More Stern leaking

It seems to be open season on pre-posts on the Stern Review, so I’ll pick some bits out of the Beebs coverage. To start with:

Even worse, these costs will not be shared evenly. There will be a disproportionate burden on the poorest countries.

I’m sure this is meant to make us all feel guilty. But I can’t help suspecting that some people will happily say “oh good, not on me…”. And at the end we have there is a strong moral obligation on the richer countries… so we’re doomed. But on to his estimates… Having fed the probabilities of the various different degrees of global warming into his economic model, he estimates that “business as usual” would lead to a permanent reduction in global per-capita consumption of at least 5%… if we do nothing to stem climate change, there could be a permanent reduction in consumption per head of 20%. In other words, everyone in the world would be a fifth poorer than they would otherwise have been. Consumption, clearly, is the same thing as wealth :-( But will the 20% figure stand up to scrutiny?

But suppose we believe the estimates… what is the best way to correct the grotesque market failure that is currently taking us on a path to poverty. And then Stern (or is it the BBC? rather hard to tell) go on to propose taxation, or carbon rationing. This appears to cast the process in the context of any one country – it doesn’t address the more fundamental problem of getting the US, China and India on board.

Comments

  1. #1 charles
    2006/10/29

    We have burned lots of ff the last 100yrs and the temp has increased 0.6dc (related or not). Now would you have me believe that our standard of living would be higher today if we had not burned those ff? We hadn’t used that energy or paid much more for renewable energy?

  2. #2 Lubos Motl
    2006/10/30

    Do you think that these guys actually believe that these regulations and games will help the economy? I can’t believe that Tony, the second most intelligent leader of a EU country, is ready to defend such incredibly naive things. If 30% of the Stern madness were realized, Britain would sink towards the level of North Korea.

    Australia at least knows very well that whatever Australia does with the CO2 is unimportant in comparison with the rapidly growing China and India that will overcompensate any reduction you can do elsewhere, and it is just a dumb idea to regulate something even in the highly speculative scenario that there is a glimpse of truth about the “global warming”.

  3. #3 Chris O'Neill
    2006/10/31

    “whatever Australia does with the CO2 is unimportant in comparison with the rapidly growing China and India”

    Lubos to the taxman:

    Whatever tax I pay is unimportant in comparison with the billions that everyone else pays. Therefore there’s no point in me paying any.

  4. #4 charles
    2006/11/01

    Chris,

    Lubos is actually interested in fixing the problem if it exists. On the otherhand, you are just concerned about feeling good because you are doing your part.

  5. #5 Chris O'Neill
    2006/11/01

    If you say so Charles.

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