Cost to ‘restore climate’ a game-changer

50 to 1 project

Four days ago I received the following appeal for help. Others have posted their expressions of support and I’m a little tardy, but here it is.

Lord Christopher Monckton has teamed up with Topher Field, a documentary maker, to produce a short video for YouTube. The theme is Christopher’s calculation of the cost of fighting climate change. He uses the IPCC’s figures at every step to prove that we cannot restore the climate for anything like an affordable sum. We cannot even afford the cost of simply trying to restore the climate. Not even if each of us were Germany. The temperature just won’t go down enough.

I’m more than happy to help publicise Field’s worthy project. It could save western industrialised nations more money than they’ve dreamed of since the Industrial Revolution.

Rather than spilling endless billions uselessly into the climate change swamp making amends for our decades of climate crimes (how dare we become prosperous!) we might now pay for practical purposes like reducing pollution, providing clean water, education, medical care and persuading wayward governments to care for their nation not just their own tribe.

The project page shows the money count has already reached $27,546 towards a goal of at least $130,000. Well done, there, crowd members!!

Topher might have an odd name but he’s an attractive, persuasive speaker with a wholesome message, as you’ll see in the promotional video he provides.

He just needs a few dollars to be getting on with it.

Topher’s polite email

My name is Topher Field, I’m an Australian film maker and activist. I’m working with Lord Christopher Monckton on a project called ‘50 to 1.’

It’s all about the TRUE cost of trying to ‘stop’ climate change versus the cost of adapting to climate change as and if it happens. I think it may be of interest to you and you can see a short video which explains what it’s about here:

We are running a crowd-funding campaign to try to raise the required budget in order to make this project a reality. We would be extremely grateful for any publicity, blogging, emailing of contacts etc., which you could do in order to get the word out about this project.

Please have a look at the link and do with it as you see fit.

Best Regards

Topher Field

66 Thoughts on “Cost to ‘restore climate’ a game-changer

  1. SimonP on May 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm said:

    So anthropogenic climate change is real then?

  2. SimonP on May 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm said:

    Even Anthony admits it:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/02/help-launch-climate-skeptic-film-project-50-to-1/#more-85420
    Anthony Watts says:
    May 2, 2013 at 9:14 am
    Pardon me, but, AGW is a real effect, you folks that don’t think so, get over it, you sound like the slayers/principia cult.

    The real questions are. How much? How sensitive is our atmosphere to CO2, and how many, how much do feedbacks contribute/retard depending on whether they are positive or negative?

    Trying to sell “AGW isn’t real” won’t fly, no matter how you frame it, because rational skeptics, from Dr. Richard Lindzen right on down acknowledge the reality of it in literature with sensitivity studies and essays.

  3. “Breaking news”

    Yes Simon, and even “denier” Monckton shares these views.

    The question of course, is climate sensitivity to CO2

  4. Magoo on May 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm said:

    1.2C maximum per doubling of total atmospheric CO2. There is no evidence of positive feedback from water vapour so that’s about it.

    The current CO2 levels are 397.34 ppm, up 2.89 from 394.45 ppm at the same time last year. At the rate of 2.89C/year it’ll take 275 yrs to rise 1.2C. To rise another 1.2C it’ll take another 550 yrs. on top of that, etc. – i.e. to rise 2.4C it’ll take 825 yrs.

    This is on the assumption that the temperature is rising at the maximum of 1.2C per CO2 doubling, which considering it’s the maximum is doubtful.

  5. Simon,

    Yes, it’s real, but it’s just not very big, which means it’s not dangerous.

    Several years ago Bob Carter advised us to use the term “dangerous anthropogenic global warming” rather than “anthropogenic global warming.” It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s more precise, because if the warming isn’t dangerous it isn’t worth fighting, is it? So I’ve tried consistently to do that, and I’ve never said “AGW” doesn’t exist, but I have said countless times that “DAGW” doesn’t exist. See the difference?

    Have you seen Monckton’s presentation of the costs and benefits of fighting the “dangerous” climate change we’re causing?

  6. I think Richard Lindzen used the expression “trivially true but essentially meaningless” to answer the question of whether humans were influencing the climate

  7. Nick on May 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm said:

    Richard C doesn’t believe that AGW is real and he seems to dominate the conversation here by pasting vast swaths of text into the threads making them unreadable.

    So I think Simon’s point is a valid one. Certainly I haven’t seen any evidence of anyone apart from Richard T make the effort to dispute any of Richard C’s more wacky ideas.

    That said Richard C can be quite nasty when people disagree with him so I guess it’s not surprising that the regular commentators here are not willing to take the trouble to correct his misconceptions.

  8. I don’t “know” that AGW is real, but the issue around climate sensitivity is where I limit my range of discussions to as I don’t have the time or knowledge to deal with all aspects of the science

    If others have different views then they are welcome to present them

  9. Nick on May 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm said:

    Hi Richard T,
    The Stern report (p. vi) which Monckton references says the costs of climate change will be between 5-20+% of GDP.:

    “Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more. ”

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/3/2/Summary_of_Conclusions.pdf

    Monckton’s report on the other hand suggest the costs will only be 0-3% of GDP.

    “Stern (2006, p. vi), estimates that the cost of abating the 3 K 21st-century global warming the IPCC expects will be 0-3% of 21st-century GDP”

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/co2_mitigation.pdf

    Do you (or anyone) have any idea of how this discrepancy arises?

  10. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm said:

    >”So anthropogenic climate change is real then?”

    LULUC? aGHG emissions? Both?

    Assuming you are only referring to aGHGs Simon: for Warmers/IPCC and Luke-warmers, and those pragmatically positioning with the latter in order to highlight the reality that observations imply the IPCC’s CS estimates are perhaps a little high – the answer is yes. It is just the degree of climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 that is at issue.

    For others not subscribing to IPCC methodology, both RF and CS, due to the questionable rationales and having alternate hypotheses to monitor anyway e.g. a solar/celestial explanation (e.g. me) – the answer is maybe but more probably no, let’s wait and see how the climate actually trends this century. If it follows cycles of the past as is more likely expected by many of this bunch (me included), the answer is a definite no.

    BTW, I’m inclined to think LULUC might be a climate factor but more in terms of regional or micro climate. I just haven’t got around to investigating it.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm said:

    >”Do you (or anyone) have any idea of how this discrepancy arises?”

    It might have been the ridiculous discount rate Stern used.

  12. Nick on May 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm said:

    Hi Richard C, I don’t think so. Monckton explicitly includes the discount rate. Maybe you should have a look at the papers. The Monckton one is surprisingly short and you only need to read one page of the Stern report.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm said:

    >”Even Anthony admits it:”

    Yes, NEWS FLASH – [Luke-warmer] Anthony [subscribes] to it.

