WSJ hatchet job exposed

The Wall Street Journal has a reputation for publishing excellent news pages and mendacious editorial pages. Now, an investigation by Environmental Science and Technology on an WSJ front page article on McIntyre and McKitrick makes you wonder if the editorial pages are influencing the news reporting. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few extracts:

But the harshest critic of the whole issue is former Wall Street Journal page-one editor, Frank Allen. He now directs the Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources in Missoula, Mont. When asked to read the front-page article, he described it to ES&T as a "public disservice" littered with "snide comments" and "unsupported assumptions". He says he does not understand how the story got past the editors.

"It was a strange story 'cause it had this bizarre undertone of being investigative but it didn't investigate," says Allen. "And this piece—what I thought was bothersome about it—it purported to be authoritative, and it's just full of holes." ...

Tom Crowley, a professor of earth systems science at Duke University, says he tried to put the brakes on the story when contacted by Regalado. "I did go into a long explanation for why McIntyre's work isn't great shakes, as some people would like to believe. That didn't come out in the article, but that doesn't mean that what he wrote wasn't edited by the higher-ups."

The resulting bias in the article, he says, confirmed his suspicions that the Wall Street Journal slants their news on climate change. "They acted like I suspected," he says. "And on their op-ed page their writers get free shots at global warming." Crowley's name did not appear in the article. ...

But what began as an interview, Mahlman explains, quickly evolved into a spirited debate. Whenever he pointed out the importance of Mann's work, Regalado would try to shift the discussion back to McIntyre and McKitrick. "I told him that as far as I know they're quacks. That kinda riled him."

Mahlman says he also pointed out that numerous other studies have confirmed Mann's original results. "Then he started to get squirmy because I was saying that [even] if we didn't have the hockey stick and the paleorecord, we have an absolutely reliable record over the last 100 years or so, and it's warming like crazy." We didn't have thermometers 1000 years ago, but we do now, Mahlman says.

In the end, Mahlman was not mentioned in the article.

Regalado emailed me and I offered to talk to him about McKitrick but he never got back to me. Given how he ignored Crowley and Mahlman I guess it wouldn't have mattered anyway.

And here's von Storch on McIntyre and McKitrick's paper:

We sent in a comment that the glitch [McIntyre] detected in Mann's paper is correct, but it doesn't matter. It's a minor thing.

Hat tip: Dave Roberts via Bob

Categories

More like this

Realclimate has a good explanation of the latest battle in the hockey stick wars. It looks to me like McIntyre & McKitrick's claim (that the hockey stick is the product of an erroneous calculation) is not correct. That doesn't mean that the graph is correct of course…
[Guest post by John Mashey] This is a follow-up to the original falsification, flat-earth maps and dog astrology journal @ STW or cleaner version by Neverending Audit. It originally was a comment to be attached to WMC's Attacked! or WUWT: taking incompetence to a whole new level. Introduction The…
Last month the National Research Council report on climate reconstructions released its report and basically vindicated the hockey stick. This was widely reported in the media. But not in The Australian. I did a search through the archives of The Australian to see what they had published about…
Hockey stick wars, the story so far: McIntyre and McKitrick (M&M) first claimed that the hockey stick graph was the product of "collation errors, unjustifiable truncations of extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculations of principal…

Hat tip passed on to Dave Roberts at Grist.

"The Wall Street Journal has a reputation for publishing excellent news pages and mendacious editorial pages".

The Wall Street Journal actually has the reputation of being the best Newspaper in the world.

Ah, using Brad De Long to support your accusation that the WSJ's editorial page is "mendacious" is simply laughable. Just because the WSJ does not agree with your Campus left views along with Brad De Long does not make it mendacious.

If you wanna know mendacious, I suggest you take a look at the op-ed section of the New York Times and read Krugman. Reading Krugman allows a reader some insight into the workings of a lunatic mind.

I suggest Tim, that you take a deep breath, push down and make reading the WSJ editorial page one of life's daily adventures. For me it is a ritual I will take to me grave. It will enrich your knowledge and who knows maybe even make you think a little more than you do know.

Read some of the obits on Bob Bartley, the best editor in the world when he was alive. It is an enriching experience.

"Mendacious"? How about "wonderful".

Congrats on your 20 th. It was ours too, on the same day no less.

Joe C:

In fact I have heard the opinion that the news reporting of the WSJ is first rate but the editorial page is the most dishonest piece of newsprint in the country. I don't read it enough to realy be able to comment, but I would encourage you to read [this link](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=167)

As well as the scientific errors in the editorial, they even contradict reports published in - of all places - the WSJ.

