Oh, joy, climate waste on the local level now

From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Global survey: Climate change now a mainstream part of city planning

CAMBRIDGE, MA — An increasing number of cities around the world now include preparations for climate change in their basic urban planning — but only a small portion of them have been able to make such plans part of their economic development priorities, according to a unique global survey of cities released today.

The Urban Climate Change Governance Survey (UCGS), based on responses from 350 cities worldwide, underscores the extent to which city leaders recognize climate change as a major challenge — even as they are trying to figure out how their responses can create jobs, growth, and cost savings in areas ranging from cities’ transportation networks to their distribution of businesses.

“Climate change isn’t an isolated issue,” says Alexander Aylett, a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), and the lead author of today’s report. “It has large implications for all other aspects of urban life. What we are seeing is cities starting to build it into the DNA of how they approach urban planning.”

According to the findings, 75 percent of cities worldwide now tackle climate-change issues as a mainstream part of their planning, and 73 percent of cities are attempting both climate mitigation and climate adaptation — that is, they are trying both to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to adapt to long-term changes that are already in motion. But only 21 percent of cities report tangible connections between the response to climate change and achieving other local development goals.

Aylett calls it a “cliché” that environmental and economic progress cannot coexist, citing a number of cities where jobs and growth have derived from climate-change efforts. Portland, Ore., he observes, developed incentives, training, and regulations to help sustainable construction firms grow, while a pilot program called Clean Energy Works Portland employed 400 workers to reduce home energy use, reducing carbon emissions by 1,400 metric tons annually.

Urban planners in Alberta, as Aylett notes, have studied the cost savings associated with limiting metropolitan sprawl and concluded that denser development could save $11 billion in capital costs over the next 60 years, and $130 million in annual maintenance. But most cities, he suggests, have simply not yet identified ways to link climate planning and economic development in the first place.

“It isn’t so much that it’s hard to reconcile economic and environmental priorities,” Aylett says. “It’s that we’re not trying.”

Regional differences remain

The new report is a companion to a survey conducted in 2012. This year’s results revealed continuing regional disparities in urban climate planning. Compared with the global average of 75 percent, U.S. cities lag in planning for both mitigation and adaptation, with just 58 percent of cities addressing both. This echoes the 2012 survey, which revealed that a smaller portion of U.S. cities were doing basic climate-change planning, compared with those in other regions — 59 percent in the U.S., for instance, compared with 95 percent in Latin America.

Globally, 63 percent of cities say they have between one and five employees dedicated to climate-change planning; North American cities are most likely to have just one staff member focused on the topic. As the report’s executive summary notes, “A lack of funding to hire sufficient staff to work on climate change is a significant challenge for 67 percent of cities.”

On a different note, about 85 percent of cities have conducted an inventory of local greenhouse-gas emissions, and 15 percent, as part of that effort, have tried to track the emissions that stem from goods and services consumed within that city. As Aylett points out, “Beginning to address these upstream emissions is crucial if cities are really going to help bring down global emissions.”

The results also reveal that local industries and businesses are relatively disengaged with urban responses to climate change: About 25 percent of cities say that local businesses have been crucial to creating and implementing their climate mitigation plans, whereas 48 percent of cities report that local civil-society groups, such as nonprofits or other organizations, have been involved in climate planning.



The survey is a collaboration between DUSP and ICLEI, the world’s largest association of cities. Today’s report is being released in conjunction with an ICLEI-backed conference on urban planning, being held in Bonn, Germany. To conduct the survey, questionnaires were sent to officials in more than 700 cities worldwide, with 48 percent of them responding to a set of 69 queries.

Written by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office

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May 30, 2014 12:31 am

I may have missed it but what percentage of the cities are in the industrialised “west”.?

May 30, 2014 12:58 am

Climate change is happening whatever the cause, it seems proper to plan ahead. Coastal cities need to plan for about 12″-18″ of sea level over the next 100 years.
However, all the money and effort being misdirected at foolish attempts to “control” climate by reduince “dirty CO2 pollution” are a criminal waste of funds that could be better spent in other ways to protect human welfare and the environment.
The enviro movement is doing more to prevent effective environmental action than to advance it.

May 30, 2014 1:01 am

“Urban Climate Change Governance Survey ”
Watch out for the word governance. It usually indicates an agenda for non elected government.

May 30, 2014 1:09 am

Greg says:
May 30, 2014 at 12:58 am

Sea levels fall in an ice age.

May 30, 2014 1:17 am

I am all for anybody doing this voluntarily. I am 100% against anybody forcing anyone to do anything, or to spend my tax dollars.
When we see some reason (actual real-world evidence) to act, by all means, let’s act. Until then, I’ll leave it to the deluded.

May 30, 2014 1:18 am

‘Compared with the global average of 75 percent, U.S. cities lag in planning for both mitigation and adaptation, with just 58 percent of cities addressing both. This echoes the 2012 survey, which revealed that a smaller portion of U.S. cities were doing basic climate-change planning, compared with those in other regions — 59 percent in the U.S., for instance, compared with 95 percent in Latin America.’
‘To conduct the survey, questionnaires were sent to officials in more than 700 cities worldwide, with 48 percent of them responding to a set of 69 queries.’
So 48% of 75% of 700, globally? and then so on down the line.

