Climate Smart Development

by Judith Curry

With careful design, the same development projects that improve communities, save lives, and increase GDP can also fight climate change.

The World Bank has published a new study Climate smart development: adding up the benefits of actions that help build prosperity, end poverty and combat climate change.   From the Press Release:

A new study examines the multiple benefits for a series of policy scenarios addressing transportation and energy efficiency in buildings and industry in five countries and the European Union.

It provides concrete data to help policymakers understand the broader potential of climate-smart development investments.

From the Abstract of the full report:

This report describes efforts by the ClimateWorks Foundation and the World Bank to quantify the multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with policies and projects to reduce emissions in select sectors and regions. The report has three objectives: 1) to develop a holistic, adaptable framework to capture and measure the multiple benefits of reducing emissions of several pollutants; 2) to demonstrate how local and national policymakers, members of the international development community, and others can use this framework to design and analyze policies and projects; and 3) to contribute a compelling rationale for effectively combining climate action with sustainable development and green growth worldwide. By using a systems approach to analyze policies and projects, this work illustrates ways to capitalize on synergies between efforts to reduce emissions and spur development, minimize costs, and maximize societal benefits. This report uses several case studies to demonstrate how to apply the analytical framework. Three simulated case studies analyzed the effects of key sector policies to determine the benefits realized in the United States, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Brazil. The sector policies include regulations, taxes, and incentives to stimulate a shift to clean transport, improved industrial energy efficiency, and more energy efficient buildings and appliances. Also presented are results of four simulated case studies that analyzed several sub-national development projects, scaled up to the national level, to determine the additional benefits over the life of each project, generally 20 years. By applying the framework to analyze both types of interventions, this report demonstrates the efficacy of this approach for national and local policymakers, international finance organizations, and others. These case studies show that climate change mitigation and air quality protection can be integral to effective development efforts and can provide a net economic benefit. Quantifying the benefits of climate action can facilitate support from constituencies interested in public health and food and energy security; it can also advance the international discussion of effective ways to address climate change while pursuing green growth. In this report, the chapter 1 provides background information on the pollutants covered in this report and identifies opportunities to achieve both local socioeconomic and global climate objectives by reducing emissions. It also introduces new modeling tools that enable broader economic analysis of emissions-reduction programs.

Some examples from the Press Release:

Modernizing landfills and cleaning up open dumps have obvious benefits for surrounding communities, but the value reaches deeper into the national budget that may be evident at first glance.

For a country like Brazil, where waste-to-energy technology is being piloted today, integrated solid waste management practices including building sanitary landfills that capture greenhouse gas emissions to generate electricity can improve human health, add jobs, increase the energy supply, reduce the impact on climate change, and boost national GDP.

A new study looks at a series of climate-smart development project scenarios, including landfills in Brazil, and for the first time on a large scale adds up how government actions can boost economic performance and benefit lives, jobs, crops, energy, and GDP – as well as emissions reductions to combat climate change.

It provides concrete data to help policymakers understand the broader potential of climate-smart development investments.

In the transportation policy scenario, for example, if the five countries and the EU shifted more travel to public transit, moved more fright traffic off of roads to rails and sea, and improved fuel efficiency, they could save about 20,000 lives a year, avert hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses, save nearly $300 billion in energy, and reduce climate changing emissions by more than four gigatons.

Some of the benefit comes from reducing emissions of what are known as short-lived climate pollutants, or SLCPs.

Black carbon from diesel vehicles and cooking fires, methane from mining operations and landfills, ozone formed when sunlight interacts with emissions from power plants and vehicles, and some hydrofluorocarbons are all SLCPs. They can damage crops and cause illnesses that kill millions. Reducing these emissions could avoid an estimated 2.4 million premature deaths and about 32 million tons of crop losses a year.

Unlike CO2, SLCPs do not linger in the atmosphere for centuries but are removed in weeks or years. Stopping these air pollution emissions from entering the atmosphere would by itself help reduce warming and provide time to develop and deploy effective CO2 interventions.

Until now, socioeconomic benefits and environmental externalities, those consequences of industrial or commercial activities not reflected in their costs, have often been left out of economic analysis because they have been difficult to measure.

The four simulated project case studies analyzed local development interventions scaled up to a national level in one country.

For example, in the Brazil landfill scenario, the report uses results from existing World Bank-supported projects in Brazil that are implementing a variety of integrated solid waste management options, including biodigesters, composting, and landfill technology that captures methane to produce electricity. If the same technologies were scaled up nationwide, over 20 years, the study estimates the changes could create more than 44,000 jobs, increase GDP by more than $13 billion, and reduce emissions by 158 million tons of CO2-equivalent.

The other three project case studies examine expanding bus rapid transit in India, the use of clean cookstoves in rural China, and the use of solar panels and biodigesters to produce electricity from agriculture waste in Mexico.

Together, the aggregate benefits over 20 years of those four projects scaled up to the national level are estimated to include more than 1 million lives saved and about 1 million-1.5 million tons of crop losses avoided. These projects could reduce CO2-equivalent, emissions roughly equivalent to shutting down 100-150 coal-fired power plants. For just three of these projects – in India, Brazil, and Mexico – the benefits equate to about $100 billion-$134 billion in additional value.

While highlighting the co-benefits, the case studies suggest the need for further development of the modeling framework. Nevertheless, the framework demonstrates that capturing environmental externalities can strengthen the rationale for projects or policies aimed at controlling air pollutants.

As the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment urged, climate action can become much easier to undertake if co-benefits are captured and quantified.

JC reflections

For reference, here are some other recent related World Bank publications that have been discussed at Climate Etc.:

IMO this approach makes a lot of sense, consistent with the idea of Climate Informed Decision Analysis (discussed in previous WB report).

Many of the ideas in the new WB report emerge from the Climate Fast Attack Plan, that focused on cutting emissions of methane and soot.   The proposal was associated with economic and public health benefits.  Seems like win-win, no?  This hasn’t stopped AGW from criticizing the plan because it takes people’s eye off the main ball, which is reducing CO2 emissions.

When tied with development goals, these ideas really do seem like no-brainers, and unlikely to engender political opposition.  The other thing that I like about this approach is that efforts to reduce emissions focus on regional environmental, development and economic problems in context of the local culture and assets.

Surely this makes more sense than the current UNFCCC policies, that seem to be working against development goals such as emissions targets and the Warsaw Loss and Damage Mechanism?

 

 

164 responses to “Climate Smart Development

  1. Seems to be very little downside and a win-win upside to a climate-smart development approach. Steps in the right direction to balanced and practical policies.

    • “For a country like Brazil, where waste-to-energy technology is being piloted today, integrated solid waste management practices including building sanitary landfills that capture greenhouse gas emissions to generate electricity can improve human health, add jobs, increase the energy supply, reduce the impact on climate change, and boost national GDP.”

      Translation: They burn stuff. And produce more CO2 and more PM than if they burned nice clean fracked natural gas. Nuclear would be better.

      Fracking has cut more CO2 from the USA CO2 emissions than all the wind and solar projects globally.

    • The climate consensus have ridiculed this approach for fifteen years, saying it was not enough and would give us a false sense of having addressed the problem. I suppose it’s encouraging to see signs of change.

      But I expect to see downthread mutterings of ‘Breakthroughism’, ‘Pielkeism’ and (horrors) Lomborgian thought crime.

      One of my favorites is removing restrictions on air traffic left over from the Cold War. It would allow shorter point to point flights that would save immense amounts of fuel.

  2. I really hate public transportation. It’s like being in a germ incubator.

    More than that, I think we have to live with the fact that life isn’t perfect. The millions of lives saved really means some lives will be shorter than otherwise. It’s not that any of these pollutants are like cyanide gas.

    And once again, we are probably dealing with a really complex model with a lot of unknowns and guesses built in. I would have to see what the regulatory burden is, what it means to my lifestyle, etc. before I buy into any of this.

    • This is mostly of relevance to the developing world. If you main mode of transportation is your two legs, then do you have any bias against public transportation (as opposed to developing a highway infrastructure and everybody having a car?)

      • Getting a bicycle is a key step for many families. Better public transportation can only help.

      • “Three simulated case studies analyzed the effects of key sector policies to determine the benefits realized in the United States, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Brazil.”

        Not sure they were talking about just the developing world, when their models included the US and EU. When they say “n\mass transit,” they mean it the way Democrats in the US do – either government owned, or government subsidized rail and bus service.

        I wonder if their models included the utter debacle that is AMTRAK, and the high speed rail boondoggles throughout the US?

        I wonder if they model the massive inefficiencies and cost over runs that inevitably accompany government “infrastructure” projects?

