World needs $1.9tn a year for green technology: UN

Jul 05, 2011
Electrician Andreas Schmidt of the German Gehrlicher Solar company checks solar cell panels of a not yet working photovoltaic plant in Puchheim near Munich in June 2011. The world needs $1.9 trillion in green technology investments a year, with over half of that sum necessary for developing countries," the UN said Tuesday.

The world needs $1.9 trillion in green technology investments a year, with over half of that sum necessary for developing countries," the UN said Tuesday.

"Over the next 40 years, $1.9 trillion (1.31 trillion euros) per year will be needed for incremental investments in green technologies," the UN Economic and Social Affairs body said in its annual survey.

"At least one-half, or $1.1 trillion per year, of the required investments will need to be made in developing countries to meet their rapidly increasing food and energy demands through the application of green technologies," it added.

At the moment, "external financing currently available for investments in developing countries is far from sufficient to meet the challenge," it assessed.

Over the last two years, funds managed by World Bank disbursed about $20 billion, a fraction of the sum necessary for developing countries to build up clean energy technologies, sustainable farming techniques and technologies that help cut non-biodegradable waste production.

Even though states agreed during a 2009 Copenhagen summit to spend $30 billion over 2010 to 2012 and $100 billion a year by 2020 in transfers to developing countries, these sums have not been realised.

They would also fall short of the actual investment required.

"The survey estimates that will require a little over $1 trillion a year in incremental green investment," said the report.

"While a large proportion of the incremental investment would ultimately be financed from developing countries' public and private resources, international financing will be indispensable, particularly in the early years, in jump-starting green investment and financing the adoption of external technologies," it added.

Author of the report Rob Vos said that "business as usual is not an option."

"Without drastic improvements in and diffusion of green technologies, we will not reverse the ongoing ecological destruction and secure a decent livelihood for all of humankind, now and in the future," he added.

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GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2011
Hahaha. I think the word 'investment' has a little different meaning for them than it does for me, and they used it 8 times in the short story.

Before we give them a trillion dollars, lets take a look at how the UN uses money and handles corruption: From the wiki page regarding the Oil for Food program -
In 2000, Dileep Nair, the UN corruption watchdog, wanted to determine the programme's level of vulnerability. Sevan, along with UN Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Frechette, rejected any such investigation, claiming that it would be too expensive to be worthwhile. Sevan ordered the shredding of years' worth of documents concerning the programme


Yeah, lets give them a trillion dollars. That sounds great.
3432682
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 05, 2011
$1.9 trillion per year is about $277 per person for everyone on Earth, every year. This "investment" is in extremely inefficient power production devices. I'm all for a reasonable level of research, but blowing trillions on inefficient technology is a very poor idea. Spend money trying to develop technologies which can compete with conventional power. When they can compete, people will adopt them voluntarily.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Jul 05, 2011
Spend money trying to develop technologies which can compete with conventional power.

Whose money should be spent?
Confiscated wealth from citizens or re-invested profits?
Shootist
2.2 / 5 (13) Jul 05, 2011
STUDY: The more people know about science, the less they believe in global warming. The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.

http://papers.ssr...=1871503
SteveL
4 / 5 (4) Jul 05, 2011
I just don't trust the UN for anything. They remind me of foxes that think the world is their hen house, as they appear to be a wannabe government without accountability.

While I agree that significant investments need to be made in sustainability and conservation, economically our houses are on fire and it's as if they are worried about mowing the lawn.
FrankHerbert
3.2 / 5 (13) Jul 05, 2011
How about among climate scientists, Shootist? Anything else is an appeal to authority, a logical fallacy.

Anyway, I believe this is a similar phenomenon to the three kinds of Civil War buffs. The first kind knows very little about the civil war and thinks it was fought over slavery. The second kind knows enough to be dangerous (battles, names) but that's about it. They believe the civil war was fought over states' rights. The third kind, knows a great deal about the Civil War. They believe it was fought over slavery.

People can be right for the wrong reasons.
Shootist
1.4 / 5 (8) Jul 05, 2011
How about among climate scientists, Shootist? Anything else is an appeal to authority, a logical fallacy.



