A stern rebuttal to the Stern review

A member of the UK parliament, MP Peter Lilley, has written a scathing rebuttal study to the 2006 “Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change” which has been used a a basis for UK government to move forward with climate policy. The number of errors and distortions he has uncovered is quite extraordinary and brings the validity of the Stern report into serious question, if not outright falsifying it. – Anthony

From the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

As the cost of government measures to combat climate change hit households and businesses, a new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation casts grave doubts on the validity of the “Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change” which the government relies on to justify its policies.

The substantial study, by Peter Lilley MP, is the most thorough analysis of the Stern Review so far undertaken. It takes the IPCC’s view of the science of global warming as given, but points out that Stern’s economic conclusions contradict the views of most of the world’s leading environmental economists and even the economic conclusions of the IPCC
itself. The study also catalogues a series of errors and distortions in the Stern Review “any one of which would have caused it to fail peer review”.

Because Stern’s conclusions endorsed policies adopted by both government and opposition and its highly tendentious assumptions were not explicit, it was initially accepted without public scrutiny.

The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on “selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative – which would never have passed peer review”.

Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence based policies”.

Stern’s central conclusion that “If we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year now and forever” whereas “the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of GDP each year” is found to be entirely fallacious.

Lilley’s study demonstrates that the benefits of curbing emissions now and henceforth will not be five times the cost of action, as Stern claims. “It is achieved by verbal virtuosity combined with statistical sophistry. In fact, even on Stern’s figures, the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″, Lilley points out.
“If we continue to follow Stern’s advice, the principal losers, apart from British taxpayers and businesses, would be developing countries who cannot raise living standards without massively increasing their use of fossil fuels and will therefore be responsible for most of the growth of carbon emissions,” Lilley argues.

Lilley asks: “why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming – even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern – will be 7 times better off than us?

Lilley calls on the government to cease basing its climate change policy on the flawed Stern Review and commission a new independent cost benefit study of alternative strategies.

* Full report: What Is Wrong With Stern? (pdf) Lilley-Stern_Rebuttal 2

* Executive Summary (pdf) Lilley-Stern_Executive_Summary

About these ads

75 thoughts on “A stern rebuttal to the Stern review

  1. “… the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″

    That’s assuming that there ARE any benefits, and if CO2 is not the Great Boogeyman controlling our climate that it has been made out to be, there will be trivial (if any) benefits of sacrificing our economies on the barren altar of carbon strangulation.

  2. No new studies will ever change the policies of any European country when it comes to this subject. They are too far invested in these policies both in money & in the way they embrace it. To do so, would show how wrong they really are. Have you ever met any European admitt they were wrong about anything? I sure have not in my 54 years.

  3. If the past is any predictor of the future, Peter Lilley’s falsification of the Stern Review, like all the falsifications that have preceded it — of AGW science and otherwise — will have no effect. The drum-roll of AGW will go on without missing a beat.

  4. I was on business in England when this monumental monstrosity of bogosity came out.

    It got worse. The news reporter on the once reputable but now national stolen fee-funded Lysenkoist channel introduced it with something like the following:

    “With this economic report, how can anyone dispute the effects of man-made global warming on the planet?”. Seriously.

    I was so gobsmacked, I was happy to be standing by the hotel room bed as I fell backwards in ironic laughter/disgust/anger.

    NB:
    bogosity definition

    /boh-go’s*-tee/ The degree to which something is “bogus” in the hackish sense of “bad”. Bogosity is measured with a bogometer; in a seminar, when a speaker says something bogus, a listener might raise his hand and say “My bogometer just triggered”. More extremely, “You just pinned my bogometer” means you just said or did something so outrageously bogus that it is off the scale, pinning the bogometer needle at the highest possible reading (one might also say “You just redlined my bogometer”).

  5. The economic pillar was always far flimsier since it relied on Stern — a government economist, commissioned by the government, who produced the answer the government needed. Moreover, Stern’s key conclusion — that the benefits of reducing emissions would be five to 20 times the cost — flatly contradicts the IPCC, which concluded: “costs and benefits are broadly comparable in magnitude” so it could not establish “an emissions pathway or stabilisation level where benefits exceed costs”. Most environmental economists whose work Stern supposedly reviewed reached conclusions closer to the IPCC.

    Nonetheless, Labour ministers and their Conservative/Lib Dem successors cling with increasing desperation to Stern: albeit like the proverbial drunk — more for support than illumination.

  6. In short, Stern selected and manipulated evidence to back a policy — creating policy-based evidence when what we need is evidence-based policy.

    Government economists privately recognise that Stern’s economics are no longer defensible. They fall back on Harvard economist Martin Weitzman’s suggestion that “Stern may be right for the wrong reasons”. Weitzman says: if there is a finite possibility, however small, of an infinitely bad outcome (human extinction) then virtually any cost is justified to prevent it. Paradoxically, using this thesis to rescue Stern’s conclusions means abandoning their scientific pillar — the IPCC’s claim (shared by Stern) that “the science is certain” and climate sensitivity can be derived from known “laws of physics and chemistry”. Instead, Weitzman assumes that neither scientific laws nor empirical studies can set any upper limit on the size of the greenhouse effect.