    Perhaps now you’ll pay more attention to the various CC factions Simon (i.e. there’s not just 2), particularly the ongoing feud between Luke-warmers Watts/Spencer and Ultra-sceptics PSI. And the new one developing between Luke-warmer Monckton (sort of – he’s cognizant of solar) and PSI.

    See up-thread for what distinguishes the factions (IMV):-

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2013/05/cost-to-restore-climate-a-game-changer/#comment-196757

    BTW, has it not occurred to you that if/when the current cooling trend becomes evident beyond just being marginally statistically significant, the Luke-warm case can go through the shredder at the same time as the Anthro-warming case?

  14. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm said:

    >”Richard C doesn’t believe that AGW is real”

    See up-thread for the approach I take, not what you say I “believe” Nick:-

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2013/05/cost-to-restore-climate-a-game-changer/#comment-196757

    “…and he seems to dominate the conversation here by pasting vast swaths of text into the threads making them unreadable.”

    Would you prefer a dumbed-down, simplistic, abstract, non-dissenting, blinkered conversation Nick?

    >”Certainly I haven’t seen any evidence of anyone apart from Richard T make the effort to dispute any of Richard C’s more wacky ideas.”

    Those “more wacky ideas” being, specifically?

    >”That said Richard C can be quite nasty when people disagree with him so I guess it’s not surprising that the regular commentators here are not willing to take the trouble to correct his misconceptions.

    Again, those “misconceptions” being, specifically?

    And are you insinuating Nick, that not having a belief in AGW (i.e. disagreeing with you) is a misconception?

    If so, that seems a bit nasty yourself doesn’t it?

  15. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm said:

    >”Monckton explicitly includes the discount rate”

    I’m sure he did. But is it the same as Stern’s?

  16. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm said:

    >”Maybe you should have a look at the papers”

    Maybe you should have looked first Nick. If you had you wouldn’t have needed to give us homework, which I’ve done and yes the discount rate is the crux of the disparity. Quoting Monckton’s report:-

    Australia’s Carbon Tax:……A zero inter-temporal discount rate is assumed. The minimum market rate would be 5% (Murphy et al., 2008). [page 2]

    Benefit in Avoided Cost of Warming-related Damage:………Stern’s mean estimate of 1.5% of GDP is assumed. On the basis that he determined it using a 1.4% discount rate, and adjusting for a zero rate, the benefit in climate-damage cost avoided rises to 1.6% of GDP. [page 3]

    The Cost-Benefit Ratio is: 59/1.6 = 36. Accordingly, at a zero discount rate it is 36 times costlier to mitigate CO2 emissions by typical abatement measures such as Australia’s carbon tax than to take no action at all and to endure the later cost of climate-related damage arising from the resultant warming. At a 5% discount rate, the cost-benefit ratio would be 48. Focused adaptation instead of inaction would also be likely to increase the cost-benefit ratio. [page 3]

    # # #

    I hope that “by pasting vast swaths of text into the threads” this isn’t “making them unreadable” in this particular one Nick.

    BTW, all I did was enter “discount” in the pdf search box and voila!

  17. Kevin Lohse on May 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm said:

    Nobody sensible denies that humanity has an effect upon the climate. Nobody sensible considers that effect to be catastrophic, or that it requires totalitarian global government and the impoverishment of millions of people to mitigate man’s effect on the climate. Despite an increase in the amount of plant-food in the atmosphere, temperatures have shown no statistically significant increase since 1996, according to Prof. Jones and the latest peer-reviewed research by 2 Russians predicts a cooling, possibly a new ice age. Catastrophism has no scientific basis.

  18. Some critics of the Stern Report and its methodology include Richard Tol, Peter Lilley and Bjorn Lomborg

  19. Richard C (NZ) on May 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm said:

    Just realized you’re not making an apples-to-apples comparison Nick (and not a Monckton discount vs Stern discount comparison either) i.e. there is no discrepancy:-

    Stern report (p. vi) – “…the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more. ”

    Costs and risks – lost GDP equivalent (above) is not the same as cost of abating (below).

    Monckton – “Stern (2006, p. vi), estimates that the cost of abating the 3 K 21st-century global warming the IPCC expects will be 0-3% of 21st-century GDP”

    Stern’s report is saying spend 0-3% of 21st-century GDP to abate 5% of lost global GDP (or 20%). Except Stern’s report, as Monckton and many others point out (see Andy’s comment up-thread), used questionable methodology including an unrealistic discount rate (1.4%) so that the cost-benefit was grossly distorted. By using a realistic discount rate (5%) it is “[48] times costlier to mitigate CO2 emissions by typical abatement measures such as Australia’s carbon tax than to take no action at all” (after adjusting for a zero rate), according to Monckton.

  20. Nick on May 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm said:

    So where exactly in the Stern report does the 0-3% value come from? Monckton says page vi but it dosn’t appear there that I can see.

  21. Simon on May 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm said:

    A discount rate used for private capital investment projects may not be appropriate in a social context. Basically it is discounting future generations in favour of our own. Your ancestors may not be agreeable to any social discount rate above 0%.
    Even quite low discount rates can lead to degradation of a finite resource, unless increased value is placed on its diminished state in the future.

  22. Andy on May 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm said:

    Peter Lilleys report on Stern can be viewed as PDF from this GWPF link

    http://www.thegwpf.org/new-report-government-cannot-rely-on-stern-review-to-justify-costly-climate-policies/

  23. Simon on May 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm said:

    oops …. descendants not ancestors ….

  24. Magoo on May 7, 2013 at 12:14 am said:

    Sorry, that should read 2.89 ppm/year not ‘2.89C/year’.

  25. Magoo on May 7, 2013 at 12:28 am said:

    Sorry again, my maths is having a bad day – it’s been a hell of a day at the office, I think I need a paracetamol.

    137 yrs to raise the temp 1.2C from current CO2 levels. Then another 275 yrs to raise it another 1.2C – i.e. 412 yrs for a 2.4C rise.

  26. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 2:28 am said:

    >”So where exactly in the Stern report does the 0-3% value come from? Monckton says page vi but it dosn’t appear there that I can see.”

    “Stern (2006, p. vi)” is, I think, ‘Part VI: International collective action (Chapters 21-27)’ rather than page vi. See report index:-

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/stern_review_report.cfm

    I see in PART VI, 27.1 (page 121):-

    “Second, and in contrast, the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP.”

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/2/0/PART_VI_Introduction_group.pdf

    I don’t see “0-3%” or “3%” anywhere explicitly from a cursory look but “can be limited to around 1%” implies to me that Monckton has derived that range from however Stern et al came up with the 1% “limited” figure (how/where was 1% arrived at?) because it implies a greater amount than 1% if that higher amount can be be “limited” to 1%. Somewhere there’ll be High/Limited/Low alternative scenarios (explicit or implied) I’m guessing, where High is around 3, Limited 1, and Low 0 or something like that.

