Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quiggin on Stern....

John Quiggin has launched a review of the Stern Report. He likes it. To encourage you to read Quiggin Eli has selected some of the raw liver parts

By 2006, the credibility of the anti-science groups was on the verge of collapse, at least as regards climate change. Factors contributing to this outcome included the resolution of remaining scientific controversies, particularly relating to satellite measurements of tropospheric temperatures, the success of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and increased publicity regarding the extent to which prominent skeptics were beneficiaries of funding from fossil fuel industries.1
The footnote points out that the same guys were on varsity scholarship from the tobacco industry. Eli will modestly take some little credit for bringing that up, both here and elsewhere, although it is certainly not original with him. OTOH, the Rabett did really dig out some goodies. Anyhow, Quiggin goes on to say:
The Stern Review radically changed the terms of the debate by presenting the issues in economic rather than scientific terms. The effects of global warming, previously discussed in qualitative terms were shown to correspond to large losses in economic welfare. The result was to outflank the remaining skeptics. They could either continue denying the results of scientific analysis, or try to salvage the fallback position, undermined by the Stern Review, that although global warming is real, the costs of doing anything significant about it exceed the benefits, at least in the short term. It is this latter position which will be critically examined in the
present paper.
Quiggin does a good job of setting out the issues. You may not agree with the conclusions but you will learn something by reading the paper.

BTW, it occurred to Eli last night, that now that Stern is has resigned from the Treasury, he can pretty much say anything he damn pleases. We look forward to his contributions:)

5 comments:

Lab Lemming said...

Stern, say what he likes? You have way too lenient an opinion of Tony "Soprano" Blair's ability to intimidate or muzzle.

Anonymous said...

first, Tony Blair has always believed that global warming was a problem that needed to be dealt with.

second, blair has lost much (if not most) of his influence, even within his own party.

and as a result of number two, blair is trying to salvage his reputation and he relizes that the best way to do that is to make himself appear at odds with bush

so, i would suspect that he will probably actually welcome anything stern has to say on global warming.

it aint going to be easy shaking the ' bush poodle' moniker but blair is exceptionally good at the game of politics and i woulld not count him out just yet.

EliRabett said...

Let's put it this way, Gordon Brown just delivered a bunch of bunny 'chocolate' Easter eggs to Nick Stern....

Anonymous said...

Hi Eli. I think I did get the tobacco stuff from you (at least as regards Singer and Seitz - I knew about Milloy), but in some indirect way, so I've never given a proper link. It's striking stuff and I've used it effectively in a bunch of contexts

One minor request. Can you correct the spelling of my surname? Helps with Technorati and similar.

Best
John Quiggin

EliRabett said...

Ooops. Corrected. Spelling was optional in bunny school. Apologies.