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Samantha Smith

I took 255 last winter and the class really gave me insight into how big of an issue climate change is. Often times when I read a paper on climate change and the environment, I become very overwhelmed and thus, feel hopeless about what can be done. The combination of development issues and the environment posed an even more overwhelming feeling than focusing on global climate change alone. Box 2 especially stuck out to me. Poverty and inequality are two topics that we focused on this term in Development and Box 2 addresses both of these issues alongside climate change. My knee-jerk reaction is, “well, if the climate continues to change than women will lose more rights and have less power, and thus development can start to unravel.”

I think that the World Bank choosing to break up the impacts into three different regions was good. The regions chosen were Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and Europe, and Europe and Central Asia. Often times when we think about climate change and the environment, there is the idea that “this will never affect me.” IF you never think anything is going to change your life, than you are not going to think about it or try to make a change. Localizing the potential problems is good because then the local populations will be able to imagine their own world if the temperature increases by 2 or 4 degrees Celsius. The colored coded maps have a greater impact as well because it shows the population density and then it explains the greatest threats to specific areas within the region.

The Executive Summary also doesn’t just say “water will rise,” but rather what these implications have, for instance, food security and a risk for subsistence farming. These direct results of global warming are so specific that each reader can understand what their life would be like if the earth warmed 2 degrees and 4 degrees. When I saw the title of the last section, “Consequences for Development” I almost laughed because it was so direct and fitting to the class. Obviously this is a World Bank report, so they can be this direct, which I think is good. Box 7, 8 , and 9 were all scary to say the least, but they really drove all the conclusions home in case you weren’t paying attention or realized the gravity of the climate situation in the previous pages. The sheer organization of the effects of a warming world, do help me wrap my head around it all, but it is still overwhelming and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon.

Juan Mayol

The Executive Summary does a good job at describing the possible negative outcomes that will occur at specific places given the case that the average temperature increases by 2 degrees Celsius, or by 4 degrees Celsius. Geographically and/or demographically similar regions are expected to face similar issues. Some of these are related to rise of sea level, desertification and deforestation, rural to urban migration, spread of diseases and other health issues, reduction in crops yields and livestock for some areas, decrease in biodiversity, more extreme climate phenomena such as droughts and storms, negative effects on energy production, melting of glaciers, among other several negative consequences that will affect most of the planet if the temperature rises.

My only critiques are that they should account (and maybe they do on other publication) for what are the possible solutions or what is being done now to counteract or get ready for these changes, and that they do not take into consideration the possibility for innovation and change as we talked today in class. So I think that either the paper is too pessimistic, or that if it is not, it does not try to propose any solution to the given problems. Furthermore, it does not try to point out who the major players responsible for this temperature increase, which could help target the problem before it causes everything mentioned on the publication.
So, I think this publication is good to create awareness, but it would be more effective if it took an extra step and tried to propose possible solutions.

Alexandra Butler

Like Samantha and Juan, I like how this publication concentrates on the consequences of rising temperatures in three specific regions. I also agree that detailing how something like rising sea levels or increases in extreme heat have very specific negative externalities in each region makes the reader realize the extremity of the issue. When reading this paper, I thought back to one of the themes we have discussed in this class. We have often discussed that poor households are more vulnerable to suffering from unexpected shocks, like drought or famine, because they do not have the same insurance as wealthier individuals. This publication details how changes in global temperatures could result in extreme weather patterns that result in droughts, loss of crops, etc. Reading these potential outcomes made me think of poor households and how they may react to these unexpected shocks. One thing we have discussed in this class that was only briefly mentioned in this publication is human capital. The World Bank did acknowledge that rising global temperatures could increase the prevalence of disease. But what about effects on education? Duflo’s paper from the beginning of the term “Women Empowerment and Economic Development,” states that poor families in India often sacrifice the well-being of girls when they are suffering from an unexpected shock, like a drought. This means that another potential outcome of climate change could be that even fewer girls in developing nations attend school. We have discussed extensively in this class the causal relationship between women empowerment and development. If poor families cannot cope with climate change and resort to pulling children from school, then this could reverse economic growth and increase poverty. Udry’s paper on child labor also showed that farmers must weigh costs and benefits before sending children to school. If increasing temperatures hurt agricultural productivity and cause extreme weather, it is likely that children in these families will work on the farm rather than attend school. Though this paper focuses primarily on the environmental consequences of climate change, I think that human capital implications are also important to consider given the discussions we have had throughout the term. Like Juan, I am also interested in what countries are already doing to innovate solutions to climate change and what suggestions the World Bank has for future innovation.