      • “NEW DELHI: Japanese two-wheeler maker Yamaha is working on a project to develop a small bike, which it aims to sell for around US $500”

        That is what people want. Freedom to go their own way on their own motorized vehicle.

        It would be cruelty to keep packing them into buses.

      • Well, there used to be 9 million bicycles in Beijing. That’s no longer a fact. It’s a thing you can deny…

    • I like private transportation at home. When I am in other countries, or states or cities, where I am not familiar with where to go or park, public transportation is wonderful in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Paris, Rome, and many other places. There are germs. They are the same germs that I get in the food stores and clothes stores and do you ever travel from one continent to another without airplanes or ships?

      • But at a grocery store, there isn’t someone 3 feet behind me sneezing or coughing in my direction. That’s my take on it. You are welcomed to it.

    • Curious George

      jim2 – I usually agree with you, but .. do you really never fly? Never go to a restaurant? A theater? A town meeting?

      I like the idea of common sense measures proposed under the guise of “combating climate change” instead of usual idi..er.. not so common sense ones.

      • I personally don’t like crowds. I don’t like going to the theater, although I have done that, just not recently. I do go to restaurants, but usually ones that allow a decent distance from other diners. I would like to be more active in politics, but my time is pretty much taken up with work, an old house, and a wife.

        I have flown, but not much anymore. I have used public transportation, the bus, the commuter train; but I don’t like it.

        I am going to a public July 4th celebration tonight. But it’s not something I do twice a day, which I would be doing if I commuted.

        I guess it’s partly quantity that comes into consideration also. And I’m not going to be you-know-what to elbow with a bunch of people in the middle of February during flu season. Probably the next big thing to bring down excess population.

        I’m quirky, what can I say?

  3. I overall agree with such plans as well. Commons sense really! I am a loss to explain why anyone concerned about climate change caused by man would not be interested. I tend to avoid the kind of conspiracy theories that link everything back to something but I do wonder if those who feel the fight against global warming is actually a fight against development have a point when they fight this kind of thing.

    • Mike Jonas

      “I am a loss to explain why anyone concerned about climate change caused by man would not be interested.”

      JC has the answer: “This hasn’t stopped AGW from criticizing the plan because it takes people’s eye off the main ball, which is reducing CO2 emissions.”

      Actually, that isn’t the full answer. Reducing CO2 emissions is a means to an end, and the end has all to do with political power and nothing to do with climate. This report hits AGW where it hurts.

  4. While the World Bank will exaggerate the benefits and reduce the negatives, anything that even looks at redirecting some of the money poured into Global Warming to some concrete and real benefit (like clean water eg) is a step in the right direction.

  5. Hi Judy,

    I notice that the only impact listed in Table 1.1 in the report for CO2 is global warming. Is there some rule that CO2 fertilization cannot be mentioned in a report like this? Indoor marijuana growers have figured it out, as one can verify by a visit to the local hydroponics supply store. Why hasn’t the World Bank?

    Dave

    • Hi Dave, the UNFCCC mandate is ‘dangerous climate change’, which has effectively silenced discussions of potential benefits.

      • ‘dangerous climate change’ with no supporting proof or data! Only Alarmist Model Output supports the ‘dangerous climate change’.

        Model Output is not data.

      • This is an instance where the output of climate models is in an input into economic models.

        Gee, that heightens my confidence in their conclusions.

        Let’s all pretend that the World Bank isn’t an institution indistinguishable from the IPCC. It was created, funded and staffed by progressive national governments for progressive ends. Its impact was modest at first, after WW II. But as US direct foreign aid to Europe took its place, it sought a mission elsewhere, in the third world. It’s recommendations ever since have been inevitably progressive policies.

        The World Bank and IMF should meet the same end Dr. Curry wishes for the IPCC. And for the same reasons.

        This is no less a political document than the AR5.

        It is an attempt to boot strap mitigation to adaptation, for urposes of “international development.” Explicitly.

        Progressives have been promising to “build prosperity, end poverty and combat climate change” for virtually my entire adult life. Well, climate change is slightly more recent, but “environmentalism” has been a progressive stalking horse for much longer.

        The World Bank is trying to justify its continued existence by hitching itself to the CAGW movement. Why else would “sustainability” be conflated with mitigation?

        The economic failures of progressivism are slowly becoming more apparent. Not just in the US, but in Europe with its unending series of crises, which are in fact all the same crisis. The brighter among the progressives see this, and are preparing new arguments to justify the same old policies.

        I wonder who the World Bank thinks should administer the hundreds of billions of western aid that will be needed to fund the effort to “effectively combin[e] climate action with sustainable development and green growth worldwide.”

        Cue the moderates – why can’t you take them at their word?

        I do. I just read their words with my eyes and mind open, and a knowledge of the history of the World Bank and its patrons.

      • Hi Judy,

        Thank you. One advantage of CO2 fertilization is that it can help an African farmer directly, without the possibility for government graft.

        Dave

      • There has certainly been corruption involved in World Bank redistribution efforts, whether disguised as loans or not. (The World Bank is only supposed to make loans when private funding is unavailable – which is itself a subsidy.) But the primary fault is that even those programs administered honestly are designed based on progressive economic principles. “Austerity” is almost always for the people, in the form of cutting benefits, almost never for governments, in the form of cutting taxes.

        The World Bank and IMF are creatures of government, and as such see government at the cure for all ills. Not unlike the IPCC.

      • curryja | July 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply
        Hi Dave, the UNFCCC mandate is ‘dangerous climate change’, which has effectively silenced discussions of potential benefits.”

        In the interests of accuracy, it’s worth noting that the phrase ‘dangerous climate hacnge’ deosn’t exist in the convention text.

      • See this previous post https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/05/what-constitutes-dangerous-climate-change/

        The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) international environmental treaty (1992) states as its objective:

        The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

      • fizzymagic

        Michael: a quotation from the UNFCCC website:

        From here:

        Preventing “dangerous” human interference with the climate system is the ultimate aim of the UNFCCC.

        Sure seems like you tried spreading misinformation here….

      • fizzy,

        Judith explicitly referred to the ‘mandate’ which is the Convention, and used quotes for the phrase ‘dangerous climate change’.

        As I said, that phrase doesn’t exist in the convention text – as Judith now acknowledges above.

      • Color me skeptical about The World Bank. Like the IPCC and
        IMF another arm of top down, COSTLY guvuhmint intervention
        free from that skin in the game hammurabi consequence that
        the engineer sleeps under his bridge or the captain goes down
        with his ship.

        In Ch 12, ‘ ‘The Origins of Virtue,’ Matt Ridley details global
        examples of leviathans creating tragedies of the commons
        where none previously existed. (Medieval commons were not
        tragedies but well managed local common property with a web
        of overseen agreements.)

        Today local management is being replaced by nationalized
        governance. eg wild life management in Africa. David Western,
        head of Kenya’s Wildlife Service sees the decline of African
        elephants, rhinos and other animals as a tragedy of the
        commons created by nationalization.

        Irrigation systems in Nepal and Bali in Indonesia now run by
        the public sector are worse managed than local management.
        In Bali the irrigation system that worked well for almost 1000
        years was taken over during the so called ‘Green’ revolution.
        Elinor Ostrom shows how aid agencies under-estimate the
        ability of people to run their own systems allowed the chance,
        and over-estimate the ability of bureaucrats.

        Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto argues that the poverty
        of the Third World is to be cured largely by creating secure
        property rights w/out which people have no opportunity to
        build their own prosperity,

        Guvuhmint is not the solution to the tragedy of the commons,
        it is the prime cause of it.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        What is Michael busy trying now?
        Typing faster than he can think, he said:
        “In the interests of accuracy, it’s worth noting that the phrase ‘dangerous climate hacnge’ deosn’t exist in the convention text.”

        Professor Curry DID supply the quote
        “OBJECTIVE
        The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”

        Michael doubles down on the stupid factor : “As I said, that phrase doesn’t exist in the convention text – as Judith now acknowledges above.”

        How low can he go?

      • Gary @ 4.33. + 10 See my post below.

        Now back to Le Tour, Wimbledon, World Cup, British Grand Prix, Lords etc … a surfeit. House renovation put on pause.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo | July 5, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        “What is Michael busy trying now?

        Typing faster than he can think, he said:
        “In the interests of accuracy, it’s worth noting that the phrase ‘dangerous climate hacnge’ deosn’t exist in the convention text.”
        Professor Curry DID supply the quote…”

        After i pointed out the initial purported quote didn’t exist.

        Anything else you’re confused about?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Michael,
        You said it doesn’t exist in the UNFCCC text, but it certainly does exist, as shown to you several times!