John

By John Cross (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

'littered with "snide comments"' -- of course, the EST article is completely free of such.

Cheers, -- Jo

By Jo Calder (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

It's interesting to look at joe c's epistemology. Brad DeLong is a "Campus leftist", so he must be wrong. The same is of course true of Paul Krugman. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, however, is conservative and thus must be right. Discussing the content of any of these outlets is apparently completely unnecessary, even though the claim he's trying to refute is strictly about content.

Aaron:

I don't know Stephen McIntyre and only started reading his site a little while ago: that's for the record. I don't even know if his fact's and figures are reliable. I am not a math major however I did some stats in my undgrad. years, a long time ago so I can follow some of his stuff while finding the complex bits hard going.

However what I do know, by the premise of his website is that he is on to something that I think is vitally important going forward. Tim Lambert's premise and that of all global warming proponents is that we ought to immediately embark of a Kyoto Protocol type adventure to reduce greenhouse gases that are causing rises in global temps. The cost of this exercise is estimated to be around $US700 billion if everyone signed on to the deal.

New Zealand alone is expected to pay NZ$500 million this year as a signatory to this agreement.

Here is the rub. Stephen McIntyre has been saying for some time now that studies that influence substantial costs like Kyoto ought to be audited carefully and not just peer group reviewed. How is it that Governments and businesses are audited but the studies supporting global warming on which Kyoto was/ is based are not run through an audit process? Frankly I find hostility to this argument to be baffling. Isn't that what the WSJ in effect buying into in supporting Steve M?

If the Australian Government is going to pick my pocket through additional taxes I want to know it is doing it for the right reasons. Bad decisions have bad consequences. The opposition party in New Zealand has made noises that it will exit Kyoto if elected. I would much rather a decision like this became less politicised, quite frankly. I am not in the sceptic camp, as I do believe greenhouse gases etc could quite possibly affect climate. However, the degree and the possible consequences ought to be measured in a way that leaves no doubt. Why would anyone disagree with this?

My concern is that we panic ourselves into a deal that proves both costly and useless, especially when the UN is involved. Isn't that what the WSJ is suggesting when reading between the lines.

Joe C,

The WSJ editorial page can make their case without resorting to lies and distortions about the science of climate change. And, it is distressing to see that now the news section is getting into the act!

I too read the WSJ editorial page religiously for a while. What I found is that the less I knew about a subject, the more convincing they were. And, the more I knew, the more I could see how they lied, deceived, and cherrypicked the evidence.

And, of course, Krugman is being attacked by the right exactly because he is exposing the constant barrage of lies, distortions, and propaganda that the current administration is feeding us citizens on virtually every policy initiative.

By Joel Shore (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

Joel

Would you mind referring to a couple od editorials pieces that were clear lies and distortions please.

Thanks

Tim Lambert's premise and that of all global warming proponents is that we ought to immediately embark of a Kyoto Protocol type adventure [KPTA -D] to reduce greenhouse gases that are causing rises in global temps.

That's completely wrong. First, why would anyone be a GW 'proponent' [GWP]?

Surely you mean a GW sympathizer. Oh, no, wait: that would be a conservative talking point. Surely you mean someone who has examined the evidence and found GW to be a valid theory [SWHEEFTGWVT].

Second, you erroneously assume that being a SWHEEFTGWVT means that person has examined the evidence and found a KPTA to be a valid response to addressing GW.

That's a lotta invalid premises in one argument [LIPOA].

D

Joe: I don't mean to answer for Joel, but I can offer a clear distortions. Take for example this point from the link I posted earlier:

"Meanwhile, a review of about 200 different temperature studies was published in 2003 by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the journal Climate Research. It likewise reaffirmed the longstanding consensus that there have been large temperature variations over the past millennium. "

This review has a severely flawed methodology; in fact it was so flawed the Journal actually printed a retraction saying that it never should have published it. To use it after it has been shown to be wrong is pretty dishonest.

There are others in it that we can go into if you like (e.g. cherry picking the set of satellite data that gives you the answer you wish even though questions had been raised about it).

John

By John Cross (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

Dano:
"That's completely wrong. First, why would anyone be a GW 'proponent' [GWP]? Surely you mean a GW sympathizer".
Sure. Whatever your happy with. I have no problems using the term "sympathizer".

"Oh, no, wait: that would be a conservative talking point".
Cheap shot, no? Has no relevance.