Madison Smith

This is the first class I have taken where we have talked about climate change and the impact that the environment is having on the lives of the poor. I like the way that the WorldBank has created an easily understandable document that can portray the effect carbon emissions are having on the climate. I do agree with Juan that it would be interesting to have the article lay out possibilities for reducing these impacts with new ideas or the idea that we talked about in class of disincentivizing the use of fossil fuels, but I understand that the executive summary seems to be solely focused on laying out the current and future impacts on society.

Box 2: Social Vulnerability Impacts of Climate Change really struck me because the poor are much more affected by the warming climate, but they are not the ones that are contributing most to the problem. It seems as though agriculture will face many challenges in the warming world seeing a decrease in crop yields and food security. Additionally, poor individuals usually live in areas most vulnerable to the increasingly common extreme weather conditions. This goes back to what we were saying in class today about ensuring that producers and consumers are bearing the social cost. Policy should reflect this inequality by hopefully working to ensure that the cost of warming is not a larger burden on the poor than the rest of the world. Obviously this is a lofty goal, but it seems to be integral to ensuring that the poverty does not increase even more in the future as the climate changes.

Jean Turlington

This report by the World Bank is very thorough. The economic and environmental effects that will most likely arise as a result of a global temperature rise seem significant, and because of this, efforts that help prevent it should be taken seriously. Each of the regions seemed to have slightly different effects and concerns related to the rise in temperature, but all had significant negative effects. Water plays a huge role in economic success and development and that is one of the things most effected by global climate change. Some areas are going to end up with too much rain, which can lead to more crop failure, landslides and devastation, but others will end up with very little rain or water from glacial melting, which would also cause serious problems with crop development and small things such as drinking water. Water is also involved in many industrial processes and if there is not enough water to do these processes that could also effect development. There is no denying the importance of water whether it is rainwater or sea levels. Sea level and the acidity of the sea have also become a huge concern. Sea level rises will affect the entire world’s coastline. It could truly be devastating to coastal cities and overall countries development. The acidity of the water could be another strain on our food supply as fish migrate or die due to changing temperatures.

Another component that I thought was interesting was the idea that once temperatures start rising, they could be self-perpetuating. For example, some scientists believe that if the huge swaths of forest in Russia start to diminish not only will they not be able to convert carbon into oxygen, but they will also create carbon, and the land below them will release carbon, thus increasing levels even more. This could be a serious concern.

It was surprising that Southern Africa, and South Eastern Asia were not mentioned in the executive summary because I am sure temperature rises would play a significant role in their development. Also, I wonder what these changes in temperature would do to North America, Europe, and Australia. These countries do not need to develop more but their industries could seriously be affected by temperature rises. America grows lots of corn and all other countries that grow corn will see a decrease in production, so America will probably as well. Also these countries ability to adapt to the changing climate will affect other developing countries. They will share their resources, or maybe have fewer resources to donate to the developing countries to help them develop. It is unclear, but also another concern.

Raymond Monasterski

Like Samantha, I often feel hopeless and also skeptical about what can be done. Certainly, there aren't many places where one can find articles that say climate change is a good thing. Many agree that climate change is something that needs to be alleviated or else we, not necessarily us particularly but future generations, will face the consequences. The first thing I thought while reading this is how eventually, the development topics we have talkd about won't even come to fruition without first addressing climate change. For example, agroforestry would be about impossible to implement because of extreme weather patterns as the planet warms. However, like we discussed in class, innovation is key to alleviating and/or responding to climate change. Reducing carbon emissions is one thing that could be be done. Developing systems that turn carbon waste in to fuel is another. Lastly, and I think the paper tries to to get to this by separating climate change in to distinct regions, is that ideas, innovations and policies need to be specific to each area. The people who are in the regions that will be affected most by climate change aren't necessarily the ones contributing to its acceleration. Thus, like we've said, the people who contribute the most to climate change should be the ones who incur the social cost. However, as we see now with the global powers deemed responsible for causing and now solving climate change, addressing it is very difficult. Just as some are skeptical about climate change itself, it's often hard not to be skeptical about alleviating and decelerating it, too.

HeeJu Jang

Since other students have already done a thorough job of summarizing the World Bank's paper, I thought I would contribute to this blog post by elaborating on few points that have been raised in previous comments.

