On January 25th 2013 Nick Stern told reporters at the World Economic Forum that he’d underestimated the costs of climate change. Meanwhile, in Washington DC a US Senator gave his 50th weekly climate philippic.
Context: Nick Stern is the World Bank economist who delivered, at the behest of the Blair/Brown governments, a 2006 report on the economics of climate change. He initially said the costs of mitigation would be 1% of GDP, then in June 2008 decided it was 2% and now, who knows.
At the World Economic Forum he told two Guardian journos:
“Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then.”
Sheldon Whitehouse (the name could be a headache if he ever goes for the top job, but he’s from Rhode Island, so his chances aren’t great) has been giving speeches in the Senate about climate change. The 50th, delivered January 25 2013 is called “Time to Wake Up”
Further on the economics of it all
Montague, B. (2014) I bought Richard Tol’s “Climate Economics” so you don’t have to – It’s dull and dangerous DeSmogBlog September 11th
Upton, J. (20014) We’re massively underestimating climate costs, experts warn Grist June 16th
Other things that happened on this day
1994 British government publishes its strategy to return GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2000