Former Obama Advisor James Stock, source Harvard News, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject

Harvard Appoints Obama Advisor as Climate Provost

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Harvard appoints “Brilliant” Obama era advisor James Stock to guide their efforts to have more impact on climate change.

Harvard names vice provost for climate and sustainability

Nate Herpich Harvard Correspondent
DATE September 7, 2021

James H. Stock to build on existing efforts, develop new initiatives to maximize global impact of University research

James H. Stock, a Harvard professor and economist known for his expertise on energy and environmental policy, has been named the University’s inaugural vice provost for climate and sustainability, Provost Alan M. Garber announced today.

“There is deep interest in climate change throughout the University. Each of Harvard’s Schools teaches and conducts extensive research on climate change,” said Garber. “Meanwhile, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reinforced the urgency of addressing climate issues in a more focused, deliberate, and systematic way, further underscoring our own call to a greater cohesion of our efforts. Jim’s appointment is the critical next step in developing such a coordinated University-wide strategy to address climate change.”

“I’m both excited, and humbled, to begin in my work,” said Stock, who is the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, “because there is so much opportunity here, for us, together, to make a major impact on climate change.

“Harvard has a critical role to play in this effort. Our faculty and students are uniquely positioned to make key advances in the science of climate change, in its implications for human systems, and in how society can succeed in preventing the worst of those damages yet to come. It is also important to recognize and address the human side of the disruptions that will be caused by the transition to clean energy. All of this requires integrating different aspects of the problem: in the sciences, in green engineering and design, in health, in interactions with business, public policy, economics, and more.”

“As a brilliant econometrician, Jim has a broad view of the environmental community at Harvard, as well as a deep understanding of climate change and energy policy,” said Daniel  Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and co-director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School. “Jim also appreciates how important Harvard can be in helping our country and the world understand and manage the grand challenge of climate change. He is committed to building and nurturing our community of scholars and educators, as we engage with the world through our research, in our classrooms, and through our interactions with leaders from every sector of society.”

Read more:

Going on his previous work, James Stock will be teaching Harvard students that applying a carbon tax would have a “negligible” effect on the economy, though there would be some “job displacement effects”.

There exist many challenges for an energy transition. To displace all natural gas and coal with solar and wind, we would need to build hundreds of wind and solar farms every year over the next 15 years. In addition, there are concerns over carbon tax bills regarding  jobs and economy, regressivity, the impact on coal mining and similar sectors, and that such taxes would not produce necessary emission reductions. 

Regarding the macroeconomic effects of carbon tax, standard calculations of the effects of carbon taxes on GDP are done using computable general equilibrium models, which indicate a small decrease in GDP per capita, along with some job displacement effects. The new work here is an empirical analysis of data from 15 European countries that adopted a carbon tax at different points and different levels, and 16 that did not. That analysis finds effects of an increase in the carbon tax on GDP and employment over the first six years of the tax – the years in which one would see the largest reallocation and displacement – that are both economically negligible and statistically insignificant. The EU carbon taxes were on the transportation sector, and there was only a modest effect (2-6% reduction) from a $40/ton tax, consistent with gasoline and diesel demand being inelastic. 

Read more:

The following is a video presentation by Marcus Brunnermeir of Princeton and Harvard’s James Stock. They both agree in video that the Biden climate plan and imposition of climate taxes or pollution permits would increase employment and boost the economy.

They describe alternatives to the Biden Plan of a heavily regulated economy as the “Malthusian Approach”.

I haven’t had a chance to fully delve into James Stock’s position, but from what I have seen I think he is making some fairly optimistic assumptions about the falling cost of solar and wind, and some pessimistic assumptions about the consequences of doing nothing.

There are many more ways for things to go wrong than right. In my view, macroeconomic engineering on the scale James is proposing rarely works out for the best. Just ask Venezuela.

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September 12, 2021 6:13 pm

too easy

Reply to  billtoo
September 14, 2021 11:30 am

Central planners rarely advise scaling back central planning.