  6. George Turner

    My disagreement would be that the governments need to do things like move freight from truck to rail and sea. For one, I’m not sure anyone uses trucks or trains when the route requires an oceangoing ship. For another, if shifting from truck to rail saved time (which is money), fuel (which is money), and infrastructure costs (which are money), then businesses would already be shipping those items by rail because it would be cheaper.

    The hidden hand makes a lot of good decisions, and if there are some things that the hidden hand refuses to do, like give up trucks, there’s probably a very good reason for it.

    • Well, Mr. Buffett is getting rather richer by having Canadian oil transported by truck and train rather than pipeline. People don’t always choose the most efficient option unless either rewarded for good behavior or penalized for bad. But, then that’s government so for many here it’s off the table.

    • The problem is getting the infastucture built and the availability of already built roads. It leads to a tragedy of the commons type situation. The truck can move goods cheap on the already built road, but its pressense decreases the efficiency of the overall system. There is also the last mile problem.

      That highlight another failing of ideologs. Most proposed rail advocates people moving, we should be doing the opposite, moving people on the more flexible road system and creating a more extensive rail system for freight. We should be using the more efficient rail to move freight which can be packed more densely.

  7. This report just goes to show what a lot of low hanging fruit there still is. Sometimes we need to just look at plain common sense actions rather than continually muddy the waters by referencing everything back to man made climate change.
    Tonyb

  8. It’s always better to make wise decisions than stupid decisions. Certain solutions have multiple benefits, when they are compared to stupid alternatives.

    Having multiple goals means usually that the overall optimum is not best for any single goal.

    Combining the two above points makes be wary of the possibility of misleading analysis every time, when strong multiple benefits are declared for some policies.

    It’s, however, also essential that major alternatives are compared looking at all the consequences, including externalities. That may very well to lead solutions of the type discussed in the ClimateWorks/WB report. It would, however, be more convincing if the result would be presented as the best compromise taking into account are relevant objectives rather than something “proven” to be as good as assumed by the initiators of the idea. At least the press release gives the impression of work that doesn’t aim at objective analysis. They are adding up benefits, but are they also subtracting the costs? Or do they really think that no extra costs are introduced or that they cannot be highly significant.

    • David Springer

      Pekka Pirilä | July 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Reply

      “It’s always better to make wise decisions than stupid decisions.”

      Wow. Who knew?

      Thanks for that bit of wisdom!

  9. The devil is in the costs included, the assumptions about implementation efficacy, and the alternatives considered. World Bank analyses are notoriously optimistic about projects the World Bank funds. They’re very good at printing reports ahead of time and really bad at improving matters on the ground. William Easterly has written some convincing books and articles about why studies and aid projects like these tend not to turn out very well.

    An example of the kind of thing I would worry about is the impact of corruption on which projects are most likely to be completed effectively. Brazil just went through a big “infrastructure” program related to the World Cup, subsidized by the government at estimates clustering around $9-11billion. Aside from the walkway that just collapsed with loss of life and limb, most of the non-stadium parts of this program are uncompleted, over budget, and of questionable quality. Telling them to go build a sophisticated methane-capturing landfill instead of a simpler normal landfill may not be a sensible suggestion, as it may result in less useful landfill capacity being installed and higher tipping fees, resulting in more loose garbage blowing around, etc.

    The pretty colored charts in World Bank studies should not be taken at face value.

  10. Kip Hansen

    The idea that “In the transportation policy scenario, for example, …. they could save about 20,000 lives a year, avert hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses..” is, I believe, based on simply “made up” numbers — the evidence on “saved lives” is based on invalid epidemiology — haven’t a clue what they base “crop losses” on.

    I’m all for mass transport where it really works — NY City — Manhattan — has a useful, workable system — Los Angeles is hopeless. Rural public transportation, everywhere I have lived on the US East Coast, is worse than hopeless.

    It may be long-term wise to plan cities that CAN use mass transport to get working people to their jobs. Retro-fitting sprawling slums cities with mass transit may have a solution.

    Smart development needs to be REALLY smart.

  11. “With careful design, the same development projects that improve communities, save lives, and increase GDP can also fight climate change.”

    “Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

    “What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

    “Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

    “Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

    —Part 1, Chapter VIII. Of the valourous Don Quixote’s success in the dreadful and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with other events worthy of happy record.

  12. This hasn’t stopped AGW from criticizing the plan because it takes people’s eye off the main ball, which is reducing CO2 emissions.

    The main ball is that there is not any actual proof or evidence that reducing CO2 Emissions will have any influence on Earth Temperature and Sea Level. CO2 continues to go up without a corresponding rise in Temperature of Sea Level. Actual Temperatures and Actual Sea Level is not going up. Adjusted Temperature and Adjusted Sea Level is accelerating. Too bad they don’t have supporting actual data.

    The main ball is that there is not any actual proof or evidence!

  13. David L. Hagen

    Needed: Renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels.
    To dig deeper, see The Bottom of the Pyramid
    3 Billion people live on < $2.50/day.

    The major challenge is to develop and deliver sustainable energy cheaper than fossil fuels and provide it fast enough to help the poor develop and provide replacement fuels to replace current oil depletion.

    Bill Gates has some key insights into the issues:
    Powering the Fight Against Poverty
    Note also:
    ‘We need energy miracles’ yet US invests paltry 2% of R&D budget in energy
    The Copenhagen Consensus similarly emphasizes the need for funding R&D for breakthrough technologies in their studies on climate. and meeting the greatest humanitarian needs.

  14. Anyting that starts with holistic, adaptable frameworks goes in the landfill by the cheapest route.

    A clean environment is an effect of prosperity, not the reverse.

    For prosperity, see distributed decisionmaking, putting the decisions where the information is.

    Then people know what to specialize in, so there is not too little and not too much of anything.

    Trading increases prosperity. With the added wealth, stuff can be cleaned up.

    The profits from pollution go to the consumers, not the manufacturers. When the consumers decide they’d like to pay more for stuff and have a cleaner river in return, they’ll do it.

  15. “This hasn’t stopped AGW from criticizing the plan because it takes people’s eye off the main ball, which is reducing CO2 emissions.”
    Who is this “AGW” that is criticizing the plan? Is it a bloc or an individual? The plan works as part of a broader policy, and indeed seems to have been formulated with the broader decarbonization policy in mind, rather than ignoring it. They mention regulations, taxes and incentives, which imply this broader policy. Being “climate smart” is a code word for a mitigated CO2 future. Having said that, I like the term “climate smart”. It emphasizes that clean air, health and development can also progress at the same time as a sustainable climate is maintained.

    • Jim D,

      Yes, this plan isn’t an alternative to UNFCCC policies, as Judith suggests in her final paragraph, it complements them. Like you I’m not sure who these supposed critics are, this seems to me to be something that pretty much anyone on our side of the argument would support.
      What some people, including myself, have criticised in the past is the notion that such “win/win” solutions can be sufficient in themselves to tackle the threat posed by climate change, in the absence of other measures specifically aimed at cutting emissions.

      • Jim D and A A,

        Your fellow progressives will have no problem with this initiative coming from the world bank. It is no direct threat to their research funding and crony socialist subsidies. You are right, they are for new massive government spending and additional crony socialist subsidies.

        They don’t want a larger slice of the same pie, they want to increase the pie, of other people’s money.

        They just want a seat at the trough.

      • GaryM, it is not so much an initiative as showing how sensible policies have been demonstrated to work already, making them ready for broader adoption.

      • Gary,

        The article gives examples of the benefits these policies have had for people in developing countries. If you are more interested in picking fights with the wicked progressives which exist in your head then that’s up to you.

      • andrew adams,

        “The article gives examples of the benefits these policies have had for people in developing countries.”

        Yes, and used them to argue for global policy initiatives including the developed world.

        The study took four minor programs, a waste facility in Brazil and “expanding bus rapid transit in India, the use of clean cookstoves in rural China, and the use of solar panels and biodigesters to produce electricity from agriculture waste in Mexico.” They then constructed an economic model, with input from the GCMs.

        Those models included the US and EU.

        “A new study examines the multiple benefits for a series of policy scenarios addressing transportation and energy efficiency in buildings and industry in five countries and the European Union.”

        and

        “Three simulated case studies analyzed the effects of key sector policies to determine the benefits realized in the United States, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Brazil.”

        Did none of you warmists notice that? This is not just a proposal for helping the third world poor. It is an attempt to extend the World Bank’s reach on policy back into the EU, and for the first time into the US.

        Color me unimpressed.

        Not to sound as pompous as Mosher, but some folks need to read harder.

      • GaryM, so you think it is all part of the conspiracy that these programs actually worked. Perhaps they paid off some people to fudge the success rates? How do you envisage the World Bank extending its influence to the US and EU? Is Al Gore involved (just kidding)?