May 30, 2014 1:26 am

The move to involve cities worldwide in the global warming scam has been in progress for more than 15 years. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Development Bank and most other international development banks and national aid agencies are in on the game.
These agencies have recast their development strategies so that “sustainability” is now the main objective of development efforts, the assumption being that nothing is sustainable without planning and investment for mitigation of and adaptation to global warming.
Whoever you are in the developing world, your taxes go to paying for grants that promote this agenda. Thanks to you, grants support technical assistance for preparing the plans, programs and projects to achieve sustainability..
Your tax-supported grants create the plans and thus pave the way for the development banks to make sector and project loans based on fear of global warming. The countries have to repay these loans but often get no economic benefit from the climate-related studies and investment.
Why not? As Richard Tol and others have explained in their critique of the Stern Review, the low discount rate used for cost-benefit analysis (CBA) allows uneconomic projects to pass review by national planners.
Why do the countries take the loans? Essentially, national decision-makers benefit by corrupt practices. For example, in Indonesia, the National Planning Agency is now probably the most corrupt institution in the country.
As you can imagine such agencies are courted by both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and other grant and lending agencies.
In reality, the campaign against corruption would better be focused on the multilateral development banks, their lending practices and their local staff because the development banks have become the foxes and the client countries have become the hen-houses.
Disclaimer: The author does not intend to disparage efforts to develop education, industry, agriculture health or the environment, all of which benefit from grants and loans from the same agencies and banks that promote climate-rated projects.

May 30, 2014 2:09 am

It is a manifestation of the Chicago thugocrat way of governing.
Create a whole new layer of well paid jobs for cronies to do nothing constructive.
The old days of simply designing new levees, drainage upgrades, wharves and bulkheads, and then building them has past. Now the plans will be called “climate change emergency responses”, and on top of the actual capital costs, a huge expense to pay the cost of parasitic “climate experts” will be created.
In the climate obsessed mind, levees don’t need upgrades from time to time. For them, CO2 causes levees to degrade and must be changed. Same for storm sewers, bulkheads, docks, etc.
Even better, the climate obsessed’s pals in big green can force the delay of improving infrastructure until it fails, like in Katrina or Sandy, or California’s water shortage. Then the fault is not lazy governments bowing to enviro-extremists. It is instead the fault of Big Oil and Koch Brothers paying their den^alist minions to harm the climate. So fat cats in government get to pretend they are boldly doing something while not doing their job, their friends get more money, and those who object are part of an eeevil conspiracy.
What’s not to like?

May 30, 2014 2:18 am

While they’re at it, why don’t they make plans for the Sun rising in the East and setting in the West in the evening. Shouldn’t cost too much, 200 – 300 billion should cover it.

May 30, 2014 2:21 am

What are these “long-term changes that are already in motion”?