I can’t remember who said Cthulhu always leans left. ie, as the government grows, its employees and dependents demand ever greater government. Eventually, the society becomes so top-heavy – “all chiefs and no injuns” – it topples.

Industrialised nations have avoided this because of the increased productivity gains wrought by competition, technology, and cheap energy. Yes, government has been expanding inexorably for the last century, but the additional inefficiencies it imposed were counterbalanced by greater production of goods.

Until recently, our overlords’ edicts were only sawing away at competition and technology. But now they seemed hellbent on doing away with cheap energy too.

I’m beginning to think the preppers are onto something. But I don’t know how you can escape Cthulhu’s tentacles, unless you build a shack out in a forest somewhere. And even then, the commissars are likely to forbid you to harvest your own firewood, or raise the taxes on your land and then confiscate your piece of forest on behalf of the collective when you fail to pay.

Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 6:14 pm

Considering Obama had John Holdren as a science advisor, being an alumni of that operation is decidedly a negative.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 12, 2021 6:26 pm

Hey, it’s a trillion dollar business, and you don’t even have to show up to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. You just need to figure out ways to tell other people to do it in 30 years in a kind of Ponzi scheme. Good work if you can get it.

Even an autistic kid with Asperger’s was able call this one out.

It makes me laugh constantly that the trolls on here haven’t figured out yet that they’re twelve levels down on the Ponzi scheme.

Reply to  philincalifornia
September 12, 2021 7:56 pm

Climate Change = Amway?

The ones at the top get stupid rich. A few do OK. Everyone else loses money.

Yeah, the trolls here haven’t figured out where they are on the pyramid. In a couple of years, ask them, “What’s in your wallet?”

Reply to  H.R.
September 12, 2021 9:09 pm

gore made $200,000,000 on European carbon tax trading . money for nothing .

Reply to  garboard
September 14, 2021 4:22 pm

And the chicks are free.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  H.R.
September 14, 2021 3:18 pm

Amway at least sells useful products.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  philincalifornia
September 13, 2021 4:54 am
“because there is so much opportunity here, for us, together, to make a major impact on climate change.

Because there is so much opportunity here to make some easy money – GW

September 12, 2021 6:27 pm

Anyone else getting the impression that real Nazi’s are taking over?

Reply to  Scissor
September 12, 2021 7:36 pm


Rod Evans
Reply to  Scissor
September 13, 2021 12:33 am

The Nazis we could deal with, they were open and wore uniforms to let people know who they were. Its the Nancy’s as in Pelosi and her fellow disruptors that are the issue in today’s world.
If you set out to destroy a stable safe society by disruption and outright propaganda, you end up with anarchy.
That is what the Great Reset advocates who identify themselves only as progressives and Woke want to see happen. They have achieved their goals in too many places across the USA in major Democrat controlled cities already, for us to ignore them.
It is beyond the time when we have to actively resist the “disruptors”.
I propose we use the term Disruptor when referring to these anarchists now being elevated and hyped as leaders, by the already converted media shrills. People are being given publicly funded roles to actively destroy stable society. It has to stop, or be stopped..

Reply to  Rod Evans
September 13, 2021 4:11 am

A west coast high school cancelled a 9/11 memorial out of fear that some might consider it racially insensitive.

Reply to  Scissor
September 13, 2021 2:02 am

Legend says that General Patto,after he defeated the nazis and looked behind the curtain to see what’s really going on said ” We have been fighting the wrong enemy”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  SxyxS
September 13, 2021 4:34 am

Patton wanted to continue the battle and finish off the Russians/Communists.

Chris Hanley
September 12, 2021 6:28 pm

Witch-Finder General, in black Puritan duds he’d look like he’d happily burn ‘deniers’ at the stake.

