The Truth About a High-Carbon World

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The Truth About a High-Carbon World

According to a new report from the World Bank, more than 100 million people will be “pushed into poverty” by 2030 unless something is done to stop global warming.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim declared, “This report sends a clear message that ending poverty will not be possible unless we take strong action to reduce the threat of climate change on poor people and dramatically reduce harmful emissions.”1

The report concluded that the world’s poorest people live in countries where food production is expected to decrease as temperatures rise.

According to the Associated Press, the report provides more ammunition for those who are demanding that rich countries devote billions of dollars in “climate finance” to help developing countries adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions. The OECD announced recently that climate finance flows to developing countries hit $62 billion in 2014, while the United States and other developed countries have agreed to increase that amount to $100 billion per year by 2020.2

As a UN press release explains, “Agriculture will be the main driver of any increase in poverty, the [World Bank] report finds. Modeling studies suggest that climate change could result in global crop yield losses as large as 5 percent by 2030 and 30 percent by 2080. . . . The impact of climate change on food prices in Africa could be as high as 12 percent in 2030 and 70 percent by 2080—a crippling blow to those nations where food consumption of the poorest households amounts to over 60 percent of total spending.”3

It continues, “[A]n all-out push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is needed to remove the long-term threat that climate change poses for poverty reduction.”

The World Bank’s warning—and the trillion dollars that will be spent in the next decade in climate finance—would make sense if not for the fact that a fundamental assumption is wrong. The World Bank’s argument contends that carbon dioxide leads to global warming, which leads to natural disasters like droughts, which lead to less food production, which leads to higher food prices, which lead to poverty.

But scientific studies and 100 years of empirical evidence show that carbon dioxide doesn’t reduce food production...

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