    Stern gets a bit carried away in 27.1:-

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    This Review has considered the economics of climate change, and has come to some clear and strong conclusions.

    That the science of climate change is robust, and that the risks of a “business as usual” path for climate change are very serious.

    What happens in the next 10 or 20 years will have a profound effect on the climate in the second half of this century and in the next. Actions now and over the coming decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And it will be difficult or impossible to reverse these changes.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Risks similar to the “great wars” and 1930s “economic depression”? I don’t think so.

  27. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 2:51 am said:

    >”A discount rate used for private capital investment projects may not be appropriate in a social context”

    It’s an economic calculation of financial commitment by society so a financial discount rate is appropriate however unpalatable that may be socially. It would be very nice socially to have 0% mortgages too but that just doesn’t happen.

  28. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 2:52 am said:

    Ouch! GWPF’s Lilley report quotes (thanks for the link Andy):-

    The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on “selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative – which would never have passed peer review”.

    Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence based policies”.

    Stern’s central conclusion that “If we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year now and forever” whereas “the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of GDP each year” is found to be entirely fallacious.

    Lilley’s study demonstrates that the benefits of curbing emissions now and henceforth will not be five times the cost of action, as Stern claims. “It is achieved by verbal virtuosity combined with statistical sophistry. In fact, even on Stern’s figures, the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″, Lilley points out.

    “If we continue to follow Stern’s advice, the principal losers, apart from British taxpayers and businesses, would be developing countries who cannot raise living standards without massively increasing their use of fossil fuels and will therefore be responsible for most of the growth of carbon emissions,” Lilley argues.

    Lilley asks: “why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming – even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern – will be 7 times better off than today?”

    Lilley calls on the government to cease basing its climate change policy on the flawed Stern Review and commission a new independent cost benefit study of alternative strategies.

    # # #

    No let up in Parliament lately either. Peter Lilley seems to be gaining traction too, or is that going too far Andy?.

    UKIP on his coattails I wonder, or have they forged their own climate niche by their own case?

  29. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 3:14 am said:

    FYI everyone, RT has an ‘Economics’ Open Thread here:-

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/

    Where you can find stuff like:-

    Link to The Australian: ‘Costly decarbonisation of the economy is based on a flawed review’

    Peter Lilley, British Conservative Party MP

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/#comment-115028

    Link to WUWT: ‘A stern rebuttal to the Stern review’

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/#comment-115187

    10 Things to Know

    1. What is Integrated Assessment (IA)?
    2. What are Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs)?
    3. How do IAMs and GCMs differ?
    […]

    How do IAMs and GCMs differ?

    Integrated assessment models generally include both physical and social science models that consider demographic, political, and economic variables that affect greenhouse gas emission scenarios in addition to the physical climate system. General Circulation Models (GCMs), however, focus on the physical climate system alone………….

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/#comment-115187

    Example of integrated assessment model (IAM) output:-

    ‘The Social Cost of CO2 from the PAGE09 Model’

    See Bishop Hill for PAGE09 input issues:-

    ‘Climate sensitivity and the Stern report’

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/#comment-123001

    And much, much, more.

  30. Nick on May 7, 2013 at 11:31 am said:

    Hi Richard C, I think you are right about where Monckton got his numbers from. It is a shame he is not more explicit though.

    The problem for Monckton is that his 50/1 ratio compares the Australian measures with with the Stern abatement measures and as such is meaningless. Monckton’s “analysis” certainly doesn’t achieve the outcome of comparing the Australian measures with doing nothing at all which is what he states it does.

    It is slightly alarming that money is now being collected on the basis of Monckton’s potentially flawed report. Perhaps one of his friends here could contact him and find out if I have got this wrong or if he has genuinely overlooked this issue.

  31. Nick on May 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm said:

    Hi Richard C,
    Andy has already provided a concise description and a link to the article. Why do you think it is necessary to paste two thirds of the content into the comment thread?

  32. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm said:

    >”The problem for Monckton is that his 50/1 ratio compares the Australian measures with with the Stern abatement measures and as such is meaningless”

    Monckton is comparing the global cost of abatement measures (mitigation) with the cost of “future adaptation at need” using an Australian case study in conjunction with the Stern report, hence the title ‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’ The answer is no:-

    “Conclusion: This analysis is deliberately simple, but complexity would be unlikely to change the outcome sufficiently to render any policy to mitigate CO2 emissions at all cost-effective. Removal of some of the simplifying assumptions would tend to worsen the cost-benefit ratio still further, for most of them lead to understatement of it. Results from other case studies broadly confirm the outcome in the Australian case. Therefore, future adaptation at need is recommended, but present mitigation is not.”

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/co2_mitigation.pdf

    >”Monckton’s “analysis” certainly doesn’t achieve the outcome of comparing the Australian measures with doing nothing at all which is what he states it does”

    And it does:-

    “The Cost-Benefit Ratio is: 59/1.6 = 36. Accordingly, at a zero discount rate it is 36 times costlier to mitigate CO2 emissions by typical abatement measures such as Australia’s carbon tax than to take no action at all and to endure the later cost of climate-related damage arising from the resultant warming. At a 5% discount rate, the cost-benefit ratio would be 48. Focused adaptation instead of inaction would also be likely to increase the cost-benefit ratio.”

    >”It is slightly alarming that money is now being collected on the basis of Monckton’s potentially flawed report.”

    Slightly alarming that you conclude this Nick. Australia’s carbon tax (or any other mitigation tax anywhere e.g. NZ ETS) is certainly not being collected on the basis of Monckton’s report – he’s advocating, as are several others, on the basis of realistic cost-benefit (not “potentially flawed either BTW), that such taxes are far costlier than future adaption at need.

    >”Perhaps one of his friends here could contact him and find out if I have got this wrong or if he has genuinely overlooked this issue.”

    You’ve sure got it all wrong Nick.

    Meanwhile in the real world here in NZ, the major drag on the present economy (not to mention Andy’s family circumstances) is the steadily rising costs (up to $40bn now I think) arising from two seismic shocks on two different days. We’ll be paying for those two days for some years into the future.

    I say save the money for real disasters like Christchurch (that we can barely afford anyway), not imaginary and highly uncertain future scenarios that are looking less and less likely of eventuating.

  33. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm said:

    >”Why do you think it is necessary to paste two thirds of the content into the comment thread?”

    Would you rather Peter Lilley’s calls for a return to “evidence based policies” instead of “policy based evidence” and scathing dissection of Stern be kept hidden away Nick?

    Isn’t the fact that lurking “eyes” can now easily see the article content for themselves without following the link and – perish the thought – follow up their curiosity by reading Lilley’s full report, the real reason you would rather not have it all on show?