    However, if climate sensitivity is as high as Weitzman’s theory requires to put mankind’s survival at risk, its impact must have been largely concealed by natural variations even before the pause in warming this century. So it should soon become obvious as those fluctuations revert to the mean, giving plenty of time to respond.

    There may be a case for a modest, gradual approach to climate change rather than Stern’s crash program. But ministers can no longer rely on the discredited Stern review to defend an unaffordable policy.

    Peter Lilley is a British Conservative Party MP

  7. This is a welcome study by Peter Lilley – even if he is only restating the conclusions Nigel Lawson drew 4 years ago in his excellent book ‘An Appeal To Reason. A Cool Look At Global Warming’

  8. Upon reading the executive summary I was very disappointed to see several glaring spelling mistakes: suffcicient/sufficient twice(!) on page 3 and Sclae/Scale on page 4. Couldn’t he run the thing through a spell-checker? Warmists will be looking for any reason to dismiss this report; we could do without providing them the ammunition with sloppy spelling.

  9. Peter Lilley is up against some interesting political forces notably the Energy and Climate Change Committee. In a recent report, ‘The road to UNFCCC COP18 and beyond’ their policy was proposed to the Department of Energy and Climate Change :

    “The Department of Energy and Climate Change should support the use of the Human Development Index in future to determine equitably which countries are treated as ‘developed’ – and required to decrease their emissions immediately and which countries are given excess carbon permits until their average earnings come in line with other developed countries.”

    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/energy-and-climate-change-committee/news/unf-ccc-publication/

    The Energy and Climate Change Committee is currently chaired by a colourful MP named Tim Yeo:
    “In the past year, he raked in £140,000 from directorships with six ‘green’ companies which are developing expensive renewable energies. One senior Tory figure said: ‘Every time Tim moralises about why we must go more green, I hear tills ringing in the background.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2189492/It-wonder-Tim-Yeos-branded-Jolly-Green-Hypocrite.html

    And then there’s John Gummer now known as Lord Deben:
    “Lord Deben was named by Mr Cameron last month as his preferred candidate to be the new chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The committee recommends targets for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and subsidies for the ‘renewable’ energy industry.

    “He is at the centre of a new conflict-of-interest row after it was revealed he is chairman of Forewind, a consortium trying to build thousands of turbines in the North Sea’s Dogger Bank.

    “Lord Deben already chairs Sancroft, a lobbying and consultancy firm based in Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster. One of its specialities is advising businesses on how to make money from policies enacted to combat global warming.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2190351/Second-Tory-key-climate-change-role-bid-build-giant-North-Sea-windfarm.html

  10. I want to know when we can commence the Crimes Against Humanity trials. Mann, Jones, Gore and all their co-conspirators have a lot to answer for!

  11. Here in the European country of Oregon our public officials have been drinking the green/sustainable/save-us-from-ourselves cool-aid for so long they feel compelled to use whatever means necessary to impose their will upon the unwilling public. It’s getting ugly.
    Through behind the scenes conniving our state and local governments are in full shadow government mode to force upon our communities what they do not want. When the public opposes them and rejects the agenda pitched as vital the government planner class removes the public from participating.

    They will never admit anything or be capable of adapting to anything less than all of their objectives.
    The only thing they understand is cold blooded defeat. Through citizen’s initiatives and candidate elections to get majorities on councils, commissions and the legislature along with the governorship and other statewide offices.

    That’s why I tell people it is not enough to have superior information if you don’t use it to harm, to damage to destroy the political arena that is assailing our way of life.
    Nothing is more of an affront to the whole spectrum of every day life than the heavy hand of government gone AGW wild.

    Low cost and plentiful energy, fuel and all they provide are at risk from policy attacks with no upside.

  12. I wonder how deep the ice in the coming Ice Age will have to get before these brainwashed European pols will admit maybe–just maybe–they were flat out wrong about the Stern Review.

    Of course, I’m wasting my breath (or keyboard strokes) trying to make sense of their negligence, stupidity, and/or complicity in the world’s biggest false premise ever!

  13. According to Tory Aardvark, the EU have refused to increase carbon emissions to 30% as it is unworkable, too expensive and driving industries from Europe and the chancellor of UK has started to mumble that green policy is unworkable. So sunshine is getting through.

  14. clipe says:
    September 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Government economists privately recognise that Stern’s economics are no longer defensible. They fall back on Harvard economist Martin Weitzman’s suggestion that “Stern may be right for the wrong reasons”. Weitzman says: if there is a finite possibility, however small, of an infinitely bad outcome (human extinction) then virtually any cost is justified to prevent it.

    But Weitzman’s argument involves an invalid assumption: that the “cost” will actually make the probability of the “infinitely bad outcome” less.

  15. Bottom line: AGW is bad and the people who exacerbate it should pay for it by having taxes increased on any usage of non-renewable energy!
    I have said many times before, that if AGW is universally believed, then governments can tax businesses and individuals, who feel that the aforesaid taxes are justified, as some sort of penance!
    The governments of North America, Europe and to a lesser extent, Australasia need to increase taxes to pay the interest on their national debts. Their citizens do not object to paying these taxes, because they have been lied to, by so called scientists and governments; it is, after all a penance!
    China and India do not have these constraints, so their economies are booming, meanwhile my country (the UK) keeps on finding new ways to be subservient to Brussels and to increase taxes, despite the fact that increased taxes depress the economy. I do not feel the need to be penitent, because I do not believe in AGW, yet I have to pay these taxes!
    “Increasing taxes to stimulate the economy is like asking a man to stand in a bucket and
    raise himself of the ground by lifting the handle” Winston Churchill.
    “Governments have the luxury to spend money that they have not earned, or are morally entitled to. Citizens cannot do either of these things, because they will break the law that was created by the same governments: A political, legal and immoral paradox” Andrew Harding.

