Home Climate Change It's As If These People Haven't Read The Stern Review

It’s As If These People Haven’t Read The Stern Review



The Stern Review was the big, 1200 page, report in which it was revealed – insisted perhaps – that climate change was a real problem that we needed to do something about. Sure, OK, some don;t believe it. But these folks obviously do:

A report from the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said there was no co-ordinated plan, with clear milestones, to achieve the legally binding goal to cut emissions by 100 per cent by 2050.

The UK set a target in 2019 to cut emissions to “net zero” by 2050 but, two years on, MPs warned the Government was not properly engaging with the public on the behaviour changes, such as eating less meat or replacing boilers or cars with cleaner alternatives.

The report said the Government would also have to engage more with local authorities, including ensuring they have the necessary resources to do their bit.

As much as 62 per cent of future reductions in emissions will rely on individual choices and behaviours, from day-to-day lifestyle choices on diet to big ticket purchases such as vehicles or heating systems.

MPs acknowledged that the Government intended to publish a “plethora of strategies” this year but said it was not yet ensuring that it was not simply shifting greenhouse gas pollution overseas.

The other thing the Stern Review said was that we cannot plan our way out of this. The reason being that planning was less economically efficient than markets, suitably prodded, at achieving whatever the goal is. The implication of that is that if we use planning, the less efficient method, then we’ll do less climate change aversion than if we use the more efficient one, markets suitably prodded.

The reason being that there’s a limit to what people will devote to any particular or specific activity or problem. At some cost of dealing with climate change folks will just say bugger it and let Flipper boil. This being something we all already agree upon because no one is seriously proposing that the world become net zero tomorrow afternoon. We all recognise that would be so vastly expensive that we’d not do it.

So, from the same source that we get the we must do something we gain the how we should do it too. Impose a carbon tax to prod the markets. Then keep every prodnose and pecksniff well away from any ability to plan anything.

At which point we get the assembled pecksniffs and prodnoses demanding to know why we’ve not given them the power to plan everything.

It’s almost as if they don’t understand the subject under discussion, isn’t it?



  1. And when a carbon tax of X doesn’t have the desired impact, however poorly articulated, the solution will be to increase the amount of tax. And so on, and so………

  2. The purposes of climate alarmism are that some people get something to shout about and others get paid a lot. Some of course get both.
    A carbon tax is pointless as it eliminates the actual purpose.
    Revealed preferences!
    When people reject the solution to their stated problem they are really concerned about something else.

    • You have a point. I have no time for a carbon tax. But of course my sole interest is that I should retain my present standard of living without being bothered in the slightest. I thus favour the French/Hitler approach; build those nukes and use nuclear electricity to synthesise whatever hydrocarbon fuels are needed. Everyone else does all the work necessary to make sure I don’t even need to think about it.

      But since the perpetual screeching has compelled me to actually notice the nonsense, I’ve naturally considered the means proposed to deal with the ’emergency’. I’ve inevitably come to the conclusion that all the nonsense about solar panels, windmills, electric cars etc is nonsense. And indeed nonsense that the Greenies have been pushing since long before they made up climate change.

      Now when I notice that an initial assumption produces a nonsensical result, I question the initial assumption. If you care to look, there’s plenty evidence out there which proves climate change is nonsense. You may argue that I lack the expertise to properly judge this evidence. But I also lack the expertise to properly judge the evidence in favour of climate change.

      So I’m left with the choices of having faith in the on-coming apocalypse that’ll overwhelm Holy Mother Gaia or I can have faith that things’ll go on much as usual. Naturally I adhere to the religion that provides the result that I prefer.

  3. Tim if you had actually read the Stern Review you would know that the findings depend on one factor and one factory only: the discount rate. The report, if I recall, says that warming is net positive up to 2079. Thereafter it goes negative, if you use the right discount rate of course and give hypothetical events a hundred years in the future close to the same weight as today. In short the Stern Review was so written as to pull the wool over the eyes of the innumerate. Although this has been pointed out to you many times you remain as blindly oblivious to reality as a Toynbee. One of Worstall’s Great Fallacies which you refuse to discuss or budge from in the face of overwhelming reason and facts. At least you and Mark Perry have both stopped arguing that China is the Great Messiah, even if neither of you would allow the loss of face in admitting that you were wrong.

    • I have actually read Stern. I was even complimented by Fraser Nelson on my having spotted the great trick in it immediately afterwards. I do grasp all the points about the discount rate. I even, when looking at the Dasgupta Review, pointed out the section where he takes issue – as he did first time around – with Stern’s calculation of said discount rate.

      The bit that you’re missing is that I am always, but always saying “But even if Stern is true then the answer is still a carbon tax”. Just as it is when we look at Nordhaus who uses an entirely different discount rate – a better one.

      That is, the answer is never, ever, the sort of dog’s dinner of planning that we’ve got.


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in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

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