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Jim Yong Kim knows a lot about how the world's economy is interconnected, and how vulnerable the world's food system could be to climatic disruptions as weather and rainfall patterns become more erratic due to climate change since Kim is the head of the World Bank:

Climate change will 'lead to battles for food', says head of World Bank

By Larry Elliott, economics editor

Battles over water and food will erupt within the next five to 10 years as a result of climate change, the president of the World Bank said as he urged those campaigning against global warming to learn the lessons of how protesters and scientists joined forces in the battle against HIV.

"Is there enough basic science research going into renewable energy? Not even close. Are there ways of taking discoveries made in universities and quickly moving them into industry? No. Are there ways of testing those innovations? Are there people thinking about scaling [up] those innovations?"
Kim said there were four areas where the bank could help specifically in the fight against global warming: finding a stable price for carbon; removing fuel subsidies; investing in cleaner cities; and developing climate-smart agriculture. Improved access to clean water and sanitation was vital, he added, as he predicted that tension over resources would result from inaction over global warming.

"The water issue is critically related to climate change. People say that carbon is the currency of climate change. Water is the teeth. Fights over water and food are going to be the most significant direct impacts of climate change in the next five to 10 years. There's just no question about it.

"So getting serious about access to clean water, access to sanitation is a very important project. Water and sanitation has not had the same kind of champion that global health, and even education, have had."

This sobering prediction for the near future comes right on the heels of the very comprehensive case  for acting made by the newly released IPCC Report The Pentagon said the same things in a 2014 report. Pentagon Calls Climate Change Impacts "Threat Multipliers," Could Enable Terrorism.

                     Its time that we as a society start to act on this information.

       

                                             It would be reckless not to.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 09:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Energy research? The US & Canada don't even (34+ / 0-)

    have energy policy in alignment with global climate change. They have allowed the fossil fuel corporations to overrun the continent.

    There is no leadership to accept and deal with the latest dire report from the UN on Climate change. It's insane.

    How does the media handle this? they cram the headlines with trivia, because compared with this report everything else is trivial.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 09:44:25 PM PDT

  •  When we bought three watersheds (11+ / 0-)

    I knew my grandkids would be wealthy as a result.

    But somehow I find it very troubling that the value of all that water may be realized in my time.

    •  That little plot of land I bought in northern MI (5+ / 0-)

      twelve years ago that sits on a natural spring?
      Looking like a better investment every year.

      Listening to Black Sabbath.

      by DuzT on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:03:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You planning on pumping it dry? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eyo

      How very environmental of you.  If you own three watersheds, then you own wetlands and should leave them as such.

      I guess exploiting the environment is fine for everyone not named Koch.

      •  Wetlands? You mean methane factories? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl, ypochris

        But seriously, the world's human population will likely top off at around 9 billion. That's 9 billion people that will need something on the order of two meals, a minimum 1000 calories total, per day at . Any average drop below that and people somewhere are starving to death. Particularly infants.

        We have found ourselves in the worse possible situation: Arable land desertification, top soil erosion and depletion, sea level or salt water intrusion into fresh water, are going to make growing and providing food an intense challenge. In order for the human population to survive it may have to bump other species into extinction and convert more ecosystems into ag production.

        I'm not sure the generations of the future will have a choice. That is, until the human population decreases to a sustainable, even complimentary level with all of earth's ecological processes. Human population pressure is just pushing the world's environment to the brink of collapse even without the additional pressure from climate change.

        Can that be done? Remains to be seen. Will we even try? That also remains to be seen. However, if we don't, starvation, war, and the resulting disease will whittle the human population down just the same.

        And the real frightening "unknown unknown" is; in a world with an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 500 ppm, or quite possibly as much as 800 ppm, how bad will it get?


        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

        by Pescadero Bill on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:48:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have a choice - it's called birth control (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ypochris, chelonia testudines

          All we need to do is stop people from breeding themselves into abject poverty.  The human race was doing just fine at 1 billion, and we can be there again.

