Thongchai Thailand

The smell of money

Posted on: June 14, 2010

The World Bank is having trouble raising enough money from cash strapped rich nations and has injected new vigor and direction in its poverty reduction programs along with internal oversight and fiscal discipline to convince donors to cough up (World bank struggles to feed the poor and starving, Bangkok Post, June 14, 2010). At the same time it appears to have toned down if not completely abandoned its rhetoric on global warming. What a difference a year makes.

Only a year ago, in 2009, well after the financial crisis had struck in 2008, the Bank was singing a different tune apparently having abandoned the war against poverty to jump headlong into the war against global warming. In those days, global warming had the smell of money as amounts in the hundreds of billions of dollars per annum were being thrown about in climate change meetings for global warming mitigation and adaptation with an emphasis on the alleged injustice that rich nations cause global warming but poor nations bear the brunt of its effect and that therefore the rich nations should be doling out immense sums to poor vulnerable countries.

Sensing an opportunity to be the vehicle for the disbursement of these funds the World Bank bolted from poverty reduction and economic development goals to quite suddenly become the chief evangelist for global warming. In 2009 it released a stunning and frightening report writing that the effect of climate change on its poor client nations will include: declining crop yields, diarrheal diseases, droughts, plummeting school enrollment, a reversal in development progress, and compromised well being of current and future generations.

The Bank quickly devised a strategy to help the developing countries cope with climate change. It demanded an immediate global program to cut greenhouse gases and at the same time to budget without delay $500 billion per year for implementing green economies in developing countries (i.e. for mitigation) and $75 billion per year to build adaptation strategies in the vulnerable nations. The smell of global warming money was strong and the Bank got sucked into it just in time for the utter failure of the Copenhagen meeting; and in the wake of Climategate and a series of humiliating retractions of catastrophic predictions by the IPCC, the smell of money in global warming was quickly replaced by the smell of death.

There is no better evidence of the death of global warming than the complete reversal of the Bank’s position on this issue and its complete return to its roots and its original mandate of poverty reduction and to a more modest funding goal of $42 billion for its core development programs with no mention of global warming.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: