Reuters and dozens of other sources promote the craziness of the day, namely a bunch of statements by a Michael Oppenheimer of New Jersey and his pals, Shuaizhang Feng and Alan B. Krueger. The paper was edited by the late Stephen Schneider a month ago.
He and his friends essentially claim that global warming is going to be the main reason of the Mexican illegal immigration. Between 1.4 and 6.7 million Mexicans will arrive to the U.S. by 2080 because their agriculture will get worse, and so on. Of course, this statement is completely preposterous but the media make it even worse when they exclusively quote the upper "6.7 million" figure in the title.
The number of Mexicans who actually move because of the temperatures may be counted in thousands, not millions. If you check an encyclopedia, the daily temperatures in Mexico City go from 6 to 21 °C in January to 12 to 26 °C in May (the figures are average lows and average highs in the months). In average, there's no excessive heat over there. And the agriculture is not getting worse because of the climate change.
You may check that e.g. Sao Paolo in Brazil, the agricultural powerhouse of Latin America, has temperatures by about 6 °C higher than Mexico City. They're even higher in Rio de Janeiro. Warmth is surely not a problem.
I think that only insane people may have doubts that what drives the overwhelming portion of the immigrants is the economy. The Mexican GDP per capita is 5 times (nominal) or 3 times (PPP) lower than in the U.S. Well, such things make a difference.
A Wolfram Alpha widget to calculate and graph the GDP per capita.
The hypothesis that the desire for a cooler weather plays an important role in the Mexican immigration can be easily falsified by anyone who actually wants to know whether it's true or not. The simplest way to see that it is bogus is to notice that the Mexicans are satisfied as soon as they cross the borders and many of them stay in the Southern states of the U.S. Even though the climate can't change too much a few miles away, the new place is good enough for them.
I've heard amazing testimonies of several people who visited the U.S.-Mexican border along the Rio Grande river. The vast difference in wealth makes it look like two different worlds. The difference has clearly nothing to do with the climate.
It's not hard to see what is the driver behind similar "research": they want to attract some conservative people - people who are genuinely afraid of immigration, especially the illegal immigration (whether or not their fears are justified) - onto the global warming bandwagon by giving the global warming fears some new "anti-immigration flavor". I think that the descendants of J. Robert Oppenheimer should sue Michael Oppenheimer and prevent him from using and contaminating the name of their ancestor and their families - and the good name of physics.
And that's the memo.
Unrelated - affirmative action
I was just intrigued or worried by a threatening letter that a Virginian boss of NAACP, a U.S. group promoting reverse racism, sent to James Webb, a Virginian Democratic senator who has opposed affirmative action - maybe more openly than his former G.O.P. opponent, George Allen.
A week ago, Webb wrote a WSJ op-ed, Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege, in which he was advocating the end of affirmative action programs.
The intimidating tone of the NAACP reply sucks. They want to meet him and they ask him whether there are any more rotten apples around him so that they could go after their necks, too. I think that beyond a certain threshold, such communication of organized groups with the politicians has to be viewed as blackmailing.