"Surely you mean someone who has examined the evidence and found GW to be a valid theory [SWHEEFTGWVT]".

So, you consider a theory with peer review only to be strong enough to impose a US$700 bill global tax? No further investigation is needed according to you? Really? Would you mind explaining why this is sufficient? I am not talking about whether GW is occurring, as it seems pretty well established. My point is whether 100-year peer reviewed projections are enough to justify the cost. Again if you feel differently, please explain why.
"Second, you erroneously assume that being a SWHEEFTGWVT means that person has examined the evidence and found a KPTA to be a valid response to addressing GW".
Actually I am not assuming anything. I think we require verification.
I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, Dano, are you going to take my word for it that I actually own it?
My business is trading for a living. One of the things I always bet against is when Consensus tells me that markets are heading one way. For example at the beginning of this year there was near enough to universal "agreement" in the financial world the US dollar was headed to 1.50 Euros. Guess what it never got there and we recently saw a low of 1.1800.
I am not sceptical about global warming any longer; I am concerned about the veracity of these 100 projections, which to me don't mean squat.
One projection has global temps rising between 1.2 to 5.3 cel. by 2100. Were these projections made on a linear basis? In other words did these "forecasters" allow for technological improvement during this period? Was any allowance made for the real possibility that the human population is going to collapse over this period- Japan is expected to go from 125 million people to 60 mill by the 2050. What effect will this have on projections?

One of the most significant stats I heard was Alan Greenspan's testimony on 2000(?) where told the hearing the following:
Since 1970 the US GDP had trebled. However it was 20% lighter in 2000 than 30 years ago. That meant if the entire GDP had been physically weighed, 2000 GDP was 20% lighter. Surprised?

Tim, I jyst discovered after writing a nice long comment that if one has forgotten to fill in name and email and then presses "submit comment" (without using preview), the comment disappears into cyberspace (i.e., an error message comes up on a separate page and backing up does not bring one back to the message text). If you can somehow see it on your end, please post it. In any case, let all be warned.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

So, you consider a theory with peer review only to be strong enough to impose a US$700 bill global tax? No further investigation is needed according to you? Really?

Huh? Boah, you have so much conflation and erroneous premises in this post that I can only shake my head in wonder.

What I said was: you presume everyone who thinks AGW is happening endorses a Kyoto-type solution.

You are incorrect, hence my 'you erroneously assert...' phrase. That means your assertion is erroneous, hence my 'you erroneously assert...' phrase.

The two things are different, and shouldn't be conflated.

HTH and TTFN,

D

"The cost of this exercise is estimated to be around $US700 billion if everyone signed on to the deal.

New Zealand alone is expected to pay NZ$500 million this year as a signatory to this agreement."

Got a source for those claims?

Incidentally, NZ $500 million is approximately 0.05% of US$700 billion.
New Zealand, while quite a small economy contributes a lot more than 0.05% of Kyoto Annex B countries' GHG emissions.

Your two statements seem inconsistent.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

"However, the degree and the possible consequences ought to be measured in a way that leaves no doubt."

Sure that storm looks worrying but I want to no whether its a Category 4 or Category 5 before I head back to port.

Even assuming your ludicrous overstatement of Kyoto costs were correct (and assuming that Kyoto was the only way to address global warming) the standard of proof you demand is far higher, for example, than that which your fellow right-wingers think was sufficient to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Incidentally, the Iraq war has cost the US about US$300 billion to date and continuing costs are running at around US$100 billion per year.

That's higher than most estimates of the cost of Kyoto to the US and yet, to date, it's had very little impact on the US economy.

One of the common rhetorical tricks of the pro-ecocide advocates is to hodl up a number such as $700 billion in isolation and say "Hey, isn't that big!"

Well here's another big number for you: $30 trillion. That's the approximate value of the world's annual GDP.

Even if your $700 billion figure is correct it represents only around 2% of global GDP.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

>Here is the rub. Stephen McIntyre has been saying for some time now that studies that influence substantial costs like Kyoto ought to be audited carefully and not just peer group reviewed. How is it that Governments and businesses are audited but the studies supporting global warming on which Kyoto was/ is based are not run through an audit process? Frankly I find hostility to this argument to be baffling. Isn't that what the WSJ in effect buying into in supporting Steve M?

No, the "rub" is that both the science of global warming and the Kyoto process went through a rigiorous multi-decadal process of investigation and audit.

Then a small coterie of right-wing fantastists decided they didn't like the results so they decided to concoct their own "audit".