Firstly, Juan critiques the paper for ignoring the possibility for innovation (e.g. solutions and previous attempts) to reverse the global warming trend. Although his concern is legitimate, I wonder if such information would have been appropriate for the particular purpose of this paper. Through this paper, World Bank was trying to raise the public awareness of gravity of global warming. If the organization ended its paper on a positive note indicating that there are already potential solutions to the problem, there might be a chance that people do not take the issue as seriously as World Bank hopes. Also, I do no think we will know for certain whether the paper mentions innovations or not just by reading its executive summary. Moreover, probably due to the characteristic of World Bank, the paper concentrates on regions with impoverished developing countries. I wonder how many scientific research and project could have been conducted when most people in these region struggle for basic needs. (Concerning this point, I was actually wondering if we can talk about possibility of advanced countries aiding LDCs in research and development as a reward for participating in global carbon tax initiatives in class tomorrow.)

Jean mentions that she is surprised that the paper does not mention Southern Africa and South Eastern Asia as impact regions. I am quite curious as well. These two regions are also poverty-stricken and global warming will bring catastrophic consequences on poor people there. So what accounts for this omission?

Callie Northrop

Like Sam and many others have said, this Executive Summary is in quite depressing. Their comments reminded me of an article I saw titled, “The Five States of Climate Greif”. This short, simple article details what I believe is probably a very common order of feelings towards climate change (I know I have moved through each of these stages); denial, anager, bargaining, depression, acceptance. While this article does tend to trigger stage 4, depression, I think it is important to move forward to the acceptance stage, “to acknowledge the scientific facts calmly, explore solutions to drive down greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, and find non-carbon intensive energy sources” (Running). Running suggests that to move from this depression phase into the Acceptance phase, there are two important factors:

“First are viable alternatives to show that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is possible without the end of modern civilization. It is very heartening to see wind turbines, LED lighting, thin film solar and hybrid cars on the market right now, not some vague future hope. Second is visionary national leadership, a "Marshall Plan" level of national focus and commitment, so everyone is contributing, and the lifestyle changes needed are broadly shared, in fact becoming a new norm. Progress on that front has not been good so far. An obvious flaw in this analogy is that many people are simply ignoring the global warming issue, a detachment they cannot achieve when they are personally facing cancer” (Running).

In this way, I wish papers like this could make suggestions or show progress in order to help the public move beyond depression and desperation in terms of climate change.


Now, I will contradict myself for a second by pointing on a “depressing” point the article didn’t address thoroughly; the positive feedback loops from climate change. As the temperature rises, all of the changes mentioned in the article are either already occurring or about to begin. Most of these changes, however, will in turn contribute to even further climate change.

Chandler Moody

I've lived in New Orleans my whole life, so I've seen firsthand the effects of global environmental changes. In the last century the number of destructive hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf per year has more than doubled. It used to be that North America would see about 3 hurricanes a year. Today, it's an average of 8. As this article explains, if we continue living the way we do today, global temperature change is predicted to increase to 3 and 4 degrees Celsius. Hurricane destructive potential is highly correlated with water temperatures. It affects how strong the storm gets- increased rainfall and faster winds. Rising sea levels will further compound the risks, especially for New Orleans. The article says the rates of sea level rise are the highest for 6,000 years and are expected to rise .5m by 2100. Rising sea levels are a particular threat to New Orleans since it's below sea level. The city is already surrounded by man-made levees on all sides. The solution can't be to keep raising the levees higher and higher, year by year. On their own, the levees along the Mississippi River have done tons of damage to the environment. Something that was touched on in the paper that also relates to this is the effect of rising sea levels on other ecosystems. The intrusion of salt water into the coastal bayous in South Louisiana kills the unique ecosystem. With the levees on the Mississippi, the rich sediment isn't able to distribute and the land erodes. Maps in America show Louisiana as a boot, but in actuality, the coast of Louisiana doesn't look like that today. In the book "Bayou Farewell" by Mike Tidwell I remember he wrote that every minute Louisiana loses a football-sized amount of land. This will only worsen with global warming and the effects of sea level rise. Additionally, without coastal wetlands as a buffer to the land, hurricanes will hit even harder. Even after the devastation of katrina not much has changed to implement environmental policy in its wake. The hard part is that the benefits to implementing environmental policy will be in the future, yet the costs will would be felt now.

