Tag Archives: Stern Review

July 15th, 1977 – Scientists Fear Heavy Use of Coal May Bring Adverse Shift in Climate,

Scientists Fear Heavy Use of Coal May Bring Adverse Shift in Climate,” New York Times, July 15, 1977.

Also on this day

1979 – Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” speech
1991 Roger Revelle dies
1996, at an international negotiating conference in Geneva, Patrick Michaels released an article, title “New Data Cast Doubt on Human Fingerprint,” that criticised the Nature article [of Santer et al] Gelbspan, R. (1998) Page 22
1997 – Competitive Enterprise Institute conference, with Aussies present.
2005  the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown announced that he had asked Sir Nicholas Stern to lead a major review of the economics of climate change,to understand more comprehensively the nature of the economic challenges and how they can be met, in the UK and globally.



May 29th, 2007 – Australian Prime Minister John Howard dismisses Stern Review because … it’s written by an Englishman

I am not making this up. I wish I were.

However, in a Parliamentary debate in May 2007, the Prime Minister suggested the [Stern] review was Eurocentric propaganda. He stated that the report of the Government’s Task Group on Emissions Trading:

… 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.7 3

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

(Macintosh, 2008: 66-7)

Macintosh, A 2008, ‘Domestic Influences on the Howard Government’s Climate Policy: Using the Past as a Guide to the Future’, Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 11, no. 1 & 2, pp. 51-84.

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

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.