          •  Letting women decide (0+ / 0-)

            Getting men out of the equation when it comes to reproduction, and educating the women, is the only way that will happen.

            Stop letting "religious" men dictate to women what they can do reproductively, and stop men from forcing them to reproduce, and the problem will be solved.

            We have trouble with that here in the US, where the right winger religious are merrily making it harder and harder for poor women to control their reproduction.



            Women create the entire labor force.
            ---------------------------------------------
            Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:48:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there are thousands of acres of wetlands, (0+ / 0-)

        which we are currently fencing for feral hog eradication. Wetlands are precious. The vegetation slows the water cycle, prevents runoff, and captures sediment and nutrients, purifying the water. Healthy wetlands ensure steady flows in healthy streams.

        What I envisioned was more on the lines of capturing the water from the biologically unproductive streams just before they plunged over the cliffs into the ocean, generating power with the drop, and selling the outflow as quality potable water, perhaps to repurposed supertankers just offshore. The streams which support populations of native stream life would be untouched, but most do not.

    •  P.S., in case that came off harsh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, ypochris

      Exploit is a strong word. There are certainly ways to make a living off the resources of the land without destroying the land.

      In the process of maintaining a healthy diverse oak savanna environment, there are a lot of junk trees to be logged, a lot of lumber that can be sustainably harvested.

      In a wetland environment there are lots of water foul, and deer.  Lots of hunting opportunities that can be done sustainably.

      You could offer hiking and canoeing on your land, and make money that way.

      So your grandkids can get wealthy off that water, without just sucking it all up and destroying it for their grandkids.

      •  That's pretty much the short term plan. (0+ / 0-)

        But some of these streams support no native species at all, while carrying water uncontaminated by agricultural chemicals, nearly impossible to find in the world today. By the time our population peaks, tapping the outflow is inevitable to support the human population. It seems that this can be done without hurting the local ecosystem, generating funds to protect that ecosystem - our primary goal.

        Transport of the water is the issue, naturally. Getting it to where it is needed could be fuel intensive. Can we retrofit those supertankers with sail?

  •  Every candidate for elective office in this (17+ / 0-)

    country, Democrat and Republican, declared and presumptive, must be pressured, wherever and whenever they speak in public, to go on the record regarding what they'll commit to do to mitigate against the ongoing devastation of unchecked climate change.

    We cannot afford to give any of them a pass on this, the gravest issue facing mankind.

    Obama is apparently OK with TPP's price tag of thousands of preventable deaths, due to projected increase in drug costs in impoverished nations. Does it make a difference to you if HRC supports TPP as well?

    by WisePiper on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:17:32 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this excellent post about a sad subject (6+ / 0-)

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:33:58 PM PDT

  •  We could prevent that by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, eyo

    demonetizing survival.

  •  Thanks for caring so much, (5+ / 0-)

    Lefty Coaster. The world needs more people like you!

  •  Back when (8+ / 0-)

    I was 16 or so, I was questioning the existence of God with a very cool, younger, preacher. After bantering back and forth he finally said, "you know, there might not be a God but shouldn't we live our lives like there is? What could it hurt?"
    I told this story to my rightwing 'christian' climate change denier brother. The I told him to apply the story to global warming. He actually, for once, agreed with me....

    6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

    by fugwb on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:13:41 AM PDT

    •  the argument goes back to Pascal's wager (0+ / 0-)
      Pascal's Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).[1]
      from wiki Pascal's Wager
      •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

        I was smart and didn't even know it.....

        6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

        by fugwb on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:59:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The trouble with Pascal's Wager, of course (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nowhere Man, jfromga, Calamity Jean

        is that it assumes there is only one possible god and only one possible way to live as though that god exists.  If one wagers on the wrong god or the wrong godly sort of life, one runs the same risks as having believed in no god at all.

        Applying it to climate change actually makes more sense.  We don't have a lot to lose by acting as though it's real.

        •  Pascal's Wager (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, Pescadero Bill

          also ignores the price of living a lie.   That isn't even healthy.

