April 3 News: World Bank President Calls Climate Change A ‘Fundamental Threat’ To Economic Development

Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, said that we need to curb climate change immediately or we will leave behind “an unrecognizable planet” for our children and grandchildren. [Washington Post]

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Tuesday said climate change was a “fundamental threat” to global economic development as he called for a major new push to reduce extreme poverty over the next 17 years. …

“If we do not act to curb climate change immediately, we will leave our children and grandchildren an unrecognizable planet,” Kim said. “It is the poor, those least responsible for climate change and least able to afford adaptation, who would suffer the most.”

His comments are part of an emerging push by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to focus on climate change — something that IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Tuesday said puts global financial stability “clearly at stake.”

The Attorney General of Arkansas has opened a probe into the Exxon tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower. [CNN]

People want political leaders to do something about climate change. [Washington Post]

The consulting firm the State Department used to say that the Keystone pipeline is safe also said that that a pipeline project in Peru was safe, until it corroded and exploded multiple times. [DeSmogBlog]

Column: President Obama should talk about climate change because Republicans frequently think it’s a hoax and the news media ignores the topic too frequently. [Washington Post]

The Environmental Protection Agency will update the defined rate at which various greenhouse gases are calculated to warm the planet to comply with more recent science. [Bloomberg BNA]

Some groups are suing to force coal companies such as BNSF to at least cover the open-topped train cars full of coal as they are shipped around the Pacific Northwest — shipments that would increase with a busy coal export terminal. [Seattle Times]

Rust –iron oxide — could help cheaply produce hydrogen from water for use in energy storage. [Earth Techling]

BMW is trying to reduce fears of “range anxiety” when unveiling its new all-electric i3 by offering free access to a gas-powered secondary car for long trips. [Time]

Exploding nuclear waste: the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board warned that an unfinished nuclear waste treatment plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation cleanup site in Washington State has serious design problems. [New York Times]

A new report confirms what has been said for a while: that climate change is making extreme events in Australia worse. [Guardian]

The government of British Columbia is freezing its carbon tax for five years despite a planned modest increase. [Vancouver Sun]

17 Responses to April 3 News: World Bank President Calls Climate Change A ‘Fundamental Threat’ To Economic Development

  1. fj says:

    IMF Recommends Ending Energy Subsidies to Fight Climate Change – @mikehower | @IMFNews @PIIE_com #carbon #tax

  2. fj says:

    One of the most important climate actions is Poor People First

    World Bank’s Kim Vows Climate-Change Focus to Help Ease Poverty

  3. fj says:

    The example of the Canadian group using rust to help cheaply product hydrogen for clean energy storage is the critical path that country must be on and not the nightmare pipeline.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    The Post also reported a 6% decline since October of people thinking that climate change is a “very serious” problem. This is no time to think politicians are being ignorant in rejecting public pressure, since it’s been faint on this issue.

    Public opinion polls are treated as if they represented popular wisdom. Actually, they reflect what people are being fed by the media, especially what’s on, or is not on, their television. An identically worded poll in Sweden or Uruguay would show major climate concern, and single digit denial.

    It’s very disappointing that none of the major green groups goes after the media, and what criticism there is comes from watchdog groups with small readerships.

    We and the rest of the world are screwed if this doesn’t change. My own program to address this problem drew a blank, but somebody had better put their feet to the fire soon. Beancounters from Time Warner and Viacom ignore polite entreaties. We need to push their advertisers out of the way, through boycotts if necessary.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    Be wary of polls, including ones quoted here that Americans want action on climate change. There are many ways to distort results.

    For example, what if this question is asked: “Do you believe global warming is a hoax?”. Uh oh- 38% of Americans answer “yes” to that question:

  6. Spike says:

    BBC reports 1 in a 100 year rainfall in Buenos Aires with flash floods and significant loss of life:

  7. Paul Magnus says:

    “The city’s oil refinery was flooded and then had to close due to a fire. YPF, the company which runs the facility, said “an extraordinary accumulation of rainwater and power outages in the entire refinery complex” caused the fire.”

    Nuclear industry take note… we are reaching a critical point at 1C!

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    A substantial amount of our future resources, effort and energy is going to be put over to cleaning up after these extraordinary events….

    Peru floods feb 2012

  9. fj says:

    like you said: Be wary of polls

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    The WB and IMF are doing a great job of increasing financial instability without any help from climate change, ME

  11. David B. Benson says:

    Hanford trots out this same story every time they think full funding is in jeopardy. I live downwind of Hanford and I’m not in the least concerned.

  12. fj says:

    Compared to climate change destabilizing civilation and economies, WB and IMF are not in the same class.

    Can we hope they are finished with their worst to let reason prevail for the transition that must come?

  13. Merrelyn Emery says:

    fj, we agree that climate chaos will provide the worst but the economic rationalist policies of the WB and IMF have exacerbated that and certainly the IMF is still pursuing austerity in Europe. There is a lot to change, ME

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The planning documents for the World Bank under its new leader (appointed, as ever, through Imperial fiat, by Washington)have been leaked, and-Suprise!Surprise!- it’s pure neo-liberal voodoo economics. Despite neo-liberalism’s 100% success in wrecking economies, driving up debt, and, crucially, in regard to the World Bank, creating greater and greater inequality, the World Bank has learned nothing, or rather refused to learn anything. It’s to be more of the same, more ‘growing the economy’ so that the rich might ‘trickle'(aka micturate) a little on the poor. Redistribution, of course, is anathema. Obama seems, yet again, to have found a man after his own heart.

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Neo-liberal capitalism destroys economies and biospheres with equal disregard for the consequences, just so long as the 1% are doing OK. A system that operates under the cancerous prime directive of endless growth, and redistributes the ‘wealth’ thereby created away from the creators and straight to the global parasite caste, ever-increasing their wealth as the planet’s ecology crumbles and the planet’s human population sinks deeper and deeper into poverty, misery and debt, is beyond redemption.

  16. BillD says:

    When Jim Yong Kim left Darmouth as president to take over as head of the World Bank it was clear that he would bring a big change to the Bank’s leadership on environmental and poverty issues. This was an excellent appointment/nomination by Obama and is a good example of Obama’s leadership. Before Kim, most leaders of the World Bank had been (surprise) bankers, former CEOs and Wall Street types. Kim is a medical doctor with a background in the interaction between property and health. As a scientist, he understands climate very well.