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World Bank Report Warns 'Catastrophic Consequences' of Global Warming

Environment  (tags: animals, banking, climate-change, CO2emissions, destruction, ecosystems, energy, environment, globalwarming, greenhousegases, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, nature, politics, oceans, pollution, research, science, Sustainabililty, water, weather, w )

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The World Bank is the latest organization to raise alarm against the undeniable threat of climate change. Launched Monday, 'Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided' (pdf) details the catastrophic consequences, specifically--->

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Kit B (276)
Monday November 19, 2012, 3:49 pm
(Photo by the World Bank)

The World Bank is the latest organization to raise alarm against the undeniable threat of climate change. Launched Monday, 'Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4C Warmer World Must be Avoided' (pdf) details the catastrophic consequences, specifically within developing nations, of ignoring the global warming crisis.

The analysis, conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, focuses on a revised point-of-no-return temperature rise of 4C (7.24F) by the end of the century, a threshold, according to the report, that will likely "trigger widespread crop failures and malnutrition and dislocate large numbers of people from land inundated by rising seas."

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim admitted in a briefing last week that despite world climate goals to hold the average temperature increase to under 2C, "scientists agree that countries' current emission pledges and commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change would most likely result in 3.5-4C warming," and added that "the longer those pledges remain unmet, the more likely it is that we will be living in a world that is four degrees warmer by the end of this century."

In the forward to the report, Kim writes:

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.

Though not news to many, the predictions for a world 4C warmer are nonetheless devastating. In an editorial in The Guardian, Kim lists the effects:

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.

'Turn Down the Heat' identifies the most vulnerable cities in developing nations including Mozambique, Madagascar, Mexico, Venezuela, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

This publication comes a week after the release of the International Energy Agency's 'World Energy Outlook,' in which it was determined that the burning and extraction of only one third of proven reserves of coal, oil and gas will bring us exceedingly close to the danger point of 2C. Both the IEA report and today's World Bank publication fail to mention the constant and continued efforts of the fossil fuel industry to procure additional reserves, despite these warnings.

In a cautiously optimistic note, Kim cites "opportunities to drastically reduce the climate impact of development without slowing poverty alleviation or economic growth." Kelly Rigg, writing for the Huffington Post, ruminates on the possibilities:

There are many policy options governments can and should pursue to deal with the problem: phasing out fossil fuel subsidies while massively increasing support for energy efficiency and renewables; putting a high price on carbon and letting the polluters pay; creating incentives and opportunities for people to get out of their cars and on to mass transit; prohibiting new coal-fired power stations; and withdrawing licenses to explore for and exploit new sources of fossil fuels to name just a few.

But let's be honest. It's going to take a gargantuan effort given that so much is invested in the status quo.

By Common Dreams Staff | Common Dreams |

Roseann d (178)
Monday November 19, 2012, 5:20 pm
Rejecting "stupid" in the 11th hour. Pretty late to the table but we'll take it.

Terry V (30)
Monday November 19, 2012, 7:47 pm
The Time is Now

Earth Cry

Danuta W (1250)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 6:42 am

Gloria p (304)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 6:44 am
Focusing on a temperature doesn't make sense. We need to stop deforestation, mining, & attackiing wildlife while creating wind & solar powers.

Ben O (152)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 7:05 am
...The HEAT is on!

Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 8:47 am
We are having a repeat performance of warm weather where I am this November...I see hardly any snow in the near future, and another green Christmas this will be two in a row.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 8:59 am

No one thing seems to stay in the mind of the public for long. The news cycle has now skipped over the horrible damage of hurricane Sandy to move on to days of salacious chatter about General/ CIA Director Petraeus. Now it's all about the fighting in Israel. The news media could keep a block of time each day to report on climate change affects around the global, discussing these issues from the hundreds of countries being affected. This is not a problem isolated to the United States, it is a global problem.

karen n (57)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 9:34 am
This is scarey stuff-im still amazed at the people that wont acknowledge global warming-they prefer to stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesnt exsist-wake up people before its too late to do somthing about this-we only have one planet!

