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This pretty cool map has been making the rounds on the world-wide-interweb:



The purplish areas are places where there has been net in-migration while the places in orange are those experiencing the most out-migration. Check out where I live by the way (the only purple area seems to be be the DPRI and the capital, Albany – great). But if I were someone encamped in the “Occupy Everything” movement and worried that global warming is going to end the world and that we cannot deal with it, I’d try to have the folks running the ObamaCare websites take over the internet life of this image and make it disappear. It happens to be a seriously inconvenient picture for people.

Look at where internal migration patterns are going. They are going to the coasts in a serious way. Remember one of the greatest fears of the warmists is that sea levels are “definitely” going to rise by not just inches per decade like they have been for 250 years, but by feet per decade or even faster. And we are told that unconscionable damage will happen as a result (e.g. Superstorm Sandy day after day after day). Seems odd to me that we are fleeing FROM the dry and inland places to the wet coastal places despite this. Maybe people haven’t gotten the memo? Or maybe they are going there despite the fact that insurance premiums in these flood zones are skyrocketing (that’s an empirical snarky comment by the way, I don’t know what’s going on there, but surely it would be useful to look)?

Look deeper at the internal migration patterns. Even as the “flood prone” and tornado-prone Midwest seems to be depopulating, there are areas of deep purple in those very same regions. Look at the greater Denver areas, or the parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas and Missouri that are purple. These are the very same places where the worst floods and tornadoes of the last decade have hit – the very same places that have raised the irascible ire of the warmistas.

Look even deeper at the internal migration patterns. In addition to folks moving to coasts, and in and around tornado and flood prone areas, they are moving South and they are moving West. And they are moving to places like Austen and Las Vegas that basically have no water, no resources and are MUCH hotter on average than the places people are leaving. For example, the annual average temperature in Rochester is 47.6 degrees and it has 34 inches of precipitation on average (I would have bet more). In Austen, TX the annual average temperature is 68.6 and annual precipitation is 31.9 inches. In other words, annual average temperatures in Austen are over TWENTY degrees hotter than in Rochester. And Austen is not only considerably drier in terms of how much rainfall and snowfall it gets, there are far fewer water resources around as compared to the Great Lakes and Appalachian watershed. The worst case (i.e. supremely unlikely) global warming that is supposed to happen over the next 100 years is 9 degrees Celsius, which is 16 degrees F. The point here is that people are moving rapidly and consciously to places that are MUCH hotter and MUCH drier than where they are coming from. The hotness and dryness is far more severe than the worst global warming models predict, and people are moving there in the time frame of weeks and months, not years and decades.

Look even deeper at the internal migration patterns. People are moving TO the places where natural disasters are most likely – especially the hurricane battered East and Gulf coasts and the earthquake zones in the West. And like above, not only are they not fleeing these areas, and not fleeing them over a 100 year period, they are fleeing TO those areas in a matter of weeks and months.

Indeed, we can dig even deeper into the climate patterns in the receiving versus sending locations, but even the cursory review above should make it pretty clear that the worst case climate scenarios conjured up by the warming crowd seem to be posing no particular threat to people already. They are rapidly moving INTO the places that look most like the future wretched planet we are supposed to inhabit. And they are doing so freely. Furthermore, these migration patterns also ignore the fact that when (if?) we wreck and warm the planet and melt all the ice, that massive areas heretofore uninhabitable will become pleasant places to live. Indeed, if we melted the entire Antarctic ice sheet, sea levels would presumably rise by a lot, and fancy doomy maps are making the rounds about what the world would look like with the new smaller land masses on each continent. However, Antarctica is bigger than Europe. And I’ve yet to see a map suggesting that adding a full continent to the Earth is perhaps a little bit of a side benefit to offset some of that “cost” of higher seas. And certainly those maps say nothing at all about how awful it would be to adapt to such things. The map above gives us a really solid look at how “awful” it would be to adjust to even the WORST case climate scenarios people are painting for us. Couple that map with the completely corrupt and inept political process (even the great commander in Speech recently gave an interview confirming that government is f-ed up, he admits that government doesn’t work, and he is the government equivalent of Billy Graham), with humans general ability to solve problems, and I think that a pretty inconvenient truth is staring people right in the face. Sadly, no one will recognize it. And even more sad, among those that do, rather than see the map above as a reason to celebrate, which it surely is, folks will use it to cast more vitriol at “denialists” like me.