  16. Stern’s extreme “green” bias and skewing of facts and economics is astonishing.

    The Stern Review was a tactical masterstroke, but it will likely prove to be a strategic blunder. Its academic value is zero.
    Professor Dr Richard S.J. Tol MEA

    . . .This study simply challenges Stern’s economic methods and conclusions – and shows his Review was an exercise not in evidence based policy making but in policy-based evidence making. . . .
    In the absence of a new Review, government strategy should at most involve:
    • gradually ramping up incentives to reduce carbon emissions
    • cost effective measures to increase energy efficiency
    • greater focus on incentivising Research and Development
    • acceptance that developing countries need to develop the cheapest energy sources available to them
    • more emphasis on adaptation to climate change as it occurs
    • focussing development aid on helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change, whatever its cause. . . .

    far from experiencing a 5% loss of GDP now, the impact of warming could be beneficial now and for several decades since moderately higher temperatures boost crop yields, as do increased concentrations of CO2. . . .
    is now proposing that throughout this century the world should spend over twice his pessimistic estimate of the cumulative damage caused by global warming over the whole of this century (only part of which would be prevented. . . .
    over half the projected losses this generation will be paying to avoid will not occur until several centuries hence. . . .
    his estimate of the cost of avoiding climate change is understated by a factor of between 2 1/2 and 5 times. . . .
    Stern’s estimates of the harm unchecked global warming will do to humankind are ten to twenty times the average of those in the literature he reviewed. . . .
    the principal reasons the Stern Review differs from most previous studies are:
    • The choice of an ultra-low discount rate over an infinite time horizon,
    • The treatment of uncertainty and risk giving significant weight to highly unlikely and very distant outcomes. . . .
    Despite these losses, people in developing countries are still expected to have average levels of well-being more than six times their current incomes by 2100 and 20 times by 2200, when their incomes will be two-thirds higher than incomes of people in the industrialised world today.

    etc.

  17. To assume that a warming planet imposes costs and provides no benefits is to ignore reality.

    There will be costs if the planet warms by a degree but there will also be benefits. It is dishonest to account for the former and ignore the latter. If a warmer climate makes one crop difficult to grow this means you may need to choose a different crop. To count the lost value of the old crop as an ongoing cost for all eternity and ignore the value of the new one is simply dishonest accounting.

    There are also likely to be distinct advantage to warming that are often ignored. We will see a longer growing season in many localities, reduced danger of tipping into an ice age, reduced heating costs, reduced deaths in winter due to cold, and so forth. There are also advantages in terms of incfreased agricultural productivity directly from higher CO2 levels. It isn’t clear that the costs of warming even outweigh the benefits before a cent is spent on mitigation. Would it really hurt Great Britain to have a climate more like that of Spain? Of course these costs and benefits are likely to be unevenly spread. Spain probably doesn’t need to be warmer. However I must note that most of the projected warming is supposed to occur in places that are currently cold where warming is likely to be more beneficial than not. It is entirely possible that we may in fact be better off overall in a warmer world. It is hard to tell because an honest accounting of both the costs and benefits is seldom performed.

  18. GlynnMhor says:
    September 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm
    “… the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″

    That’s assuming that there ARE any benefits, and if CO2 is not the Great Boogeyman controlling our climate that it has been made out to be, there will be trivial (if any) benefits of sacrificing our economies on the barren altar of carbon strangulation.

    Glynn,
    Succinctly stated. The extreme AGW followers hide the science (Top of the atmosphere radiation measurements from satellite as compared to changes in ocean surface temperature changes. See the attached paper by Lindzen and Choi which is their third published paper to address this scientific question.) which clearly show the earth’s response to a forcing change is to resist the change (negative feedback) by increasing planetary cloud cover in the tropics. As Lindzen note if the planet’s response to a change in forcing is negative (planet resists) the forcing change then a doubling of CO2 will result in less than 1C with most of the warming occurring a high latitudes which will expand the biosphere.

    Lindzen and Choi’s analysis is supported by observations which show the planet is not warm as predicted the IPCC.

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. … We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.

    However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1oC (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5oC to 5oC and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/04/11/a-new-global-warming-alarmist-tactic-real-temperature-measurements-dont-matter/

    A New Global Warming Alarmist Tactic: Real Temperature Measurements Don’t Matter
    What do you do if you are a global warming alarmist and real-world temperatures do not warm as much as your climate model predicted? Here’s one answer: you claim that your model’s propensity to predict more warming than has actually occurred shouldn’t prejudice your faith in the same model’s future predictions. Thus, anyone who points out the truth that your climate model has failed its real-world test remains a “science denier.”

    This, clearly, is the difference between “climate science” and “science deniers.” Those who adhere to “climate science” wisely realize that defining a set of real-world parameters or observations by which we can test and potentially falsify a global warming theory is irrelevant and so nineteenth century. Modern climate science has gloriously progressed far beyond such irrelevant annoyances as the Scientific Method.