May 30, 2014 2:22 am

It’s worse than you thought. Not only have many municipalities bought in and require a “climate change” analysis for projects but so have some professional associations:
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC have jumped right in, as they have to given the position of the government of BC, an engineers obligation to serve the public, and consider how the BC “carbon” tax will affect their projects given the “carbon” extends to public buildings like schools and hospitals resulting in the government capturing tax money back to their “revenue neutral carbon fund” from the very agencies they fund for health and education. This looks a whole lot like the “transfer of wealth” that the UN wants to see. Perhaps BC is practising giving the taxpayers money away.
The Announcement:
January 27, 2014
APEGBC Releases Position Paper on Climate Change
APEGBC has published a position paper on climate change as it relates to the professional practice of engineering and geoscience. The position paper, developed by APEGBC’s Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG) outlines the association’s position on the changing climate in BC, as well as the implications for practicing professionals. APEGBC members play a key role in providing guidance and advice to decision makers on how to respond to climate change, given their technical expertise and commitment to public safety. http://apeg.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT0zNzY3MDE1JnA9MSZ1PTEwMDk1MjgxOTgmbGk9MjA5NjkwNjA/index.html
APEGBC’s position statement on climate change is as follows:
A. APEGBC recognizes that the climate is changing and it commits to raising awareness about the potential impacts as they relate to professional practice and to providing information and assistance to members in managing implications for their own professional practice.
B. APEGBC members (professional engineers, professional geoscientists, provisional members, licensees, limited licensees, engineers-in-training and geoscientists-in-training) are expected to keep themselves informed about the changing climate, and consider potential impacts on their professional activities.
In addition to existing professional practice guidelines and professional development courses, APEGBC will be developing further tools and resources to assist members in understanding and addressing the potential impacts of a changing climate on their professional practice. Current resources include: Professional Practice Guidelines, CPD courses, and the National Survey of Canada’s Infrastructure Engineers about Climate Change.
The Position Paper on Climate Change was approved by APEGBC Council and developed by APEGBC’s Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG), following consultation with a number of APEGBC committees. The CCAG is responsible for advising APEGBC Council on matters related to climate change based upon the duties and objects set out in the Engineers and Geoscientists Act.
The Position Paper on Climate Change is available on APEGBC’s website: http://www.apeg.bc.ca/climate-change.
For more information, please contact Tony Chong, P.Eng., Chief Regulatory Officer and Deputy Registrar at ccag@apeg.bc.ca or 604.412.6058.
This e-mail was sent by:
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC
#200 – 4010 Regent St., Burnaby, BC V5C 6N2
Ph: 604-430-8035 | Toll-free: 1-888-430-8035 | e-mail: apeginfo@apeg.bc.ca
Some of you may have seen a post I did a while back containing historical temperature and rainfall information from some BC communities. I have been doing them to see if the BC policy is based on anything but models from the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, BC (oh dear – read in Andrew Weaver here).
Regional Analysis Tool:
PCIC UVic provide MODELS to assess the future climate to determine design parameters stating that climate is rapidly WARMING in BC. Admittedly I have only downloaded a few sites so far, and from what I see is that there is not much change in most locations I have looked at to date. The MINIMUM temperatures have not been as extreme as early in the century and have shown an upward trend in some areas, while the MAXIMUM temperatures have remained flat or declined. That does not change the design parameters for me because if I have 80 to 100 years of data as I do in the stations I have looked at, I am going to look at how often it has been 30 below C, and how often it has been 40 above C (like where I grew up in the southern interior); and I will look at the precipitation. So far, the trends are not out of the expectation of design for most things and the temperature and rainfall changes appear to be somewhat tied to the Pacific Ocean, which should not be a big surprise to anyone living in BC.
Here is their “Regional Analysis Tool:
Now the survey:
Two things about the surveys if you look at them. 1. The response rate was very low in some regions possibly indicating a lack of concern in those regions. 2. They added “strongly agree” and “somewhat agree” together. Look at the results for somewhat agree and subtract the strongly agree and you get a pretty small number in each category. The survey results presentation appear to be done with a particular objective in mind but I am not an expert in surveys so who knows.
Nevertheless, as a long time retired engineer that doesn’t depend on practicing for income, I have registered my displeasure at their position for now and will add to it when I have finished collecting the temperature and rainfall data for a few more locations this fall.
Within the guidelines, there are some references to BC’s “Carbon Tax” and regulations. That is fair enough as designs will have to consider this insidious tax while it remains in effect.
“Additional benefits to APEGBC professionals and the
public may include:
(items deleted to emphasize the bit one)
· Proactive management of issues such as
carbon emissions, and energy/materials/waste
minimization in advance of government regulation
on these issues (BC’s regulation of carbon, new
building energy codes, etc.)”
I could say more but I have to go back and read the pieces a few times to ensure that it isn’t perhaps all good. Of course, given the very strange (my opinion only) political bent to my ex-province, the “carbon tax”, and their NIMBY attitude about all things while scooting about the country side in their Mercedes SUV’s (Shucks. Better stop typing. Starting to move over into sarcasm).
Anthony’s point is well taken as we have been living with this as a design concern for municipalities for 10 years or so as young politicians and engineers seem to take this a lot more seriously than some old dinosaur engineer who has already seen three good nominal regional climate cycles and my ranching parents and grand parents talked about more. Only they called it weather. Got hailed out, washed out, dried out, grasshoppered out; got one good crop and then the 30’s hit and cows sold for less than wild horses. Course in those days, news didn’t travel very quickly and they just called it weather. Ranchers and farmers did to. The called it “whether” or not we are going to get a decent crop this year.
What can I say?
As always; “La plus la change, la plus la meme chose.”
Thanks for all the posts, @nthony. Keeps my old mind turning over.
PS: Leo G, I am not interested. I know you love it, I just can’t understand why. You at UVic?

Phil's Dad
May 30, 2014 2:29 am

Dr Aylett is wrong to interpret the Alberta example as a diminishing cost with a density increase. This is the danger of focusing on single issues.
Social research since the 1930’s, constantly updated and revised, shows a J curve relationship between total real costs and population density. For one example not apparent in Ayletts piece; once the population reaches 250 per square mile any increase in density results in higher per capita costs for public safety. It is a sad fact that there is 20% more crime in high density planned communities than in than low density “sprawl”.
People pay more not to be in high density housing for a reason. It strikes me that Aylette needs to learn a little about the people he proposes to shoe-horn into his denser developments. Otherwise he is planning the next generation of slums.

May 30, 2014 2:30 am

Oh, I forgot to add this little piece of information that is part of the driving force – and remember the organization has self governance at the pleasure of the provincial government:
“Another driving force behind the need for the Association to provide support for members on this issueis that the Government of British Columbia has made climate change a priority. To this end, it hasprescribed maximum GHG emission levels through new legislation such as the RevenueNeutral‐ Carbon Tax Act , Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Vehicle Emissions Standards) Act and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Emissions Standards) Statutes Amendment Act. It has also enacted new codes and laws aroundadaptation such as the greening of the BC Building Code. APEGBC members need to have the knowledge to comply with these new codes and laws.

