Urgent World Bank Climate Alert, Likely To Be Ignored, With Dire Results; Petition the White House to stabilize US Population

By Donald A. Collins | 28 November 2012
Church and State

Good old Noah was reported by Genesis in Chapters 6 to 9 as acting at God’s suggestion by building an ark which would rise above the flood which was coming to take out evil mankind. He put 2 of every animal species aboard his vessel so these innocents would survive along with his family.

Actually, according to Wikipedia, “God gives Noah detailed instructions for building the ark: it is to be of gopher wood, smeared inside and out with pitch, with three decks and internal compartments; it will be 300 cubits long (a cubit is an ancient measure of length about the length of a forearm–mine is about a foot long), 50 wide, and 30 high; it will have a roof “finished to a cubit upward”, and an entrance on the side.” Well, hey, a little tight for all the world species, but, what the heck, if its in the Bible it must be true, n’est pas?

Anyway, it is now highly ironic that the just issued report from the World Bank, which was sent to the Population Media Center (PMC) by Bill McKibben, predicts the possibility the world could experience a real Noah like flood as the result of Global Warming. Noah’s fable has the possibility of partially coming true for many coastal areas which are resident to many of the world’s most populous areas.

It is also clear that urgent unified action by mankind will be required to avoid its prediction. I think you will be anxious to read this full report from Joe Bish of PMC:

On November 20th, the Bill McKibben’s Twitter feed alerted me to the issuance of a new report by the World Bank with this Tweet: “Those radicals at the World Bank: must limit warming to 2 degrees or ‘roll back decades of devt”.

This was in reference to the 106 page Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 Degree Celsius Warmer World Must be Avoided (16 MB PDF) report the World Bank has just issued. The forward of the document, written by World Bank president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, begins:

It is my hope that this report shocks us into action. Even for those of us already committed to fighting climate change, I hope it causes us to work with much more urgency. This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.

The 4°C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.

Fortuitously, Jenny Goldie then sent me the following highlights/excerpts. I have also pasted two related news stories below: 1) World Bank fears devastating 4.0 degree warming; and, 2) Influential investors call for action on ‘serious climate danger’.

  • In a world rapidly warming toward 4°C, the most adverse impacts on water availability are likely to occur in association with growing water demand as the world population increases. Some estimates indicate that a 4°C warming would significantly exacerbate existing water scarcity in many regions…
  • Maintaining adequate food and agricultural output in the face of increasing population and rising levels of income will be a challenge irrespective of human-induced climate change.
  • The projected impacts on water availability, ecosystems, agriculture, and human health could lead to large-scale displacement of populations and have adverse consequences for human security and economic and trade systems.
  • …a large shock to agricultural production due to extreme temperatures across many regions, along with substantial pressure on water resources and changes in the hydrological cycle, would likely impact both human health and livelihoods. This could, in turn, cascade into effects on economic development by reducing a population’s work capacity, which would then hinder growth in GDP.
  • With pressures increasing as warming progresses toward 4°C and combining with nonclimate-related social, economic, and population stresses, the risk of crossing critical social system thresholds will grow. At such thresholds existing institutions that would have supported adaptation actions would likely become much less effective or even collapse.

World Bank fears devastating 4.0 degree warming
By Shaun Tandon (AFP)

The World Bank warned that global temperatures could rise by four degrees this century without immediate action, with potentially devastating consequences for coastal cities and the poor.

Issuing a call for action, the World Bank tied the future wealth of the planet — and especially developing regions — to immediate efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as energy production.

“The time is very, very short. The world has to tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said on a conference call as he launched a report conducted for the global lender.

“We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today.”

The study said the planet could warm 4.0 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels as early as the 2060s if governments’ promises to fight climate change are not met.

Even if nations fulfill current pledges, the study gave a 20 percent likelihood of a four-degree rise by 2100 and said that a three-degree rise appeared likely. UN-led climate negotiations have vowed to limit the rise of temperatures to no more than two degrees.

“A four-degree warmer world can and must be avoided. We need to hold warming below two degrees,” Kim said. “Lack of ambitious action on climate change threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions and roll back decades of development.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that the study showed the need to hold nations to their commitment, made last year in Durban, South Africa, to put in place a legally binding new climate agreement by 2015.

The more than 190 nations in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change start their latest annual talks on November 26 in Qatar.

Global temperatures have already risen about 0.8 degrees Celsius. The planet has charted a slew of record-breaking temperatures over the past decade and experienced frequent disasters some experts blame on climate change, most recently superstorm Sandy, which ravaged Haiti and the US East Coast.

The report said that, if temperatures rise by four degrees, regions will feel different effects — recent heatwaves in Russia could become an annual norm and July in the Mediterranean could be nine degrees higher than the area’s warmest level now.

Under that scenario, the acidity of the oceans could rise at a rate unprecedented in world history, threatening coral reefs that protect shorelines and provide a habitat for fish species.

Rising sea levels could inundate coastal areas with the most vulnerable cities found in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Mozambique, the Philippines, Venezuela and Vietnam, the study said.

“Many small islands may not be able to sustain the communities at all. There would be irreversible loss of biodiversity,” Kim said.

The study found that the most alarming impact may be on food production, with the world already expected to struggle to meet demand for a growing and increasingly wealthy population that is eating more meat.

