Stern/Garnaut Reviews Flawed

CO2 lags temperature
Peter Lilley writing in the  Australian (Link) reveals a secret that we knew already. The UK Stern review, on which was based Australia's Garnaut review were fundamentally flawed.
When challenged, the government bases its claim that the benefits to the world exceed the costs to British taxpayers on the Stern review on The Economics of Climate Change -- on which Australia's Garnaut review was modelled.

Yet the Stern review has now been shown to be fundamentally flawed -- leaving all three parties that have defended this policy with a huge dilemma.

Their defence of climate change policy rests on two pillars -- scientific and economic.
Mr Lilley says that he accepts the"science," but he concentrates on the economic questions.

NCTCS does not accept the science of the IPCC. CO2 LAGS Temperature, therefore CO2 cannot the cause. (See eg graph above and post Carbon is innocent.)

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.

To provide that illumination I have undertaken a detailed study -- What is Wrong with Stern? The Failings of the Stern Review -- published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. (GWPF)
GWPF:  New Report: Government Cannot Rely On Stern Review To Justify Costly Climate Policies (Link)

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.
Bishop Hill writes: (link)
When you see wind farms covering every hill and mountain and most of the valleys too, you can blame Stern. If you can't pay your heating bills, ask Stern why this has happened. When children are indoctrinated and dissenting voices crushed, it is at Nicholas Stern that you should point an accusing finger. When the lights start to go out in a few years time, it's Stern who will have to explain why.
When Australia's electricity fails due to the closing of cheap coal fired power stations closing down, point the finger at the Green Gillard Government. 
Despite years of having mainstream economists pointing to the flaws in the Stern Review there has been an almost unanimous collective shrug from the media, more interested in climate porn than the wellbeing of their neighbours.

h/t Benny Peiser


  1. Like Greg Hunt, Peter Lilley is a conservative politician. Both gentlemen might be smart but it is clear that neither understands the basics of the scientific method.
    The null hypothesis is that the climate will continue to be primarily affected by the sun. As Geoff points out atmospheric CO2 is a consequence of temperature - not a driver of CO2. Despite BILLIONS of dollars being spent on research, none of it has disproved the null hypothesis.

    On 27 April 2011 this was among many facts presented to and enthusiastically accepted by Mr Hunt.

    Why has he turned his back on the hard evidence? Is it because he fears losing votes because the media will paint him and The Liberal Party as flip-flops on climate science?

    The longer Mr Hunt and the Liberal Party delay facing the truth, the more that their hypocrisy will hurt them.

    There is no case for re-considering the Kyoto Agreement.

    Tony Abbott needs to grasp the Climate Science corruption nettle. Abbott was right when he asserted that Global Warming is crap.

    The sooner he re-asserts it the more Australians will vote for him who care about being generous with our inexpensive sources of energy to improve the standards of living in developing nations who are not so well-endowed.


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