May 30, 2014 2:40 am

The Egyptians put their idle labor to work building pyramids. At least they have something to show for it. Why not emulate them and build a Mars colony?

May 30, 2014 3:04 am

Limiting metropolitan sprawl?! Pfft. If there’s a demand, the land will be developed.

John Slayton
May 30, 2014 3:25 am

…denser development could save $11 billion in capital costs over the next 60 years
Capital idea. Bring back the northwest Indian longhouse. Give us each a stall. Portland can lead the way….

May 30, 2014 3:40 am

“Climate change is happening whatever the cause…”
I wouldn’t think a minor 0.7 degree increase in a heavily manipulated global average calculation could in anyway be called “change”. Once adjustments are removed, UHI accounted for etc, there may actually be no change.
Even the calculated global average temp has not changed for the last 17 years.
So.. what has changed ? No much, that’s for sure !!
They should be renaming it ….. “Climate NON-Change “

May 30, 2014 3:51 am

Greg says:
“Coastal cities need to plan for about 12″-18″ of sea level over the next 100 years.”
That’s too high a figure – nowadays the number is looking more like 7 inches, which should affect no one.

Gary Pearse
May 30, 2014 3:52 am

Okay, recycling is good, adding insulation on to your house, turn the lights out when you aren’t needing them…. but we are being set up to swallow Agenda 21. We could save a lot of money by defunding the metastasis of UN “governance”.

May 30, 2014 3:58 am

Well, I am happy to report that here in Townsville Queensland we now have a planning scheme being introduced that aims to run for 25 years, and neither it nor the State Planning provisions under which it is written include much of the stuff above. There are some sound “climate sameness” provisions, eg there are going to be floods in the places that flooded before, and there are going to be cyclones.
Mr Aylett may be be able to get urban consolidation to work in Alberta, but in tropical climates the cost of urban concentration is significant, and if it involves retrofitting of infrastructure the costs are enormous.

Andrew N
May 30, 2014 3:59 am

Denver had better get a planning for the Antarctic ice sheet collapse.

May 30, 2014 4:08 am

Those claims of X number of tons of CO2 avoided by energy conservation methods are not sustainable and, quite frankly , make little sense even if fears of CO2 are somewhat justified, since the production side of the equation is reducing carbon emissions. Here in South Carolina, for example, our power grid will achieve 85% nuclear in a few years, and likely over 95% within the next decade, making any electric energy conservation programs pointless, and the money almost a total waste even if carbon emissions were an evil. One of the biggest flaws in planning is the failure to acknowledge that changes will be occurring. Electric cars, for example, would render any attempts to pack people into sardine cans to avoid long commutes here in our mostly nuclear powered state would be a preposterously stupid action in the long term. Govt officials react to public pressures and generally, are not qualified to plan anything, regardless of ny “Public Planning” sign on the door. Introducing climate change intoo planning I view as mostly another golden opportunity for govt officials to make dumb decisions, followed by claims of victory in the war against climate change.

May 30, 2014 4:18 am

This reads like a full employment plan for graduates of MIT’s Urban Planning programs. A few years ago I read a series of papers from the Stockholm Environment Institute which also promoted the notion of high density development. The reality is that many people, me especially, do not want to live cheek to cheek, but prefer privacy, light and space. I grew up in a high density environment. The goal of most was to get out into the “country” away from the noisy and nosey neighbors. Implementing plans like Dr. Aylett’s require further and more intrusive restrictions on how people chose to live.

May 30, 2014 4:20 am

This article has a cart and horse problem. It’s less that Climate Change is being incorporated into city planning and more that Climate Change, plus the need to promote Equity and Diversity and to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing , are all being lumped together to Legally Require planning of all cities.
And I do mean ALL. This is all part of the systems thinking and tech companies like IBM in particular are pushing the idea of the Earth being a System of Systems. They sell their consulting expertise and computing power for all these cities to be Smart Cities.
Interestingly enough the digital learning in the schools initiatives make this planning easier because surveys of elementary school kids attitudes and beliefs track highly with parents’ beliefs without having to interview them. Los Angeles in particular is touting how the new 1:1 laptop initiative will aid its bid to become a Smart City.
This is all a progressive integrated dream. The creator of MIT’s Urban Planning vision as we know it, Donald Schon, actually wrote his PhD dissertation on John Dewey and heavily promoted the idea of Action Research. What Marxists call Theory in Action.
Any excuse, however factually bogus, will do to get the desired action.

Phil's Dad
May 30, 2014 4:25 am

I hope this link works.
[Mods – by all means do your stuff]
Anyway; it has long been known in the UK that higher density = left leaning voters. It seems it is so in the USA as well.
So – why would a left leaning academic try to influence in favor of higher density communities?

May 30, 2014 4:27 am

bernie-SEI is tied into the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance and it is all about herding people into the planned urban communities of the future. It is a global phenomena because it’s a global desire to plan economies, control human behavior via political governance and majority ‘consensus’, and redistribution.
OECD is calling this the Great Transition and it is very tied to the K-12 education reforms going on in the US now under the name of the Common Core. I downloaded the OECD Toolkit for US schools this week, published about a month ago for that very future function, in case a certain WUWT contributor wants to swoop in and try to contradict the reality once again. I even have the draft consent letter laying out how to mislead parents.

