Bailing out the Earth, now!

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Bailing out the Earth, now!
   Photo © Curt Carnemark/World Bank

The current financial crisis is humbling every participant in the international financial system. Even Alan Greenspan acknowledged he was wrong in his blind confidence in the markets and financial innovation.

This crisis provides a cautionary tale of what could happen if we do not act urgently to limit the change in the earth’s climate. The current meltdown of the financial system is often portrayed as a massive regulation failure. Another regulation misstep—unmitigated climate change—could lead us to the actual meltdown of part of the earth’s climate system. This would make this financial crisis seem like a day on the beach.

The IPCC, for instance, reports that the current trends of glacial melts in the Himalayan glaciers would transform the major rivers in the central plains of Asia into seasonal bodies. Similarly, the tropical glaciers in the Andean region are retreating at a very fast speed and are very likely to disappear.

That's a meltdown no future central banker will be able to reverse.


Ricardo Fuentes

Chapter Author, World Development Report 2010

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