  34. Nick, I don’t know if this 50:1 figure is based on false assertions or not.
    However, the project website states this

    2. … The 50 to 1 website. The website will host the video and more importantly will contain ALL the references for ALL the information contained in the video (see the link above for an example). Anyone who wants to fact-check or dispute the video will have open access to all our sources so they can see for themselves that the conclusions drawn in ’50 to 1′ are consistent with the science as understood by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    I’d hope that with a $130,000 budget, they do this in an open and transparent manner and allow comments before the video is finalised.

  35. Nick on May 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm said:

    Hi Richard C, the Stern Report that Monckton references states:

    “…the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP.”

    According to you Monckton uses this 1% number to quantify the cost to

    “…take no action at all and to endure the later cost of climate-related damage arising from the resultant warming.”

    Despite your characteristic verbosity above you have not addressed this key problem with Moncktons work.

  36. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm said:

    >”According to you Monckton uses this 1% number to quantify the cost to “…take no action at all and to endure the later cost of climate-related damage arising from the resultant warming.”

    Rubbish. Monckton COMPARES, the COST OF MITIGATION i.e. “costs of action” (which is 1% of GDP if “limited”, but possibly 3%) after economic cost/benefit analysis to costs of “FUTURE ADAPTION AT NEED” i.e.”to endure the later cost of climate-related damage arising from the resultant warming”, which is now at standstill BTW, to arrive at a relative factor and finding at 5% discount that it is “[48 (the relative factor)] times costlier to mitigate CO2 emissions” than the cost of “future adaption at need”.

    Stern’s benefit’s don’t even kick in until 2100 and a factor of 2 times more costly to mitigate is too much, let alone 48 times.

    >”Despite your characteristic verbosity above you have not addressed this key problem with Moncktons work.”

    My “characteristic verbosity” in this case stems from your characteristic incomprehension. If you had actually read and understood my previous quotes from the Monckton report there would have been no need for these 2 comments (and a waste of my time clarifying for you).

    And if you had understood Monckton’s report in the first instance there would have been no need for your this entire sub-thread. But I’ll grant you the difficulty with the provenance of “0-3%”. That’s a mystery to me too at this point apart from my guessing up-thread.

    In any event there’s no “discrepancy” as you initially surmised in your very first comment:-

    Opportunity cost (Stern) – “costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever”

    Cost of abating (Stern) – “0-3% of 21st-century GDP”

    Cost of future adaption at need (Monckton) – “48 times less costly than to mitigate CO2 at 5% discount” [paraphrased]

  37. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm said:

    I’m wrong in my response to this:-

    >”It is slightly alarming that money is now being collected on the basis of Monckton’s potentially flawed report.”

    My response:-

    “Slightly alarming that you conclude this Nick. Australia’s carbon tax (or any other mitigation tax anywhere e.g. NZ ETS) is certainly not being collected on the basis of Monckton’s report……..(not “potentially flawed either BTW)”

    I see now Nick is referring to Topher Field’s appeal for voluntary donations of a measly AU$130,000. That hardly compares with the billions ($9bn a year eventually I think) that just the Australian Govt are collecting involuntarily by way of AU$25 tax and then ETS (the latter plan having come unstuck).

    AU$130,000 is 5200 Australians each volunteering a one-off AU$25 donation. The Australian carbon (sic) tax is rather more ongoing and punitive, $25 is money well spent to get rid of it.

  38. Nick on May 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm said:

    Hi Richard C, You have missed out the key point.

    Monckton’s “inaction” or “to take no action” is alleged to cost 1.6% of GDP.

    He claims this cost of “inaction” is derived from the Stern report but it is greater than the cost of action in that report (1%) which explicitly includes measures such as “carbon prices and markets” and recommends that these actions be “prompt and strong”. This is clearly not “adaptation at need” as you characterise it.

    In the Stern report the cost of doing nothing is 5-20+%

    …“ if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.”

    How can Monckton’s “inaction” be more expensive than Stern’s “action” when Monckton states that his cost was sourced from Stern?

  39. I have missed something here. Does the 50:1 video campaign claim that it is using figures from the Stern Report to base its assumptions on?

    UPDATE:

    I found this comment on WUWT from Monckton
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/02/help-launch-climate-skeptic-film-project-50-to-1/#comment-1295001

  40. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm said:

    >”Does the 50:1 video campaign claim that it is using figures from the Stern Report to base its assumptions on?”

    The basis seems to be to me but I haven’t seen this in writing which I would prefer, maybe the campaign just assumes everyone is clear, the following comparison:-

    Monckton’s comparison between the Stern Report’s cost of mitigation vs the relative cost (50 times, actually 48 @ 5% discount rate) of future adaption at need as determined by Monckton’s cost/benefit analysis.

    I haven’t had time (and probably wont get it – night-shifting) to cross-reference the figures Monckton in his cost/benefit analysis ‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’ states he uses from the Stern Report, with the relevant source section(s) of the actual Stern Report.

    Chris Monckton could have made scrutiny of his analysis much easier IMO if he had simply tabulated the critical Stern-referenced data he used with each respective Stern Report sub-section or paragraph reference location (it might be possible to extract such a table with a bit of effort).

    I’ve spent more time answering Nick than actually getting to grips with the detail of Monckton’s cost/benefit unfortunately so until I just sit down and carefully read ‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’ word-for-word in entirely and compile the Monckton data used – Stern Report references using the respective wording of each (rather than Nick’s interpretation), I can’t really offer anything more than this.

    I think the best approach for everyone is to use the actual respective wording and quote source section references of each report when discussing each rather than short (couple of words), vague, unattributed quoting or inaccurate paraphrasing. Otherwise any discussion will degenerate into cross-purposes and confusion and nothing will be resolved.

  41. Richard C – I agree that the info could be better presented, but I though that was the whole point of the video

  42. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm said:

    >”I though that was the whole point of the video”

    I’m not a fan of videos for communicating detail. A video is fine for promotion but I think some accompanying textual background (may exist but haven’t had time to look) is more business-like.

    As I alluded, the accompanying text may just be ‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’

  43. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm said:

    >”Monckton’s “inaction” or “to take no action” is alleged to cost 1.6% of GDP.

    Nick, as I said in a reply to Andy,

    “I think the best approach for everyone is to use the actual respective wording and quote source section references of each report when discussing each rather than short (couple of words), vague, unattributed quoting or inaccurate paraphrasing. Otherwise any discussion will degenerate into cross-purposes and confusion and nothing will be resolved.”

    I suggest you start a new thread laying out your argument but rather than us have to fact-check your statements and claims filtered by your interpretation/paraphrasing etc (a real chore) as above and below, that you use the actual words and source references of those that you are saying say so-and-so (including myself).