May 30, 2014 4:42 am

Robin (May 30, 2014 at 4:20 am) – You are quite right, of course, but “progressive” is incorrect in this context. Try regressive, or repressive, or suppressive perhaps, instead.

May 30, 2014 4:55 am

“To conduct the survey, questionnaires were sent to officials in more than 700 cities worldwide”
Half threw it away. The other half gave it to a junior employee to fill out. The junior employee couldn’t find anyone to push it off on, so completed it. These are the “facts” the report is based on.

May 30, 2014 5:22 am

I just went back and found a more recent report by Gary Haq cataloging the efforts to create “the Good Life” in a small suburb of York, England.
They do not say it, but a quick read shows that the project was a failure – almost an abject failure and could be used as a case study of the failure of social engineering.
That said, I disagree with your judgment on Don Schon’s notion of Action Research. I see Action Research as essentially ideologically neutral – though I grant that it is frequently used as some kind of legitimation mechanism by progressives to justify many rather silly ideas. I was a student of the late Chris Argyris, the lead author of their joint seminal book on Theory in Practice, and a proponent of Action Research. What is remarkably absent from reports like the above mentioned PRACTICAL ACTION TO BUILD COMMUNITY RESILIENCE THE GOOD LIFE INITIATIVE IN NEW EARSWICK is the mind blowing absence of the reflective and critical thinking championed by Chris Argyris. I highly recommend Chris’s Teaching Smart People How to Learn. The folks at SEI could certainly benefit from reading it.

May 30, 2014 5:43 am

Bernie- my exposure to Chris Argyris’ work is not as a student, but as a reader of how others are using his work and what Action Research means to them. I cite in particular Shoshana Zuboff and her vision of the Support Economy and distributed capitalism that goes with this urban planning vision and especially Peter Senge. In fact I believe it was Senge’s The Fifth Discipline Handbook that first called my attention to his considering Schon and Argyris to be the godfathers of this type of vision. I have to deal with what people perceive to be the vision and failures are never a deterrence to this planning vision.
http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/aspiring-to-create-new-habits-of-mind-and-mental-models-suitable-for-a-new-culture-society-and-economy/ is where I dealt with what Donald Schon’s visions meant for both education and planning generally. His Generative Metaphor vision is hugely important. I would love for you to tell me where you think it is inconsistent with where Chris would have desired for all this to go.
This is no small matter since the recent NAS publication of Livable Cities of the Future: Proceedings of a Symposium Honoring the Legacy of George Bugliarello makes it clear that this total planning is kicking into high gear. As if I did not already know that from tracking the Democracy Collaborative, Metropolitanism, and TOD-Transit Oriented Development. That Bugliarelly symposium alarmingly touts his vision of Cities as a Biosoma. Planned at the Biological (Human), Social (Economies and where people live), and at the machine level (the technology that allows the planning. Tied to Big Data and that Big Blue vision above).
I have not read Argyris’ books although he is regularly cited in the footnotes or Acknowledgments page of books I have read, but I have read several of Schon’s and too many of Senge’s.

May 30, 2014 5:50 am

Planing ahead is a great idea. I think that all cities should have Global Warming departments,Volcanic Eruption departments, Solar Flare and Meteor Strike planing. They could share office space with those preparing for the next Avian flu pandemic. How would you like to have those titles on your business card? Now how to increase taxes to pay for all of this. But let’s not worry about that, I’m sure it will all work out; look a Detroit.

May 30, 2014 5:56 am

Robin: I see from your blog that you are very aware of Chris Argyris. I think we have a different take on his work, though I agree that many, like Senge, have applied in ways that I am pretty sure Chris would disagree with. I am also very critical of our current education system and the pernicious effects of both teacher unions and so called education experts. I will drop by your site.

May 30, 2014 6:08 am

Surely this is a typo:
Clean Energy Works Portland employed 400 workers to reduce home energy use, reducing carbon emissions by 1,400 metric tons annually.
So that’s 3.5 tonnes per worker?

May 30, 2014 6:10 am

After Wisconsin killed its work on high-speed, intercity rail, a friend was furious about it. They said that we needed high speed rail because of all the people who would flee to the north when global warming made the south unlivable!

Coach Springer
May 30, 2014 6:21 am

Progressives are into control and an appearance of doing something. It’s self selection for progressives to end up in municipal government and aspire to the age old cause of fixing the weather.

May 30, 2014 6:33 am

When you take money from one part of the economy in order to pump it into another part of the economy, of course the part of the economy that is receiving money is going to grow.
But liberals always ignore the losses that occur in the areas where money is being taken.

May 30, 2014 6:35 am

Greg says:
May 30, 2014 at 12:58 am
You seem to be assuming that global warming is going to continue for the next 100 years.
BTW, at present rates, the sea levels are advancing at less than 7 inches per year. Do you have any evidence to support your belief that the rate is going to increase that dramatically?