One final observation. Life expectancy today in the rich nations is almost 80 years long. In 1800, at the dawn of the Commercial Revolution, the global average life expectancy was closer to 30 years old. We have pro-football (until that’s banned), we have laptop computers, we have airline travel, vaccines, clean water, national parks, hiking gear, fast cars, great movies, and so on. Do you think people would have made the tradeoff 200 years ago: a warmer and more chaotic environment (presuming it’s a problem) in exchange for those things? Would they be permitted to? And would not today’s generation want to ask themselves the same questions? Is the “tragedy” of people migrating to avoid global warming not worth the benefits of raising billions of human beings from misery and desperate poverty? Is there even a tradeoff? Look at the map again.

So, who are the deniers?

11 Responses to “The Inconvenient Truth”

  1. alex says:

    i feel like youre understating the warmists claims. sure, some claim that we see the effects of warming, today, and your post addresses those claims quite nicely. but many dont stop there. they dont just say the earth will warm 16 degrees, they say that this warming (and other aspects of ‘climate change’) will cause far greater problems. today, people are moving while things are fine or getting better, they may admit. texas isnt so bad today, theyd say, even if it is an average 68 degrees, so its not suprising that people would move there. but give it 100 years of global warming, sea level rising, and possible ecological collapse and austin, boston, l.a. and everything in between will not be habitable. 68 feels very different from 47 degrees. but 84 probably feels even more different than 68. the appeal of those purple places will be very different in 100 years compared to today.

    if all the alarmist predictions come true, costs of adaptation will be much much higher, if not infinitely so, than today. the migration map will be completely orange or blank.

    my point, if not already clear, is that this map/trend doesnt seem very inconvenient for warmists whose claims and predictions are about 100 years from now when things will be, they say, totally different.

    • Wintercow20 says:

      No this map addresses the WORST claims. Go read the science, I’m taking their most unlikely cases. Plus warming will be sharpest in evenings in cooler places according to their models. And Vegas is well hotter than your scenario. The only way major coastal cities are uninhabitable is with 100 feet of sea level rise but that’s exaggerating too. Over 100 years the entire building stock of cities is replaced and it’s absurd to think this is not easily manageable.

      I’m no longer in the camp that finds the threat to be serious. Disease, flooding, water access are no particular problems for sufficiently free and innovative people – which view has more real support for it?

      And if my claim above references unrealistic small probability changes then what about more likely changes?

      Humans face far more risk from their own hubris and greed than anything we can do to clinate.

      • wintercow20 says:

        And to jump on my own (admittedly stupid at times) bandwagon for a moment, there are more than enough places that are already “ecological catastrophes” today. The inside of volcanoes. Considerable portions of Yellowstone Park. The bottom of the deep ocean. The tundra. Antarctica. And more. And even the catastrophic scenarios with ecological catastrophe end up producing ecological miracles too – so as Boston becomes a wasteland, Winnipeg flourishes.

        But as this discussion continues, it sounds more and more like we’re talking about asteroid strikes.

  2. Greg W says:

    People who take disaster rates into account when moving are branded as paranoid, and most people do not take them into account. Example: my mom, who refuses to move to Long Island and wants to move outside of the Indian Point disaster radius. I have my own objections to Long Island, but hers is the (valid) point “what happens if there’s an emergency? there’s no way off the island except the LIE.”

