Tag Archives: Nick Stern

May 29, 2007- Howard disses Nick Stern for … being English?!

By early 2007 all of John Howard’s intransigence on climate change was coming back to haunt him. An election was not far off, and the Labor opposition, led by Kevin “I’m from Queensland, I’m here to help” Rudd was relentlessly targeting climate change.  Then Nick Stern, who the previous year had delivered his report on the Economics of Climate Change to Gordon Brown, paid a visit. Given that he was a former World Bank economist he could hardly be painted as a tree-hugger or communist.  So, Howard said that when his policy was released, it

Commonwealth, Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 29 May 2007, 48 (John Howard, Prime Minister)

… will not be a grab bag of proposals taken holus-bolus from a report written by an Englishman for European conditions and designed to promote the political objectives of the British government. That is what the Stern report is all about. Stern is not the biblical scholar of climate change that is posited by those who sit opposite. Stern has written from the perspective of an Englishman, from the European circumstance and from the European point of view.



On the same day-                               

Anon, 2007. Climate change ad battle heating up. Sydney Morning Herald, 29 May.

Labor turned up the heat over federal government advertising as Prime Minister John Howard conceded a climate change campaign was on the way. (Ended up being the dire “climate clever”)

See also             

Doherty, B. 2007. Howard coy on $53m ads. The Age, 30 May.

THERE is $52.8 million ready to spend on a climate-change advertising blitz if and when the Government chooses to introduce one, Prime Minister John Howard admitted yesterday.

Also on this day –

1999 Prime Minister John Howard writes to Meg Lees (then Democrats leader) about the “Measures for a Better Environment” deal which they managed to get…

Anon, 2012. Anthea Harris to be first CEO of Climate Change Authority. Business Spectator, 29 May.


Anthea Harris is set to take the role as the inaugural CEO of the Climate Change Authority, the federal government has announced.

Ms Harris is currently serving as Chief Advisor for the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and “brings a wealth of knowledge on the economics of climate change from both the private and public sectors,” climate change minister Greg Combet said in a statement.

Jan 25, 2013: Stern “It’s worse than I thought” + Sheldon Whitehouse’s 50th weekly climate speech

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

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.