May 30, 2014 6:40 am

Even the IPCC admits that the models are worthless at anything less than planetary scales. So how exactly are cities supposed to plan for climatic changes in their areas, if nobody knows what those changes will be?

John Boles
May 30, 2014 6:42 am

The above is a link to how the Scioto river valley in central Ohio is undergoing climate change (or so the planners think) and how they are using a computer model to determine how much water will be available for drinking, etc. It is ludicrous as we all know the models are good for nothing.

Jim Clarke
May 30, 2014 7:06 am

Suppose you were given the job to manage your city’s acclimation to climate change 30 years ago. What possible changes would you have made to better acclimate your cities ability to deal with the climate of today, in 1984?
Since the current climate is indistinguishable from that of 1984, for all practical purposes, any changes you made would have been counterproductive; a waste of time, effort and money, not to mention WRONG!
The best possible thing you could have down over the last 3 decades to help your city adapt to climate change is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Consequently, I am immediately making myself available to any city to fulfill their need of climate change adviser. I promise to do the best possible job for your city (meaning absolutely nothing). My salary will be negotiable, but a significantly large travel package must be provided so that I may visit other cities and learn the innovative ways they are doing absolutely nothing for their cities.

May 30, 2014 7:10 am

I still recommend that you look at Chris’ Teaching Smart People How to Learn. It is available free here: http://www.ncsu.edu/park_scholarships/pdf/chris_argyris_learning.pdf
The major difference that I see is that Chris focuses on how individuals can interact to increase the effectiveness with which they solve problems. That is it. All the language about mental models, etc, is purely explicative. Chris would have asked a lot of questions about anyone who was proposing grand schemes and even more about people who were imposing grand schemes. In terms of the current topic, Climate Change, I think Steve McIntyre epitomizes the kind of thinking and behavior Chris advocated. He would have seen the claim of 97% as highly problematic. He would have pointed out the serious deficiencies in how advocates of AGW argue their case and behave towards those who disagree.
I don’t doubt that some have used Chris’ insights and empirical observations to advocate for the creation of “new” people and organizations, but these folks, IMO, do not understand his real argument. The presumption and assumption of expertise were essentially anathema to Chris, if that claim of expertise were used somehow to legitimate a reduction in openness, candor, accurate information, critical thinking and a freedom to chose.

May 30, 2014 7:21 am

concluded that denser development could save $11 billion in capital costs over the next 60 years
This was tried in Vancouver. FAIL. Denser development saves the city money, but it drives up land prices, forcing people to move away from the denser development, defeating the plan.
So while the planners can plan all they want, in the end economics will defeat them. Just ask the old Soviet Union and their centrally planned economy. Take a look at Detroit:
“A significant percentage of housing parcels in the city are vacant, with abandoned lots making up more than half of total residential lots in many large portions of the city.[41] With at least 70,000 abandoned buildings, 31,000 empty houses, and 90,000 vacant lots, Detroit has become notorious for its urban blight.[39][42]”
“The average price of homes sold in Detroit in 2012 was $7,500; as of January 2013 47 houses in Detroit were listed for $500 or less, with five properties listed for $1.[40] Despite the extremely low price of Detroit properties, most of the properties have been on the market for more than a year as buyers balk at the boarded up, abandoned houses of Detroit.[40] The Detroit News reported that more than half of Detroit property owners did not pay taxes in 2012, at a loss to the city of $131 million (equal to 12% of the city’s general fund budget).[45]”

May 30, 2014 7:23 am

BTW, at present rates, the sea levels are advancing at less than 7 inches per year.
nope, they are advancing at less than 7 inches per 100 years.

May 30, 2014 7:37 am

all the people who would flee to the north when global warming made the south unlivable!
so why is it the south-western states have the highest growth rate?

May 30, 2014 8:28 am

Gary Pearse says:
May 30, 2014 at 3:52 am
Okay, recycling is good
Where did you get that? In the majority of cases, recycling is like any other green schemes. A costly waste of our resources and time. Why do you think your recycled goods are worth absolutely nothing at the curb? They don’t magically go from garbage to a useful product, it takes energy and earths resources to create something out of junk. No one cares about that part, because it is part of the new “feel good” reality where reality is secondary to the real results.

Jan Christoffersen
May 30, 2014 8:38 am

Re: Wayne Delbeke’s APEGBC comments:
I, too, am a member (retired geologist) of APEGBC and complained directly in writing several times to the association re: the imposition in January 2014 of its factually flawed position paper on climate change, which was introduced without a vote of the general membership. One of the drivers behind the policy is John Clague, an academic geologist (SFU) and climate alarmist who looks like a shoo-in to become APEGBC’s next president. Oh dear! Clague is also a buddy of Andrew Weaver, the “brains” behind the University of Victoria’s ESCM climate model, one of the worst temperature predictors on record (see WUWT October 24, 2013 for a post on the “epic fail” of that Canadian model). Weaver is now in provincial politics as a Greenie. Oh dear!
I have also submitted a letter of complaint on the matter to APEGBC’s “Innovation” magazine, hopefully to be included in its next issue. Unless …..