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

Joe C writes

New Zealand alone is expected to pay NZ$500 million this year as a signatory to this agreement.

This is completely wrong. Like all Kyoto coutries NZ will have to account for its emissions in 1012. Based on projections NZ will be over its target and will have to buy credits estimated to cost about NZ$500 million.

Assuming that the projections turn out to be correct the NZ$500 million will be the cost for the entire commitment period.

Joe C,

John Cross has provided an example of all the problems that RealClimate folks found in just one editorial on climate change by the WSJ.

There are plenty of plenty of examples in other areas...for example, on Nov. 3, 2002, the editorial page noted that the percentage of personal income tax in the U.S. paid by the top 1% had more than doubled in the last ~20 years and use this to justify the idea that the system has become much more progessive and cuts on the top incomes are needed. However, they failed to note that the share of income received by the top 1% had gone up by more than a factor of 2 during that period. In other words, the rich were not paying more taxes because the tax system was more progressive but rather because of the explosion in inequality in the U.S. As I put it in an unpublished letter-to-the-editor at the time, "This forces me to conclude that the editors' solution to the explosion in income inequality is to cut the tax rates of those who are receiving an ever larger share of the total personal income, lest they end up paying too high a share of total personal income tax revenues as a result of their windfalls. How perverse!"

The Wall Street Journal editorial page are experts in cherrypicking statistics. They could offer a PhD in the subject!

Back to climate change, it is interesting that while McIntyre & the rest of the crowd who are so interested in auditing the science of climate change don't worry about auditing the economics. In particular, they tend to throw out high-end estimates of costs for Kyoto that they take completely on face value, ignoring lower estimates. Furthermore, they never note that most of the estimates out there come from "top-down" macroeconomics models which, while very powerful, start with some major dubious assumptions such as that we are already at an optimum and so nothing can be done at zero cost. Companies like BP are showing how ludicrous this assumption is by making Kyoto-size cuts in emissions at a claimed NET SAVINGS of hundreds of millions of dollars. (The fewer "bottoms-up" studies that look at the available technologies tend to come up with much lower estimates of costs and indeed correctly predict that a significant amount can be done at 0 cost, in better agreement with known reality.)

Finally, it is understandable that the climate change naysayers crowd wants to take science out of the realm of peer review and into the realm of a political free-for-all, where they have a much better chance of prevailing. I hardly think this is a wise idea though.

By Joel Shore (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

The estimate that we in New zealand might end up paying for our emissions is upwards of USD700M dollars. This is near 1% of our GDP. Being a socilist country we are comitted to the principals of Kyoto, initially we were told we will be a seller of credits but the Government got it wrong, surprize, surprize. And the government has taken all of the trees as their own as carbon credits.And who will receive this money, fucking Russia! At least the other party will stop the extra taxes we will be paying for this if they are elected.
To the rest of the world Kyoto is funny money, except here where it is the tax payers money.

By Peter Bickle (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

Ian, Dano:
Your posts are strawamn arguments. I am not argunign from a right wing perspective. I want to know my money is being taken for good reasons. How could you disagree with that? Read Barry's post to see the real life consequences of moving towards Kyoto! The New Zealand Government projects their country are going to be winners and they are out by a very large factor.

Has anyone one of these projections taken into account forward projections for technology improvments, population changes, moving to nuke energy? If not why not?

Ian be serious, not everything has to be politicised like you are attempting to.

joe c Says:

"Ian, Dano: Your posts are strawamn arguments. I am not argunign from a right wing perspective. I want to know my money is being taken for good reasons. How could you disagree with that? Read Barry's post to see the real life consequences of moving towards Kyoto! The New Zealand Government projects their country are going to be winners and they are out by a very large factor."

Joe, I suggest you read my post yourself. It contradicted your statement that Kyoto would cost NZ $500 million this year. The projections are that if we do nothing we will have to pay that in 7 year's time. Of course we should not do nothing. We can reduce our emissions so that we do meet our targets.

Projections change, and are only useful for directing policy. It is a given with Kyoto that the threat of having to pay is what will drive people to make changes to reduce emissions.

In short: Kyoto will cost NZ NOTHING this year. If we continue to ignore our commitments then we will have to pay for it by 2012.

I'm sorry Barry. I meant Peter's post.

Joe,

Still waiting for a source for your $700 billion figure.

Extensive economic modelling of the ocsts of meeting Kyoto have been undertaken - the modelling for the Australian government was done by Warwick McKibbin.