  19. a different Stern, pretty funny:

    4 Sept: SBS TV Australia: The Conversation: David Stern, ANU: Where is it cheapest to cut carbon emissions?
    (from bottom of the article) David Stern receives funding from the Australian Research Council.
    But when more than one country shares a common carbon price or tax, the total cost of the climate policy is higher in the countries whose economies are more carbon intensive; for example, Australia…
    This is the main finding of an article by my Australian National University colleagues Jack Pezzey and Ross Lambie and myself in the current edition of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics…
    Our theory is that there are more “low-hanging fruit” – low cost or easy options for cutting emissions – in countries like the US and Australia which have had less-aggressive energy efficiency policies…
    (PHOTO OF BANANA TREE WITH CAPTION: More low-hanging fruit can reduce the marginal cost of cutting emissions. Jane Rawson)
    But when we think about the total costs of cutting carbon emissions, these less-efficient countries will bear higher costs. To use the same analogy, this is because the more fruit there is below a given height, the bigger the total crop will be. A common carbon price is like an agreement that all countries harvest emissions reductions up to the same height on the trees…
    To test our theory, we need information on the costs of climate policies in different countries. Obviously we don’t actually know how much policies that don’t yet exist will cost. But we can use computer simulation models to try to estimate these costs and test our theory.
    We used the results of a recent simulation exercise called EMF-22. Ten modelling teams from around the world took part. The models – called integrated assessment models – can simulate the effects of policies on the world economy and the climate. Each team used their model to simulate the effects of ten different future climate policy scenarios.
    The results of the EMF-22 exercise broadly confirm our hypotheses. They show that the marginal abatement cost is highest in the European Union, lowest in China and India with the US in the middle. But when all countries adopt a common global carbon price, the total costs as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) are lowest in the European Union and highest in the two developing countries…
    Our findings also emphasise the complexity of communicating climate change policies. There is no single answer to the question of “Where is it cheapest to cut carbon emissions?” and the choice of answer makes a difference.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1688871/Where-is-it-cheapest-to-cut-carbon-emissions

  20. ‘Weitzman says: if there is a finite possibility, however small, of an infinitely bad outcome (human extinction) then virtually any cost is justified to prevent it.’

    Well, there are a number of low probability things that could wipe out the human race eg an asteroid strike (and the science behind that is robust). Using Weitzman’s logic, do we spend all of our money countering all of them and, if so, how do we divide the money up between worthy causes. He is stating an extreme and idiotic version of the precautionary principle.

    Regarding politicians and their support for AGW, I am optimistic. They only want re-election and will be fully aware of the public reaction to AGW as it starts to hit their pockets.

  21. Anthony.

    A trip on I-80 West to the Bay Area convinced me that many northern Californians enjoyed your recent enclave by evidence of the, impossible to remove fine dust, in every crevice of their vehicles. I’m a five year alumnus, and loved it. Did you the organizers have CO2 credits to burn that effigy?

    To the subject at hand, I can envision multiple economists from multiple universities having contrary opinions based upon their different consulting contracts even within their own university system, based upon their different consulting contracts. As long as there is controversy and free lunch money out there, this should be the expected result.

    Even the new MP Lilley analysis accepts the IPCC conclusions before ripping into the Stern economic analysis. We lost before we began.

    I think that those who believe that it will take actual measurements, against the current modeling based consensus, to show the modeled information is wrong, are correct. Unfortunately that will take a multi-year-quiet-sun, as expressed in yesterday’s WUWT post and resulting negative impacts to show that…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/03/the-sun-still-slumping/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/14/all-three-of-these-lines-of-research-to-point-to-the-familiar-sunspot-cycle-shutting-down-for-a-while/

    Everyone should review these posts and referred posts. How sad. Maybe we would all be best advised to ready our families for the next twenty years.

  22. Bobby Davis says:
    September 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    “No new studies will ever change the policies of any European country when it comes to this subject. They are too far invested in these policies both in money & in the way they embrace it. To do so, would show how wrong they really are. Have you ever met any European admitt they were wrong about anything? I sure have not in my 54 years.”

    Heh. Not all of us are social democrats.

  23. David L. Hagen has already posted one of my favourite quips from Richard Tol’s forward to the Lilley paper above. Other favourites:

    Sir Nicholas, now Lord Stern, was portrayed as an expert even though he had never published before on the economics of energy, environment or climate.

    Nick Stern is, of course, free to use whatever discount rate he wants in his private life. Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University has found that Stern should save 97.5% of his income, were Stern to follow the advice in the Stern Review.

  24. clipe says:

    Government economists privately recognise that Stern’s economics are no longer defensible. They fall back on Harvard economist Martin Weitzman’s suggestion that “Stern may be right for the wrong reasons”. Weitzman says: if there is a finite possibility, however small, of an infinitely bad outcome (human extinction) then virtually any cost is justified to prevent it.

    AKA “post normal science”. The political maneuvre that replaces actual science with the telling of scary stories. If your first story is called into question, you simply tell a scarier story. The fact that the first scary story is questionable proves “facts are uncertain”, and the scarier story ramps up “stakes are high and decisions are urgent!”.

