Mixed Signals at the World Bank

A year ago, World Bank President Robert Zoellick committed the lending institution to "significantly step up our assistance" to fight climate change through its loans. Instead, the World Bank is increasing its financing of fossil-fuel projects worldwide. One example is the coal-powered Tata Ultra Mega power plant in western India, a $4.14 billion project scheduled to go online in 2012. When it is fully operational, it will become one of the world's 50 largest greenhouse-gas emitters and "will emit more carbon dioxide annually than the nation of Tunisia," according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The World Bank will provide "$450 million in loans and guarantees for the project and also may buy a $50 million stake in it." While the U.S. is insisting that developing countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank -- over which it has tremendous influence -- is supporting projects that do the opposite. "The World Bank's lending record does not match up to Zoellick's rhetoric," says Heike Mainhardt-Gibbsof the Bank Information Center, a World Bank watchdog group. "The institution is simply not slowing down its significant funding to fossil-fuel projects that will emit greenhouse gases for 20 to 40 years."


It would be revolutionary for the World Bank to support policies that divert massive lending and guarantee resources from nuclear and coal plant construction to expanding manufacture of the Gorlov Helical Turbine currently used to extract energy from flowing water in streams, sluice ways, rivers, tidal flows, waves, and ocean currents.

The ocean is a clean, renewable, source that consumes no fossil fuels in harnessing the energy of flowing water. Nor is there a CO2 problem.

Expanding the production and deployment of the Gorlov Helical Turbine would return benefits in less than a year. By comparison, a similar strategy for nuclear and coal plants would not produce net energy to the grid for 4 to 15 years, and consume ten to twenty times the capital and human resources to produce an equivalent amount of energy. These CO2 emitters would also exacerbate global warming.

All of the political posturing about global warming is just that posturing. Neither the World Bank, nor the U.S. Congress "Get It"...we have a crisis of systemic proportions and all they are willing to do is spout the rhetoric of those supporters with the most cash promising the highest rate of return. And that amounts to, "do nothing now, don't rock the fossil fuel boat."

If anyone knows of a more efficient source of energy than ocean currents, then please let all policy makers know of this alternative energy source and show how it compares to the following characteristics of energy extracted from flowing water:

* power can be harnessed and deployed to grids or
distributive systems this year, and
* has no CO2 emissions,
* no nuclear waste issues, or security concerns,
* is renewable without interruption,
* needs no fossil fuels to get it started or keep it
running, and
* can be delivered to your toaster for less than 6 cents
per kilo watt hour.

If this other source of energy can not meet the above criteria then we have to settle for flowing water from oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, and even the discharge from hydroelectric dams. which can be harnessed and turned into usable power.

How close to the edge of self destruction must we get before we realize that something courageous has to be done?

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