Andrew Riehl

The amount of information presented in the Executive Summary alone is overwhelming. The paper makes it very clear that if the Earth continues to warm at this alarming rate, the results could be devastating, especially for developing areas. Some of the possible outcomes if this trend continues include extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, spread of diseases, and lower crop yields. Though these would present bad situations for everyone, it would be particularly cruel to developing nations. These nations are trying to attain basic aspects of life and they would not be able to adapt to the extreme climate change. The lower crop yields would be especially damaging because of developing nations’ general reliance on agriculture. I also worry for coastal areas in developing nations because of the rising sea levels. As some people have stated, most of the things we have talked about in class that we want to fix cannot be fixed if there are rapid changes in the climate.
Some have also stated that the report is too pessimistic and does not offer any solutions. However, I think this report is supposed to scare people in order to get individuals and organizations to respond. I still remember watching An Inconvenient Truth in 7th grade and I do think it has had an effect on people going green, being more environmentally friendly, and at the very least knowing about the issue. This work can do the same and papers like this are about getting people more aware of the issue before we can address the problem. The paper was also probably very serious and pessimistic because change needs to happen very soon. The report was clear that once it gets past an increase of 2 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial age, it might be too late. An increase in 4 degrees Celsius would be catastrophic.

Stephen Moore

I found the World Bank article an interesting paper to conclude our class on development economics. We have touched on environmental issues throughout the various topic we have covered, and it is definitely a concerning issue. While I admit I do not have an extensive knowledge of the history of environmental policy, I believe environmental arguments hold more weight today they have in the past. This would mean that developing economies have one more hurdle to overcome. In regards to environmental concerns, developed nations were able to grow less concerned about their effect on the environment. While these concerns might appear a hurdle at first, they have important social benefits. A number of classmates have touched on the potential for innovation. This section of the article may not have addressed innovation specifically, but it does provide hope for developing economies moving forward. For example, the agroforestry article we looked at earlier in the semester illustrated the numerous benefits of environmental concern in developing economies. As environmental concern becomes a more prominent issue, I hope developing economies will grow with a smaller impact on the environment. The trick, though, will be how to incentivize such innovation moving forward.

Daphine Mugayo

While it is much easier to blame most of the pollution on China or the United States as nations, I feel like consumption has a lot to do with the current environmental change.
I would strongly argue that environmental change needs to be considered an issue at the individual level such that each consumer takes feels responsible for the status quo and takes action to improve the address this concern. When we think of environmental protection as a treaty that needs to be signed between China, India and the US, we as consumers feel less responsible for environmental pollution.
As was mentioned in class, while China is the major emitter, it does so to satisfy the demand of we the consumers. Thus at the start of the pollution cycle lies the consumers.
To this point I would add consumption to the carbon emission function that we used in class. Take for example, the napkins we use at the marketplace. In efforts towards being a green campus, W&L marketplace asks students to separate the napkins they use during meals such that they can be recycled due to their carbon contribution. But as many students are not as mindful of this pollution hazard, they do not do as asked. Likewise, because China continues to argue against lowering its emissions, if consumers took initiative and raised the bar on the products they consume, maybe China would give in.
That being said, I feel like we as consumers have a lot of power to change the environmental status, but are unaware of that. Actions such as reducing the amount we drive, the napkins we use, the paper we print. All these reductions in excess consumption would better the environment.

C Wood

After reading classmates comments I am better able to comprehend why the paper was left on such a dreary note. At first the paper seemed almost lamenting with an urging but pessimistic tone. However, I guess this was intended to scare people into action. I do wonder if the rest of the paper describes at all what action.

Another note that is applicable to class discussion was Professor Casey's comments that it can't just be one country making changes. If we want to significantly reduce carbon release it has to be China and the U.S. who will bring India along with them in the near future. Even though I took AP Environmental Science in high school I feel largely ignorant in much of this week's lessons. The effects of climate change illustrated by either a 2 degree versus 4 degree change were highly worrisome and unknown to me. This type of information was not largely discussed in my previous classes related to this topic. In fact climate change was only ever discussed so broadly that I never thoroughly applied it to having differing levels of impact in different places, especially with poor nations. Now it clearly seems unfair to me that poorer developing countries cannot adapt to the various environmental changes, while other countries that are actually the source of the problem will be better suited to cope with these changes. The connection between increasing development and reducing poverty and climate change is something that I would strongly recommend teaching more thoroughly at an earlier age. I would recommend this paper to some of my high school courses while recommending teachers try to connect these two areas. Though many argue that people are fairly ambivalent to things that do not directly affect them I think articles as persuasive as this could make large impacts if more widely known about.