    >”He claims this ……..”

    As above, I’m not even going to bother wasting my time (that I haven’t got anyway) fact-checking this statement of yours by having to chase down what was actually claimed in the first instance rather than what you say he claimed. Lay out your argument with quotes and references in sequence and then we will be able to see first hand what you base your point on and can check it and respond without wild-goose chasing all the time. You may actually have a valid point but until you put it across with clarity and accuracy don’t expect to get traction.

    >”This is clearly not “adaptation at need” as you characterise it”

    I think you have misinterpreted Stern, Monckton and me but until you lay out your points as above I’m not going to bother trying to dis-entangle a woolly argument.

    >”In the Stern report the cost of doing nothing is 5-20+%”

    As above, quote the Stern Report in context. 5-20+% is according to Stern, and as I quoted Stern in my comment (and looking highly unlikely), in economic terms the OPPORTUNITY cost – not a direct cost.

    >…“ if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.”

    Again, OPPORTUNITY cost – note the word “equivalent”. But a ridiculous scenario anyway.

    >”How can Monckton’s “inaction” be more expensive than Stern’s “action” when Monckton states that his cost was sourced from Stern?”

    Moncktons “inaction” (as you put it) is NOT inaction. Monckton’s ACTION (not “inaction”) is FUTURE ADAPTION AT NEED. That action may involve either action or inaction (i.e.wrt inaction, there may turn out to be no need to actually act). If action is required it would be 48 times LESS costly to act (adapt) in the future (at need) than to act now in the present and progressively onwards in time as per Stern’s mitigation.

    Again, I may have got your point wrong in my response but unless you intersperse your point with backup as above that leaves me a lot of second-guessing as to what you are getting at and as I said to Andy (repeated above initially in this comment):-

    “…….use the actual respective wording ……. Otherwise any discussion will degenerate into cross-purposes and confusion and nothing will be resolved.”

  44. Richard C – I understand that you may not be a fan of video, but the introductory one clearly states that there will be a website that has all the links and arguments stated in plain English

    So my thoughts are that we should address any concerns to Topher Field directly,rather than have endless arguments on this blog.

    Topher probably has a lot more to lose than Monckton on this one, so I am sure he wants his material pretty water tight.

  45. Andy on May 8, 2013 at 11:07 pm said:

    There is a video update on the project from Topher here

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/update-on-the-50-to-1-skeptic-documentary-video-project/#more-85774

    He’d like any potential doners to know that Paypal is now available if your credit card was not accepted previously.

  46. Nick on May 9, 2013 at 2:00 am said:

    Hi Richard C,

    I didn’t put it as “inaction” Monckton did. That’s why I used the quotation marks. That’s what they are for.

    I guess you can be excused however since you apparently haven’t had time to carefully read the one page report or compile it’s single reference to Stern. Let me know if it would be easier for you if I paste the whole thing into the thread.

    Anyway, I’ll try not to trouble you further with arguments that you find “woolly” (look, more quotation marks in action!) although some may suggest that the issue is not with the argument but rather with the reader.

  47. Alexander K on May 9, 2013 at 9:53 am said:

    Lord Stern is a self-aggrandising shill for Russian gas interests, no matter how well his supporters attempt to paper this over, and his infamous Report has been proved to contain considerable serious error. Further, the man also works for the Grantham Institute (along with ‘Fast Fingers’ Bob Ward) a vehicle the seriously weird Jeremy Grantham created to make hay from moonbeams (if you will pardon the wildly-mixed metaphor!).

  48. For those that haven’t seen Topher’s previous work,
    The Forbidden History of Terrible Taxes

    and

    The Forbidden History of Unpopular People

    are both worth a watch

  49. SimonP on May 9, 2013 at 10:45 am said:

    You call Jeremy Grantham ‘seriously weird’ whereas in my opinion he is one of the few investment managers who takes the long-view and is prepared to stake his investors’ money on it. GMO has been very successful. I agree with his opinions on debt as well:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-07/jeremy-grantham-we-have-been-conned

  50. Grantham has quite a bit invested in Exxon and other oil companies too

  51. SimonP on May 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm said:

    Of course. Oil companies would make up a reasonable chunk of most portfolios. If you are investing in renewable resources, and I don’t think that is as big a part of GMO’s business as they make out, fuel is a big input cost so hedging is a good idea.

  52. Magoo on May 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm said:

    Another greenie hypocrite in the same vein as Gore perhaps?

  53. I don’t know if Grantham is a “greenie”. Just another billionaire who is “leveraging” the climate change issue to his financial advantage

  54. Richard C (NZ) on May 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm said:

    >”I didn’t put it as “inaction” Monckton did. That’s why I used the quotation marks. That’s what they are for”

    I’ve no doubt Monckton did use the word “inaction” more than once but which instance are you referring to, from which passage, and in what context?

    I’m not asking for the “whole thing”, just context to know what you’re trying to communicate.

    >”I’ll try not to trouble you further with arguments that you find “woolly” ”

    Good idea, “rather than have endless arguments on this blog” as Andy puts it. I’m well aware I haven’t got all the background, of which there are masses in the Stern case, and I just haven’t got the time to crunch it all so without context and references from you I’m on a wild goose chase I’m just not going to indulge in.

    >”…although some may suggest that the issue is not with the argument but rather with the reader”

    Your argument is as clear as mud so I don’t think you’ll get many onside. FYI I’m NZ DIp. Bus. qualified with strong economics and finance so It’s not as if I’m coming into cost/benefit cold.

    Implicit in Monckton’s advocacy for “future action at need” are the 2 alternative scenarios below based on cost/benefit analysis in ‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’:-

    1) no action in the present because no action is required yet and no action in the future if no action is required either.
    2) action in the future but only if action is needed then.

    Stern’s approach on the other hand only has one 1 alternative:

    1) action now and in the future on the outside chance that action will be required even if it turns out that it is never needed.

    There is NO opportunity cost involved in Monckton’s approach 1) if no action is required. An economic opportunity cost only arises if 2) eventuates but in the future, not the present, due to a time lag for impacts to become apparent. An opportunity cost is NOT a cost that anyone writes a cheque out for, it is simply economic opportunities foregone.

    Stern’s approach is on “precautionary principle” and it incurs an opportunity cost from day one e.g. funds spent on climate mitigation cannot be spent on health or education for example. This is why Stern’s approach, when quantified, is relatively many times more costly than Monckton’s.

    The precautionary principle is widely implemented in structural engineering (also something I’m experienced in from years ago but as a technician, not a Reg. Engineer). A hospital, for example, is designed – WHETHER AN EARTHQUAKE OCCURS OR NOT IN THE FUTURE – to (hopefully) maintain total structural integrity after an earthquake so that functioning can continue as normal. Obviously there is a far greater upfront cost to achieve this condition. Commercial buildings are lessor spec on the other hand, only designed to stay intact in a condition that allows human egress but not continued functioning i.e. the building must be demolished. The commercial CTV building was a design disaster by this principle.

