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Nicholas Tierney Watson

I think that there are two big takeaways from this report.

One of those is best exemplified by these two quotes, “Shocks and stresses related to climate change can undermine poverty reduction and push new groups into poverty” and “The impacts of climate change will often be most severely felt by poor and socially excluded groups, whose capacity to adapt to both rapid- and slow-onset climate change is more limited”. Inherently, climate change is a global problem. I’ve always understood that climate change affects various regions and people differently, but I never considered the implications that climate change would have on poverty. The negative effects of climate change not only disproportionally affect the poor, but they also appear to cement people in poverty. What might be even scarier than that is that according to this report if we heat up by 4C there is serious doubt about whether or not we can end poverty? That would have PROFOUND effects on global mental health. Where is humanity supposed to derive hope from, when for the vast majority of the world, literally can’t have a better future. The large majority of the world would be hopeless.
I think the second take away, comes from the first couple of pages. If you read it carefully, you can find out that this report was created as a briefing report of the world’s leaders before the Paris Climate Accords. I don’t know enough about the Paris Climate Accords to make any real judgment about its efficacy, but at the minimum it was something. With a report as comprehensive, reputable and terrifying as this, how could any political leader ignore it or just flat out not believe in climate change?

Danh Nguyen

The main argument in “We can end world poverty without destroying the planet” resonates a lot with what I am doing research on regarding renewable energy, and how revolutionary renewable energy can be in the long-run. Throughout my research, I have ceased to believe that renewable energy is not price competitive and started to wonder why people have not turned to these sources of energy that can possibly pave the way for future generations to achieve so much more in the long run. It all boils down to what Quiggin said about it is not about a matter of achievability but rather, a matter of willingness to adopt.
It is so eye-opening to see how solar photovoltaics have had significant price reduction from 27 cents for utility-scale PV in 2010 to only 6 cents per kWh as of right now (a 78% cost reduction). Residential photovoltaics have had its price reduced from 42 cents to only 9 cents per kWh (79% cost reduction). This technology has only been developed since 1990Yet, despite this rapid expansion, photovoltaics only accounted for 1.5% of the U.S’ total energy generation in the past year. Green technology has the potential to achieve so much more than its current pace of development. It is a matter of whether we are willing to spend more on it. Renewable energy has ceased to be a luxury and have the full potential to become a general source of energy. Yet, if we continue to pursue lower price from energy generated from fossil fuels, can we actually achieve a certain amount of energy capacity for future generations for decades to come when we cannot afford to emit any more emissions due to increasing climate change and pollution.
The climate report from the World Bank was quite interesting as well. We have witnessed how agriculture has suffered from extreme weather conditions as cattle experience heat stress, unexpected pest outburst from changing weather patterns, and these problems disproportionately affect the farmers. It ties back to what Solow said about how we should focus on both the future and the people who are currently shortchanged right now. It has come to show that dealing with climate change and emissions can benefit current populations right now let alone future generations. Although there are ways to tackle environmental problems, including water use and land use, through regenerative agriculture, agrobusinesses have gone out of its way to drown out the voices advocating for these sustainable agricultural practices. It is disheartening to see how the government and businesses turning a blind eye to this issue, but it simply is not a problem that can be dealt only from a bottom-up approach.


This article was very insightful and one that I used for support on my final essay. What stuck out to me in particular was the emissions that lead to climate change. Our topic for the paper was taxing carbon emissions and this fit perfect into the economic point of view. Emissions thats lead to global warming have a negative effect on development on multiple levels. The challenge is what are realistic alternatives because as we talked about in class you get rewards from burning these fossil fuels like driving to see your family. etc. The issue that needs to be resolved is finding a balance or substitute for these emissions because we need them to survive. We also need to realize that if the climate continues to rise it will be almost impossible for development as a result of the negative externalities that come along with climate change. The fact that only a 2 degree C change can make the impacts laid out in the paper is actually crazy to think about. What is the best solution to this problem because time is running out and sooner or later if we do not find a solution development will be the least of our issues.


The World Bank’s report called “Turn Down the Heat” analyzes climate change and its consequences on the environment and subsequent economic development. There have already been some serious adverse effects due to climate change and predictions are that we are on pace for far worse consequences. The article illuminates the fact that developing nations will be hit the hardest from increases in global temperature. After spending about 2 months in Indonesia living with a family in a small coastal fishing village, I was able to see these effects firsthand. Fisherman in this village had been living and harvesting off the ocean and reefs for thousands of years. In the wake of rising global temperatures and average water temperatures, the reefs, as we have seen, have started to die; the people in this village have suffered as a result. What I found most disturbing in my time there was not that when you dove under water all of the coral was dead, but it was more alarming that these small villagers were being blamed for the death of the reef. The villagers had no concept of climate change or have any idea of what coral bleaching was, but instead someone came and told them that they were at fault for killing the reef. I find this to be disturbing as the people who are most at fault for climate change are projecting blame onto others. Most developed countries like the U.S. and China have the highest CO2 emissions and are at fault for climate change. The disconnect is how these developed countries do not make progressive change to improve the situation as a whole and the lives of those who they have hurt.


To me, the thing that is most unsettling about the externalities of climate change is that it will affect low income people the most when, in most cases, they contributed very little to human caused global climate change. In the past, natural disasters like hurricanes are costly and tragic, but at least there is no human cause of that tragedy. In my Water Resources course from last semester, we discussed just how much greater the risk of hurricanes is due to the warming waters of oceans. We also did a mock evacuation and realized that low-income people had far fewer resources that would allow them to evacuate and often work in places that are less flexible with workers taking time off to evacuate. They also have a difficult time with repairs of their homes as they do not have very much excess income or proper insurance to rebuild their homes. We also discussed the impact of global temperature increases on malaria. The World Bank article had a small graphic on health that says malaria incidence will increase as global temperatures increase. Referring back to our articles on malaria from earlier in the semester, malaria effects poorer people at higher rates as they often cannot afford to take preventative measures that allow them to avoid malaria. Some of the literature I read for my final paper also mentioned how in America poor farmers in the Midwest and poor laborers in the south and Gulf Coast will lose copious amounts of labor hours due to extreme heat and heat caused deaths will increase exponentially. Low income people are often more dependent on the wages from those labor hours, and they also are more exposed to heat as they have less resources that grant them access to cooling measures.

I completely forgot to write a blog post last night. I apologize!!

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