on its way to publication, available at

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterHector M.

Sounds a lot like a "scientific" study in 1900 trying to predict how much horse manure New York would have to deal with in 1970. It's a bunch of crap.

If this is what "scientists" spend their time working on, they have way too much time and way too much of our money. If Newton went searching for the existence of science in the climate science departments of our major universities, how many universities would he have to visit before he found any?

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

The article was sponsored by ..... Stephen Schneider.

"Oppenheimer BP" is worth googling.

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Most "analysis" of impact of climate change on agriculture proceed as if agriculture is a natural process (similar to wild vegetation). They usually show that a certain crop (and a certain cultivar of that crop), grown in the current manner at a certain location, would suffer if climate changes at that location. But agriculture is a joint human-natural process, involving decisions by farmers to grow that crop (and that cultivar) at that location with that technique. In 100 years time farmers would make other decisions, with other technology.
And there would be far fewer farmers, by the way. Farmers in Mexico are already declining in number, and rapidly increasing productivity.
International migration would probably continue this century, and even intensify as globalization reaches the mobility of labour besides the mobility of capital (achieved in the latest 3 decades). It would generally be a beneficial process, for both origin and destination countries.

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterHector M.

I've emailed the project manager at JISC for clarification on the question of who gets access.

Jul 28, 2010 at 3:05 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Come on Bish, concentrate. I think that belongs on the other thread ;-)

Jul 28, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterHyperthermania


Thanks. I've crossposted.

Jul 28, 2010 at 4:18 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

No problem. You have absolutely no idea how gratifying it is to spot a mistake made by someone who is clearly light-years ahead of me, both intellectually and in literary ability. (Over-exaggerated praise, not sarcasm. Keep up the good work.)

Jul 28, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterHyperthermania

Why is Oppenheimer wearing a clown's wig ?

Jul 28, 2010 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred

I have a question. Is this "study" one of those studies, which gets counted, when the Klimate Kranks tout all of the voluminous scholarly studies that favor CAGW?

Also it appears that the year 2080 has been determined to be the safety threshold year where krazy klimate klaims can be targeted. 2080 is far enough away where people can't call out the failure of said claims in this lifetime, but still close enough to appear somewhat imminent.

Jul 28, 2010 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterjUSTA jOE

This is similar to the claims that AGW had decreased the Irish potato crop.

Of course, when one looks at the total Irish agricultural crop, there has been a decrease in potato's, but an increase in all crops overall.

Potatoe, potato, right?

I am sure that one could make the same claim about Western Canadian farmers, in that there has been a decline in the numbers of farmers, in conjunction with AGW.

Of course, the decline is due to removal of subsidies, and the need for farms to become larger and more efficient to be profitable.

Jul 28, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterLes Johnson

Bish you are taking Flak on Climate Audit from commenters on Tamino's Trick: Mann Bites Dog.
You are accused of stating that the year 1500 was part of the MWP?

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

However you are in good company! Steve is getting Flak as well hehe

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

This Mexican scare story is the latest idiocy publicised by the BBC - based on NIL science.

Every week or so there is a scare story - which the BBC rushes to publicise. The BBC NEVER waits to see what others might make of the story. It might be sensible for any BBC journalist to wait a few days and check out what criticisms have been made - no big difficulty, they would only need to check a a couple of the leading sceptical blogsites.

The BBC ought to take its whole stupid "story" offline. Or they should amend it severely by reference to Dr Pielke's comments.

And there should be a firm rule at the BBC - no climate scare stories to be run until we can see if there is any rebuttal. Say - allow 2 weeks, check a list of about 5 key sites. The whole climate thing is long-term anyway, there is no urgency to publish every bit of PR they get. Especially when they so often look totally stupid by rushing to print the latest bit of flawed alarmism.

The BBC has so far managed to become an utterly unreliable source of information about climate change. But hey - we in the UK are only forced to pay $6 billion to keep the BBC running.

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohninLondon

sorry - here is the BBC's stupid story :

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohninLondon

There are, by many estimates, upwards of 20 million illegals in the US today. So, 1-6 million more will arrive over the next 70 years. And?

An appropriate title would have been: "Global Warming Reduces US Illegal Immigrant Population by Half"

Jul 29, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterkdk33

Les Johnson

I am well familiar with the Irish agricultural scene, as I have friends and family in farming all over Ireland. You can blame the EU and all the fun and games the idiots in Brussels for the decline of the overall Irish agribusiness.

First, the matter of the Euro, the hyperinflation in Ireland and all that movement from the farm to large cities.

Then the subsidies. Particularly by France to its farmers who go on strike three times a week or so it seems.

The same goes for beef and sheep production, staples of the Irish agribusiness.

As for diary, the people who now own the farm my great grandfather had 120 years ago were in the diary milk business 10 years ago. They both work full time at other jobs and could buy their milk at the local Quinns for less money than they would pay to produce milk themselves.

I have yet to see a potato field in Ireland, except at those heritage centers that show what life was like in 1845-1852.

The list goes on, but AGW has nothing whatsoever to do with it. The grass is as green as ever in the now vacant fields.

Jul 29, 2010 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Sounds a lot like a "scientific" study in 1900 trying to predict how much horse manure New York would have to deal with in 1970. It's a bunch of crap.

A very good example of Warmists' thinking. A bit Malthusian in fact! This silly story was torn to pieces at WUWT.

Aug 2, 2010 at 3:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimbo

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