    The cost of rebuilding Christchurch has risen to around $40bn but that does not include opportunity costs, those are IN ADDITION if I understand the estimates correctly. The cost of rebuilding would be several times greater if ALL the structures had been built on the precautionary principle as for hospitals but they were not because it is simply uneconomic and unaffordable.

    Similarly, it is uneconomic (and now unaffordable in recession hit economies, but it never was anyway) to restructure the entire global economy on the precautionary principle to plan for a highly uncertain future scenario when massive costs of real natural disasters are being incurred internationally and have to be funded nationally.

  55. Richard C (NZ) on May 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm said:

    >”Stern’s approach is on “precautionary principle” and it incurs an opportunity cost from day one e.g. funds spent on climate mitigation cannot be spent on health or education for example.”

    That’s govt tax revenue spending. In the businesses that provide the tax revenue for the govt to spend, income that must be committed to carbon (sic) mitigation taxes is not available for business investment, or anything else for that matter.

    Every export/import container going through NZ ports (export being my current employment along with a good proportion of the NZ workforce)) currently incurs a carbon mitigation tax as does the domestic logistics and any operations emitting carbon. This imposition is totally ineffectual in climate terms even if the threat eventuates (as is Australia’s carbon tax) i.e. the carbon tax represents an unnecessary opportunity cost to business.

    2010, Pacifica Shipping ETS Levies (indirect taxes) in Open Threads ‘Economics’ here:-

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/#comment-27596

    2010: “Currently the ETS Levy added by Pacifica is $6 per TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), based on the $25 New Zealand unit price.”

    Don’t know what the up-to-date situation is though.

  56. Nick on May 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm said:

    Hi Richard C,
    You say “I’ve no doubt Monckton did use the word “inaction” more than once but which instance are you referring to, from which passage, and in what context?”

    Actually Monckton used the word inaction exactly once, on page one, of one.

    http://o.b5z.net/i/u/10152887/f/Is_CO2_mitigation_cost-effectove_Single_Page_Lord_Monckton_Foundation_Briefing_20130411.pdf

    By the way your argument from authority would be more convincing if your qualifications weren’t so underwhelming. Nice try though.

  57. Please can we lay off the personal issues thanks?

  58. Andy on May 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm said:

    On the Tooic of Peter Lilley, he has published this well written piece in The Spectator about shale gas in the UK

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8905731/the-only-way-is-shale/

  59. Nick on May 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm said:

    Hi Andy, I totally agree.

    I guess I was a little bored by Richard C’s various excuses for not addressing the issue and his various tangential remarks but bringing personal issues to the argument is never warranted. I apologise for any offense caused.

  60. Alexander K on May 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm said:

    Did you not understand the phrase ‘making hay from moonbeams’? Becoming wealthy has nothing to do with morality, sanity or having good mental health. Some of the very wealthy are not people who achieve acclaim for their saintliness!

  61. Richard C (NZ) on May 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm said:

    Nick you say:-

    >”…your argument from authority would be more convincing if your qualifications weren’t so underwhelming.”

    The only difference between my Diploma level Managerial Economics (A gained) say, and Bachelor level is the maths: algebra vs calculus. The content/coursework and reference reading was exactly the same when I compared each syllabus.

    Neither does the concept of opportunity cost change between High School introductory level economics and Degree/Bachelor level that I’m aware of but feel free to update my education if you think it’s necessary from your position of (implied, but I’d like to know some more) higher education if necessary.

    As for the impact of unnecessary punitive taxes via Stern’s advocacy (S1 scenario) vs Monckton’s (and many others seeking a realistic range of alternative carbon mitigation measures) advocacy (M1 & M2 scenarios), my interest in the issue stems from a) working in what is currently a very difficult part of the export sector (more below), and b) a general interest in the economics and facilitation of international trade for which I took the Diploma paper International Trade and Finance (B+ gained). Total Diploma cost $7500. In short, I have a vested interest in the best trading environment for NZ produce.

    To illustrate a), I’ve been working for the last several years in the packhouse production stage of the kiwifruit export sector but the sector has been hit hard over the last two years by the Psa disease meaning complete restructuring from organizational mergers down to firing/re-hiring of almost the entire key-level packhouse staff. And now the pressures to perform are enormous to meet cents/tray-equivalent budget targets.

    Those pressures are driving production staff into the ground. Last year (the first Psa hit year) I heard of two incidences of supervisor-employee physical altercations and a stacker (we also have two massive robotic stackers – big investment) on my team blew out (visibly protruding) his side abdominal muscles when twisting on the top of a ladder to place 5 trays on the top of a high-top pallet. He was doing his best when we were going flat out but he was overdoing it (advised to slow down a bit but didn’t because like everyone, wanted to perform). That was at the start of the season so he was out for the rest on ACC i.e. at taxpayers expense (kiwifruit casual labour already being subsidized by WINZ/taxpayer), not to mention his personal distress. I routinely have to avoid being run down by forklifts moving at speed – a normal packhouse hazard, it has happened but not to me. I can attest that a harried and distracted mind is not a mode of survival around forklifts.

    Just this last week on Wed/Thurs nightshift, the packhouse I’m in (largest in the country, 3 graders, 400 staff per shift, 800 per day) went nuts. Little issues blew up and people were shouting abuse at each other (including me doing same). In my team there was a physical altercation between staff that I witnessed, two experienced guys trying to do their best but differing decisional approaches made in the split second timeframes we work in, led to them coming to blows. I am not talking about your average white collar office worker either. One guy is one of the stronger, beefier stackers around (there are always guys like that in packhouses) who can effortlessly pick up 3 modular boxes at once (30 kg/66 lb) and place them on top of a pallet stack at head level – and he was red-hot-f***-you-mad. That the spectacle was unsettling to the ladies working alongside should be obvious.

    Why all this you might ask (but probably don’t care in your CO2 zeal)? Answer: the packline budgets and cut-to-the-bone staffing levels. The grader/sizer I work on (NZ made Compac, $5m+ initial investment about, total packhouse over $30m and counting) had a $0.5m IR camera grader installed pre 2013 season. This reduced manual grading staff levels by about 20 and per tray budget target by 12 cents (the total grower charge is $1.11 per tray (i.e. the most competitive price around) and grader budget targets vary between 26c – 42c per tray depending on grader system. The 2013 budget for each shift on our machine is now 32% less than last year and the director-level pressure to meet the new target is such that sensible operation goes out the window and operators get the set-up wrong.