      • Jim D,

        Did you actually read any of my comments? I have said nothing about those four small projects limited to one country each. That is not what the World Bank paper is about.

        Read what I actually wrote, and if you have any questions, I will be happy to respond.

      • GaryM, that is what I asked you. How do you read that to say the World Bank wants to extend its influence to the EU and US? Their existence is to borrow from the rich nations to help the developing nations. How do you see that changing? I can’t even guess what goes on in your mind when you read these articles about development.

      • Jim D,

        Re-read my comments at 8:19 pm, directly above, and add this from the paper:

        “The report has three objectives: 1) to develop a holistic, adaptable framework to capture and measure the multiple benefits of reducing emissions of several pollutants; 2) to demonstrate how local and national policymakers, members of the international development community, and others can use this framework to design and analyze policies and projects; and 3) to contribute a compelling rationale for effectively combining climate action with sustainable development and green growth worldwide.”

        “local and national policy makers” and “worldwide” are the giveaways.

        Those words mean exactly what they say. The World Bank is trying to climb onto the CAGW band wagon, and not limited to “international development,” which was only one of the targets of their recommendations.

      • GaryM, so how does demonstrating something working and providing a compelling rationale force your local government to do something by fiat against its voters’ wishes? You made a leap.

      • Jim D,

        First, they didn’t demonstrate anything working. They took four local programs and devised a world wide strategy out of them.

        And it’s not about force at the governmental level. Its about one group of progressives trying to join with other progressives in dictating how the transportation, energy, waste and construction industries should be run.

        But there is no cure for willful blindness. Actually read what they actually wrote, or don’t. It’s up to you.

      • Hi Andrew! How are you? It’s been ages.

        I’m curious to know if anyone has done the math. If best efforts were undertaken to improve energy efficiency, remove black carbon from the Arctic and Greenland, remove restrictions on air space from the Cold War, etc., etc.,what would be the total effect?

        What if we continue our modest subsides of renewable energy and remove restrictions in the developed world on the use of nuclear and hydroelectric power? What would that add up to?

        On another thread I was pointed to a company that makes cement without CO2–wish I had the link. Cement contributes 5% of emissions. If we reforest rather than deforest, that would go towards the 17% of emissions from deforestation. (Remember when it was 25% of a lower total? We are making progress.)

        Has anyone done the math?

      • Tom Fuller: Modest subsidies for green energy? What are you talking about? Hundreds of billions $ are being spent on the useless and horribly destructive windmills. About 360 billions spent annually on green energy, and no co2 reduction achieved, nothing. Continuing this is insane.

    • I like the term “climate smart”.

      It reminds me of “smart diplomacy” which we now see working out so well in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya etc.

      I love the liberal conceit that liberals are the smart ones and that adding their smarts just naturally makes everything better.

      • huxley –

        ==> “:I love the liberal conceit that liberals are the smart ones and that adding their smarts just naturally makes everything better.”:

        Apparently you don’t read the comments here by our much beloved Springer, Chief, Doc, Monford, etc., and of course, GaryM. Or if you have, surely you’d love the “conservative” conceit that “conservatives” are the smart ones…blah, blah….

      • Joshua: More tu quoque. Is that the only trick you know?

        In any event I beg to differ. Everyone likes to think they’re the smart ones as a matter of course, but liberals declare themselves to be the smart ones constantly, as in climate smart, smart diplomacy or by the inverse in the elegant Obama Doctrine — “Don’t do stupid [stuff].” Conservatives don’t have that tic.

      • ==> “In any event I beg to differ.”

        My guess is that so would Doc, Springer, Monford, Chief, and in a real stretch, GaryM.

      • In contrast, not-so-smart diplomacy gets you losing troops in two concurrent never-ending wars with undefined goals and no exit strategy. We learned a lot from those mistakes.

      • and huxley –

        ==> “Conservatives don’t have that tic.”

        I see that you’re as much of a fan of unintentional irony as am I?

      • Joshua: I sometimes wonder if you’re a computer program which generates tu quoque replies to everything.

        Name three well-known examples of conservatives going on about how smart they are.

      • huxley –

        The irony is that you don’t see the bigger picture. Partisans will forever be convinced of major differences between people that are associated with a different ideological orientation. The choice of difference is random, because the vision is self-fulfilling. That was my point all along – and a partisan orientation explains why you confused my point with tu quoque.

        You will, no doubt, only see liberals claiming that as a group, they are smarter than conservatives because, well, conservatives are more humble, understand business, aren’t so emotional, have higher morals and better values, don’t have that tic, have less BO, don’t want children to starve, have no interest in lining their pockets with research dollars, aren’t moochers, are not so unaware as to not realize how to vote in their own best interests, are interested in the interests of “pure science,” aren’t affected by confirmation bias, aren’t activist scientists, aren’t stealth activist scientists, don’t believe that an overwhelming consensus among scientists has any meaning (except when it does), don’t engage in ad homs, aren’t overconfident, only adjust temperatures in valid ways, don’t cherry pick, and are better looking too.

      • Jim D: The jury is out on Bush’s Iraq War. Whether it was worth the blood and treasure is for history to decide. He did leave Iraq with reasonable prospects. If we had left forces in Iraq as we did in Germany, Japan, Korea, etc., the story could have been different.

        Don’t forget that Obama and Democrats called Afghanistan the “good war” though they have made a hash of that and are more interested in ending the war, as opposed to securing any gains there.

        But this isn’t the forum for those discussions.

      • Joshua, has you have see fit to take my name in vain, allow me to point out the differences between the two of us; I am happy for people to behave how they want within the limits of the law and I feel no need to try to mold society into a shape that I find conducive.
        I am very smart and today I have orbited our star fifty times, I unlike you, am so smart that I know there is no final truth, no ultimate solution and no utopian future ahead if we just stick to a simple plan.
        You actually think you are smarter than you are.

      • “You actually think you are smarter than you are”

        Which is why Joshua is so irritating. The lack of self awareness is literally nauseating at times. Of course, it’s a qualifying trait for all of them. I don’t think you can get into the alarmist club without it. But Joshua’s smug, tedious bloviating borders on a kind of performance art.

      • Steven Mosher

        funny hux

        I’ve set up my fb feed as a meme catcher. I get everything from both sides of the Isle. I will have to do a count but off the top of my head self referential
        Uses of terms smart are almost exclusively liberal. Let’s say 97%

    • Even skeptics like to feel they are supporting something that is climate-smart. Better than the alternative. This could be a way of approaching a policy consensus.

      • Jim D: Only on paper.

        In the real world this skeptic knows that climate-smart will involve some combination of increased expense, diminished effectiveness, reduced choices, more government regulation, more intrusions in personal life, more incompetence and more corruption, which in the end will probably not make much difference with the climate.

      • The way to frame this to righties is, fuel and energy efficiency and developing technologies to use local and non-depleting energy resources saves everyone money in the long-term. It is a direction to aim at anyway. As a side effect it is climate-smart and also reduces pollution.

      • If you want to appeal to us “righties” you might consider being more respectful than calling us “righties” or “deniers”. You might consider asking us what we want instead of assuming you know.

        I won’t speak for other conservatives, but this conservative really wants to know that climate-smart projects won’t fail on the points I listed in my previous comment.

        Also it would be helpful if such projects were first shown to work on a small-scale then reviewed independently before we start moving all the freight traffic in the United States, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Brazil off the roads because the World Bank said it would work.

      • Conservatives don’t reject progressive policies because they are poorly framed. We reject them because progressives can’t run the economy the way they think they can.

        A waste disposal site in Brazil apparently functioned properly so let’s let progressives run the transportation economies of the US and EU. Same with transportation. And energy. And building construction.There are no circumstances under which conservatives would agree with the World Bank, or any other group of progressives, dictating terms of the any portion of the national, let alone global, economy.

        You all don’t even understand the policies being proposed by the people you support. Even when they come right out and say it.

      • GaryM, it is your problem that you jump from anecdotes about success to some force of government that imposes them on your nation. You don’t seem to realize you are making this jump. To you it is all or nothing. No success can expand naturally via local government decisions based on their own needs and economies. It is a cartoonish view of the world.

      • huxley, I have noticed that the priorities for conservatives are individual wealth and national security. This is why I would frame the policy in how it saves money for fuel and energy and makes the country self-sufficient with local and long-term energy. I would frame it that way rather than using more lefty ideas of how to help the poor pay their fuel bills, or reducing pollution, helping developing nations, or reducing climate change. If those are not your priorities, better not to put them up front. Maybe there are some conservatives who care about all of the above, but the ones here seem not to.

      • Jim D: Apparently you believe you understand conservatives, but this one says you don’t.

        Conservatives care about national security, but “individual wealth”?