    In PNS, better called the Politics of Ignorance, lack of knowledge may be used to drive any decision.

  25. cui bono says:
    “Oh joy! We have at least one sane MP. Thanks Mr. Lilley”
    You have another one in Graham Stringer MP
    Its very difficult to operate in an almost ‘skeptic free zone’ like the House of Commons.
    Free loaders like Tim Yeo MP will go out of their way to isolate skeptics and eliminate rational discussion on climate.

  26. jayhd says:
    September 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    absolutely – they all need to answer for their ‘crimes – I wonder how many of the bandwagon freeloaders who milked the AGW gravy train can be charged too?
    As for Stern, hopefully he can get all the discredit he deserves, and then some……

  27. Water off a duck’s back! Almost every aspect of AGW has been derived with “new math” where two-plus-two equals “whatever I wish it to equal”. Facts and conventional calculations have never made a dent in the fad. The only thing that has slowed the train of goofiness toward economic oblivion has been Mother Nature’s demonstration since the global temperature peak 1998, although a couple of vicious winters now seem to be fading from public memory.

  28. The Stern Review was just another dodgy dossier commissioned by Tony Blair to contain the conclusions that Blair wanted.

  29. In the UK, all political parties support the following insane policies.

    1. Energy – Huge, unsustainable subsidies on renewable energy, which is expensive, unreliable and requires gas turbine back up. Nuclear energy is effectively ignored, when it is the only practical solution, so no one is prepared to build a nuclear power station in the UK. In a few years from now, widespread brownouts and blackouts will kick in.

    2. Water – conservation is the trendy buzzword. A few years ago five dams were going to be built in southern England to end the problems caused by occasional mini-droughts. These have all been quietly cancelled. It seems it is better for all the excess fresh water to flow uselessly into the sea rather than be used on land.

    One of the things we unfortunately have to learn every time we go to war is you have to fire/push sideways all the top bureaucrats because of their management incompetence, empire building and inability to think pro-actively.

    In essence, the real world is now at war with the global warming industry – we should be thankful that their leaders are all government, quasi-government bureaucrats, or failed politicians.

  30. A commenter said above;

    “No new studies will ever change the policies of any European country when it comes to this subject. They are too far invested in these policies both in money & in the way they embrace it. To do so, would show how wrong they really are.”

    Substitute the Stern Report for the Euro project and the truth of this comment can be seen. Our masters will throw any amount of our money at what were always nonsenses in order not to lose face and prestige.

    tonyb

  31. One thing worth mentioning is that Peter Lilley has a degree in Physics from Cambridge, unlike anybody in the previous Governments environmental policy unit. Who had NO science qualifications.

  32. Lilley asks: “why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming – even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern – will be 7 times better off than us?

    Here is a lesson from the past.

    “The situation seemed dire. In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. One New York prognosticator of the 1890s concluded that by 1930 the horse droppings would rise to Manhattan’s third-story windows. A public health and sanitation crisis of almost unimaginable dimensions loomed.”

    http://www.uctc.net/access/30/Access%2030%20-%2002%20-%20Horse%20Power.pdf

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/03/29/the-horse-manure-problem/

    As for the people of 2200 let’s all hope they are still living in the warm and wonderful Holocene. ;-)

  33. tonyb says: September 4, 2012 at 1:06 am
    Our masters will throw any amount of our money at what were always nonsenses in order not to lose face and prestige.

    Hi Tony
    In London we got fed up with the left wing newt Livingstone, so we elected a comedian, and guess what, to our surprise and delight he is doing good job, you even here people demand ‘Boris for PM’.

  34. Friends:

    The Stern Report was commissioned to be pure political propaganda. And it is surprising that Lord Lawson has taken so long to enable a serious rebuttal of it. I explain these facts as follows.

    On 6 July 2005 the UK Parliament’s House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs published its report of its study into ‘The Economics of Climate Change’. The Committee was chaired by Lord Nigel Lawson and the report can be read in the Parliamentary Record at

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/12i.pdf

    That report was scathing of the IPCC and determined that adaption to any climate change would be much less costly than any mitigation policies such as complying with the Kyoto Protocol.

    The Select Committee Report provided a problem to the then UK government because
    (a) the government had a constitutional duty to respond to the Select Committee Report
    but
    (b) the government had a policy of supporting the IPCC, the Kyoto Protocol and other mitigation policies (e.g. subsidies to windfarms).

    The government solved its problem by commissioning Nicholas Stern to conduct a study which would assess the maximum possible costs if all the worst case scenarios (including some ridiculous scenarios) were to come true. Stern fulfilled his remit and provided the report of his ‘study’ a year later.

    The government then hid behind the Stern report whenever there was mention of the Select Committee Report. And environmental groups have shouted about “findings” of the Stern Report whenever mention is made of the costs of addressing climate change.

    But the Stern Report is – and was only intended to be – political propaganda for use as an excuse to avoid addressing the facts, analyses and conclusions in the report on ‘The Economics of Climate Change’ from the UK Parliament’s House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs.

    Lord Lawson was Chairman of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs which provided its report on ‘The Economics of Climate Change’. He is now Chairman of the ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ (GWPF). Hence, it is surprising that GWPF has taken so long to commission a report which debunks the ridiculous contents of the Stern Report.