          •  Well, and it also assumes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga

            that the deity in question would be pleased with someone trying to game the system, rather than otherwise.

            Sir Terry Pratchett had an excellent take on that aspect:

            This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..."

            -Hogfather

  •  Since he's the head of the World Bank, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike, eyo, Calamity Jean

    I wonder if this fact can be leveraged to get somewhat more attention to the issue from our recalcitrant politicians?

  •  You'd Think That The Pentagon Could Convince (2+ / 0-)

    right-wing bigotted assholes who are Kochroach boot lickers and global warming deniers like teabagger Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma who is the head of the Senate Science & Technology Committee that global warming is the biggest threat to all living things on the planet, but Inhofe doesn't care because he is a Money-worshippng Ku Klux Kristian with one foot in the grave due to his advanced age and won't be around to reap what he, the Kochroaches, and other fossil fools have sown.

  •  If I had a tv antenna, I'd be watching this film (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyo, Calamity Jean, Pescadero Bill

    in climate change on April 13: http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com/

    It's kinda annoying that it's relegated to Showtime- it should be in theaters all over the country. And the issue of climate change shouldn't need actors for us to pay any attention. (Environmentalism does, as a general rule, however. :( )

    However, the film has a segment with a personal hero of mine, Mr. Mark Bittman. He's the biggest advocate for climate change awareness, as best I can tell, at the NYT. One the one hand, that's odd given he's a food columnist, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he's a hell of an advocate. And it makes sense, too. Food plays a huge role in sustainability, and it's a big part of how we live. When we change our attitudes about food, we change our attitudes, period.

    Good on Bittman, and shame on the rest of the NYT. Sure, they do stories here and there, but they should be hammering at it over and over again.

  •  Coming? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, eyo, Calamity Jean

    Ehem (cough, cough)... Anybody paying attention to what is happening in the southern half of the San Joaquin Valley at the moment. We're not looking at water fight anymore, it's water war.

  •  Water is a public good (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyo, madcitysailor, kosta, Calamity Jean

    A Progressive candidate for Portland City Council has written an initiative which is the first of its kind in the nation. I'm going to do a diary on it.

    ...symptomatic of a newly vital direction in environmental activism nationwide. The idea is this: The city of Portland has a well-established duty to take care of resources like water. If the city does a bad job, then a so-called public trust would finally give citizens the right to sue.

    The notion has roots in a centuries-old idea called the "public trust doctrine." But it's also a tack that's found fresh energy in recent years, and has seen success in state and federal courts.

    The Bull Run Watershed provides the cleanest water to a large city in the entire nation.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:32:40 AM PDT

  •  Don't blame the climate; blame the people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    who refuse to share and insist on wasting a third of all the food that's produced.

    It is still true that one man's waste is another's treasure, but not if man hoards his waste as if it were a treasure and takes pleasure in the deprivation of his own kind.
    Deprivation is not as bad as murder, the original sin of Cain, it's worse because it is slower and takes longer to arrive at the same end.

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:00:29 AM PDT

  •  NOW they are speaking up and speaking out? (5+ / 0-)

    Where were they in the '70s when the first symptoms of climate change and peak resources were recognized by environmentalists and scientists?

    Better late than never I guess.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:04:16 AM PDT

  •  As long as big money controls our government (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyo, Calamity Jean

    nothing will be done until it to late.  The time is now to work to end once and for all the power of big money. It can be done but it takes all of us working together. The real question is how do you get the right-wing to work with anyone when it comes to climate change since they refuse to believe in facts or science.

    Dogs and Philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards (Diogenes)

    by Out There on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:36:19 AM PDT

  •  33GW of new nuclear power ready to go (0+ / 0-)

    We can start building them today, just release the permits.  We could have shut down every coal and gas power plant decades ago.  We could have all the electricity we need to charge millions of electric cars.  But instead, I guess it's better to call for more university research for products 20 years out, and watch people starve to death in the meantime.