September 12, 2021 6:56 pm

First thing is to elminiate single use plastics on biological and health research.A giant step for Science if that happens. /s

Insufficiently Sensitive
September 12, 2021 7:02 pm

Our faculty and students are uniquely positioned to make key advances in the science of climate change,

Doesn’t he mean, make key advances in bulldozing public opinion via propaganda with an occasional mention of the word ‘science’ in it?

Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
September 12, 2021 9:10 pm

uniquely positioned to make money on climate change

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
September 13, 2021 4:40 am

“Doesn’t he mean, make key advances in bulldozing public opinion”

Yes, I think that’s the focus. That’s the focus of just about all these exercises. The alarmists have still not convinced the majority of people that we are facing a climate crisis. When you poll people and ask them how much they are willing to spend to deal with climate change, about $10 is all they are prepared to spend. They are not convinced this is a huge problem.

So, the alarmists focus on amping up the climate change propaganda in order to try to sell this scam to the public. The UN IPCC is amping up the climate change hyperbole for the same reason.

Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
September 13, 2021 7:03 am

Another petticrat whose job depends on exaggerating the effects of random bad weather to climate crisis proportions.

David Dibbell
September 12, 2021 7:04 pm

“To displace all natural gas and coal with solar and wind, we would need to build hundreds of wind and solar farms every year over the next 15 years.” James Stock, “brilliant econometrician” on what planet? This is nuts to even think this is desirable.

Bill Toland
Reply to  David Dibbell
September 13, 2021 12:06 am

Solar and wind power cannot displace gas and coal. How can an intermittent power source displace a reliable power source? James Stock doesn’t sound brilliant to me. He sounds like a moron.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Bill Toland
September 13, 2021 12:37 am

Bill, you should have realised by now being a moron is the absolute basic requirement for being a brilliant climate alarmist.

Reply to  Bill Toland
September 13, 2021 12:54 am

Solar and wind and storage batteries are all products with market share by China. After Dole-Leahy act universities are in constant cycle of grants, research, patent, sell. So they need a hype man to sell hysteria and fear to keep free grant funding rolling as well as create a market on the back side.

Reply to  David Dibbell
September 13, 2021 1:39 am

More like 1,000 s every year not hundreds

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Dibbell
September 13, 2021 4:41 am

“This is nuts to even think this is desirable. ”

Or possible.

September 12, 2021 7:16 pm

 James Stock to guide their efforts to have more impact on climate change”.

The very fact that people think they can have any sort of meaningful ”impact” on the damn climate makes me wonder about just how evolved humans are.

Reply to  Mike
September 12, 2021 7:26 pm

More impact ?? Eh ?? What impact have their silly juvenile and fraudulent activities had? …. other than on their bank accounts, that is.

Answers on a piece of confetti please …. griff, rusty nail, Banton and other retarded trolls out there.

Reply to  Mike
September 13, 2021 2:38 am

Are they learning mandarin so they can speak to the Chinese?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rusty
September 13, 2021 4:45 am

They probably have a lot of students attending Harvard that can speak Mandarin. The Chicoms spend a lot of money at American universities. I think the last number I recall was there were about 300,000+ Chinese students currently attending U.S. schools.

lee riffee
Reply to  Mike
September 13, 2021 7:52 am

A lot of ancient cultures thought they could have an impact on the climate….if they made plenty of proper sacrifices to the gods/goddesses of weather and harvests then the weather would be ideal for farming. At least that’s what they thought…and scores of animals and a good number of their fellow humans paid for those beliefs in blood.
You would think we would know better now….sad to say a good portion of humanity is still stuck the erroneous belief that you can placate the climate and weather by making sacrifices….

September 12, 2021 7:21 pm

John Harvard must be rolling over in his grave seeing what the progressives have done to Harvard.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Mac
September 12, 2021 7:37 pm

My understanding is that Harvard was founded to teach and enforce Puritan orthodoxy and prevent young pastors from straying into heresy. With regard to Climate Change, their mission is unchanged.

