More Stern

It looks now rather unlikely that I’ll bother read much more Stern, and will instead lazily rely on others. Tim Worstall seems to be doing some reading, and (surprise!) doesn’t believe Sterns economic numbers.

SR is getting lots of good press at the moment. I do rather wonder if it will survive in the long term, though.

Le Stern Nouveau est arrive!

Though of course I havent read the whole thing or anywhere close. I wonder if anyone ever will. Maybe it will be fun reading for Christmas! Or maybe not…

Looking at Part I. First science nugget: “a doubling of pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases is very likely to commit the Earth to a rise of between 2 – 5°C in global mean temperatures.” Hmmm – where does that come from? 1.5-4.5 is the conventional range, has Stern rounded it up? Or is that IPCC 2007? And “Several new studies suggest up to a 20% chance that warming could be greater than 5°C.” – hmmm, sounds like James stuff. Perhaps I should admit my biases and say that I find James’s analysis quite convincing… maybe its just his forceful personality.
Continue reading “Le Stern Nouveau est arrive!”

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.

Tudor Cambridge

Daniels half-term homework included seeing a Tudor building, which we only discovered rather late… Sunday in fact. But since it was a lovely day, perhaps the last of a rather extended summer (so I sneaked down to the end of the garden before lunch to remove the Bayvarol strips from the hives, it being probably the last day in the year when I could), it was an excuse to go see “Tudor Cambridge” or at least a bit of it.

The web provided us with this and a nice walking tour, though we didn’t manage to do it all. In fact all we managed was Kings, Queens’, and the Agora at the Copper Kettle afterwards. ‘E, I remember it when it were but a tea shoppe.

Kings chapel is better than I remembered… a bit grandiose, but they don’t let you photo inside so you’ll just have to imagine it. Lots and lots and lots of Tudor roses, just in case you were in any doubt about who built it. The outside is… very photographable. But repetitious (as is the inside).

Queens’ (note the apostrophe…) I’ve never been to before (11 years in Cambrdige and never…). Its wonderful, and rather less bombastic. The half-timbered building is lovely if a bit wonky, and probably runs James’s french windows a good second for letting in the winter cold. But what blew us all away was the quality of the grass (I mean the stuff you walk on, or rather don’t).

Cold weather deaths…

From the Grauniad: Cold weather’s 25,000 deaths toll is scandal, say charities – so bring on global warming, they said. Except, of course, they didn’t. The article doesn’t even mention global warming. But if people die in heatwaves its all rather different.

From the same edition:
Figures reveal Europe falling far short of climate targets
– so it looks like we’re going to find out.

Stern review (pre-post)

Don’t you just hate it when the newspapers write up something based on selective leaks and insider info, and then fail to properly report on the real thing because its been done already? Well, I’m not going to do that to the Stern Review (side note: if you look up Stern report on google, I’m one of the top hits – but only because its real name is S review…). The SR, you’ll recall, was a report commissioned by the UK govt into the economics of climate change.

Now the Grauniad says: Tackle climate change or face deep recession, world’s leaders warned based on All of [Stern’s] detailed modelling out to the year 2100 is going to indicate first of all that if we don’t take global action we are going to see a massive downturn in global economies by David King. Well. Maybe. I suppose we’ll have to see…