Low-lying areas such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Vietnam and parts of Africa’s coast could see major blows to food production, with drought severely hindering agriculture elsewhere, the study said.

Flooding can also contaminate drinking water, increasing illnesses such as diarrhea.

The dire warnings were designed to encourage bolder action, but the report did not focus on potential steps.

Identifying one area, Kim called for less reliance on coal, which is the dirtiest major form of energy but is politically sensitive in the United States and China due to industry jobs.

Kim said that the World Bank was determined to support renewable energy in its lending, saying: “We do everything we can not to invest in coal — everything we possibly can.”

The fight against climate change has faced political obstacles in a number of nations including the United States, where many conservative lawmakers have called action too costly and cast doubt on the science.

Kim, a physician and former president of Dartmouth College who was tapped for the World Bank by US President Barack Obama, said that 97 percent of scientists agreed that human activity was causing climate change.

“As someone who has lived in the world of science for a long time, 97 percent is unheard-of consensus,” he said.

The report was carried out by German-based Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The World Bank said it did not consider the study a substitute for next UN-backed scientific assessment on climate change expected in 2014.

Influential investors call for action on ‘serious climate danger’
By Reuters

A coalition of the world’s largest investors called on governments on Tuesday to ramp up action on climate change and boost clean-energy investment or risk trillions of dollars in investments and disruption to economies.

In an open letter, the alliance of institutional investors, responsible for managing $22.5 trillion in assets, said rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and more extreme weather were increasing investment risks globally.

The group called for dialogue between investors and governments to overhaul climate and energy policies.

The call comes less than a week before major UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar. Almost 200 nations will meet in Doha from 26 November to 7 December to try to extend the Kyoto protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of 2012.

On Monday, the World Bank said current climate policies meant the world was heading for a warming of up to 4C by 2100. That will trigger deadly heat waves and droughts, cut food stocks and drive up sea levels.

“Current policies are insufficient to avert serious and dangerous impacts from climate change,” said the group of investors from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The investments and retirement savings of millions of people were being jeopardised because governments were delaying tougher emissions cuts or more generous support for greener energy.

The group said the right policies would prompt institutional investors to significantly increase investments in cleaner energy and energy efficiency, citing existing policies that have unleashed billions of dollars of renewable energy investment in China, the United States and Europe.

But many economies were still going to be heavily reliant on polluting fossil fuels such as coal, and policies needed to be implemented to speed up the shift to cleaner energy, the investors said.

They issued seven action points, including slashing fossil fuel subsidies and boosting carbon markets, for governments to focus on and said the re-election of Barack Obama in the United States and the leadership change in China were an opportunity to push for tougher climate talks.

“Strong carbon-reducing government policies are an urgent imperative,” said Chris Davis, director of investor programs at Ceres, a US-based coalition of investors and green groups.

“Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $50bn in economic losses, is typical of what we can expect if no action is taken and warming trends continue,” said Davis, who also works for the Investor Network on Climate Risk, which groups 100 institutional investors with assets of more than $11tr.

This courageous web site has been scrupulously reporting on the dangers of various environmental disasters arising from the fundamental root cause of too many humans on the planet. Now we are told by the World Bank that the facts are getting clearer and even more ominous than earlier surmised. The sceptics are legion and the time never seems right to address the problem, but when the above opinions are proven true, it will be too late to avoid the horrendous results scheduled now for the not too distant future.

Will humanity awaken and take actions that ameliorate the 4% prediction? I am personally doubtful but fervently hope I am wrong. The least you can do is petition your leaders to take action.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.
Population Media Center was founded in 1998 by William Ryerson, with the intention of using the extensive experience of experts in entertainment-education to spread the application of the Sabido methodology in addressing population and reproductive health issues. In the fourteen years since PMC’s inception, the organization has been a pioneer in the use of new methodologies for informing people about reproductive health issues and promoting behavior change.

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A visual response to the unlistened call of a group of scientistis of MIT to answer to the challenge of the finitude of resources supplies.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The Pew Research Center announced on Thursday, November 29th that, as Joe Bish of Population Media Center says, “the U.S. birth rate fell to its lowest level since at least 1920, when reliable record-keeping began. The reported general fertility rate for 2011 is 63.2 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age. (It peaked in 1957 during the Baby Boom years, reaching 122.7 per 1,000 women).” He notes “the concept of *rate* is surely being haphazardly conflated with aggregate totals in the minds of too many news-consumers”. You really need to understand this total mischaracterization of the facts created by this announcement.

    He suggests that “You may also benefit from further clarification on the differences between crude birth rate, general fertility rate and total fertility rate, read Carl Haub's blog, titled "Reports That the U.S. Birth Rate in 2011 Was the Lowest in History Are, Well, Wrong…"”

  2. Joe Bish of Population Media Center adds to my initial comments: "However, once again, the concept of *rate* is surely being haphazardly conflated with aggregate totals in the minds of too many news-consumers. Indeed, the National Center for Health Statistics reported in early October that the 2011 number of US births was 3,953,593, only 1% less (or 45,793 fewer) births than in 2010 — and just 362,407 shy of the absolute record set in 2007 of 4,316,000 births. In other words, despite narrowly accurate headlines indicating a record low rate of births, aggregate births are just 8% off their all time high."

    In case you needed to look up the word “conflated” as I did, it means “combined or fused into one”.

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