Doctor McKibbin is one of the msot highly respected economists in Australia and is also deeply critical of the Kyoto Protocol. (He isn't a global warming skeptic, he just beleives that for technical reaons the global emissions trading model adopted by Kyoto is not the most cost-effective way to achieve GHG emissions.)

Dr McKibbin concluded that in the short term ratifying Kyoto would have a net positive impact on the Australian economy and that the cost by 2015 would be equivalent to a maximum of 0.7& of GDP.

ABARE, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resoruce Economics, has also modelled the cost of Kyoto and arrived at a maxmimum annual cost of around 0.24% of GDP.

Details of both modelling exercises are provided here: http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=21&url=http%3A//www.onlineo…

Both these studies were conducted when oil prices were around US$15 per barrel. since Asutralia is a net oil importer, the higher the price of petroleum the lower the effective cost of measures to reduce petrol consumption.

The estimates of 0.24-0.67% of GDP are therefore likely to be an over-estimate.

Australia has about the highest per capita greenhosue emissions in the world, due in large part to our aluminium industry and our relaince on coal for electricity, it is therefore reasoanble to assume that the economic cost of reducing our emissions will be higher than average.

Therefore, a more reasonable estimate of total Kyoto costs is 0.24-67% of global GDP - and this is likely to be an overestimate.

Based on global output of approximately $30 trillion, that equates to $70-200 billion - assuming all countries, including the developing countries not committed to reductions during the first commital period took part.

The US accounts for approximately 1/3 of world output (but a higher proportion of GHG emissions). A pessimistic estimate of US costs for Kyoto compliance would be between US$35 billion and US$100 billion per year.

The history of previous market-based pollution control measures (such as the SO2 trading market in the US) suggests that the actual costs are usually lower than initial estimates from modelling - in large part because of market dynamism and technical innovation.

Contrary to the claism which are widely made by so-called global warming skeptics, Kyoto is market-based regime which was designed to allow maximum flexibility in meeting targets and to maximise innovation and market-based mechanisms.

This information has all been available for years for anyone who cared to look.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

How do you propose to reduce GHG emissions in 7 short years to 1990 levels, do what the Russians did, have an economic meltdown? In the real world this does not happen easily. As far as I am aware most Euro countries will not meet their targets so why should we when we contribute stuff all GHGs? We need the economy to grow not be destroyed by some idealistic socialistic/green policy. Of course this may come to fruition, as there is a possible Labour/Green Party co alition after the election in 2 weeks time. New Zealand is not a rich country like we used to be, so throwing money away like that does not make sense. BTW, public transport is crap in the biggest city, Auckland o people will not take trains easily, even at $1.50/litre petrol pricing.
2 years ago the government wanted to tax sheep and cows bc of their methane released when they farted, known as the 'Fart Tax'!
Regards from New Zealand
Peter Bickle

By Peter Bickle (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

I actually mis-stated McKibbin's estimte of the cost of Kyoto to Australia.

From the source cited previously:

"...he cost of participation by Australia in Kyoto is ...0.01% of GNP in 2010 rising to 0.2% in 2015 and 0.37% of GNP in 2020.

This cost is reduced by introducing measures currently identified by AGO, that reduce emissions at low cost."

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

>How do you propose to reduce GHG emissions in 7 short years to 1990 levels, do what the Russians did, have an economic meltdown? In the real world this does not happen easily. As far as I am aware most Euro countries will not meet their targets so why should we when we contribute stuff all GHGs? We need the economy to grow not be destroyed by some idealistic socialistic/green policy.

The Kyoto Protocol was signed by George Bush Sr.; Helmut Kohl and John Major - are you contending that they were "idealistic socialist/greens"?

In Australia's case, it appears that we will meet our Kyoto Prootcol commitments for the first commital period despite the refusal of the Howard government to ratify the Protocol - and despite the extremely robust economic growth in Australia in the perio since 1990.

This in itself should be sufficient to refute you claims (at least in the case of Australia) that meeting Kyoto is impossbiel withotu severe economic harm.

Secondly, the Europeans always knew they wouldn't meet their commitments solely through doemstic measures - that's why the Protocol allows them to purchase credits from Eastern European counttries and to obtain credits for emission-reduction projects in third world countries.

This international trading regime is called a "market". We idealistic socialist/greens in our cloud cuckooland have found them to be quite useful.

I don't pretend to know the ideal method to reduce emissions. Fortunately, I don;t need to thanks to the wonders of market economics.

If you incorporate the external economic cost of GHG into market prices, the market will determine the most efficient allocation of emission rights.