    •  ?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW
      33GW of new nuclear power ready to go
      A new nuclear power plant takes at least five years to build; we can't wait that long.  Rooftop solar takes weeks, large commercial-size solar farms and wind farms take two or three years.  

      IOW, solar and wind can be putting out power while nukes are still having their concrete poured.  AND if solar and wind is spread out enough geographically and connected via the electrical grid,  the "intermittent" nature of renewable energy averages out to a steady supply.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:44:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm shocked by this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyo, kosta, Calamity Jean

    The World Bank finally agrees with the Pentagon.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Published: August 8, 2009

    WASHINGTON — The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say. [...]

    Recent war games and intelligence studies conclude that over the next 20 to 30 years, vulnerable regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, will face the prospect of food shortages, water crises and catastrophic flooding driven by climate change that could demand an American humanitarian relief or military response.

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:16:30 AM PDT

  •  Remember Paul Ehrlich? (0+ / 0-)

    His extreme predictions did more to harm population action than anything else. And he represents one of the worst examples of a highly-trained scientist advocating in the policy field.

    I saw not a single reference to population - speaking of population - in the linked article. Yes, Lake Chad has seen a dramatic reduction in the past fifty years until a recent uptick; yet, the nations bordering the lake have had a fourfold population increase in the same period.

    Haiti had a population of more than 11 million as of 2010 until it was revised downward by the UN and other international agencies to 10 million despite the fact that the 2003 census data has never been released by the Haitian government. Whatever the number - which has now become politicized - Haiti has roughly the population of Massachusetts - many living at the subsistence level - in the same areas as one of the most developed regions of the world.

    Despite three generations of massive outmigration, natural and political disasters, and international aid, Haiti's population continues to increase dramatically. The western half of the island of Hispaniola is in environmental crisis - a crisis that has unfolded in, at best, the earliest stages of any climate impacts.

    Where is the discussion of population?

    •  Population reduction, although a good idea in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      itself, won't do much to slow global warming for two reasons.  

      #1 is that the poorer areas of the world where most of the population growth is, have generally low or very low carbon footprints and contribute relatively little per capita to the global warming problem.  

      #2 is that it's too late.  It will take too long to reduce population via contraception and natural death.  The average age of people now in the world is low enough that global warming disaster will overtake us before significant numbers of people will have had time to die of old age.  

      I'm not saying that helping high-reproductive-rate populations cut their birth rates isn't a good idea.  Absolutely it's a good idea for humanitarian reasons.  It just won't help cut global warming much.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:57:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There Is a Neocolonialist Aspect - (0+ / 0-)

        To the "low consumption" aspect -
        Which brought Copenhagen to a screeching halt. In fact, there are some who insist that the planet requires continued low consumption on the part of the less-developed world. Not surprisingly, people in these regions rarely concur.

        As people in developing nations seek to share in the same standard of living as the developed world, their carbon footprints will grow accordingly. Nothing illustrates this more than auto purchases in China. To argue otherwise is neocolonialist.

        http://static2.businessinsider.com/...

        •  I Believe - (0+ / 0-)

          That all people in the world should have access to the same standard of living that people in developed nations have. Granted, there are different levels of consumption in different developed nations - and one should strive for lower consumption levels overall. However, to attempt to restrain consumption in less-developed nations is both futile and of questionable ethics. So - - any calculation of carbon MUST include higher consumption levels for less-developed nations.

          •  The less-developed nations can and should (0+ / 0-)

            jump over fossil fuels and go straight to renewables, just as they (mostly) jumped over wired telephones and went straight to cell phones.  They can sharply increase their use of energy without increasing their carbon output much.  As an added benefit, going straight to wind and solar lets them avoid the pollution and expense of fossil fuel.  I would never say that less-developed nations should not be allowed to develop.  

            "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

            by Calamity Jean on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:04:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  opportunities (0+ / 0-)

    There's tremendous human opportunities in producing our own food, on site.  We humans are social beings: growing, processing and producing food together is a sweet way to connect with each other.  We get to move beyond institutional segregation and  appreciate ourselves and in turn, our communities.

    "The best things in life are free"

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