Freeman Dyson is a scientist who worked on Climate in the 70's. He states emphatically that AGW is hog wash.

These climate scientists you mention seem to measure changes in the Earth's temperature in 1/100'ths of a degree. I defy anyone to show how such accuracy is possible. It is difficult enough to measure the temperature of the contents of a controlled environment to 3 significant figures, much less the planet.

Such is not science. Hockey sticks are not science. Changing measurements to validate your theory IS NOT SCIENCE.

The climate changes. If man drives any change at all it is lost in the noise of measurement.
FrankHerbert
2.5 / 5 (11) Jul 05, 2011
So we go from most scientifically literate people to one physicist who studied the issue 30 years ago. Freeman Dyson certainly is a big name and I'd listen to what he has to say, but that doesn't mean he's right. Any other Dyson-tier scientists you want to trot out?

So I looked up this "hockey stick" nonsense you're always blathering about. The best I could gather is they are trying to make fun of an exponential graph because it's shaped like a hockey stick? Sorry, nature does "hockey sticks" (exponential growth) all the time.

I guess a graph showing population growth would be a "hockey stick." I guess Moore's Law is one too. Radioactive decay... Look around you. Hockey sticks everywhere man.
GSwift7
2 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2011
How about among climate scientists, Shootist? Anything else is an appeal to authority, a logical fallacy


The american meteorological society did a survey of its members. They found no trend in belief versus non-belief in relation to education level or certification levels. They showed a strong polarization based on political leaning though. Over a thousand qualified and certified individuals were polled in their survey. It's easy to find it on google.

None of that has anything to do with the story above though. I think polls are always an example of how you can make a poll say whatever you want it to.

I love that civil war analogy though.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2011
STUDY


I read through the methods at the bottom for determining science literacy and numeracy. The results are pretty disappointing (ex. only 28% of people in the study knew 1/1000 was 0.1%).

My first issue is that I don't believe these questions are adequate to determine numeracy/scientific literacy. These are grade school/high school level questions at best and none of them had to do with climate change (ie. are electrons bigger than atoms). Doing well on these questions hardly qualifies someone in that group as knowledgeable about science let alone climate science.

My second issue is that the ratings of scientifically/numerically proficiency are relative to the others in the survey. There was no defined metric that said how many questions needed to be correct to identify someone as proficient. They were simply ranked relative to one another. Given the results of the testing, I'd say a low percentage of that survey group could be considered numerical or science literate.
Javinator
5 / 5 (4) Jul 05, 2011
A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?


13% got that correct.

Electrons are smaller than atoms [true/false]


Only 62% got that one.

I have a feeling that the real graph of perceived risk vs. scientific literacy is not as linear as it appears in this study as this study is just a snapshot of a group comprised mainly of people who are not what I'd call numerical or science literate (especially with respect to climate change).

While I do agree with the part of the study saying that the cultural world view of people would really affect whether they believe there's more or less of a risk from climate change, I disagree with their methods in concluding that science literacy and numeracy are insignificant and trend linearly in the manner they suggest.
jonnyboy
1 / 5 (5) Jul 05, 2011
bite me
emsquared
5 / 5 (1) Jul 05, 2011
this study is just a snapshot of a group comprised mainly of people who are not what I'd call numerical or science literate (especially with respect to climate change).

What's your objective basis for setting the bar higher? The study's goal is to examine science communication and how that sculpts -public- opinion. And then, where do you set the bar so that it still applies to the vast majority of the gen pop (say, voting pop)?

I'd say there's a definite, important distinction between people who do poorly and who do well with these questions. Does it make them research grade critical thinkers? No. But does it separate them from people who don't care/have no clue? Yes.

I do think a similar study at a higher bar would be interesting, but I don't think this one is meaningless.

You don't have to be a degree-ed atmospheric scientist to make informed decisions regarding the AGW debate, as most of that aspect of the debate isn't very debatable anyway.
EWH
not rated yet Jul 05, 2011
"A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? "
Most will reflexively say $0.10. The correct answer is $0.05. Did you get it right?