I can guess though that that solution will probably include higher fuel taxes offset by cuts in other taxes; greater adoption of advanced coal technology such as integrated gasification combined cycle power-plants; and greater use of coal-seam methane.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

"The Kyoto Protocol was signed by George Bush Sr.; Helmut Kohl and John Major - are you contending that they were "idealistic socialist/greens"?

1. Not ratified by any of these people.

2 What do they three have in common. All three went down to defeat because they conservative ideals.

There was a great editorial piece in the WSJ after, J Major, the last to hold office went down in defeat to Blair.
The title of the piece (1996?) was "what do these three men have in common"

Read it, if you can it was quite instructive.

Still waiting for the soruce of your $700 billion figure Joe.

So, Bush Sr., Kohl and Major were all socialists?

Presumably, Schwartzenegger and McCain fall into that category too.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

Joe is correct on one point - Kohl et al signed the IFCC, the precursor to the Kyoto Protocol which set out the general principles behind the protocol not the final agreemnt itself.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

>An assessment using the SGM model that accounts for effective
trading and developing country participation yields permit price
estimates ranging between $14/ton and $23/ton, and direct
resource costs to the U.S. between $7 billion and $12
billion/year. The range reflects uncertainty about the extent of
Annex I participation in international trading.

>Under the assumptions of the Administration's analysis, permit
prices in the range of $14/ton to $23/ton translate into energy
price increases at the household level between 3 and 5 percent.
Under these permit prices, fuel oil prices would increase about 5
to 9 percent, natural gas prices about 3 to 5 percent, gasoline
prices about 3 to 4 percent (or around 4 to 6 cents per gallon),
and electricity prices about 3 to 4 percent. This increase in
energy prices at the household level would raise the average
household's energy bill in ten years by between $70 and $110 per
year, although such predictions may not be observable because
they would be small relative to typical energy price changes, and
nearly fully offset by electricity price declines from federal
electricity restructuring. By 2008-2012, the anticipated 10
percent decline in electricity prices from restructuring is
projected to lead to expenditure reductions of about $90 per year
for the average household.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/yellen.htm

That estimate of Kyoto costs is from the Clinton era Council of Economic Advisers.

As I pointed out earleir, that was when oil prices were around 1/3 or less of current prices.

The US Kyoto target represents approximately a 1.5 billion tonne per year reeuction from 1990 levels.

$700 billion represents a cost per tonne of CO2 reduced of around US$400.

Actual market prices for greenhouse gas reduction credits in European trading are below US$40 per tonne.

Assuming a cost of US$60 billion per year for US Kyoto implementation, we're taking about around 0.6% of GDP in current terms. That's probably lower than the additional cost of the annual interest payments on the public debt incurred by Bush's unfunded tax-cuts.

As a percentage of GDP in the 2008-2012 implementation period it's almost deinfitely lower unless Bush's economic policies proven even more catastrophic than I expect.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

[This](http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Kyoto.pdf) appears to be the source of Joe's $700 billion figure.

The first point here is that this is a net present value - i.e. the total cost over the whole term of the agreement discounted by an appropriate discount rate.

The second point is that the report claims that the US would bear almost 2/3s of that cost.

This single claim in itself should be sufficient to raise intense skepticism since the US was supposed to contribute significantly less than 2/3s of the total reductions.

Given international trading, the cost per tonne of reductions should be relatively constant between the different parties.

By ian Gould (not verified) on 01 Sep 2005 #permalink

Ian Gould says in post #24 that "The history of previous market-based pollution control measures (such as the SO2 trading market in the US) suggests that the actual costs are usually lower than initial estimates from modelling - in large part because of market dynamism and technical innovation." Here is a link that discusses this:

http://www.prospect.org/web/printfriendly-view.ww?id=4757

Ian, as for costs, well I am not sure if the U.S. bearing 2/3 of the cost is realistic, but it may be true that we would bear a disproportionate amount relative to our emissions because, unlike some of the other countries, our emissions have gone up more rapidly since 1990 (due presumably to population growth, GDP growth, and not increasing energy efficiency as fast as other nations).

At any rate, the article I linked to shows how historicially even the lower-end predictions of costs of complying to environmental regulations have been overestimated...let alone the higher-end predictions. And, the reasons that the authors identify are precisely the ones that Ian mentions, i.e., the predictions tend to neglect the market's ability to come up with the cheapest possible solution.

By Joel Shore (not verified) on 02 Sep 2005 #permalink