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

        Happy Fourth of July!

      • Us lefties also believe in more equality and less inequality, and certain basic rights, to a living wage, health care, and a clean environment, just to name a few examples. Happy 4th.

      • Lefties love biomass.

        More CO2. More pollution. Low energy. Expensive. Kills perfectly good trees.

      • Color me skeptical The World Bank like the IPCC and IMF
        are part of top down and COSTLY guvuhnance with illusions
        of expertise, access to the public purse and free of that
        skin in the game hammurabi risk where the builder sleeps
        under the bridge or the Captain goes down with his ship.

        In CH.12 of ‘The Origins of Virtue,’ Matt Ridley details
        global examples of Leviathan creating tragedies of the
        commons where none existed before. (In Medieval
        England the commons was locally managed by a
        complex web of communal agreements.) Wild life
        management in Africa is a modern example. David
        Western, head of the Kenya Wildlife Service sees the
        decline of African elephants, rhinos and other animals
        as a tragedy of the commons created by nationalization.

        Nepalese and Balinese irrigation are other examples of
        guvuhmint inefficient management. In Indonesia, in Bali,
        the ‘Green ‘Revolution intervention ruined an effective
        local water management system that had worked for
        almost 1000 years. Elinor Ostram’s studies showed how
        aid agencies underestimate the ability of people to run
        their own systems, given the opportunity, and overestimate
        the ability of bureaucrats. The Peruvian Economist Hernando
        de Soto makes the case that the poverty of the third world is
        to be cured largely by creating secure property rights, without
        which people have no chance to build their own prosperity.

        Top down guvuhmint is not the solution to tragedy of the
        commons, it is the cause of it.

      • Biomass, if done properly, is carbon neutral and clean, but as with anything, profit-making motives and lack of regulation can lead to errors in its application.

      • Jim D,

        “No success can expand naturally via local government decisions based on their own needs and economies.”

        I am not sure why you have trouble understanding words like “global” and “world wide.” But the World Bank means them exactly as they are commonly understood. When the World Bank talks about implementing its programs in the US and EU, not to put too fine a point on it, those are not local governments.

        I understand you do not get what real progressivism is about at their level. You are just a default progressive who thinks they really mean everything is “for the children.”

      • “Biomass, if done properly, is carbon neutral and clean”

        BS

        If you burn a 50 year old tree, it takes 50 years for the “neutral” part to kick in. And it is never as clean as nuclear or even natural gas.

        Burning biomass is worse than coal in terms of CO2 and particulate matter. But the cult has labelled it green … because the cult loves to murder trees.

      • GaryM, I am not sure if you realize that the World Bank mainly provides money to implement programs. While I don’t expect to see a World Bank program even in the poorest parts of the US anytime soon, it is funded by investors, so perhaps they could benefit.

      • sunshine, that is what I meant by proper implementation. If you are not using sustainable forest practices, that is a net CO2 source, which you are understandably concerned about. We don’t want net CO2 sources. Also we don’t want lots of soot or other pollution, and you seem to understand that part too, so we are in agreement what biomass burning should be like. There are probably working examples that at least get close to this.

  16. I share your sentiments, Prof. Curry, but I doubt that sanity can now be restored without full disclosure of unreported events in late August 1945 that changed the course of history:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/CHAOS_and_FEAR_August_1945.pdf

    I understand that Bill Streifer and a Stanford particle physicist are about to publish a book that reveals more details on the strange ending to WWII.

    • World leaders and AGW promoters have been remarkably restrained in the use of political powers to prevent additional disclosures of malfeasance after Climategate emails surfaced in late November 2009.

      But public mistrust of government is unlikely to diminish unless skeptics acknowledge that world leaders had legitimate reason to fear Earth might have been destroyed in August 1945 if they didn’t take totalitarian control.

      Society cannot benefit from Aston’s 1922 finding of “powers beyond the dreams of science fiction” if world leaders still fear retaliation for sixty-nine years of well-intentioned deception.

    • To snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, skeptics will acknowledge that their opponents’ intentions were noble when they agreed, sixty-nine years ago, to deceive the public in order to help world leaders save the world from nuclear annihilation.

  17. This sounds like one of Obama’s early rationales for Obamacare, that in order to solve the post-2008 economic crisis it was necessary to bend the health cost curve downward via Obamacare.

    The Congressional Budget Office then did a bogus rose-colored glasses study proving that Obamacare would save billions of dollars. Obama lied some more about Obamacare, Pelosi and Reid twisted arms of some and sweetened the deal for others with special waivers and carve-outs, then added bizarre parliamentary trickery and voila! Obamacare passed.

    And no one paying attention is surprised to discover that health costs are now going up and up and Obamacare is a burden on the economy.

    If a climate change mission is added to these development projects, my bet is the projects will be shanghaied to the climate change agenda at the expense of building prosperity and ending poverty.

    Perhaps I’m too cynical.

    • Actually the rate of health care cost increases has slowed in recent years. And plus we have millions of people now with coverage.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Cite?

        w.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Josehp: And plus we have millions of people now with coverage.

        We have had hundreds of millions of people with health care coverage for decades; but the total number of insureds is down a little since the passage of Obamacare due to a number of factors such as the decrease in the total number of employed persons and the increased costs of the policies. The number of formerly uninsured who are now insured does not match the number of formerly insured who are now uninsured.

        Is this a discussion that you want to carry on in detail?

      • http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2014/06/04/medicaid-enrollment-up-15-percent-more-in-states-that-expanded-obamacare/

        An additional 6 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid and related health programs for the poor compared to before the six-month signup period began last October for the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration said today in a new report.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph: An additional 6 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid and related health programs for the poor compared to before the six-month signup period began last October for the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration said today in a new report.

        That’s nice. But the total number of insured is less than it was before Obamacare was passed. For many people, the eventual transition from insurance to Medicaid was not an improvement.

        Since you like Forbes, here is a counterpoint: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/04/09/rand-comes-clean-obamacares-exchanges-enrolled-only-1-4-million-previously-uninsured-individuals/

        More later, perhaps.

      • From your link:

        RAND finds that, overall, 9.3 million more U.S. residents have health insurance in 2014 relative to 2013.

      • Rand doesn’t have a clue, nor does anyone else. Because the Obama administration doesn’t know how many of the people who signed up for Obamacare actually paid, and of those how many actually got coverage. It does appear that the majority were either already on Medicaid or Medicare. RAND puts it at 1.4 million new “enrollees” (not insureds). But again, no one really knows with any accuracy.

        What we do know is that it has been a complete debacle. And the only reason it didn’t get worse is that Obama rewrote the law to delay the vast majority of it beyond the next election.

  18. David in Cal

    It’s likely that this policy will have no significant effect on global warming. Its effect will be infinitesimal . However, the policy may make sense for other reasons. Still, it’s not healthy that a sensible policy can be adopted only by asserting that it fights global warming.

  19. Obama was also going to fix the American economy with green jobs.

    Win-win! We can have a booming economy with lots of jobs and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Win-win!

    Of course that turned out to be lose-lose-lose. No jobs, no carbon reduction, and billions of taxpayer dollars lost.

    Again and again, this stuff looks good on paper, but in the real world somehow it never lives up to the hype.

  20. I’m still for simply gathering more data. Letting the BEST team keep up the good work on refining the surface instrument temperature record, as difficult as that is, and even letting the modelers model – but perhaps we should fund fewer of them out of US funds at least.

    But after all this, the volume about CAGW has been turned up an order of magnitude, but we still don’t know:

    1. That increasing CO2 will raise the temperature of the planet to a catastrophic level – and frankly if it takes 1,000 years to get there, it ain’t a problem.

    2. That there aren’t actually net benefits of a higher global temperature, if that comes to pass.

    3. That there aren’t net benefits in a higher CO2 level.

    Until we have a better understanding of all this, I’m for doing nothing. That isn’t to say that I have any objection to Brazil or Mexico doing whatever they see fit.

  21. Isn’t World Bank heavily involved in carbon trading and market schemes, and climate profiteering? Their gambling activities aren’t reducing any CO2 emissions and are very destructive. The casino needs to be shut down!

  22. I find living in a smaller condo in a town with excellent public transportation and very clean air a huge improvement over some places I had in the USA, where urban sprawl and poorly designed cities are an example of wasted resources. Living this way is much better and it’s much more energy efficient. Those who don’t think climate change may be a problem may wish to recall we are running out of oil, and eventually we will also be running out of natural gas, and coal.

  23. The history books are full of “altruistic” ideas such as we study here. Most of them ended badly. How do we implement them without inviting totalitarian forces, massive spending, agent corruption, and suppression of “the hidden hand” and individual freedom?

    • How indeed?