"Electrons are smaller than atoms [true/false] "
This is a case where more knowledge could make you get the answer "wrong". Atoms' sizes are determined by their outermost electrons. For many atoms, that is a single electron. Those electrons are literally as big as the atoms. Electrons can be as large as you like when talking about their wave aspect at low energies, or as small as you like when talking about their particle aspect at high energies.

I don't think 3.25% of world GDP is going to fly. (And substantially more than that in developing countries). Over 40 years at 3% interest (which is about the historical investment average after inflation and tax), that's a present value of $23.3T, or 40% of today's world GDP. Liquid thorium and 4th-generation reactors are a better investment.
hush1
5 / 5 (1) Jul 05, 2011
http://papers.ssr...=1871503

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change

"This conflict between individual and collective rationality is not inevitable. It occurs only because of contingent, mutable, and fortunately rare conditions that make one set of beliefs about risk congenial to one cultural group and an opposing set congenial to another. [ NEUTRALIZE THESE CONDITIONS, WE WILL ARGUE, AND THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE LEVELS OF RATIONALITY IS RESOLVED.] Perfecting our knowledge(!!!) of how to achieve this state should be a primary aim (!) of the science of science communication."

No.
I have no predispositions to ANY values I hold during my physical existence here on earth.

See preceding CAPS for the following:

Nature will "neutralize" YOU. And 'resolution' is achieved.

This 'research' study is the most disingenuous paper I have ever encounter among all of academia.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.6 / 5 (5) Jul 05, 2011
Freeman Dyson is a scientist who worked on Climate in the 70's. He states emphatically that AGW is hog wash.
No, he doesn't.
My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it's rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.
His disagreement is with the peer review establishment.

As he said himself he knows little to nothing of the technical facts. Meaning, basing your case on his statements is an error on your part.
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (9) Jul 05, 2011
"He pours scorn on "the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models".

"I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry, and the biology of fields and farms and forests," writes Dyson."
http://www.thereg...eresies/
thermodynamics
4.2 / 5 (6) Jul 05, 2011
For those of you who seem to think this is money that would go to the UN, I suggest you read it again. I agree the UN is not a pot to pour our funds into. However, the article does not say it would be the vehicle for the funding:

"While a large proportion of the incremental investment would ultimately be financed from developing countries' public and private resources, international financing will be indispensable, particularly in the early years, in jump-starting green investment and financing the adoption of external technologies, it added."

Note this would be developing countries resources with international financing. Having been involved in activities like this, I can tell you what this means. The international financing is just that. It is low interest, long term loans from the World Bank that are paid back. What this really means is that Siemens and GE will make a killing. Not that a trillion will go into the UN.
GSwift7
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 06, 2011
Thermo, I see the point you are trying to make. However, I think it is fair to point out that this is the same group who brought us Agenda 21 at the Rio Conference. Here's their web page. See paragraph 1.

http://www.uncsd2...?menu=63

As for the nut-case who made the press release above, he says the following in the second paragraph, which is not reprinted here on physorg:

The global environments capacity to cope with human activity has reached its limits. About half of the earths forests are gone, groundwater resources are being depleted and contaminated, enormous losses in biodiversity have already occurred, and climate change threatens the stability of all ecosystems


http://www.un.org...011.html

From what I can see, the idea is to limit funding to people who agree to follow the green agenda. You are right about the UN not getting the money. They just want to control it.
Shootist
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 06, 2011
"The Polar Bears will be fine" - Freeman Dyson.
Shootist
2.2 / 5 (10) Jul 06, 2011
So I looked up this "hockey stick" nonsense you're always


The hockey stick appeared because Mann neglected to mention that the fact of the Medieval Warm Period and the Maunder Minimum (Little Ice Age) disagreed with his model. So he ignored the above two Climate patterns and did not include them in his Panic over the Climate.

We call that 'lying by omission'.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2011
@emsquared:

I think there should have been a greater range of questions or difficulty in questions that might actually demand some critical thinking other than simply avoiding a reflex response.

This study implies that peoples' knowledge of science and math does not significantly affect their fear of climate change.

My argument is that the study doesn't adequately test the sample for anything other than cultural world views. There aren't enough higher level questions to differentiate between people who did well because they happen to remember high school and the people who did well because they're actively engaged in science and science literature.

You don't have to be a degree-ed atmospheric scientist to make informed decisions regarding the AGW debate


If you're not you'd better have studied papers from multiple scientists on the subject from both sides before forming an opinion. The testing in the study suggests nothing about reading papers and forming opinions on that.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2011
@EWH

Re: $0.05: Yes.

Re: Electrons:

It's pretty obvious the question is comparing an atom as a particle to an electron as a particle. You're talking about atomic orbitals as if they are the electrons themselves. Orbitals are better thought of as probability densities of where an electron at a certain energy level will be. I understand that electrons are known to display both particle and wavelike properties, but the the orbital an electron occupies is not the electron itself.

Regardless, if the size of an atom is determined by its outermost electrons as you say (although radius would be a better term than size in that context) and the atom itself is composed of multiple electrons, protons and neutrons, the atom as a whole is still bigger than an electron.
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2011
This study implies that peoples' knowledge of science and math does not significantly affect their fear of climate change


The study merely show a relationship (or lack of). It does not show cause (or lack of). There could be any number of other factors which also correlate (or not) with the above observations, such as social class, salary, gender (often correlated with math skills), race, eating habits, pet ownership, home ownership, etc. Correlation does not show cause (or lack of). If you sent this group of people to college and retested them, and they showed a change in the distribution then you might be able to talk about cause. Once again, demographic statistics and polls are usefull for marketing, but not very good for empirical science.
Javinator
not rated yet Jul 06, 2011
The study merely show a relationship (or lack of). It does not show cause (or lack of).


I feel like their testing is like asking people if they understand the color wheel and using it as a way of ranking people knowledgeable about paintings.

I could make a study and correlate these knowledgeable people about paintings to something, however the testing I subjected the people to doesn't really ask about paintings at all.

Similarly, I wouldn't consider someone who could answer the questions posed in their study as science literate. I'd consider them people who did well in high school.

Apparently, there is little correlation between people who did well in high school and people who did not with respect to climate change fears. I see no data to support a correlation (or lack thereof) between science literacy and fear of climate change.

Maybe there isn't a correlation, maybe there is, maybe its negative or positive. Regardless, I'd like a study that actually shows it.
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2011
I'm sorry I keep posting, its just studies like this that make people distrust studies. This study comes out this year and says one thing, another comes out that says the opposite. No one really looks into them since they just read about them in papers or hear about them on the news.

All the public hears is that there are conflicting studies and no one knows what to believe.

The lack of rigor is frustrating. People wonder why the public doesn't trust science.
emsquared
not rated yet Jul 06, 2011
critical thinking other than simply avoiding a reflex response

Indeed, I think "avoiding a reflex response" is one of the most important things to overcome in the AGW debate. The reflex response of one side is; "CO2 is a green-house gas, we emit lots of that, we must be causing all the warming" the other reflex is "nature has a huge natural variability in climate, we can't be behind it". No?
The testing in the study suggests nothing about reading papers and forming opinions on that.

Not papers, specifically, but the authors do suggest it is about (among other things) "the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information" which I would think includes published papers, media statements, or whatever outlet is made available to the public.

You want the paper to be trying to say "smarter people perceive less risk", that is not what the authors are saying they are saying.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 06, 2011
So I looked up this "hockey stick" nonsense you're always


The hockey stick appeared because Mann neglected to mention that the fact of the Medieval Warm Period and the Maunder Minimum (Little Ice Age) disagreed with his model. So he ignored the above two Climate patterns and did not include them in his Panic over the Climate.

We call that 'lying by omission'.

And what do you call it when you still pass off this 'fact', after you've received the refutations of the critiques of the "hockey stick" and have been addressed with the supplimentary and independently created models that agree with it?
GSwift7
3 / 5 (4) Jul 06, 2011
Ive just completed Mikes Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keiths to hide the decline. (Phil Jones, CRU Director)


Direct quote from the CRU emails. That would be Mike Mann's hockey stick trick and keith briffa's later tree ring paper. The problem is that tree rings aren't a good proxy for temperature, and Mike and Phil and Keith know it. The UVa FOIA email release coming soon should be enlightening in regard to Mike's hockey stick. We shall see.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Jul 06, 2011
Direct quote from the CRU emails
Oh please. I know you've read into this issue and know better than to parrot this crap.
GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2011
Actually, the more I have seen about the emails and the detailed cronology of events in relation to published papers, peer reviews and IPCC reports, the more I have come to disrespect Jones and Mann. It looked minor at first but Steve McIntyre did a really damning analysis on it. Speaking of which, he has a neat little piece about Mike's hockey stick paper on his page right now.

http://climateaud...diments/

He makes a good case that Mann 2008 should be retracted, based on evidence of contaminated data. It's right there in black and white. There's no conspiracy theory or funny math to argue about this time.