    For example, our grader has a mainline (66% of total capacity) and a sideline (33% of total capacity). On Wed/Thurs night the operators had 50% of the fruit going to the sideline instead of 33% for about 9 hrs of the 10 hr shift, hence the completely frayed tempers on the sideline where I was at the time, everyone going at 100 miles an hour, 200%. On top of that, half the sideline was running without normal EAN label (export documentation requirement for each tray/box/carton etc) printing (printer down). Consequently, none of the 10kg cartons of fruit could be closed and go through to the final pallet stack, which for that side of the sideline is both manual and robotic stacking, because without labeling the machine loses track of what fruit it packed in each carton. So the open cartons must be man-handled aside onto temporary pallets because the machine keeps running and when the labeler is up again, a sample from each carton put aside (perhaps 500 cartons) must be weighed to determine what fruit (several different sizes/weights) is in which carton and then put through the labeller (very time consuming and laborious).

    I’ve worked on another similar $5m French-built MAF RODA grader/sizer that at least puts a temporary barcode ID on the carton before the EAN label so the machine knows what fruit it put in which box so the tops can be closed and it is not necessary to ID fruit size by weighing later. Except on that system, when the sideline labeler goes down as it does on the one I’m on now (both have an idiotic pinch-point, no back-up labeler but all cartons from 10 or 16 fruit droppers goes through just one labeler), the entire machine and 60 – 70 staff, stops. Ours doesn’t stop.

    Therefore, instead of tipping 600 bins of fruit per shift/60 – 70 bins/hr as some of the older, simpler systems are able to achieve without drama, we on the most expensive, highly automated (also auto pallet strapping on our machine) but supposedly potentially more efficient machine (“can tip 700 bins a shift, 80 bins/hr”) are lucky to tip a little over 300 bins a shift/40 bins/hr when it all goes wrong.

    On top of that there are rain delays and the imported RSE labour e.g. most of ours from Vanuatu, don’t get to pay off their upfront $1300 loan (airfares/accom) they have to pay off on the next-to-minimum $14/hr labour rate before going back to Vanuatu at the end of June after only working 3 months (1/3 of the total packhouse staffing are selected from locals i.e. best performers, to carry on to end of September – the rest are cut, another reason to perform) as they were led to believe they would be able to achieve AND have savings to take home over and above their loan repayments after paying transport to and from place of work and for food.

    All of the above is completely contrary to the espoused company vision and values of safety, operational excellence and valuing staff etc that are in our face on poster boards everywhere (but that only types with academic mgt background like myself take any notice of anyway).

    I think after all of the above I’ve demonstrated that I know a bit about what difference a few cents can make in the export environment Nick, from both academic and work experience backgrounds. The last thing our industry needs is the extra burden of unnecessary taxes viz. a carbon tax. So if the case or an on-going carbon tax is not rock-solid, water-tight, and non-negotiable and it isn’t, then that tax should go immediately in favour of more publicly responsible policy that trickles down to the minimum wage guy, working his ass off for his family, in fickle work availability, risking life and limb in doing so, trying to perform at superhuman level but keeping his temper in check at the same time but failing at times in the latter, in just a normal work day far from the job satisfaction of some govt climate scientist with his snout in the trough.

    So if you want go on about the pressures a few cents make to the minimum wage worker, but “only” the few but unnecessary carbon tax cents, then I know a couple of dozen very large and forthright guys who would perhaps like to make their opinion of you known to you personally in their own way and in no uncertain terms.

    As in my work place, I speak for those unable to elucidate their frustrations because they just don’t have the background or ability to do so e.g. I can tell a manager or director well above me in in pecking order and in mgt terms that the work-place culture they’re creating is sub-standard (to say the least in my present situation) and I am forthright in doing so to get the message across because it is not just me that desperately needs operational changes. Nothing happens if I or someone else like me speaks up. It’s been my experience that promotion is unlikely to follow however.

    And so it is with you and I Nick or even if I happen to gain access to the PM (and I’ve tried that too). I’m not the climate policy walkover you as a CO2 zealot would prefer because I’m not ignorant of the issues from an academic economic standpoint (as “underwhelming” as you might think that is), or an academic scientific standpoint (the engineering science of heat), and the trickle-down effects in an industrial export sector. And I call a spade a spade on every level (I would say the same to the PM or local politician as I would to you for example).

    So expect plenty of push-back to the Stern S1 precautionary principle from me. and forthrightly, because I assure you, if you think your delicate sensitivities have been slighted by being called a “Warmy” at this blog them you should get out more. I think under the current pressures, my workplace would be something of a revelation to you for example; where the level of profane personal abuse is at a somewhat baser level on occasions and it can get physical.

    It would help if those pressures were relieved even just by the removal of carbon taxes until an actual need arises to act in some way if ever. Given Stern thought in 2006 the science was robust but since then the solar situation has changed radically and there is now an alternative cooling scenario to realistically consider and assign a probability to that wasn’t a factor before, the Stern S1 policy is now completely irresponsible, unaffordable, uneconomic, and unnecessary but most working people don’t even know they’re carrying the burden by a reduction in discretionary spending after export earnings have been tapped. To those people, and I work with hundreds daily, cents matter a lot, even if they don’t matter at all to you Nick.

  62. Richard C (NZ) on May 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm said:

    Nick, you say, with reference to a one page summary of ‘Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?’:-

    Hi Richard C,

    You say “I’ve no doubt Monckton did use the word “inaction” more than once but which instance are you referring to, from which passage, and in what context?

    Actually Monckton used the word inaction exactly once, on page one, of one.

    http://o.b5z.net/i/u/10152887/f/Is_CO2_mitigation_cost-effectove_Single_Page_Lord_Monckton_Foundation_Briefing_20130411.p

    In the one page summary you link to Nick, Monckton uses the word “inaction” EXACTLY ZERO times (by pdf search and by eye). He actually says this in the one page summary (my annotation – [S1],[M1[],M2], and my emphasis):-

    Cost-benefit ratio: The cost of immediate mitigation [S1] divided by that of later adaptation [M2] is 80% / 1.5%, or 53. It is at least 50 times more expensive and less cost-effective to mitigate CO2 emissions [S1] by typical measures such as Australia’s carbon tax than to take no action at all today [M1] and, instead, to meet the later and far lesser cost of climate-related damage arising from unabated global warming of 3 Cº the day after tomorrow [M2].

    http://o.b5z.net/i/u/10152887/f/Is_CO2_mitigation_cost-effectove_Single_Page_Lord_Monckton_Foundation_Briefing_20130411.pdf

    In no way can the implied M2 scenario (unlikely as it is to be required as is S1) be construed to be “inaction”, as you do, by describing it inaccurately as you do i.e. you misquoting/miss-attributing Monckton.