      I count myself as a skeptic because I don’t trust climate scientists, but that doesn’t mean I rule out the possibility of CAGW. It could be in the cards.

      But if it is, the last people I’d trust to lead us through the crisis are the current crop of liberals and progressives as best exemplified by the Obama administration. You just know it would be a vast incompetent corrupt mess like Obamacare.

    • Tanganyika groundnut scheme on a global scale

      http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/groundnt.htm

  24. Willis Eschenbach

    I do love this part …

    In the transportation policy scenario, for example, if the five countries and the EU shifted more travel to public transit, moved more fright traffic off of roads to rails and sea, and improved fuel efficiency, they could save about 20,000 lives a year, avert hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses, save nearly $300 billion in energy, and reduce climate changing emissions by more than four gigatons.

    Apart from the lovely image of moving “fright traffic” off the roads, I find their claims preposterous. Am I the only guy with a nose for numbers here?

    By moving to slower transportation methods (rail and sea) it’s supposed to save “hundreds of millions in crop losses”? How is that supposed to work?

    Then they say it would reduce “climate changing emissions”, presumably CO2, by “more than four gigatonnes” … say what?

    Europe and the five nations (Brazil, China, Mexico, India, and the US) burn a lot of coal, and a lot of natural gas. However, shifting fright traffic off of the roads won’t affect those at all, unless they’ve gone back to coal powered trains … in which case they’ll get worse.

    So moving the fright traffic onto roads and rails can only affect the emissions of CO2 from petroleum products … care to know how much CO2 in Europe and the five countries comes annually from burning petroleum products? Here ya go, all figures in gigatons:

    Europe, 2.0
    US, 2.3
    China, 1.3
    Brazil, 0.4
    India, 0.4
    Mexico, 0.3
    ==========
    Total, 6.7 gigatons of CO2 from petroleum.

    Now of course, not all of that goes to transportation. So to pick a round number, let’s say that 6 gigatons of CO2 emissions come from transportation in those regions …

    And we’re supposed to believe that shifting to more rail and sea transport will eliminate two thirds of the CO2 emissions from transportation?

    Truly, those numbers are far, far from believable.

    Finally, if as they claim, businesses could save billions of dollars in energy savings and avoided crop losses merely by shipping their products by rail or by sea, they’d be doing it already. Businesses always ship by the most cost-effective manner … or they go out of business.

    If they are not doing it, if they are not shipping by sea or rail despite it being cheaper, this can only mean that a) there are other more important considerations (e.g. perishability), or b) the ships and trains are all full … seems doubtful.

    If the first one is true, if there are more important considerations, they will never ship by rail or by sea.

    But if the second one is the case, the routes are overloaded or don’t go where we need them, this means that the only way that the plan could make a difference in Europe or the US, for example, would be to increase the number of rail lines in Europe or the US … yeah, that’ll go over big with the greens … or open up new sea routes to places like Switzerland and Oklahoma.

    I’m sorry, Judith. Like you, I’m generally all for “no regrets” options, plans that will be of value whether or not CO2 is teh eeevil … but their plan fails the laugh test. Reduce 6.7 gigatons of transportation CO2 emissions by 4 gigaton by shifting some portion of the travel to rail and train? Whatever they are smoking … it must not be putting off CO2.

    However, it does give off the faint, sulfurous reek of the Central Planning Authority come to tell us what’s good for us. Haven’t we watched every economy that’s tried that plan over the last century crash and burn?

    As always, Judith, a rollicking good read sure to stir up debate.

    Regards and thanks,

    w.

    • Another aspect seldom considered is that goods generally require road transportation to and from the rail terminals and sea ports to and from where they come from and are going to.

    • It could mean instead of growing from 6 to 10 gigatonnes over that period, it stays at 6 (for example). You have to figure in growth when you talk about the future in some of these countries, so I expect that is what they did.

    • Curious George

      Willis, you are right as always, but I take an exception to “Businesses always ship by the most cost-effective manner … or they go out of business.” Ever heard of Federal Express? You surely don’t believe they are cheaper than USPS – or UPS – or DHL. There are excellent reasons to pay a higher price for a speedy delivery: frequently merely a convenience, sometimes a necessity – don’t ship fresh fish or fruit by train. There is a room in the system for changing priorities a bit towards a lower cost.

      That said, I have heard so many false prophecies of the evil power of CO2 that I don’t trust them anymore. While natural hydrocarbons (and coal) are undoubtedly a nonrenewable resource, we should not get hysterical just because tribal elders tell us that we will run out of them in 200 years with no replacement in sight.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Curious George | July 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply

        Willis, you are right as always, but I take an exception to “Businesses always ship by the most cost-effective manner … or they go out of business.” Ever heard of Federal Express? You surely don’t believe they are cheaper than USPS – or UPS – or DHL. There are excellent reasons to pay a higher price for a speedy delivery: frequently merely a convenience, sometimes a necessity – don’t ship fresh fish or fruit by train. There is a room in the system for changing priorities a bit towards a lower cost.

        Thanks, George. Actually, I said nothing about shipping in the cheapest manner. I said the most “cost-effective”. This means that it is not the cheapest method overall, but instead the cheapest method that achieves the desired results (usually some combination of speed, security, reliability, convenience, handling, insurability, etc.).

        So I’m not clear what you mean by “changing priorities a bit towards a lower cost”, when you’ve already ruled out shipping fresh fish by train.

        Many thanks,

        w.

    • Steven Mosher

      shipping costs and shipping options are one of the first things you optimize the hell out of. Every penny you save goes direct to the bottom line.

      To give you sense. I’m building product. It has a cable. I can source that in china and ship it, or I can ship the product without that cable and source it locally. That choice is all about the numbers and those numbers are optimized to hell. When you ship a million units a month every 10 cents is
      100K in pure bottom line. good companies dont leave that laying around

      Thats not to say everyone has operational excellence, but the idea that you can dictate something more optimal from a top down approach isnt supported by any evidence.

      If folks want a lesson in optimal shipping study how walmart ships. Like a Boss.

      • On the other hand, lots of companies do leave potential savings unrealized due to a variety of reasons, ranging from lack of capital to other priorities to just lack of time. I went round and round with this with Jeff Id a couple of years ago. This argument hasn’t changed. Energy efficiency savings can pay for their cost in 8 years or so and are still not implemented.

    • catweazle666

      Truly, those numbers are far, far from believable.”

      Given the source, of course they are.

      From banksters, do you expect numeracy?

      Is 2008 so long ago that everyone has forgotten already?

    • Government stupidity in transportation policy:

  25. To me, smart development involves base load power generation and indoor electricity to cook one’s meal. Electrification also means refrigeration and lighting. Rural electrification means pumps for irrigation. Check out the impact of rural electrification in the 1930’s on agricultural productivity. Ultimately, electrification means the internet, information, learning, and connectivity with the world, less regionalism, less local authoritarianism.

  26. James the Elder

    Pipe dreams. Until we are FORCED to move out of the suburbs and countryside and into regimented cities, there will be cars on the roads, lawn tractors, and backyard barbecues. Do we really want a society based on cities of 20 million Winston Smiths packed shoulder to shoulder while the “Glorious Leaders” have their dachas? I think many more years of propaganda before it happens here.

    • That is not what all the approved emergency orders suggest and this is not propaganda alone. It comes with a mailed fist.

    • I gotta say, cities like Shanghai that recognize that you can actually use 3 dimensions are very liveable.Population 26-29 million (nobody really knows any more), compact size, high density. And it’s a wonderful city.

      Pity about the air pollution, though. Shanghai is ringed by an industrial belt powered by coal, coal, coal.

  27. Since the wheels are falling off of the AGW limousine the people who have profited from it are now performing the equivalent of yelling “SQUIRREL”. In this case, let’s create more uncontrolled government programs. Like the world needs more VA, IRC, Obamacare and EPA problems.
    My response is dump the UN! The US Government’s hands are in my pocket deep enough without the additional hands of an organization whose members are dictatorships.

    • CC Squid, you’ve got it wrong. Rational optimists like Lomborg, Ridley, Paul Kelly (where is he?) and others have been calling for this for decades. It’s surely a good sign that some big players are starting to listen.

  28. Matthew R Marler

    For a country like Brazil, where waste-to-energy technology is being piloted today, integrated solid waste management practices including building sanitary landfills that capture greenhouse gas emissions to generate electricity can improve human health, add jobs, increase the energy supply, reduce the impact on climate change, and boost national GDP.

    Most of the examples, and all the economic benefits, have nothing to do with reducing CO2 or affecting global climate.

