Monday, October 30, 2006

The Economics of Climate Change: the in depth summary

Earlier, Kevin wrote about a Climate Change report that Nicholas Stern, an economist, prepared. I was skeptical about the findings. I am not going to say that I am not still skeptical, because I am, BUT, the following 27 page summary, linked on the BBC but not written by the BBC, is very damning. The summary of findings I would like to see competing science on this, but the following bio on Nick Stern makes me give stronger credance to the report's findings. Whether or not the report will have any real effect on the world is anyone's guess. Earlier, there was a Pentagon report on global climatic change, and this had zero impact. I am guessing Stern's report will also fall on deaf ears, and that is a shame. At minimum, there needs to be a global initiative to find an alternative energy source. This is not going on. Our governments are woefully negligent. I am not 100% sure about the cause of global climatic change, but I am 100% sure, based on what I now have read, that the Stern report is a very serious report that needs to be thoroughly examined and debated, and NOT thrown under the rug. Something tells me that this report will be forgotten tomorrow, which is a shame.


Kevin said...

There are other cleaner energy sources around. One example would be solar panels (there is a vast array of them out in the California dessert generating electricity).
There is also wind power (a proven technology as we have been using it for centuries) and wave power (which needs a lot of investment to get it work).
As for cars there are hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels which are made using crops such as sugar beet, from which you can make ethonal to run cars on (Brazil already does this).
The problem is money is not being spent on developing those sources of energy and other forms of energy.
There does seem to be a slight shift in America regarding climate change.
But with the Bush adminstration being against tackling climate change then at least at the federal level, nothing will happen.
On the state level, things are starting to move in the right direction. Arnie saw Gore's film about climate change and has passed a few laws that start to address the issue of climate change (hence his bounce in the polls, the governator is back).
There are a lot of schemes in America aimed at generating clean sources of power, but they are mainly privately funded. The information is out on the net about all of this.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Dissent On Ice


Posted 10/30/2006

Environment: Like an ill wind that never stops blowing, the global warming lobby keeps pushing for a solution when there's no problem. This time it's eco-taxes that are going to save us from our selfish selves.

British media are calling a government proposal there a "secret document" to levy "a package of stealth taxes on fuel, cars, air travel and consumer goods . . . to combat global warming." The plan is in response to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a reportedly grim document written by former World Bank chief Sir Nicholas Stern that is, well, overheated.

Spouting hyperbole and distortions about actively debated science is one thing; using it to justify a wallet grab is another.

"The proposals, leaked to the Mail on Sunday, show that the government is considering introducing a raft of hard-hitting 'eco-taxes' that will have a devastating effect on the cost of living," the Daily Mail reported.

"Most controversial of all, the documents reveal the government is planning to grab billions of pounds of extra revenue from motorists — without telling them. It is considering introducing a special mechanism so that whenever oil prices go down, the government would get the cash in extra fuel tax — not the motorist."

Environment Secretary David Miliband , who outlined the tax proposal, would also impose a pay-per-mile pollution tax on motorists, a value-added tax on flights to EU destinations and a new tax on inefficient large appliances and light bulbs. One of the goals of the new tax regime would be to reduce "car use and ownership."

How long before domestic environmental alarmists latch onto Miliband's ideas and give them traction among the green lobby and its allies in Congress? How much would imposition of both back door and observable eco-taxes cost Americans? And for what — the possibility that these added taxes likely would stop the projected warming by a half-degree or less?

While we wonder, the British have a good idea what the eco-taxes will cost them — and it won't be cheap.

"Typical families with two children could have to pay up to 1,300 pounds more every year, according to estimates," says the British Sun.

That's nearly $2,500, a significant amount — particularly when, despite what Al Gore claims, there is still no scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and is a threat.

We think Michael Palmer, general manager of two local Maine television stations, summed this up pretty well when he sent an e-mail over the summer to his staff telling them enough with the global warming stories. "The issue has evolved from hard science into hard politics," Palmer wrote.

It seems we can trust the British to help us in the war on terrorism but we can't trust them to make rational policy decisions about global warming.

This is the government that has reportedly asked Stern to convince Americans of the climate change threat, as if we haven't already been subjected to enough hypocritical sermons about global warming from Gore, opportunist politicians, media know-nothings and dilettante celebrities. It's been clear for some time that while Prime Minister Tony Blair sees clearly the threat of terrorism, his vision is clouded on global warming.

What the climate change debate needs is a large dose of healthy skepticism, more research and a lot less blind faith in a theory. But we will get none of these as long as we're continuously told that scientific consensus buttresses the believers' position and dissenters are shouted down — the exact opposite of real science, by the way.

What we will get, unless more people begin to open their minds, are higher taxes in developed nations, widespread job losses, stagnant economies, energy rationing and perpetual lectures about the excesses of Western living.

The environmental lobby might welcome a world such as that, but it just doesn't sound so hot to us.