Skip to main content

In The Guardian World Bank president Jim Yong Kim writes about the World Bank's new report (pdf)   “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided,”  and warns that “we’re on track for a 4°C (7 degree F) warmer world marked by extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise.”  He says that the latest predictions on climate change should shock us into action  A world four degrees C warmer could be too hot to handle, but the exciting prospect of low-carbon living could stop it happening.

The World Bank Group commissioned a report (pdf) by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to help us understand the science and the potential impact on good economic development of a 4C increase. Launched on Monday, the scenarios in the report are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production, potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, and wet regions wetter; unprecedented heatwaves 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. [...]
And, most important, a world that is 4C warmer is so different from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan for future needs. The lack of action on climate change not only risks putting prosperity out of reach for millions of people in the developing world; it also threatens to roll back decades of sustainable development.
The impact on food security is particularly troubling, with the latest science “much less optimistic” that the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment report:
These results suggest instead a rapidly rising risk of crop yield reductions as the world warms. Large negative effects have been observed at high and extreme temperatures in several regions including India, Africa, the United States, and Australia. For example, significant nonlinear effects have been observed in the United States for local daily temperatures increasing to 29°C for corn and 30°C for soybeans. These new results and observations indicate a significant risk of high-temperature thresholds being crossed that could substantially undermine food security globally in a 4°C world.
After knocking the wind out of us Jim Yong Kim does stress that this is not a foregone conclusion. That there are measures that can be taken and we should not focus on doomsday scenarios.  The initiatives can be completed to drastically reduce the impact of development without slowing poverty alleviation or economic growth.
Those initiatives include: putting the more than $1tn (£630bn) of fossil fuel and other harmful subsidies to better use; factoring the value of the natural environment into economic decision-making; expanding public and private expenditures on green infrastructure that is able to withstand extreme weather; investing in urban public transport systems designed to minimise carbon emission and maximise access to jobs and services; supporting carbon pricing and international and national emissions trading schemes; and increasing energy efficiency – especially in buildings – and the share of renewable power produced.
my emphasis

If the World Bank is to have us take its warnings seriously it must stop funding all new fossil fuel plants!

We are being shocked into action. Can we do it?  There is no question.  We must.

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:51 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Climate Hawks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

SME in Seattle, RakDaddy, JekyllnHyde, Marek, northsylvania, mwm341, glitterscale, Gooserock, Danno11, PeterHug, surfbird007, Avila, OtherDoug, Pescadero Bill, CupaJoe, liz, hyperstation, Richard Cranium, frisco, RFK Lives, hubcap, eyeswideopen, EricS, Loquatrix, ask, CoolOnion, Miles, barath, chimpy, fumie, wader, pollwatcher, Getreal1246, Eric Blair, mrkvica, figbash, hoplite9, zerelda, ybruti, JayDean, Steven D, vacantlook, demandcaring, BoogieMama, nailbender, gradinski chai, ExStr8, marina, jrooth, OpherGopher, corvo, kitchen sink think tank, basquebob, YucatanMan, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, FutureNow, SaraBeth, skyounkin, Tool, mightymouse, xaxnar, reddbierd, Reality Bites Back, Paul Ferguson, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, tonyahky, HoundDog, Magnifico, Lefty Coaster, praenomen, A Siegel, Ashaman, murphthesurf, BlueMississippi, crystal eyes, bstotts, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, Noor B, hooper, Cronesense, Bob Guyer, tgypsy, possum, Debs2, edsbrooklyn, Mary Mike, terabytes, DWG, artisan, cyncynical, mudslide, SeaTurtle, Assaf, elwior, Buckeye Nut Schell, KJG52, Lujane, tofumagoo, RandomNonviolence, doppler effect, Mayfly, toom, jlms qkw, legendmn, maggiejean, J M F, BennyToothpick, divineorder, ewmorr, clambake, cantelow, be the change you seek, maryabein, ThompsonLazyBoy, asym, Keith Pickering, metro50, jfromga, citisven, Larsstephens, Words In Action, Clyde the Cat, Just Bob, cezariusz, T Maysle, The Jester, marsanges, fidellio, Lost and Found, RJP9999, gosoxataboy, samanthab, pixxer, Yasuragi, slice, Maximilien Robespierre, slowbutsure, asterkitty, marleycat, Lorikeet, LSmith, antooo, PhilJD, Hayate Yagami, DRo, DawnN, Only Needs a Beat, Mindful Nature, Siri, IndieGuy, Jakkalbessie, radical simplicity, ccellist, New Minas, oldpotsmuggler, Glen The Plumber, artmanfromcanuckistan, mythatsme, Lily O Lady, John Crapper, Panacea Paola, LeftArmed, Smoh, ET3117, Knockbally, Friend in Miami, martianexpatriate, OregonWetDog, shinobi9, jerakami

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site