  29. I am struck at times as I commute down the busy interstate with so many other cars at the mind boggling inefficiency of the whole thing and I am confused at how twisted societies priorities are that we arent able to do better. But it passes…
    I love public transit because I can read, but its rare that it works due to scarcity of routes and connections and long transit times.
    Cars are nice but if I never had to drive except to go the mountains or road trip my life would be better.

  30. thisisnotgoodtogo

    “Climate pollutants”. Weather pollutants?
    Language polluters!

  31. ‘In a world of limited resources, we can’t do everything, so which goals should we prioritize? The Copenhagen Consensus Center provides information on which targets will do the most social good (measured in dollars, but also incorporating e.g. welfare, health and environmental protection), relative to their costs.’ Copenhagen Consensus

    The World Bank analysis is far too narrow. In the end it leads to the subsuming of development goals to the climate goals of true believers. Each of the project case studies may have benefits – the open question is whether there are not better ways to apply scarce funds. There seems not to be a mention of opportunity cost. Thus there is little confidence that these projects represent optimal social investments.

    The essential question is how to promote development with the biggest return on capital transfers. Here are 12 phenomenal – a benefit/cost ratio greater than 15 – goals for global development this century.

    1. Achieve full and productive employment for all, reduce barriers to productive employment for all including women and young people.

    Agricultural productivity is the key to this.

    2. Reduce by 50% or more malnutrition in all its forms, notably stunting and wasting in children under five years of age.

    Soil conservation and restoration building resilient agricultural systems. Focused micro nutrient supplements.

    3. By 2030 end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases. Reverse the spread of, and significantly reduce, deaths from tuberculosis and malaria.

    Condoms, education, vaccinations, mosquito nets.

    4. Achieve universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, with particular attention to the most marginalized, assuming a gradual increase in coverage over time, focusing first on diseases where interventions have high benefits-to-costs.

    Refrigeration for medicines – effective health networks – education.

    5. Ensure universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health for all, including modern methods of family planning.

    Pretty basic.

    6. By 2030 ensure universal access to access and complete quality pre-primary education

    Improves over time productiviy and innovation.

    7. By 2030 ensure equal access to education at all levels.

    Ditto.

    8. By 2030 ensure increased access to sustainable modern energy services.

    Starting with efficient cook stoves.

    9. By 2030 phase out fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.

    Who likes subsidies.

    10. Build resilience and adaptive capacity to climate induced hazards in all vulnerable countries.

    This is a key to resilient societies.

    11. Promote open, rules-based, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading and financial systems, including complying with the agricultural mandate of the WTO Doha Round.

    This is the key to sustainable development.

    12. Improve market access for agricultural and industrial exports of developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries, and at least double the share of LDCs’ exports in global exports by 2020.

    End wasteful protectionist policies.

    There are quite significant multi-gas advances to be made in several of these areas – but these cannot be the prime objective of a rational development policy. The idea instead is to focus scarce funds of the most positive outcomes for human development – and a number of environmental benefits emerge as a result. Including population restraint, higher growth and more funds for land and resource management, greenhouse gas mitigation and better environmental management. This is the better way of developing optimal strategies.

    • #3 should include DDT. As banning it was just another green conspiracy.
      They do not care about the millions of people who die or worse yet end up with debilitating diseases like malaria. Like global warming it is about money.

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/07/06/bald-eagle-ddt-myth-still-flying-high/
      “Charles Wurster, a senior scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund – the activist group that led the charge against DDT – told the Seattle Times (Oct. 5, 1969) that, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before. In a sense, much more is at stake than DDT.”

      • DDT was approved by the WHO in 2007 for indoor residual surface spraying – which includes treatment of mosquito nets.

        People have fewer offspring if they are educated, better off, have good health systems and access to contraceptive information.

        Building on the work carried out to date and without prejudging the outcome of the negotiations we commit ourselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at: substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support. We agree that special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the negotiations and shall be embodied in the schedules of concessions and commitments and as appropriate in the rules and disciplines to be negotiated, so as to be operationally effective and to enable developing countries to effectively take account of their development needs, including food security and rural development.

        Open markets are a key to economic growth and development.

    • “Including population restraint”. Your point 11 really says it all, you are in favor of killing the undesirables in your idea of society. Yes?

    • And one more thing, we will not allow DDT to kill the eagle but we will allow windmills to do that.

  32. “With careful design, the same development projects that improve communities, save lives, and increase GDP can also fight climate change.”

    No, they can improve communities, save lives and increase GDP (duh). That little bit tacked on the end means billions, maybe trillions, in white elephants. Good try, warmies, but as often as you keep trying to slip in that little AGW pill I’m spitting it out.

    Be a true conservationist of land, ocean, resources, lives, money and energy. Shoot down another white elephant today.

  33. Couple of questions.

    Can there be any humans left on earth who don’t roll their eyes at such management babble as “holistic, adaptable framework”?

    Also, are Mr Kim, Christine Lagarde and other such green-doing international bankers paying income tax yet? I mean, before they close down a smelly dump which may be somebody’s tiny livelihood I’d like them to defy the snakes in their own pockets. I’m funny that way. Let them pay income tax and we can talk again. That would be a holistic synergy upon which I might sustainably capitalize. We might then become friends with quantifiable socio-benefits.

  34. “his report describes efforts by the ClimateWorks Foundation and the World Bank to quantify the multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with policies and projects to reduce emissions in select sectors and regions.”

    Maybe. We need a more rigorous analysis than this, particularly on lives saved. Much of this reads like wishful thinking which should not be a world bank role.
    The alleged climate benefits can not be substantiated by the IPCC models which all exaggerate global warming and therefor are not reliable guides to human health.

  35. Happy Birthday, USA!

  36. White courtesy phone for Paul Kelly–Mr. Kelly, you are requested to participate in this discussion. White courtesy telephone Mr. Paul Kelly…

  37. What climate change?

    Before we start “fighting climate change” wouldn’t it be reasonable to first establish that it is actually occurring? To date I have seen no statistical evidence to demonstrate that there has been anything exceptional about the climate of the 20th century. We are experiencing a typical Holocene climate. What is this “climate change” thing these people keep talking about?

    It reminds me of the faith healer who tells you that you have one leg shorter than the other and if we all pray hard enough we can fix it.

  38. “With careful design, the same development projects that improve communities, save lives, and increase GDP can also fight climate change.”

    A basic rule of policy-making is one policy per policy instrument. That is, any particular policy should have a single objective. Contrast this with:

    “In the transportation policy scenario, for example, if the five countries and the EU shifted more travel to public transit, moved more fright traffic off of roads to rails and sea, and improved fuel efficiency, they could save about 20,000 lives a year, avert hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses, save nearly $300 billion in energy, and reduce climate changing emissions by more than four gigatons.”

    That involves a plethora of policies, the relationships between which are not clear. Effective policy implementation requires a focus on a single objective, with someone responsible and accountable for implementing the policy efficiently and effectively so as to achieve the particular goal. It is impossible that a grandiose attempt to cover many different policy aims could be implemented and monitored successfully. If you are concerned about prosperity of poorer countries, devise policies which promote growth. If you are concerned about health issues, devise policies which address particular health issues, etc.

    Of course, policies which promote prosperity will often improve health outcomes; policies which imporve health will often foster growth. A coherent, holistic approach is likely to be more effective than disparate policies which conflict with each other. But that does not lead to the approach suggested above. And putting these other goals under an over-arching “climate change” policy would make success in particular goals less likely.

    A brief sortie due to computer problems. TTFN.

    • michael hart

      “If you are concerned about prosperity of poorer countries, devise policies which promote growth.”

      Agreed. China is currently demonstrating this to the world. And they will clean up their air pollution in due course, without prompting by sanctimonious foreigners. Chinese people can see and smell smoke just as well as anybody else.

      Their response to witterings about CO2 and climate change from the World Bank should, and effectively will, be that they can take a running jump.

      • Rob Starkey

        China is doing a generally excellent job when it comes to economic development. Many people in western societies wrongly believe that all countries think or behave in a singular manner and do not really understand their culture and why they are not doing things that we may think makes sense.

        Why will most humans be harmed by adverse weather and/or a changing climate? Answer- because infrastructure in a particular country has either not been properly built or maintained. That issue worldwide will not be solved by the UN or the EU or the USA. Independent countries have rights and responsibilities. If they do not make infrastructure a priority—people there suffer, but they have to change the culture that allows the condition.

        Same story in the USA in a different way. If we want effective government we will have to change the culture of government that only seems to want to make others look bad vs. actually accomplishing things.

    • I’m quite keen on public transport and the right kinds of government initiatives, welfare etc included. (Don’t think I’d ever make the grade as a right-winger or libertarian.) But can you imagine the waste, folly and chaos of an EU or IMF or World Bank mandated transition away from road and air? All muddled up with their potty climate agenda and New Class notions of wealth redistribution? The resulting mess and would make Woodchips-to-Drax look like sovereign reason. Truly, it would be lethal.