    Richard

  35. Government economists privately recognise that Stern’s economics are no longer defensible. They fall back on Harvard economist Martin Weitzman’s suggestion that “Stern may be right for the wrong reasons”. Weitzman says: if there is a finite possibility, however small, of an infinitely bad outcome (human extinction) then virtually any cost is justified to prevent it.

    I’m sure I remember my math(s) teacher at school saying that we are not allowed to multiply or divide by infinity. So how can a Harvard economist not understand this?

    But then, surely, there is already a 100% certainty of an infinitely bad outcome for every one of us. The other certainty is taxes.

  36. The Stern Review was instigated by the utterly mad psychotic and useless Gordon Brown, then chancellor.
    Its whole purpose was probably to promote Brown’s position and control of the govt. It probably had very little indeed to do with climate change etc.

  37. To his eternal credit, it was Peter Lilley, MP, who pointed out to the half-wits (I am being polite here people) in the venal House of Commons, during the so called onesided “debate” on the Climate Change Bill 2008, that it was snowing outside for the first time in London in October for over 70 odd years, (74 I think it was). Of course, the incumbents were too busy feathering their own nests & retirement plans to care about silly little things like, errrrr, facts! As they say, “& the reason we don’t rise up & slaughter them all is……………….?” We now have a perverse system where rich people get paid by rich (taxpayer subsidised) wind power companies, to build windmills that don’t work on their land, paid for by the taxpayer, who then have the pleasure of increased energy bills year on year, increasing “fuel poverty” that the half-wits & NGOs bang & drone on about, so we have more taxes to subsidise the increasing energy poor so that they can afford to pay their bills, increased by the taxes on the enrgy provided to them to prvide financial insentives for rich companies to pay rich people to have windmills built on their land…………! Circuitous argument or what?

  38. we are truly buggered until we vote in individuals with the testicular fortitude to roll-back this nonsense. Shrink government, protect our borders and GET OUT OF THE WAY. We’ll do the rest…..

  39. As Alan the Brit reminds us, Peter Lilley was one of the very few MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act. A sensible candidate for Energy Minister in the cabinet reshuffle that’s underway here, then…

  40. “Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence based policies”.”

    Repeated “return”.

    Apologies if this is a repeat of an earlier posting; I have skipped to the end.

    IanM

  41. I hope I am still alive when the Government’s 30 year rule on the release of records (soon to be commuted to 20 years) produces the documents that will hopefully expose this fraud. That means that we could see the evidence as early as 2025 or 2026.

    Unless we have a peasants’ revolt before then, in which case we could see Stern, King, Beddington, Blair, Brown, Milliband, Davey, Barker and Cameron along with his father in law Lord Sheffield (and dare I include HRH for good measure) all taken to the Tower.

    Note to moderator. In no way am I encouraging any act of civil unrest or even revolution. I am merely postulating a worst case scenario of what might happen to our ruling elite just as Stern has postulated a doomsday scenario in coming to his recommendations.

  42. It sounds like Peter Lilley’s analysis, which shows Stern to be complete nonsense, assumes the IPCC to be correct. Of course, if – shock, horror! – it turns out, as is likely, that the IPCC is completely wrong, then Stern is a double nonsense.
    .
    I seem to recall that economists were virtually lining up to condemn the Stern report when it came out. But it doesn’t seem to make any difference. Sadly, this nonsense will run and run for years to come. And its costs, both to the UK and the world, is almost incalculable. Months after the vote the UK government priced the Climate Change Bill at around 400 billion pounds. An independent assessment by a financial company priced it at around 1.2 trillion pounds. As Christopher Booker described it, the most expensive bill by far in peace time. And yet virtually nobody voted against this destructive nonsense, for which we’re being forced to pay hundreds of pounds every year.
    Many thanks to Peter Lilley. But I, who was once a lifetime Conservative voter, will never vote Conservative until they return to sanity. I’m now a UKIP voter. Scrapping the Climate Change Bill would be a good start, but I’m not holding my breath….
    Chris

  43. “the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″

    If the benefits excede the costs in the long run, it makes sense. This doesn’t change the conclusions or implications. If GDP growth is smaller without the reduction in GHGs, it will cost more over time. (though it likely makes sense to wait until then before reducing emissions)

    The problem is the assumptions that make it so the benefits of GHG reduction excede the cost aren’t plausible.

  44. What the Stern also ignores is that the probability that global warming will prevent a human extinction event is atleast as likely that it would cause one.

  45. The Stern Gang (the warmist culture is international, so Gore would be part of this) are already moving to make the Third World stay poor. All their policies increase the cost of energy. For nations without the ecnomic resources to pay for energy, let alone the infrastructure it needs, what it cost yesterday, the costs of energy tomorrow will be more of a barrier to the self-actualized life.

    Industrialization and urbanization control: keep the cost of energy and energy-derived resources (steel, plastics etc.) prohibitively high and nothing moves while that which doesn’t move decays and falls down. No jobs and cities fall apart. Population control: not so easy, as even poor, hungry people have babies.

    The Strongs and Suzukis still have to work on that. Perhaps they can take their lessons from China, as they (Strong) apparently have about solar panels.

  46. Jeremy Grantham’s support of the LSE and Stern are naive at best. Having known him personally, I do not ascribe ill will to him, just a total cluelessness when it comes to science. A good portfolio manager, not a scientist of any sort.

