The Stern report warned the economic impact of climate change would be like world war and the Depression rolled into one.
Err, no it didn\’t. What it actually said was that if we followed the worst development path (A2), and everything went wrong (really, everything, he threw the kitchen sink at it) then GDP would be 20% below where it would have been absent the effects of climate change. GDP fell more than that in the Great Depression, let alone the effect of world war (in fact, UK GDP fell 25% between 1918 and 1921).
So we could, if we stretched matters, say, 20%, 25%, no difference really. But that\’s ignoring the most important point. Even using the A2 projections, we\’re not saying that it will be 20% lower than it is now. We\’ll still be vastly richer than we are now: just not as rich as we could be.
Of course, if that\’s what you actually worry about, the future wealth of our descendents, then you should be agitating that we follow the A1 pathway: that makes people in 2100 4 times richer than the A2.
Others, too, ask if he understands that a new dirigiste industrial strategy needs to match his high rhetoric about a "fourth technological revolution".
Mhhm, hmmm. A dirigiste industrial strategy? You mean picking winners? Like, say, increasing emissions by insisting upon recycling instead of landfill (as they are)? Like insisting upon biofuels, which increase emissions (as they are)? Like, say, refusing a tax variance on a carbon capture scheme (as they did, with BP)?
The thought that "a plan" might help is terribly attractive but out here in the real world we need to ask whose plan and what plan? Given that the muppets who rule us have made the wrong decision on those three (just about the only three they have actually made a decision on) what on earth makes you think that they\’ll get any of the others right?
Britain\’s share in all this, weaselling on the statistics. Why would they do that? Because, they say, the 20% renewable target was plucked out of the air by Angela Merkel, due to internal angst over nuclear power. Blair signed up to it in demob mode. Whitehall officials were bound to send up alarm signals: there had been no feasibility study, no cost benefit analysis, no one knows if it can be done. In January, each country will be told what their share of the target is – Britain must produce between 10% and 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020. If it doesn\’t sound much, that\’s up to a 7.5-fold increase in a short time. "Superhuman" effort will be required, said one adviser: it means 40% of our electricity must come from renewables.
That\’s all quite correct. What boggles is that having listed how he policy has been made (ie, made up, not actually the result of any policy at all) she then says we must go ahead with it!
These climate-change deniers and rightwing anarchists who resist even modest recyling plans will decry anything they see as "nanny state".
In Polly World I guess I qualify as one of those right wing anarchists. Thing is, m\’dear, at least some of my opposition to "modest recycling targets" is that they increase, not reduce, emissions. That is, that they\’re counter-productive.