      We have got to get the kids out of the kitchen. Urgently.

      • The thing is, mosomoso, even Hayek advocated a social safety net. It’s just that he would have done it differently. He would have used something like a negative income tax or a variant. I rather like the libertarian stance of Rule of Law, a government that doesn’t push a particular religion down your throat, and small, limited government.

        I could see rolling up social security, disability, and all the other welfare programs into one Welfare Department, saving a ton of money, tracking fraud scrupulously, and implementing a negative income tax as the mechanism. Allowances would have to be made for disability, including age, but it’s doable.

        Libertarianism seems to have a societal moral stance of the left, but the small limited government stance of a few on the right.

      • I do take your points, Jim2, and I think I could get on okay with a lot of libertarians, just as I could get on with many of the old style Aussie Labor people I was raised with. The great lesson of recent times for me is the way the Progressive Herd has grabbed hold of the Market as a pet mechanism, applying it to their climate fiddles with just enough rigging to make sure it can’t work. Some even proclaim themselves the true capitalists.

        I get and like what Hayek and Friedman were saying, but I know that sort of horse sense can easily be turned into horse something-else. (I’m sure the professional babblers who crank out such facile tripe as “Climate Smart Development” would be quick to cloak themselves in the robes of Adam Smith.)

        The best ideas make the worst dogmas, which is why I try not to have a “wing” or a system. Leaves me free to favour stuff which works or helps regardless of its dogmatic purity. Climate Smart Development looks like a particularly creepy and expensive dogma. I mean, who, apart from the dopes who narrowed the Hudson mouth to make more Battery Park real estate, would be interested in Climate Vulnerable Development. No, these World Bank climate guys have got white elephants in mind. Big ones. It’s what they do.

      • I understand that any noble cause can be turned into a pile of cr*p by politicians – it’s certainly happened in the US. But for me, hope springs eternal. I’m probably just a fool.

  39. “If you are concerned about prosperity of poorer countries, devise policies which promote growth.” Should read “if you are concerned about prosperity, provide a means to access abundant, affordable, and reliable energy”, in other words, fossil fuels. If we want a greener planet, we want more Co2 not less since most green things grow faster, larger and bear more flower/fruit while using less water. Sounds more like a win/win to me than lose/lose of implementing a top down approach as advocated by the the IMF/World Bank/UN or other socialist regimes.

  40. From the article:

    Just in time for the Fourth of July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has added a new regulatory weapon to its arsenal.

    In a Federal Register notice on July 2 titled “Administrative Wage Garnishment,” the EPA stated that by the authority of the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA ) of 1996 it issued a proposed rule that “will allow the EPA to garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.”

    http://dailysignal.com/2014/07/03/epa-harasses-americans/

    • More …
      It’s worth repeating just part of the list of debts for which wages may be garnished under the DCIA: “fines, penalties or fees assessed by federal agencies.”The EPA rule also states that, “we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment.” Consequently, the rule continues, “This direct final rule is effective September 2, 2014 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comments by August 1, 2014.”

      While one may not be too troubled about collection of unpaid loans or misused grants funds for example, that’s not all there is to consider with this regulation. People like Andy Johnson, a local welder in Unita County, Utah, might want to sit up and take note. The EPA issued an administrative order demanding that he destroy a pond he painstakingly built on his own property or face serious repercussions. The EPA has threatened Johnson with fines in the amount of $75,000 per day for violating the Clean Water Act.

  41. Our expectations for instant answers is certainly much greater than is was even 5 years ago.” ~Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief (Scientific American)

    See article at Twitter link above…

  42. catweazle666

    Unlike CO2, SLCPs do not linger in the atmosphere for centuries

    CO2 does NOT linger in the atmosphere for centuries.

    http://thermosymposium.nist.gov/archive/symp17/pdf/Abstract_289.pdf

    Trust the banksters to get the science wrong.

  43. The real story is about a loss of trust. Bad science has become more useful to the wrong people than good science has to people whose contribution to society pays all of the bills.

    Too many bad people –e.g., Leftist, secular socialists using bad science to promote political agendas — has destroyed trust in government and that includes public-funded academia. Science without accountability is the new morality.

    The economic lesson plan is worse: those who can’t do preach –only, now the preachers are waiving mathematical models instead of bibles over our heads. The further we get from market-based decision-making the more separated we become from what it takes to maximize the net present wealth of society.

  44. Public transportation only works when the option to buy land for city/town expansion out weighs the cost of building up. Rent seeking is the primary driver in a market economy.

    • Free market capitalism is far more than economic theory. It is the engine of social mobility… It is what allowed entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to change the way the world sells products and searches for information. It’s what transformed America from a rugged frontier to the greatest economic power in history — a nation that gave the world the steamboat and the airplane, the computer and the CAT scan, the Internet and the iPod… Ultimately, the best evidence for free market capitalism is its performance compared to other economic systems. Free markets allowed Japan, an island with few natural resources, to recover from war and grow into the world’s second-largest economy. Free markets allowed South Korea to make itself into one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world. Free markets turned small areas like Singapore and Hong Kong and Taiwan into global economic players… Meanwhile, nations that have pursued other models have experienced devastating results. Soviet communism starved millions, bankrupted an empire, and collapsed as decisively as the Berlin Wall. Cuba, once known for its vast fields of cane, is now forced to ration sugar. And while Iran sits atop giant oil reserves, its people cannot put enough gas… in their cars. ~George Bush

  45. For all the Progressives on here who argue for authoritarianism and who are very comfortable with gov’t coercion, who think all one needs to do is state a lofty goal, like save the children, or save the whales or save the planet and that your intentions are then a pass to never be criticized for the most horrendous programs, the worst clusterf**** known to man, who think every problem requires a gov’t solution and that nothing was ever solved that was complex and difficult that didn’t have a gov’t bureaucracy behind it, who never want to take or accept responsibility for the destruction that progressive programs bring in their wake, I ask you, “Isn’t it time to leave delusions behind.” Or as Elmer Gantry said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child. I understood as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.” It’s time to retire a failed philosophy whose history is nothing but failure. It’s time to put away the childish belief in Utopias, perfection, honest politicians, and using an institution whose foundation is the use of coercion to solve societal problems other than those problems that are the result of force and fraud. To that end, I invite you to read two books. The Law by Frederic Bastiat, and Why Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable by Richard Epstein. Plato can be forgiven for being seduced by the idea of philosopher kings. You cannot. It’s understandable, in an historical context, that people were once seduced by the notion that ‘someone has to be in charge.’ Anyone alive today who has the advantage of seeing two hundred + years of the ‘invisible hand,’ of the notion of Liberty and Freedom and how powerful they are as benefactors to humanity, of having available to them the ideas of Complexity theory and emergent properties, is forever disallowed from thinking that top down, command and control, centralized authority is the way to do anything.*
    These methodologies are not only morally ugly, philosophically untenable but empirically shown to be crass, crude, wasteful, corrupting and corrupt, unable to deliver what they promise, and come with a high, high probability of failure and destruction. The very language of the Progressive mindset is untenable, loathsome, disagreeable, immoral and fraught with coercion.

    It doesn’t get much uglier than this: “In the transportation policy scenario, for example, if the five countries and the EU shifted more travel to public transit, moved more fright traffic off of roads to rails and sea, and improved fuel efficiency, they could save about 20,000 lives a year, avert hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses, save nearly $300 billion in energy, and reduce climate changing emissions by more than four gigatons.”

    What is assumed in this ugly language is that people are nothing more than objects to be moved about like pawns on a chess board by philosopher kings who know best for everyone. People are not subjects who own their own lives and are to be left alone to find, through voluntary associations, solutions to whatever travails they might come across or experience. Life, in the language of the WB, is a grand vision with themselves as the Puppet Masters controlling people. For their own good, of course. Intentionality is everything to a progressive, no matter how high the blood rises in the streets.

    The language tends towards the lofty to better hide the shabbiness of the real motives and the thievery that is about to take place. Or as Mencken noted, “The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it.” This is the ugliness behind all Progressive programs and nostrums.

  46. Only concerns are, do the technologies proposed scale and are they optimal(

  47. My concerns are, do the technologies advocated scale and are they among optimal choices (is digestive tech really better than incineration)?

    Biggest concern is corruption. Many of these project just become green pork and scale up use of immature tech.

    (comment system doesnt play nice with my phone)

  48. Tanglewood

    Policies designed to “fight” the CAGW we don’t actually know exists.
    What a wonderful, good-spirited idea. Not politics masquerading as science at all.