Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A Stern Lecture

I've just been speaking to Mark Parton on Capital Radio in Canberra about the reaction of the world to the recent political turmoil in Australia brought about by the debate over climate change. As I pointed out, at least they are having a debate. We're still struggling to get even that.

Mark had noticed the latest comments from Nicholas Stern, the alleged expert in the economics of climate change who gave his latest warnings of potential disaster at my alma mater the LSE yesterday. I'm sure Stern will be delighted that his words are seen on the other side of the world. Indeed that is part of the problem. He rather enjoys all the attention he receives when once he was an obscure economist and civil servant.

Now Stern is as bad as the scientists who will brook no dissent. Stern calls climate sceptics (at least he doesn't call us deniers) confused and muddled. This coming from the man who told us we would all have to become vegetarians and is already having to correct his numbers about what it is all going to cost us if we are to avert this disaster only 3 years since his much vaunted report. Suddenly the costs have doubled according to this leading economist. That's presumably what happens when you use guesswork in the first place.

Even if you accept that man is having some effect on the climate, the policies being advocated by the likes of Stern to prevent it are ruinously expensive as they have been pointing out in Australia. That's if the kind of cuts they are calling for are even possible, which is doubtful to say the least. So what they are proposing is spending for decades around 5% of our GDP to address a problem which may not exist, which, if it does exist, is unlikely to be as bad as their worst case scenarios suggest - because these have been deliberately exaggerated to get attention as some of the Green Meanies have now admitted - and which are unlikely to cut emissions to the extent that they are proposing without draconian cuts in lifestyle that will be politically impossible.

This is why they invented the idea of that tipping point. It was a way to try to alarm us into taking urgent action. But the tipping point is another alarmist fantasy. They have no evidence for it other than their precious models, the same models which cannot explain why the planet is currently cooling.

Nicholas Stern has told us once again, in the run up to the festival of hot air in Copenhagen, that this is our last chance to save the Earth. Is it really? Wouldn't it be more sensible to take our time, explore our options and ensure that we are not beggaring ourselves far into the future for no good reason? And even if the alleged consensus turns out to be right, curbing CO2 is actually not the only or even the best solution. It's true that we are going to have to find alternative fuels in the future but that takes time. In the meantime what effects climate change does bring about can be mitigated and defended against. It's easier, it's more pragmatic and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Those politicians in Australia are just the first brave elected officials to boldly state this. Now at last some of our politicians are doing the same. American politicians facing mid terms may feel compelled to address the issue too. Thanks to those leaked e-mails and now this Australian political crisis the debate which we were all told was over is now finally happening. The Green Meanies will be furious about that because it was exactly what they were trying to prevent.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are published at the absolute discretion of the owner of this blog, but there is a general presumption towards publication. This is a free speech blog.