Saturday, January 27, 2007

BBC investigates Stern report

As most of the readers of this blog know, the Stern report is an atrocious piece of politicized pseudoscience that has been heavily criticized by many people, including those who are counted as alarmists by your humble correspondent - e.g. James Annan and William Connolley.

BBC has broadcasted a 30-minute program
where scholars such as Prof Richard Tol, another environmental economist and alarmist, decides whether Stern would deserve an "D" for "dilligent" or "F" for "fail" if he submitted it as a master thesis. It is full of elementary mistakes that such a student simply shouldn't make. It's not even flawed. :-)

Simon Cox also interviews other people such as William Connolley and Mike Hulme. He also asks Stern himself why he got higher figures even than the IPCC. Stern replies that IPCC have to be cautious, while he could have extracted better data without being forced to be that cautious. ;-) Connolley and other climate scientists criticize Stern for the unscientific notions that a catastrophe will occur in our lifetime or that hurricanes are exploding because of CO2 emissions.

In the last part of the program, economists such as Prof Tol complain that their papers have been misused. One of the most basic economics errors that Stern has made is that he didn't discount future costs and future benefits - he didn't discount them at all. That's an easy way to get results that are wrong by an order of magnitude or more if you look at the year 2100.

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