January 26, 2007

Was It the Nicholas Stern or Howard Stern Report?

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:25 pm

BBC says that the Stern Review into the Economics of Climate Change may have gaping holes in it (HT CCnet e-mail) that even believers in “global warming” and “climate change” (referred to around here as “globaloney”) are having a hard time handling:

….. expert critics of the review now claim that it overestimates the risk of severe global warming, and underestimates the cost of acting to stop it.The message from the report’s chief author, the economist Sir Nicholas Stern, was simple: if we did nothing about climate change, it would cost us the equivalent of at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever.

But if we acted today, we could prevent a catastrophe.

This point was emphasised at the report’s launch by Mr Blair who warned we would see the disastrous consequences of climate change – not in some science fiction future, but in our lifetimes.

These figures sounded scary and imminent. But if you read the report in detail, that is not what it actually says.

The 5% damage to global GDP figure will not happen for well over one hundred years, according to Stern’s predictions. And the review certainly does not forecast disastrous consequences in our lifetimes.

‘Cherry-picking’

The report may have been loved by the politicians and headline writers but when climate scientists and environmental economists read the 670-page review, many said there were serious flaws.

….. Richard Tol is a professor at Hamburg and Carnegie Mellon Universities, and is one of the world’s leading environmental economists.

The Stern Review cites his work 63 times; but that does not mean he agrees with it.

“If a student of mine were to hand in this report as a Masters thesis, perhaps if I were in a good mood I would give him a ‘D’ for diligence; but more likely I would give him an ‘F’ for fail.

“There is a whole range of very basic economics mistakes that somebody who claims to be a Professor of Economics simply should not make,” he told The Investigation on BBC Radio 4.

….. “Stern consistently picks the most pessimistic for every choice that one can make. He overestimates through cherry-picking, he double counts particularly the risks and he underestimates what development and adaptation will do to impacts,” he said.

And yet the movement to adopt Stern’s recommended draconian measures appears to be gaining steam. I would suggest asking the people of the world if they want to volunteer to participate in a global economic depression in the name of pseudoscience.

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