Lucy Ortiz

This executive summary reminded me of an article I read over Thanksgiving break. The general gist of it was that people's political ideologies affect how they interpret abnormal weather patterns. McCright, Dunlap and Xiao analyzed a gallup poll from 2012, after an abnormally warm year. They found that while most people said that it was a warm winter, self reported Democrats were much more likely to report that it was a warmer than average winter. From there, Democrats, Liberals, and women were more likely to attribute the warmer local weather to global warming. I thought that it was also interesting that living in a urban area or working in the fossil fuels sector had no effect on either perceiving an abnormally warm year, or attributing the heat in general to global warming. I guess I just found that this article just drove home the point that are not blank slates, rather all information is received through a filter, and in this case that filter is political ideology.

I found that this executive summary was very somber, but for good reason. As made evident by the Gallup poll, everyone will not start realizing the effects of global warming simply from feeling it. The article has a shock value that might wake people up. If they do not feel the difference, it might be good to read about the actual damage and change this warming creates.

Newspaper Article:

Journal Article:

Kate LeMasters

Many others have pointed out that this article lays out a fairly gloomy and bleak image of climate change without proposing solutions because the executive summary is mainly meant to raise issues, not proposal solutions. However, I am surprised, in light of our reading on agriculture and the potential mechanisms for development, that the authors do not mention how climate change does or does not play into current initiatives for agricultural enrichment (e.g., traditional sector enrichment). I would be interested to see where the World Bank sees traditional sector enrichment fitting in with climate change, especially because the executive summary raises the issues associated with increasing urbanization as well. This means that Gary Fields’ proposed development strategies might all be infeasible (modern sector enlargement, modern sector enrichment, traditional sector enrichment). If agricultural yields are decreasing and becoming more irregular, populations of cities are increasing while informal structures within the cities are also increasing, and cities are not enhancing their development, does Gary Fields present a potential strategy here? Or do we need to create new ones?
I thought that the tie to globalization was particularly interesting as well, because I typically don’t think of climate change in the realm of our globalized world. They say that those dependent upon food imports will have increasingly volatile import options, causing risks that surpass location. Importantly, this is one aspect that can target those of us in the US, Europe, etc. because our food imports impact us directly. It is far more easy to discount issues that only impact far-off places. Many people have raised the issue of localization and how this article does a good job of localizing climate change impacts but does not do a good job of making climate change relevant to us. By including the argument for food import price increases and volatility, the information presented by the World Bank becomes more relevant. While food imports clearly aren’t one of the most drastic outcomes of climate change, they are directly applicable to us, so they do have the potential to increase action that intangible numbers about rainfall in Asia may not.

Taylor Theodossiou

I like how the Executive Summary is laid out, especially for someone like me who hasn’t taken Environmental Studies since my senior year of high school. By laying it out in the three different regions that have very different geographic and economic backgrounds it is easy to see how much of an impact a 2°C or 4°C change will do to each of these regions. I studied abroad in Morocco and so I can see how much just a small sea level rise will impact the area. All of the main cities, including the capital Rabat, and most of its tourist locations are located on the coast and so having these regions flooded will be very detrimental to the area. However, even to someone who doesn’t know much about global climate change I felt like many of the conclusions were fairly obvious. For instance, it seems logical that an overall warming of the earth will lead to more drought in already dry areas of the world which will cause farming to suffer leading to famine and other issues. My questions are similar to some of the other people who have posted already about what are some of the solutions to this problem.
I know last class we discussed how there is a correlation between increasing GDP and increasing pollution in the countries of the world. My question is how do we stop this because so many people would be opposed to reducing the GDP because know one wants to see their economic value shrink especially in such a globalized world where your power is directly linked to your economic prosperity. This question becomes even more important for our class because of the bleak outcomes for development that the Executive Summary lays out. The fact that the last paragraph of the report begins with “the task of promoting human development, of ending poverty, increasing global prosperity and reducing global inequality will be very challenging in a 2°C world, but in a 4°C world there is serious doubt whether it can be achieved at all” is a very scary one and the way the world is dealing with climate change now leads me to think that we may very well be facing these problems in the future.

Jacob Strauss

As we have covered in class, any meaningful reduction in emissions must come from cooperation between the US and China and large scale commitment, and that goal doesn't seem like an easy one to attain. With Senator Inhofe as the likely chair of the EPW Committee it seems unlikely that the government will be able to pass any meaningful change, and it is also possible that with this position he can gut much of the recent EPA regulations. Based on my time in China, the situation doesn't seem much better. My Chinese classmates and teachers were all aware of the pollution because they lived in it, but they regularly stated that the environment was not a large concern to them. They wanted the pollution to decrease a bit, but not at any expense to economic growth. They still live with the previous generation's stories of hardship which means climate change (especially when the media has little discussion of it) isn't exactly on the radar.

