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Maybe Spud should read the Stern Review

The central calculation in the Stern Review – also in Nordhaus etc – is that climate change imposes costs. So does avoiding climate change impose costs. So, how much cost avoiding should we bear in order to avoid the costs of?

This is a very simple economic idea. The details are of course monstrous, but the logical answer is that we should not bear more costs to avoid than the costs we are avoiding by doing so.

This means that if the costs of avoiding climate change are higher then we should do less avoiding of climate change.

This is entirely standard and simple economics of climate change.

Of course, that means that the task may simply be bigger than we have thought. What this alternative message implies is that we must reallocate capital from those unable to adapt to those willing to innovate to find the solutions that we need.

No, the answer is that if this is true, the task is larger, then we should be doing less of it.

22 thoughts on “Maybe Spud should read the Stern Review”

  1. “…climate change imposes costs. So does avoiding climate change impose costs.”

    This pre-supposes that we can avoid climate change. What is actually happening is that we are imposing costs – large costs – and not avoiding climate change. We won’t even get in to the argument over whether or how much ‘man made’ carbon dioxide causes climate change.

    The fact is that despite every COP, every agreement – from Kyoto to Paris – and even last year’s lockdowns have failed to make the slightest difference to the relentless rise in atmospheric CO2 from .035% to .041%, (as measured at Mauna Loa.)

    So our choice appears to be to spend vast sums of money, distort and smash our economy, cripple our energy supplies, impose draconian restrictions on our populations, all in a vain attempt to change the weather, OR continue our economic growth and when the climate inevitably changes, (and we really aren’t sure whether it will get hotter or colder), we will have an economy robust enough to pay for adaptation.

    And that is the key point. The climate WILL change and we WILL have to ADAPT. The only question should be will we be able to afford to adapt or will we leave ourselves totally at the mercy of the weather.

  2. @Excator man


    @Kevin B

    And the costs of “climate change” are second and third hand derivatives of a computer model(s) that can be made to say pretty well anything required.

    As of course are the costs of avoiding “climate change”

    Deranged ideologues “win”, civilisation loses.

  3. How many times do you have to be told? These people aren’t arguing in good faith. They are just interested in power, and ‘climate change’ is the way they plan to get it. People like you engaging with them just gives them the cover they are looking for. Stop being a useful idiot.

  4. The Other Bloke in Italy

    “Climate Change” is a weasel phrase adopted after it became clear that “Global Warming” either was not happening, or didn’t matter anyway.

  5. An example of the hysteria was on show on yesterday’s BBC website where we were told that a Met Office report said that a billion people were at risk of the fatal effects of heat and humidity if temperatures rose by 2C.

    What the Met Report had said was that they’d chosen 32C as a temperature at which, if working outdoors, you were at increased risk of heatstroke and that a billion more people would be living in areas where such temperatures would be more common.

    Even if you take all that as gospel, it might, just might be possible to look at what people do in areas already that hot. They don’t work outdoors when it’s very hot.

    “people might have to adapt their outdoors working practices at certain times of the year” isn’t quite as frightening though as…


  6. Tim, how should we deal with the position that climate change, if it exists and is due to mankind, may wipe out altogether some low-lying regions of the world? How does putting 10p extra on a litre of petrol deal with that? Should the residents of the low-lying states be handed a cheque from British motorists collected from all our 10 pence pieces? Serious questions.

  7. Jim +1
    Tim, you really should stop taking them at their word. As Jim says, arguing with them on the facts simply makes it look as though there is an argument.

    By the way, does anyone know the mechanism for deciding how much carbon/carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, given the unknown quantities of animals, humans, factories and vehicles etc in action at any time? Is it done by sampling air? Because if so that would seem to be very subject to local influence. Or is it a tree rings type thing even in recent history?

  8. Flip the question. Ceasing the use of fossil fuels right now, this arvo, will kill billions of people. So, should the residents of those low lying areas pay for the funerals of those who die if we do that?

  9. “asiaseen

    “Climate Change” is a weasel phrase
    Isn’t it “Climate Crisis” now?”

    That was last week.

    It’s “Climate Apocalypse” now.

