They never stop, do they? This time its the Global Commission on Adaptation, a nongovernmental organization led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Give us your money and we will make it grow for you. There will be no money in your pocket, of course. Instead the:

“benefits include the losses that don’t occur when cities are better equipped to withstand extreme weather events. But there would also be positive benefits such as increased economic productivity and technological innovation, as governments and businesses make the investments to build better, modern infrastructure and tools.”

Sounds a bit vague to me and, once again, the cities grab all the money. Cities are insatiable. The mass suicides of about 60,000 farmers in India over the past 30 years attributed to climate change and the resulting indebtedness mean nothing to these people. If it did, there wouldn’t be 60,000 dead Indian farmers.

The Swedish billionaire Johan Eliasch (worth £1.35bn), the owner of global sporting-goods group Head NV, offers an explanation, this time for Africa:

“Thirty years ago, there was a lot of deforestation in the Congo Basin. That led to rain falling in the wrong places, so people in Darfur got displaced and had to move because they couldn’t feed themselves, and that led to land-grabbing, and that led to conflict. It also had the effect of raising food prices, which triggered the Arab Spring. And after the Arab Spring, there was another crisis in Syria. Because of the Syrian conflict there was a refugee crisis that was confused with the EU’s immigration policy, which led to Brexit. And that’s not a joke, though it sounds farfetched. There is cause and effect to everything we do.”

The deforestation in the Congo basin is caused mainly by small-scale farming, contributing to around 84 percent of deforestation. This kind of farming is primarily done for subsistence by families that have no other livelihood options due largely to poverty stemming from political instability and conflict in the region.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) holds the largest share of Congo forest – 60 percent. The DRC is also one of those places in the world where nobody can win, ever:

More than one hundred armed groups are believed to operate in the eastern region of the DRC. Despite the presence of more than sixteen thousand UN peacekeepers, these groups continue to terrorize communities and control weakly governed areas. Millions of civilians have been forced to flee the fighting: the United Nations estimates there are currently 4.5 million internally displaced persons in the DRC, and more than 800,000 DRC refugees in other nations.

How do you fix this kind of dread? With “Technological innovation, as governments and businesses make the investments to build better, modern infrastructure and tools”? I don’t think so. These kind of solutions only work in politically stable societies, if at all.

What to do with these wasted lives? Can they be saved? How do we stop society from producing them in the first place? If we threw $1.7 trillion at this problem, what would change?

Spend $1.7 trillion on climate adaptation and make four times that much back

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