The recent agreement between the US and China does provide some hope, though. While it isn't a significant reduction or a huge commitment, it is still a step in the right direction. Perhaps more importantly, it could make future unilateral action by the US more feasible because one of the biggest arguments against it is China's unwillingness to reduce emissions.

Ferrell Carter

The World Bank did an excellent job of providing an extensive report on environmental hazards in certain areas of the world. What stood out the most to me was how they were able to link almost every environmental problem with a specific issue in development, such as labor or health. We have learned in class that environmental and development factors are intertwined in nature. In order to sustain development, we must innovate ways to live off the resources we have without hurting the future generations. The World Bank provided thorough evidence of CO2 emissions being one of the major concerns for environmentalists.

The paper mentioned how environmental damage could interrupt migration patterns as certain climate changes could create uninhabitable land. This reminded me of what we discussed in class a few weeks ago about population patterns and the demographic transition. Interrupting migration not only would affect families’ security and thus make them more vulnerable to poverty, but it could also lead to detrimental population effects such as the Malthusian population trap. The effects of climate change go far beyond just immediate effects on the individuals the affected areas.

Griffin Cook

The Executive Summary spares no detail in highlighting the dangers of global climate change; from decreases in agricultural yields, temperature extremes, reductions in water availability, environmental and ecosystem changes for plants and animals… The list goes on. It’s hard to understate the dangers of an increase in global temperature, but this summary does a more than adequate job of listing the many, many consequences of the current projected changes. With so many downfalls of the current environmental trends outlined here, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would ignore such an issue or oppose changes to rectify the situation. Part of the problem in trying to enact global climate change through policy reform and precautionary measures is often met with strong opposition for one reason in particular: measures that would reduce emissions or energy use that affect the climate are expensive and reduce output. As we discussed in class, China is reluctant to agree to a treaty that restricts emissions because of their significant reliance on coal for their current levels of productivity. It’s a simple trade-off story: individuals, firms, and countries all sacrifice long-term global welfare and future health and productivity to maintain higher current levels of energy use or output. After all, why worry about potential consequences thirty (or especially one-hundred) years from now when I’ll be dead then and my quality of life will be better now?
I’d like to think that the reason many global leaders are reluctant to make an active effort in environmental and climate reform is because they are unaware of the many disastrous long-term negative outcomes. But in the end, I think a lot of the time the choice to ignore this problem is made out of greed and a desire to keep doing what works in the present regardless of future circumstances. I think it’s as much of a disregard or future generations and their well-being is it is about doing what’s right for the present. To change this mindset, I believe that starting with economic development is the key to increasing awareness about global interconnectivity and welfare and also reducing the factors responsible for current environmental changes. Helping other countries (especially those who will feel the significant effects of climate change in the short-run) improve their economic status will increase their bargaining power in global affairs. If Latin America had same clout as China in current negotiations, I would wager that there would be a much, much stronger push for stricter regulations on emission and much higher environmental consciousness. In addition, by improving the economic health of countries, they will become more able to make their energy use and production methods more efficient and operate in a more environmentally-safe way. In the end, taking immediate action to improve environmental conditions is essential, but in the long-term I think economic measures can be just as important.

Mac McKee

While reading the summary from the World Bank, I found my mind jumping back to our class on Tuesday and further to our initial discussions about poverty and development. An idea from Tuesday's class that really stuck with me was that we're all free riders to varying extents. While we do pay the market price for fossil fuels, we don't internalize the social costs but rather share them. So it also is on a global scale. Those most adversely affected by the externalities introduced by the burning of fossil fuels are ethnic minorities, the poor, women and children, and otherwise marginalized members of society. Relatively wealthy groups can more easily adapt to climate change. So it appears that the the developed world is not only using the most fossil fuels but is also less likely to incur future costs. We're free riding at the expense of the developing world which doesn't even get to enjoy most benefits of fuel.

Further, I thought of a few things we discussed earlier in the term that can slow development: poor access to resources & weak infrastructure. Now I see that the two are linked to climate change; marginalized communities that would otherwise be developed are now avoided because the climate makes them more dangerous for more dense populations, limiting the establishment of infrastructure and improvement for the community to grow.

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