There are multiple issues with the hockey stick paper besided the wegman thing.

BTW, did you see the statistics error Nic Lewis found in the IPCC AR4 climate sensitivity numbers? I'm sure that story won't appear here.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 09, 2011
"Whose money should be spent?" - RyggTard

Well, it can't be yours, since you are a chronically unemployed loser.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 09, 2011
"He makes a good case that Mann 2008 should be retracted," - GSwiftBoat

The National Academy of Science disagree with you.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (6) Jul 09, 2011
"The hockey stick appeared because Mann neglected to mention that the fact of the Medieval Warm Period and the Maunder Minimum (Little Ice Age) disagreed with his model." - Tard of Tards

Mann has no model. With regard to his version of the dozens of hockey stick graphs that now exist, was constructed from empirical data.

Data that you wish to ignore that shows that the MWP and the LIA were mostly regional in extent.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 09, 2011
"Freeman Dyson is a scientist who worked on Climate in the 70's. He states emphatically that AGW is hog wash." - Shootist

Then he must be so old that he has forgotten that his own Janson Group modeled the climate and found that a CO2 doubling could be expected to enhance global surface temperatures by several degrees, exactly in line with the IPCC synopsis.

Can you explain the discontinuity to us Tard boy?
tarheelchief
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2011
Present enegy,water,and transportation companies and their governments probably spend over $600 billion dollars a year halting developments which threaten their monopolies,or open them up to competition.
One excellent example would be the funds spent by the coal and railroads to halt the development of cleaner alternatives.
Another would be the airlines who greatly fear more efficient and less costly railroad or ship transportation for passengers and freight.
whoyagonacal
not rated yet Jul 11, 2011
I love that civil war analogy though.


Well, the Civil War WAS over State's Rights: the right to own slaves.

The peculiarity of the war is that it was caused by slavery but not fought for slavery. The Southern war goal was to establish independence; the Northern war goal was to restore the Union. Of course, Southern independence was intended to maintain slavery, while restoring the Union required that slavery be destroyed.
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 11, 2011
No, states' rights is an unnecessary abstraction.

The peculiarity of the war is that it was caused by slavery but not fought for slavery.

This is lost cause nonsense. It's like the person that says "I hate my life," but disagrees with you when you tell him he hates himself. You are your life; if you hate your life, you hate yourself. If you are fighting for your state's right to enforce slavery, you are fighting for slavery.
whoyagonacal
not rated yet Jul 11, 2011
[i]This is lost cause nonsense.[/i]

First, take your irony supplements; then read the last sentence of the comment.

"Ready! FIRE! Aim!"
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 11, 2011
Of course


Then why make the point?
whoyagonacal
5 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2011
Then why make the point?


It was for people with an appreciation of irony. I will without hesitation concede that those who don't will find it pointless.

Then again, for those who like to argue on any thin pretext, it might be thought of as performing them a service.
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 11, 2011
It was for people with an appreciation of irony. I will without hesitation concede that those who don't will find it pointless.

Good demonstration of Poe's Law! Irony can be difficult to detect in text.

Then again, for those who like to argue on any thin pretext, it might be thought of as performing them a service.

And it is appreciated ;-)
whoyagonacal
not rated yet Jul 11, 2011
Good demonstration of Poe's Law!


I have had Confederate apologists fume in my face: "It was all about STATE'S RIGHTS!"

"Sure was -- the right to own slaves."

But it is simply correct to say that the Union war aim was strictly to preserve the Union -- as Mr. Lincoln told Horace Greeley: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."

See: www vectorsite net / twcw.html ... I'm working on a revision for September.