Adaptation v. Mitigation – Again

For those of you who insist that of course every right thinking person agrees that the need to adapt to climate change shares equal importance with greenhouse gas reductions, Roger Pielke Jr. has another example worthy of your attention. The quote is from ClimateWire:

Environmental and humanitarian activist groups plan to formally ask the World Bank to back away from plans to create a $500 million trust fund aimed at helping poor nations cope with climate change.


  1. I can’t view the ClimateWire article so I can’t see what’s been left out of the quotes and thus don’t know if this is covered, but the NGOs have a slightly different take on it.

    From a quick first read, it seems their main gripe is that the WB fund may compromise the UNFCCC adaptation fund. The former being very donor-led the latter more recipient led, in what the money gets spent on. Donations to the former will also count towards official aid donations so it could be quite possible for it to mean that no new money is donation (by some countries). Finally there is talk that the WB fund may present the money as loans rather than donations.

    It seems that the NGO’s would rather the adaptation money was donated via the UNFCCC fund, not the World Bank one – which they see as flawed.

    Here’s a couple of pertinent quotes:

    “The World Bank’s Adaptation Fund is seen by the G77 and many developing countries as a serious threat to the new Adaptation Fund agreed at Bali whose board would have a majority of developing country members and designated representation from least developed countries and small island states. ”


    “The governance structure of the [World bank] climate investment funds will also be donor-dominated, governed by trust committees made up of the contributors to the respective funds. The trust fund committees would be responsible for reviewing and approving country applications for financing and determining the terms of access to the funds.”

    It’s also worth noting that the (at least one of the) NGOs have described the adaptation fund as $1b not $500m.

    The issue with the coal fired power plant seems to be that is that it is seen as undermining the WB’s Clean Technology Fund – that is why would people want to see aid money going to an organisation for clean technologies when that same organisation is funding coal fired stations?


  2. Could someone explain to me, in detail, what is so dirty about coal as a source of electricity today. I have been talking with some of the coal users. A modern plant seems to produce gypsum, water, and sequestered hydrogen. The dirty plants are ancient technology.


  3. Part deux

    How can we, the readers of this forum, conduct an extended discussion of global warming, CO2 sequestration, et al.?

    For instance, if solar power and wind power are mandated in the U.S., India and China continue to burn oil and coal, and blue collar workers in the U.S. can no longer afford heat and light, how bad is that for you, me, and our offspring.


  4. John,
    I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I just want facts without political spin or political correctness built in. My hope is that this blog will be a way to find people who know the current set of facts.

    Nice URL.


    P.S. I love the Northwest. I lived in Eugene for 4 years. Enjoy.

  5. Eli,
    Actually, yes you need to go on. I know all these arguments and have made many of them myself. One current consequence of the attack on coal would be that residents of the U.S. would have electric power for only 4 hours a day. Many people (probably millions) would die or get sick. The U.S. would be an easy target for those who don’t like us or who want to be the world’s superpower.

    So, could you present an economically balanced argument for your position?


  6. Ooooo watch those supersonic goal posts move. Eric asked SPECIFICALLY what was WRONG with coal, not what percentage of US energy production it covered.

    Eli answered:Mercury, sulfur, CO2, miner;s health and deaths, he could have added water pollution, land pollution and a bunch more.

    Now Eric is trying to saddle Eli with killing everyone off. Yes, the US now produces most of its electricity from coal, about half, not the 7/8th Eric implies (where DID you get that number from Eric). That is where the US is today. Where we will be tomorrow depends on what we do today. France, for example, took a decision in the 1970s to generate most of its electricity using nuclear. Nuclear produces about 3/4 of French electricity.

    Some details at

  7. Eli,
    Sarcasm is not policy.

    Do you have a politically viable plan that would decrease the use of coal for electricity and increase the use of nuclear power?

    Many people have pushed their versions of such a plan since the 1970s. I have detailed knowledge of the attempt to get a nuclear power plant running at Shoreham on Long Island. The voters killed the plan for Shoreham.

    Across the country plans for new nuclear power have not worked since the 1970’s. Local politics killed the plans.

    Please share any workable plans that you have.

    P.S. For references, you will have to do better than Wikipedia.

  8. Eli,
    Here is what I want from you or anyone else who can come up with one.

    A practical, cost efficient energy policy that will ensure America’s future prosperity. This policy must include detailed evaluations of the engineering, political (local, national, and worldwide), financial, and social aspects and consequences of this policy.

    I will be very happy to read and help to implement such a plan.

    The nominal plans that I have seen so far leave out most of the items listed in paragraph 2.

  9. Eric, you continually shift your ground, and yes, confronted by someone like you who moves the goalposts around the field sarcasm is a response. Apparently you now concede the point that coal has problems, including mercury, sulfur, CO2, miner;s health and deaths, water pollution, land pollution and a bunch more. Thank you for moving on however ungracious you are about it.

    As to what to do, for one you could try Eli Rabett’s simple plan for saving the world. Joe Romm is also talking seriously. You might look over at his blog

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