Curious George
Reply to  Mac
September 13, 2021 8:01 am

I am surprised that they did not appoint Professor Naomi Oreskes for that position. But then, it was a nice occasion to bring another famous warmist in the board.

Reply to  Mac
September 13, 2021 8:56 pm

As a Harvard grad, I regret he was not hired by the Harvard School of Divinity, since as a climatologist his mission will be religious, not scientific. Harvard’s first mission at its founding in the early 1600’s in Puritan New England was actually as a divinity school.

By the way, this was smack in the middle of the Little Ice Age, which may have something to do with why so many Puritans died in their colony’s first years.

In focusing on climate change Harvard returns to its true roots.

Paul Johnson
September 12, 2021 7:33 pm

If I read this correctly, the “modest” impact of a carbon tax on GDP seems comparable to the impact of climate change under a do-nothing scenario.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Paul Johnson
September 13, 2021 4:48 am

Anything that puts a tax on transportation will reduce GDP, and will hit the poorest people the hardest. A CO2 tax will be a tax on transportation.

A tax on transportation is an insane idea. It is counter-productive, as it causes the price of everything to increase because everything has to be transported.

Politicians will tell any lie to get more tax money to spend.

September 12, 2021 7:35 pm

Harvard stopped being a place of higher learning decades ago.
Recently they have decided that they no longer want to be a place of learning at all.
Indoctrination is more there style.

The reset of the so called Ivy League schools are marching in lockstep with Harvard.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
September 12, 2021 11:42 pm

Which institution recently installed an atheist as a Chaplain? Harvard, IIRC. They could have just as easily installed a Satanist. Since I’m an atheist, all of it is pointless ritual and mindless superstition. But one would expect some consistency in professed believers and their institutions.

My Battalion Chaplain in Vietnam was a middle-aged Catholic priest. He was a heck of a guy and was really worried about our physical and mental health while going out into the field for combat. He counseled soldiers constantly. Since I was one of the very few well-read GIs (including officers) he would get ahold of me often when I was back in the base camp. He was a great conversationalist and a hell of a heavy scotch whiskey drinker. That’s were I picked up the habit.

Iain Russell
September 12, 2021 8:00 pm

A lot of negatism here. I thought that the Obie Era was when the seas stopped rising and the earth began to heal.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Iain Russell
September 13, 2021 4:59 am

The Earth only heals when Obama is in Office. Once he’s out, it’s back to total destruction.

September 12, 2021 8:35 pm

Being appointed to any climate oriented responsibility/post is like getting a trophy because you participated in a sport except now you are getting paid for it.

Clyde Spencer
September 12, 2021 8:38 pm

An economist to deal with what is a physical science problem?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 13, 2021 5:02 am

I think their main focus is on a CO2 tax. They want to find a way to try to justify one. So, appointing an economists makes sense.

September 12, 2021 8:43 pm

“that are both economically negligible and statistically insignificant” and it doesn’t cover the workers? Oh that’s right they will teach them to code.

Dave Fair
Reply to  lee
September 12, 2021 11:51 pm

A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon we are talking about some real money. As an economist, James Stock is surely aware of Nobel Lauriat William Nordhaus’s economic studies indicating no real negative impacts of climate change.

Additionally, he seems to be of the “broken window fallacy” school of (Marxist) economics. His statements indicate he believes government spending is “investing” and that we will get a better economy if the Feds make all the decisions.

September 12, 2021 8:45 pm

His first assignment should be to read Ed Berry’s paper and his next move would be to resign as he understands his job goal of: “together, to make a major impact on climate change” is impossible.

September 12, 2021 8:51 pm

People ask, what does a Provost do?

A Provost is the chief academic officer of a University and has responsibility for the University’s academic and budgetary affairs. The Provost collaborates with the President in setting overall academic priorities for the University and allocates funds to carry these priorities forward.