  47. No one has mentioned the obvious, both economic reports (Stern’s and Lilley’s) are irrelevant.
    We do not posses, at the present, the technology needed to produce low carbon energy.
    No ammount of wind mills or solar panels will do the job. The current gov. policy cannot acheive its stated aims. It is physically impossible.
    So what is the debate about? Whether to waste the mony on useless windmills or not to waste?

    The very fundamental premise of any economic report, namely: if we spend x (on some plan) we acheive y benefits – is false. No matter how much we spend now – emission reduction on a significant scale is technically impossible.
    So, what is the debate about?

  48. I sometimes refer to the Stern Review as the 700 pages of mental gymnastics required to come up with remotely plausible scenario where the costs of greenhouse gas emissions exceed the benefits.

  49. jacobress:

    You begin your post at September 4, 2012 at 8:17 am saying

    No one has mentioned the obvious, both economic reports (Stern’s and Lilley’s) are irrelevant.
    We do not posses, at the present, the technology needed to produce low carbon energy.

    With respect you miss the point. Please note the important fact that we are discussing economic policies.

    You are right that “We do not possess, at the present, the technology needed to produce low carbon energy.” But that does NOT mean that “both economic reports (Stern’s and Lilley’s) are irrelevant”.

    The political purpose of AGW is to justify and/or excuse economic policies.

    Governments need to raise taxes but the populace does not like to pay taxes. Therefore, the government wants to find a tax that most people want to pay. And the UK government has one tax that people choose to pay of their own free will: viz. the National Lottery.

    Failing finding a tax that people want to pay, government seeks – as next best thing – a tax that people will not object to paying. And how could any decent person object to paying to save the world for our children and grandchildren?

    Raising energy costs increases energy prices such as to raise energy prices with a result that tax revenues increase for a variety of reasons (most obviously because there is an increase to revenue from VAT imposed on energy bills). The long-term effect is damage to the economy from reduced economic efficiency, but the tax revenue increase is immediate, and governments don’t think beyond the next election.

    If the economic benefit of ‘doing nothing’ is shown to be greater than the economic benefit of ‘doing something’ then the justification for AGW to excuse economic policies is destroyed.

    Richard

  50. Stern is a world renowned economist, he claims to predict the future climate and what the economic consequences might be.

    However, he seemed unable to predict the debt driven economic depression we are in.

    Should we believe him?

  51. cui bono says: on September 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm ” Oh joy! We have at least one sane MP. Thanks Mr. Lilley ”
    ——————————
    As 3 MPs voted against the lunacy of the co2 reduction act via so-called renewable energy, then we have 3 MPS with sufficient intelligence and integrity to think for themselves. 4 if Mr Lilley wasn’t one of them.

    The rest of them no doubt voted on the basis of what they read on the front page of whichever newspaper they happened see that day.

    Intellect and integrity are evidently in rather short supply within the House of Commons.

  52. Speaking of economics.

    It is said that the big brothers plan to build windmills to reduce co2 will cost each family in the UK some £5000. Yet we know that windmills will increase co2 not reduce it.

    Even if we used the governments predicted co2 reductions, I wouldn’t be surprised if a larger reduction in co2 could be obtained by spending that £5000 per family, on replacing outdated inefficient gas central heating boilers with newer ones, and for those using electricity to heat their homes install heat pumps instead.

    A typical gas boiler twenty years old had an efficiency of 70% when new, nowadays a new gas boiler is up to 96.1% efficient. And heat pumps typically have a COP (coefficient of performance) of about 4. Those measures alone would probably produce a far greater saving in electricity, gas and co2 than any amount of windmills.

    Throw in more efficient cars, fridge freezers and TVs and improved house insulation and windmills are unlikely to even come close.

  53. “””””…..AllanM says:

    September 4, 2012 at 2:25 am

    ………………

    I’m sure I remember my math(s) teacher at school saying that we are not allowed to multiply or divide by infinity. So how can a Harvard economist not understand this?…..”””””
    Well you can divide by infinity, without restriction; well except for infinity over infinity; but then that’s multiplying by infinity, isn’t it, and that is NOT aloud.
    So like I said; divide without restriction.

  54. Eco-nomics: Was Stern 'wrong for the right reasons' ... or just wrong?

    Perhaps greens just aren't the good guys

    By Andrew Orlowski • Get more from this author

    Posted in Energy, 4th September 2012 12:38 GMT

    Analysis "Why should we sacrifice 10 per cent of our income today to make Bill Gates better off?" asked an MP. "As the world's [second] richest man, he doesn't need our sacrifice."

    The second richest man in the world, Bill Gates, is a proxy in this rhetorical question. The MP, a former Cabinet minister, is raising a fascinating and rarely asked moral question. Should we make ourselves poorer to save the rich of the future some insignificant amount of money: an amount so small, it will be a rounding error? The argument he builds is that government spending on climate policies is in fact a form of regressive wealth distribution. And the question the minister poses is far from rhetorical; it's at the heart of the climate policy debate.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/04/beyond_stern_climate_morality/

  55. Policy Guy says
    “Everyone should review these posts and referred posts. How sad. Maybe we would all be best advised to ready our families for the next twenty years.”

