Rational people charged with making national energy policies need an antidote to the biased and alarmist IPCC “Summary for Policy Makers (SPM)” As most are aware, that document purports to be summarizing the science proving humanity is causing dangerous global warming by using fossil fuels. Those who understand the IPCC process are also aware that the SPM wording is negotiated among politicians and the scientific reports are adjusted accordingly.
A timely discussion of this issue is provided by someone with experience in briefing governmental officials on issues requiring choices. Michael Kelly writes in Standpoint Magazine:
“A well-briefed minister knows about the general area in which a decision is sought, and is given four scenarios before any recommendation. Those scenarios are the upsides and the downsides both of doing nothing and of doing something. Those who give only the upside of doing something and the downside of doing nothing are in fact lobbying.”
Turning to Lord Stern’s policy advice, Kelly says:
“In his introduction he makes it clear that he has consulted many scientists, businessmen, philosophers and economists, but in his book I find not a single infrastructure project engineer asked about the engineering reality of any of his propositions, nor a historian of technology about the elementary fact that technological breakthroughs are not pre-programmable. Lord Stern’s description of the climate science is an uncritical acceptance of the worst case put by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one from which many in the climate science community are now distancing themselves.”
Kelly provides considerable contextual information in his article, which is accessible here:
He summarizes this way:
“Those building the biblical Tower of Babel, intending to reach heaven, did not know where heaven was and hence when the project would be finished, or at what cost. Those setting out to solve the climate change problem now are in the same position. If we were to spend 10 or even 100 trillion dollars mitigating carbon dioxide emissions, what would happen to the climate? If we can’t evaluate whether reversing climate change would be value for money, why should we bother, when we can clearly identify many and better investments for such huge resources? The forthcoming Paris meeting on climate change will be setting out to build a modern Tower of Babel.”
Ruth Dixon has also assessed the flaws in the alarmist position which Stern is expressing.