So the creation of a post called “Climate Provost” is all about dealing with climate money.

old engineer
Reply to  Doonman
September 12, 2021 9:24 pm

Yes. And you can bet a good part of his job is to bring in more grants with word “climate: in them.

Mickey Reno
September 12, 2021 9:04 pm

My contempt for Harvard continues to grow. I hope all alumni immediately suspend donations and students considering attending will choose a better school – one that actually wants to honestly research the natural world and will eschew indoctrinating and propagandizing it’s students and the public at large.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
September 12, 2021 9:59 pm

Only accepting POC at the moment anyway, all others, i.e. Caucasians, need not apply.

Roger Bournival
September 12, 2021 9:24 pm

James Bond was unavailable?

September 12, 2021 9:41 pm

I’d show you my shocked face but, it’s been on for as long as CAGW has been around and it has drooped terribly into a sort of melted wax sculpture of sad disappointment in human nature.

September 12, 2021 9:56 pm

Ha, ha, ha, first Harvard appoints an ATHEIST as their CHAPLAIN and now they appoint a FLAT EARTHER AGW Stooge as their “Climate Composter”….did I misspell something?

Well, here is a science lesson for him.

Flat Earth Debunked.jpg
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
September 13, 2021 12:19 am

Your diagram is incorrect. If you are going to transform the top view into the bottom view, you also need to transform the desk light, Topologically it can be done.

If we define the earth as flat, everything works out OK but we end up with bent space and a most pecular sun altogether.

The fact that model A works, in your diagram, does not make it true. Only a lot simpler.

William of Occam was a monk. He understood something that modern scientific materialism has forgotten: Science uncovers no truths, it invents models that work. His point that since such models are truth indeterminate, picking the simplest one is pragmatic, and Truth, whatever that is, was in fact God’s business, not ours.

Modern scientific Realism starts with Galileo. He insisted that his mathematical and geometrical models WERE Reality, and climate modelling is the price we pay for his mistake.

Our notions of mass, time, Cartesian space and causality (expressed as strict determinism) worked well enough for Newton, but quantum physics and Einstein showed they were only approximate.

And chaos theory shows us that in systems only a tinge above unbelieveably simple, even if determinism and causality are strict, accurate and 100% representative of the physical world, we still havent got a (Schrödinger’s?) cat’s chance in hell of predicting climate.

All we can do is define its phase space, and say that in general, it is likely to be somewhere between an ice age, and rather warmer than today.

Big deal.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Leo Smith
September 13, 2021 9:06 am

Modern physics are also approximations—cosmology uses general relativity to search for solutions to the GR differential tensor mechanics equations, which are quite knarly (technical mathematical term) and intractable.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
September 13, 2021 5:02 am

‘Flat Cimate’

September 13, 2021 12:20 am

I thought that Steven Koonin had also been an Obama advisor.
If so then Obama must have been getting conflicting advice from Koonin and Stock.
No wonder we seem to be in such a mess.

Peta of Newark
September 13, 2021 1:00 am

Assertion (1): “Sugar Is Bad

Quote:”“As a brilliant econometrician, Jim has a broad view of the environmental community at Harvard, as well as a deep understanding of climate change and energy policy,” said Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and co-director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School. “Jim also appreciates how important Harvard can be in helping our country and the world understand and manage the grand challenge of climate change. He is committed to building and nurturing our community of scholars and educators, as we engage with the world through our research, in our classrooms, and through our interactions with leaders from every sector of society.”

Assertion (2) “Sugar comes in many different forms”

>your own conclusion goes here<

Tom Abbott
September 13, 2021 4:25 am

From the article: ““There is deep interest in climate change throughout the University. Each of Harvard’s Schools teaches and conducts extensive research on climate change,” said Garber.”

And yet, they still haven’t figured out that Human-caused Climate Change is a scam.

Simon Derricutt
September 13, 2021 5:40 am

“As a brilliant econometrician” he really ought to understand that making energy more expensive raises the cost of everything else and reduces both the standard of living and the ability to afford to actually improve the environment. He also ought to understand that adding more jobs to produce the same amount of energy will raise the cost of that energy even more than adding a Carbon tax.