  10. So CO2 is around 420 ppm now. It seems that there is a lot of opinion that holding it at that amount if it could be done tomorrow would be desirable. And the problems that relate to:
    -the costs of flooding that would occur anyway
    -the additional costs of flooding due to natural effects (civilisation chooses hospitable places to build settlements and these will regress to the mean level over time)
    -the additional costs due to mankind’s poor land management and moral hazard from insisting on insuring properties on flood plaines
    -the additional costs of flooding due to mankind getting the CO2 level up from the 200s to 420ppm in the first place
    Those problems don’t really bother us, and are not worthy of much consideration.
    Substitute flooding for sea level rise, temperature rises, warmer night time effects or whatever, but it does bother me that the lunatics are *not* bothered and think all the schit with bad weather that happens anyway isn’t worthy.

  11. This is economic fantasy land, isn’t it? No-one can predict the “costs” of climate change (if there are any) to 2 or 3 orders of magnitude. No-one has been able to predict the costs of avoiding climate change (if it exists, if it’s avoidable) to at least an order of magnitude.
    To do sums, you need reliable figures to do sums with. There aren’t any. Stern is nothing but a snake-oil salesman.

  12. The benefits of global warming (or just more CO2) are considerable. More stable weather patterns, higher crop yields, etc.
    But no one mentions them.

  13. @Andrew C quotes “report said that a billion people were at risk …”

    What risk? 50:50? One in a million? That’s what is significant. Everyone on Earth is at risk of being struck by a meteorite, but we don’t really care because the risk is so small.

  14. “we must reallocate capital from those unable to adapt to those willing to innovate to find..”

    Isn’t that the exact phrasing every (National-)Socialist uses before starting to rob everyone that is an Abomination Unto Nuggan?

    @JT as a cloggie I find this idea useless. It’d amount to maybe a couple eurocent/yr as-is given the amount of people living in actual low-lying areas.
    And that’s before the inevitable “risk re-assessment” that’ll have areas 100’s of miles inland and 100’s of meters elevation At Risk. Because Reasons.

  15. On the whole Anthropogenic CO2 bit….

    There’s a chance we actually need a couple more ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, given that all the actual geological data regarding climate the past 10.000 years indicates we’re actually still one large volcanic eruption/asteroid** hit short of a new mini ice age as things stand now.
    In that sense they weren’t exactly 100% wrong in the 70’s and 80’s…

    But currently there’s no use actually seriously looking into stuff like this, because the New Black Death Panic has the floor.

    ** It’s funny how it’s never mentioned how the La Palma eruption throws out as much CO2 as a large modern city daily, not to mention 10 times as much acid-rainy stuff even by 1960’s don’t-care industry levels of same city… Or Etna.. Or a couple of icelandic choices. Or…..
    Maybe the Extinction Rebellion/Greenpeace/etc. should start chaining themselves to those volcanoes to stop them from spewing evil pollution into our precious Mother Earth…

  16. Must confess I’m most interested in whether ScoMo will be re-elected. After all, he won the ‘impossible to win’ election because he actually gave people a choice about climate change.

    Now he’s whimpering and grovelling to the woke. The latest I’ve seen is a promise to build lots of chargers for electric vehicles. Sound familiar?

    Excavator Man is right. If ScoMo really wants to do something about CO2 emissions, he needs to kiss Macron’s arse, offer to buy the Frog’s nuclear submarines that need on-shore refuelling, and put all the money into copying their nuclear power program. Though just lately it seems the South Koreans might do a better job.

  17. I’d question the assumption in the post title that Murphy is capable of even reading, let alone dissecting the Stern Report.

  18. No one mentions that the 1 part of ” 1.5c” has already occurred, the vast majority of which before 1950, before man made CO2 was believed to have had any effect, so we are actually inflicting all this damage to prevent .5c.

    And while certain bloggers (you know who you are… although does Ritchie read this blog?) keep talking about the ways to deal with climate change, the lunatics who are pushing this insanity will take it as a sign they are right and will……well, keep on pushing it.

  19. Jim: “How many times do you have to be told? These people aren’t arguing in good faith. They are just interested in power, and ‘climate change’ is the way they plan to get it. People like you engaging with them just gives them the cover they are looking for. Stop being a useful idiot.”

    Wins the thread and the Earth.

    Time to crush the Marxist scum pushing this shite. The only question is how much violence and my answer would be lots cos that is what they will use against us if the commie scum win.

    “Rule of Law” only works when the system is relatively benign. With bad acting scum such as the present political vermin only our saying “NO” and making it stick will be our salvation.

    No more BS debates or co-operation with polit/bureaucratic scum.

    Given the 1/3 of cowards who believe whatever bullshit their masters tell them we start from a bad place. But start we must or lose everything. Even the dumbest wont like Johnsons CCP Social Credit “paradise”.

    A paradise only for Johnson and his gang.

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