‘The Investigation’


BBC Radio 4 this coming Thursday 25th January at 8pm has a programme called The Investigation looking at The Stern Report on climate change. The preview has some professor announcing that if such a report had been handed in as a Masters thesis he would have given it an ‘F’ for fail. Hmmm.

May be worth a listen.

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3 Responses to ‘The Investigation’

  1. matt says:

    Just listened to half an hour of an unfortunately pretty lame ‘Investigation’ looking into criticisms of the Stern Review. Scientists & environmental economists have taken a while to come back with their thoughts because they wanted to read through the 700 page report carefully.

    The main criticisms from the scientists;

    1. The conclusions in the report were based on ONE worst case emissions scenario; that global CO2 emissions increase from 7Gt pa to 30Gt pa by 2100. Most reports are based on a middle scenario of an increase to 12Gt.

    2. Stern chose a temperature increase of 5C by 2100. The latest IPCC report to come out soon puts it at 2.5C.

    3. Some statistics are just plain wrong. The reporter visited the Thames Barrier here in London, which protects the capital from tidal surges, to check the stats on how many times the barriers have had to be closed. Stern had the last 5 years down as 55 and the 5 years before that as 12. A significant eye catching increase, well, for Londoners! The Thames Barrier engineer put them at 31 and 35; hmmm.

    The economists;

    1. Costs calculated from climate change to the global economy put at 1% of GDP were apparently inferred to begin taking affect within our lifetime. This may have been Mr Blair hyping things up a bit as the costs kick in 100 odd years from now … apparently(!)

    2. Some environmental economists whose own work have been liberally quoted within the Stern Review are not happy bunnies. They contend that Stern cherry picked & did double counts with risk, among other things.

    3. There are questions with the approach taken to discounting todays costs for tackling climate change as well.

    Stern was interviewed about some of these criticisms but, he came across as not particularly concerned & welcomed criticism & further discussion. His report has at least galvanised this UK government and spurred them into action (according to the journalist). Lets hope it does the rest of the world.

  2. keithsc says:

    I heard the broadcast as well. All the experts interviewed agreed that climate warming was happening and caused by human activity. They just disagreed with the figures Stern used. It is worrying if Stern was so loose with the figures as it could play into the hands of those denying climate warming altogether. Anyone read the report – carefully?

  3. matt says:

    At 700 pages, no I didn’t! But yes, this is the problem; that Stern could be discredited & his message ultimately ignored.

    Just heard Blair has had one last push on the international stage at Davos looking to get some sort of enthusiasm going for an international agreement to tackle climate change.

    What was that he said about flights & people understandably not being too bothered about taking them for their hard earned holidays? Or was that just a slip of the tongue ….

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