May 30, 2014 8:46 am

Time to call it what it is…Mass Delusion, Mass Hysteria. Many examples can be found in history.
“During the summer of 1835, a series of six newspaper reports appearing in the New York Sun caused a worldwide sensation. Created by journalist Richard A. Locke, the paper claimed that astronomer Sir John Herschel had perfected the world’s strongest telescope in a South African observatory, and had discovered various life forms on the Moon: a two-legged beaver, a horned bear, miniature zebras, and colorful birds among them. His most astonishing observation was that he could see human-like forms on the Moon flying about with bat-like wings. The creatures were given the scientific name of “Vespertilio-homo” meaning bat-man. These beings were described with angelic innocence, peacefully coexisting with its fellow creatures in an environment apparently absent of carnivores. The delusion began on Friday, August 21, with an ambiguous story about new astronomical discoveries. Great excitement prevailed in New York City and spread around the world; most newspapers had been hoodwinked, including the New York Times. Locke published the articles in a pamphlet and sold sixty thousand copies within a month. The New York-based Journal of Commerce newspaper eventually unmasked the hoax (summarized from Griggs 1852; Bulgatz 1993).”
A hundred years later Orson Welles scarred the heck out of people with his radio drama. In the 1690’s we had the Salem witch trials. Governor Phips ordered that all suspects be released ending the madness, but not before 20 lost theirs lives through torture and execution, plus two dogs. Where is the leader today who will call a halt? We are waiting.

John F. Hultquist
May 30, 2014 8:50 am

ferdberple says:
May 30, 2014 at 7:21 am

An update on Detroit:
Removing blighted residential properties and small commercial structures that have plagued Detroit neighborhoods for decades would cost $850 million, with perhaps $1 billion more needed to tackle the bankrupt city’s larger commercial and industrial property, a task force said Tuesday.
As this will be government supervised expect costs to triple.

May 30, 2014 9:02 am

What a joke. What a lie…

more soylent green!
May 30, 2014 9:12 am

Regulations do not contribute to economic progress. This does not mean that regulation is unnecessary, but we’re using a repacking “broken window” fallacy by trying to say since companies must spend more money on construction, or hire additional green-compliance auditors, that it’s an economic stimulus.

John F. Hultquist
May 30, 2014 9:19 am

glenncz says:
May 30, 2014 at 8:28 am
Gary Pearse says:
May 30, 2014 at 3:52 am
Okay, recycling is good

Generally ‘glenncz’ is correct, with a few exceptions. When I was young, recycling beer and pop bottles from roadsides was the major recycling activity. Two beer bottles earned us 5¢. In the current century, locally the “planners” thought recycling glass would be a good idea. [See cullet]. Glass makers and the economics of processing and shipping a heavy low value material provide insurmountable problems in most places. Thus, the city provides collection containers into which some glass (and much other crap) gets tossed. Then the material is crushed and distributed over the actual waste/garbage to prevent the wind from blowing things off-site.

Michael C. Roberts
May 30, 2014 9:20 am

Let’s not forget the elephant in the room regarding this subject, is the ICLEI.
Newly-elected Mayor with no prior experience? Join ICLEI and your roadmap is there for planning a “sustainable” future for your city or town. City or county council with no real plan for the 21st Century? ICLEI to the rescue.
ICLEI was initially begun as a sub-division of the UN. Please consider the source, but scan Wikipedia for background and history of the ICLEI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICLEI
The main basis for ICLEI is our friend, neighbor, and insidious cancerous infestation – Agenda 21.
No tin-hat off-the-wall conspiracy theory – it is all there for you to see. Just check the cities that have signed on with ICLEI at the website above. An eye-opener for sure. I know many that frequent WUWT are well versed in the connection of the ICLEI to the UN and Agenda 21. Let’s start the conversation. Knowledge and understanding of the political mycelia that have infested and are feeding off our cities in the form of ICLEI agenda must be promulgated to those most affected – the local taxpayer. In my mind, I see ICLEI as a forced form of governance that by-passes the federal, state, and local voting system – and installs Agenda 21 right there in your city through adoption of the plan without representation.
A chilling scenario, for sure.

James at 48
May 30, 2014 9:35 am

Question for state/province/canton/etc and local officials: What is your contingency plan for the end of the Interglacial?

James at 48
May 30, 2014 9:40 am

As an aside, I am immensely enjoying that fact that “The Fifth Discipline” has gotten a mention on this thread. If we had more brain power on this thread we’d have to name it Planet Vulcan. LOL!

Steve Oregon
May 30, 2014 11:19 am

Here in the Portland area our regional government has all of the local politicians lined up to follow orders.
Climate Smart Communities Scenarios Project
Choices we make today about how we live, work and get around will determine the future of the Portland metropolitan region.
It’s pure insanity by the biggest fools people could possible elect or get appointed.