    This makes me think about the “Flex Your Power” advertisements here in CA we see all the time.
    Actually, if you follow the advice to curb your energy use every time they call for a flex alert you are contributing to the GREEN/AGW agenda. We all need to increase our power usage at this time to force their policies into failure… make them build more real power plants. We should not settle for and encourage the forced lower standard of living for everyone. Why should my/our air conditioning be set to 80 degrees on the hottest days when I need it most? Why shouldn’t I be allowed to use appliances when it is most convenient for me? To make these sacrifices so that we can survive a meager existence on expensive windmills and green energy is inane. So…. next time they call for a Flex Alert… do just the opposite. We will suffer a few blackouts but then we will bring an end to this stupidity of living on windmills much quicker as the populace starts demanding new energy plants.

  56. Weitzman says: if there is a finite possibility, however small, of an infinitely bad outcome (human extinction) then virtually any cost is justified to prevent it.

    Pascal’s wager, recycled. How about inventing something new, ech?

  57. In the UK it is now official government policy (handed down by the unelected kommissars in the EU) that energy, water and fuel is to be made increasingly scarce and expensive – in the bogus name of ‘global warming prevention’.

    The Mann-made global warming hoax is just a ‘Trojan horse’ being used to foist ever increasing taxes and controls upon us, and the Stern Report was just window-dressing for the scandalous policies of the UK.

    The curtain has been pulled back and these shysters have been shown to have feet of clay, and yet they trudge ever onwards with no shame. CamerClegg, Yeo, Lord Deben et al – all teat-sucking trough-snouters, out to feather their own nests.

    And all those nattering slack-jawed bandersnatches and yellow-bellied chickenhawks slithering about at the UN are at it as well, with their sinister Agenda 21 machinations.

    The problem is, when they get found out it’s just fingers-in-the-ears time. Fortunately, the clamour of outrage and dissent will grow sufficiently loud that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes will eventually come unstuck…

    }:o(

  58. Eco-nomics: Was Stern ‘wrong for the right reasons’ … or just wrong?
    By Andrew Orlowski
    “Perhaps greens just aren’t the good guys”

    Ego-nomics?

  59. george e. smith says:
    September 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    “””””…..AllanM says:

    September 4, 2012 at 2:25 am

    ………………

    I’m sure I remember my math(s) teacher at school saying that we are not allowed to multiply or divide by infinity. So how can a Harvard economist not understand this?…..”””””

    Well you can divide by infinity, without restriction;

    But if you divide several different numbers by infinity, then the result each time is zero. This would lead to post-normal math(s), where 2+2= anything one wishes it to be.

  60. Henry Clark, and just the facts, very good conversation, (Ignoring any comment on J.T.F. being a undercover warmist,, which was the only marr to a superb discussion.) Mr. Clark, I appreciate your efforts here and would like to encourage you to continue. I support your assertion that some of the data bases may be corrupted. Complaints about many are well known, but greater history of said evidence is warranted.

  61. Yes and within hours of Mr. Peter Lilley publishing that report, there has been some blood letting in the climate and business departments of the British Government. So check out just one story on the Bishop Hill Blog, where dastardly deeds are revealed in the public comments !

    In a surprise move, Energy Minister Charles Hendry has been axed in the government’s reshuffle to be replaced by Tory MP John Hayes.

    Writing on Twitter, Labour Peer Lady Bryony Worthington revealed earlier this afternoon that she had “just bumped in to Charles Hendry who is back to being a back bencher”, adding that the demotion was “a real shame.”

    Number 10 later confirmed Hendry had been replaced by MP for South Holland and the Deepings, John Hayes, who has moved from his role as Minister for Skills at the Department for Business.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/9/4/more-bad-news-for-greens.html

    Within hours of that appointment were heard that ……
    Villagers in South Holland, spoke of their relief at the end of the meeting when the district council refused consent for the towering turbines, that had threatened their community. A report to the planning committee said it would take at least ten years before a 100 metre long, hawthorn screening hedge grew to a height sufficient to mitigate the effects on the nearest home, The Birches.

    http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/latest-news/protesters-cheer-for-wind-farm-refusal-1-4219936

    I don’t give much hope for the developers in
    any appeal to the new Minister of Energy, do you ?

  62. Bob in Castlemaine says:
    September 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm
    O.T. JoNova site is currently returning a 403 forbidden error?

    Jo Nova’s site opened fine just now.

    http://joannenova.com.au/

    BTW Peter Lilley is one of the true scholars in the house of parliament, I’ve always respected him.

  63. The province of North Holland has decided to stop building new wind
    turbines. There will be a total ban on new wind turbines by the end of
    the year, according to deputy Mr Bond. He says that large wind turbines
    do not fit into the province’s landscape. The decision is a setback for
    about twenty planned wind projects in North Holland which will not be
    approved. — NOS News, 5 September 2012
    Link: http://www.thegwpf.org/north-holland-bans-wind-turbines

    Of course this is North Holland in Holland, and not South Holland in
    Lincolnshire, England. South Holland is thus further north than is
    North Holland. Holland is a common place name, and not just in the
    original Holland, but they all have a very similar landscape though.
    Mostly flat and low lying, perhaps with canals in the drainage basin.
    There is another South Holland in the suburbs of Chicago, in the
    southern lakes area of the city, and many other examples.

Comments are closed.