Anna M (18)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 9:44 am

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
Chief Seattle, 1854
When all the trees have been cut down,
When all the animals have been hunted,
When all the waters are polluted,
When all the air is unsafe to breathe,
Only then will you discover
You cannot eat money.
Cree Prophecy
Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors
We borrow it from our Children.
Ancient Indian Proverb
The price of anything is the amount of life exchanged for it.
It seems Corporate planetcide will be allowed as long as enough money is moving among the OnePercenters

Arielle S (313)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 9:45 am
Yes, imagine a world where somebody's private sex life stayed private - and the environment took precedence over Dancing with the Stars - and everyone actually made an attempt, however small, at walking a little softer on the earth. Where oil companies spent some of their billions working on alternative energy and car companies made functional cars that were electric or used very little gas. Imagine if they stopped cutting down trees and started planting hemp and bamboo. Imagine if everyone had some respect for the planet and tried to save it. Just imagine.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 10:15 am

Indeed, Arielle just imagine. ( Sure wish I could send you a green star)

David C (129)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 10:49 am
when will enough people wake up and force governments and businesses to make the changes we need to save our home......

Nancy M (169)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 12:42 pm
I will never understand how some can be in such denial over this.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 2:01 pm

We should have been addressing all of this for the last 40 years. There is a new movie/documentary that uses time lapse photography to show the rapid degradation of the major glaciers.

"Chasing Ice" -- A new documentary looks at how photographer James Balog captured climate change on film by placing two dozen time-lapse cameras throughout the Arctic and other areas to document melting glaciers. Dubbed by some a new "Inconvenient Truth," the film chronicles Balogs work with the Extreme Ice Survey, a long-term photography project that works to preserve a visual legacy of how climate change and other human activity impacts the planet.

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 2:07 pm
I'm hoping that Obama will turn over a new leaf in the next 4 yrs. regarding climate change and fossil fuels. I think he's had his hands full with all the issues brought forward by the GOP in the past 4 yrs. Now, their new word is "impeachment," which we have to nip in the bud so Obama can actually get to work on crucial issues important to Americans. Stick with Bill McKibbon and his movement, and let's ramp up those Keystone XL TarSands Pipeline protests. We must push for more funding for alternative know the GOP will fight that tooth-and-nail.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 2:17 pm

I hope many do follow Bill McKibbon and he offers us a wealth of information.

. (0)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 2:25 pm
The effects of global waming are not what I for one thought they might be. I live in England which suffered a severe drought last year which ended in June this year and was followed by pretty widespread flooding. As a result of these 'unusual' weather conditions (weather in England always was 'unusual' but now we are seeing far more extreme conditions) we have seen crop failures (which have also been seen in the US and elsewhere of course) which have led to considerable rises in the price of our staple foods, more rises are threatend. So, at least as far as England goes the term 'global warming' isn't quite correct, we have seen milder (indeed warmer temperatures) but the term 'global climate change' which whilst it might not trip quite so easily off the tongue,is for more reflective of what we are seeing. The only thing that I hope is that it is not too late to reverse these changes - I think that it is not but that even if we made the necessary changes now it might be quite some time before things return to normal - if we do not make radical changes then we can only look forward to more radical and unpleasant changes.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 3:25 pm
Thanks Kit--humans seldom learn until a few seconds before the disaster strikes, and frequently not even then.

e.g. why build a city partly below sea level, between a mighty river, and an unpredictable ocean--New Orleans? When Katrina struck, the Mississippi River was not in flood.

greenplanet e (155)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 4:44 pm
If even the World Bank is acknowledging climate change we should really be cutting emissions and leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

"But let's be honest. It's going to take a gargantuan effort given that so much is invested in the status quo."

Sadly that seems to be the case.

Ray M (0)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 5:16 pm
Nothing will get done about this crisis unless repugs get thrown out of congress. They're too beholden to corporate polluters to vote intelligently. Good grief, they even want to cut out all regulations for their pimps. They couldn't care less about our planet. Profit is their bottom line. Disgusting and repulsive.

marie C (163)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 5:48 pm
Noted thanks Kit

James Merit (144)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 6:50 pm
Agree with Arielle S. Thank you.

Lucia Fox (6)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 7:18 pm

Kathleen R (138)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 7:07 am
You cannot currently send a star to Arielle because you have done so within the last week.
read, noted & shared

Ilona a (51)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 9:33 am

Wim Zunnebeld (144)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 12:07 pm
noted, thx

Don Schwarz (5)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 3:42 pm
Noted. A lot fewer folks are denying climate change.

Frans Badenhorst (582)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 6:04 am
noted..... too late... I think we're FOOOOKED in any case

Sharon W. (4)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:24 am
Urgh.. and there are still some people who deny climate change.. unbelievable..

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:42 pm
The warnings from independent experts are there. Please take note!
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