Though lemmings don’t actually jump off cliffs following each other, it certainly appears that politicians do.

Jeff Labute
September 13, 2021 6:48 am

Captain: “Do you see anything Stock?”
Stock: “Climate change captain, according to all their transmissions.”
Captain: “but Stock, it looks like a average M-class planet not threatened by glaciation or floods or extreme temperatures or anything. How do you explain this mister?”

September 13, 2021 7:20 am

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.

Michael in Dublin
September 13, 2021 8:05 am

James Stock probably knows as little about the sciences that are necessary to understand climate as the chief accountant of a hospital group knows about surgery. The accountant can break down the costs but does not understand the procedures and complications a surgeon has to deal with.

Speaking about “the science of climate change” is misleading. Not only is climate divided into 30 climate zones and sub zones but our understanding of climate needs inputs from various sciences including physics and chemistry, geography and oceanography, meteorology, mathematics, statistics and more. Accurately measuring temperatures, rainfall, wind speeds, cloud cover and more across all the areas is difficult enough without even going in to the calculation of the local averages and then global average.

There is no question about the ability of people to “create” micro-climates but these cover a very small area of the total land surface. I doubt any respectable scientist would put his head on the block declaring the ideal temperature for even one of these areas or be able to explain how significant changes in one climate zone will impact on the surrounding zones. Ignoring the complexity of the climate systems and believing we can engineer the ideal climates is utter lunacy. But this is what we get from “great” economists whose money predictions are as reliable as the weather predictions.

September 13, 2021 8:15 am

Does he come with Facebook elite free pass?


Mark Zuckerberg has publicly said Facebook Inc. allows its more than three billion users to speak on equal footing with the elites of politics, culture and journalism, and that its standards of behavior apply to everyone, no matter their status or fame.
In private, the company has built a system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, according to company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The program, known as “cross check” or “XCheck,” was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists. Today, it shields millions of VIP users from the company’s normal enforcement process, the documents show. Some users are “whitelisted”—rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.
At times, the documents show, XCheck has protected public figures whose posts contain harassment or incitement to violence, violations that would typically lead to sanctions for regular users. In 2019, it allowed international soccer star Neymar to show nude photos of a woman, who had accused him of rape, to tens of millions of his fans before the content was removed by Facebook. Whitelisted accounts shared inflammatory claims that Facebook’s fact checkers deemed false, including that vaccines are deadly, that Hillary Clinton had covered up “pedophile rings,” and that then-President Donald Trump had called all refugees seeking asylum “animals,” according to the documents.
A 2019 internal review of Facebook’s whitelisting practices, marked attorney-client privileged, found favoritism to those users to be both widespread and “not publicly defensible.”

Coach Springer
September 13, 2021 8:33 am

Harvard lost me at “Climate Provost.”

Carlo, Monte
September 13, 2021 8:57 am

To displace all natural gas and coal with solar and wind, we would need to build hundreds of wind and solar farms every year day over the next 15 years.

I fixed his typo.

September 13, 2021 9:52 am

I am no longer surprised that most ‘climate experts’ always seem to be economists with no scientific background or knowledge whatsoever.

September 13, 2021 10:47 am

I guess that means all the politically assigned posts at UC Berkeley were already filled up.

September 14, 2021 11:02 am

They say prevention is better than cure .
But how can you cure unobtainable prevention .

September 14, 2021 12:30 pm

Remember to fill in the ditches you dug for the Climate Crusades in saving the economy. The same future generation that gets the bill will be the same one that looks back at the con job of the Climate Crusades with contempt and more data on climate cycles.

Trying to Play Nice
September 14, 2021 3:16 pm

At least Harvard is a private institution so I don’t care if they pay this idiot libtard activist a bunch more money to pretend he is doing something useful.

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