    That said, in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, climate change could be posing a very big problem. Haiyan just killed 1,000 people, and may have killed as many as 10,000. If climate change is, in fact, going to bring bigger storms to more places, it would be nice if we could head off incidents like this.

    Another issue that’s not really related to climate change is the availability of fresh water, and what I believe is a gross misallocation of natural resources for agriculture and housing. In Rochester, a heavily-irrigated pint of strawberries doused with chemicals and trucked across the country is cheaper than an aquaponic pint of strawberries from Syracuse. That doesn’t add up.

    • Greg W says:

      I left out the part about how that ties in with people moving to southern California. The whole Southwest is artificially irrigated and I don’t believe its costs are accurately reflected in the prices people pay to live there.

      • wintercow20 says:

        That is surely an understatement. Ag and Industrial water uses make up the lions share of water uses, residential use is a small percentage. And big users pay only a fraction of the cost of water. But none of this has anything to do with the environment, this is policy inflicted.

        As far as water scarcity or abundance, water never ends up in a dump. It is returned to the earth in pretty much the same form it is taken. It is wildly abundant, even for freshwater sources. It has been estimated by David Zetland (water economist) that every country on earth, including the driest and least hospitable, has enough water to provide, for free, to all citizens an amount sufficient to meet their basic human needs (20L per person per day).

        The most expensive water technologies, the MAX that humans can think of ever paying for water is via desalination – the estimates I come up with are at worst $800 per year. Yes this is more than the annual income in very poor countries, but no particular issue even for middle income countries, adn there is every reason to believe that these costs will fall over time. Furthermore, entrepreneurs in water are coming up with all kinds of cool ways to deliver fresh water. I saw a guy who was able to extra moisture from the ambient air in places as dry as Las Vegas and provide more than the level of basic human needs each and every day for it. Almost all of our water problems are political, not environmental, as has been the case with food and famine for decades.

        Finally, trade in food IS trade in water. I don’t know the strawberry data or what is right, but I sense that a strawberry grown in Syracuse and then shipped cross country to feed folks in Las Vegas is a pretty good way to trade in water. Teh cheapest way to ship water is in fact inside a strawberry, so to speak. I have no idea where food would be grown absent all of these subsidies that are out there, especially for water. But the trade part of it is key, there’s little energy and resource cost embedded in transportation as compared to teh rest of the cycle of growing food.

        Good points.

  3. […] found this via The Unbroken Window, where it was used to discuss whether we should care about climate […]

  4. Harry says:

    I remember a map you posted, WC, showing the population center of the US moving from somewhere north of Baltimore to somewhere southwest of St. Louis.

    Just in case anybody is interested, a friend of mine is selling his big, completely restored house and attached large barn, along with 250 acres and trout stream, in Caribou, Maine, for roughly $400,000. The air strip can land a Cessna 172. The roof has eighty-year 125-mph shingles.

    • Harry says:

      The well, by the way, is inside the barn.

    • Harry says:

      If you qualify, you probably can refinance your under-water mortgage on your $750,000 condo in Boca Raton and get a zero percent no money down loan to buy the place in Maine from FNMA. To qualify, your income has to be under what you can afford, which will qualify you for a no money down on a third property.Then you flip all three, shake out some equity, buy a plane, and rent the house in Maine and Boca, buy a condo in Vail, etc., all using other people’s money.

      Plus, you can plant anything including bananas on that 250 acres, buy cheap crop insurance, and when the crop fails, get money to pay the mortgage on the rental property in Seaside Heights, NJ. Etc.

      I hope this does not give Wintercow’s international readers ideas.

  5. Doug M says:

    If you believe in global warming you should hope that people move to the desert. This way those areas that are capable of growing forests can re-forest, and those that can grow food will feed the world — less fuel is burned with centralized agriculture than locovore-ism.

    And, it takes less fuel to air-condition living spaces in the desert from 100 to 77 in the summer than it does to heat the northeast from -2 to 68 in the winter…

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