DD More
May 30, 2014 12:59 pm

MJB says: May 30, 2014 at 6:08 am
Surely this is a typo:
Clean Energy Works Portland employed 400 workers to reduce home energy use, reducing carbon emissions by 1,400 metric tons annually.
So that’s 3.5 tonnes per worker?
Or if you take Portland’s population of 603,000 it is an astounding 2.3 Kg or less than a gallon of gas.
Are they trying to push the LEED buildings where in Washington DC
LEED Exposed determined energy consumption by comparing the weather-normalized, source energy use intensity, or EUI (a unit of measurement that represents the energy consumed by a building relative to its size), for both buildings certified by the USGBC as “green” and those that have not gone through the USGBC’s expensive permitting process. For LEED-certified buildings, their EUI was 205, compared to 199 for non-certified buildings. Ironically, USGBC’s headquarters (which has achieved the highest level of LEED certification) is even worse at 236.
But at least it is okay to smoke, as long as it is MJ, in the LEED buildings.

jim south london
May 30, 2014 1:14 pm

“cities around the world now include preparations for climate change in their basic urban planning”
What are coastal cities expecting land prices to do. good time for the property sharks start circling.Climate Change panic evacuate inland .Lots of left over Cheap Beach Front property going . ,

more soylent green!
May 30, 2014 2:37 pm

Greg says:
May 30, 2014 at 12:58 am
Climate change is happening whatever the cause…

The fact that climate change is happening shouldn’t be news to anyone. The climate is always changing, has always changed and is supposed to change. For the non-scientifically illiterate, it would be news if the climate wasn’t changing.

Chad Wozniak
May 30, 2014 3:38 pm

Anthony –
In case you haven’t seen this, the Inspector General of the EPA issued a report yesterday stating that the EPA may be using “fraudulent data” as the basis for very costly climate regulations.
The report is Report No. 14-P-4270, dated May 29, 2014,

Eamon Butler
May 30, 2014 4:10 pm

And when all of this tax payer’s money is spent tackling climate change, we will have the perfect Global climate. Right?

May 30, 2014 7:13 pm

Michael Roberts is exactly right – It’s right out of Agenda 21’s handbook.
– Agenda 21 stands for “The Agenda for the 21st century”
– Put forth at UN “Earth Summit” in Rio in 1972
– Bush 41 signed the US as an Agenda 21 supporter in 1992 without input from Congress
– Consists of 5 sections – one of which references ICLEI
– How many have heard of ICLEI – “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives”
Founded in 1990
– Even though ICLEI is not an official UN agency it partners with all of the UN’s environmental groups and it partners with such groups as:
C 40 – “Cities Climatic Leadership Group” – partner with Clinton Climate Initiative
Resilient Cities – NYC & Bloomberg major players in this org. – this was program behind
Recent non-smoking, no salt, “healthier” directives
World Mayors Council on Climate Change
CCP – “Cities for Climate Protection”
UCLG – “United Cities & Local Government”
ICLEI is charged with implementing Agenda 21’s agenda and its plan of action calls for circumventing the world’s national governments and going directly to local Govts.- both cities & counties
– 1200 cities worldwide are members – over 500 in US – over 200 in CA
– It charges that changing unsustainable patterns of consumption & production is an essential requirement for ‘sustainable’ development
– Aim is to “anchor” sustainability principles within all municipal decision-making
– Provides MGT tools for local Govt sustainability initiatives including budgeting
Software called ecoBUDGET ( includes ‘Sustainability’ principles in preparing budgets)
TBL – Triple Bottom Line ( best practices in ‘Sustainability’)
Sustainability Inventory system
Melbourne Principles – a planning kit for Local Govts to use to ensure ‘Sustainability’ is included in all planning processes.

May 30, 2014 7:50 pm

One thing I see being good is energy conservation, especially via more efficient electrical devices, more efficient road vehicles, more efficient climate control, and better building insulation and design. Even in the likely event CO2 increase is not a catastrophic problem, I see this as good. And, municipal governments do not need to do a whole lot here. This is more the province of national government standards and model building codes, and organizations & businesses conducting energy audits (which are not mandatory) of homes and other buildings to find savings.
The main benefits I see are:
* Reduced need to import energy, meaning lower trade deficit (in energy importing countries)
* More energy available to export (in energy exporting countries)
* Less money wasted due to less consumption, and lower prices from lower demand
* More time to develop better alternatives to nonrenewable energy sources
* Cleaner air
* Reduced or eliminated need to build electric power plants, and associated expensive regulatory and court battles with environmentalists and NIMBYs (that seem to oppose building anything industrial).
* Reduced need to build energy transmission facilities, and to endure associated expensive battles with environmentalists and NIMBYs
* Reduced probability of energy shortages, price spikes, etc. due to demand increasing while the supply chain’s carrying capacity is stagnated by environmentalists and NIMBYs

NZ Willy
May 30, 2014 8:48 pm

We had a lunatic city council here in NZ deciding that all its coastal homes would be threatened by rising sea levels, so gazetted them as threatened and so drove their property values way down. There was of course a popular revolt against the idiocy and in the end the whole regulatory exercise was tossed out. The story is here:

Gunga Din
May 31, 2014 1:08 pm

Local government green goons is why I don’t comment using my real name.

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