    But in the 17 pages of the full paper ‘Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?’, Monckton uses the word “inaction” 37 times (by pdf search and unless I’ve miscounted 1 or 2) and exactly as I stated I expected in the comment reproduced by BOTH of us above. See full paper here

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1304/vuwflag1.pdf

    Herein lies the reason I don’t trust your quotes or attribution or argument as far as I could kick them in their present state Nick. And also why trying to check out your argument, as unclear as it is anyway (although I’d genuinely like to understand it if I could), somewhere in 37 instances of the word “inaction” is a wild goose chase when the basic foundation of your argument is such a tangled mess to decipher and worse – plain wrong!

    If this was the academic environment you brought up wrt my economic qualifications Nick, you would fail dismally in all 12 papers, especially the element-by-element sentence analysis required in Introductory and Commercial Law, but you would not get past 100 level anyway on the above performance if the marking I experienced from my provider is anything to go by.

    BTW, the 100 and 200 levels of my Diploma get cross-credited to Bachelor of Business if I had decided to go further, so the fundamentals are common to both.

  63. Richard C (NZ) on May 12, 2013 at 12:50 am said:

    >”So where exactly in the Stern report does the 0-3% value come from?” [Nick asking]

    >”Somewhere there’ll be High/Limited/Low alternative scenarios (explicit or implied) I’m guessing, where High is around 3, Limited 1, and Low 0 or something like that.” [ My reply]

    Monckton from one page summary of ‘‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’:-

    The benefit: Stern (2006, p. vi), estimates that the avoided-cost benefit of abating the 3 Cº 21st-century global warming expected by the IPCC will be 0-3% of 21st-century global GDP.

    http://o.b5z.net/i/u/10152887/f/Is_CO2_mitigation_cost-effectove_Single_Page_Lord_Monckton_Foundation_Briefing_20130411.pdf

    Monckton from ‘IS CO2 MITIGATION COST-EFFECTIVE?’ page 3:-

    Stern (2006) concluded that, though previous projections had indicated 2-3 K anthropogenic warming by 2100, causing a permanent global output loss estimated at 0-3% (mean 1.5%), more recent evidence suggested 5-6 K warming by the end of this century, and possibly 10-11 K warming by 2200.

    However, IPCC (2007) presented estimates of radiative forcing and warming this century under six emissions scenarios (op. cit., p. 18), to each of which it accorded equal weight. Taking their mean, a central estimate ΔTC21 of 21st-century warming is 2.8 K (Table 1), of which 0.6 K is already committed, so that the implicit central estimate of mean warming from 2000-2100 consequent upon all greenhouse-gas emissions since 2000 is 2.2 K, of which 70%, or 1.5 K, is CO2-driven.

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1304/vuwflag1.pdf

    Stern Review index:-

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/stern_review_report.cfm

    Stern from ‘Summary of Conclusions’ page 1 (p.vi of the entire report):-

    …..the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year.

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/3/2/Summary_of_Conclusions.pdf

    Stern from ‘PART III: The Economics of Stabilisation’, 9 Identifying the Costs of Mitigation, Key Messages (page 1, Stern’s emphasis):-

    An estimate of resource costs suggests that the annual cost of cutting total GHG to about three quarters of current levels by 2050, consistent with a 550ppm CO2e stabilisation level, will be in the range –1.0 to +3.5% of GDP, with an average estimate of approximately 1%. This depends on steady reductions in the cost of low-carbon technologies, relative to the cost of the technologies currently deployed, and improvements in energy efficiency. The range is wide because of the uncertainties as to future rates of innovation and fossil-fuel extraction costs. The better the policy, the lower the cost.

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/F/0/Chapter_9_Identifying_the_Costs_of_Mitigation.pdf

    # # #

    So that is progress on the actual Stern source of Monckton’s range of “0-3% of 21st-century global GDP”” but only to 2050 in Stern and a range of “–1.0 to +3.5% of GDP, with an average estimate of approximately 1%” not Monckton’s “0-3%” and “mean 1.5%” and the full 21st century.

    There is more on economic modeling in Chapter 10 e.g. Chapter 9 states in 9.1, page 2 “Different modelling approaches to calculating the cost of abatement generate estimates that span a wide range, as Chapter 10 will show”.

    And having identified that the difference between Stern’s range and Monckton’s range is immaterial and not a discrepancy, that’s as far as I’m going with this except to say Chris Monckton could have made the exercise much easier with better references for those concerned including Nick and myself at least.

  64. Nick on May 12, 2013 at 12:51 am said:

    Richard C, this is a forum for conversation, not a school yard.

    No matter how clever or oblique you think you are being, threats of violence are the actions of a bully. Threats to have someone else perform violence on your behalf are the actions of a coward.

  65. Richard C (NZ) on May 12, 2013 at 2:19 am said:

    Nick you say:-

    >”Richard C, this is a forum for conversation, not a school yard.”

    If you are implying a recounting of my workplace experience in this forum to illustrate a very real example of the stresses of economic constraints (Psa-caused disruption in my case but it could be the Christchurch earthquake in another person’s example) is a schoolyard activity of some sort, you’re not conversing, you’re insulting me and my workmates Nick.

    >No matter how clever or oblique you think you are being, threats of violence are the actions of a bully.”

    There was no “threats of violence” Nick. You misunderstand and misconstrue the point entirely as usual. I was illustrating the fact that literally thousands of low paid workers (some of them rough diamonds admittedly) slaving away in very trying conditions would take a dim view of your CO2 mitigation policy (Stern’s) if they could get to grips with how it impacts them as I can even when it’s only cents at a time.

    >”Threats to have someone else perform violence on your behalf are the actions of a coward.”

    Misunderstanding, miscomprehending, and misconstruing again. There was no such insinuation (and see above). Quoting my comment this time with emphasis:-

    So if you want go on about the pressures a few cents make to the minimum wage worker, but “only” the few but unnecessary carbon tax cents, then I know a couple of dozen very large and forthright guys who would perhaps like to make their opinion of you known to you personally in their own way and in no uncertain terms.

    No threats to have someone else perform violence on my behalf, and therefore not the actions of a coward obviously. What I’m getting at is, given the opportunity, those guys (who double check their payslips) would speak to you in their own vernacular and they wouldn’t call you “Warmy” as I do if they knew they were being fleeced cents at work, cents at the petrol station, cents on their electricity bill, cents anywhere else the carbon tax hits them but they don’t know about (and almost all of them wouldn’t know they were being fleeced by a carbon tax and it adds up to dollars over time). Their language (“opinion”) would be much more colourful than mine and I’m sure you would get the message verbally Nick. Never mind if they were mad enough to rough you up physically but either way I don’t see those guys backing down in any way for anyone.

    BTW, a better answer to your question “”So where exactly in the Stern report does the 0-3% value come from?” was posted 1 minute before your comment I’m replying to here so you’ve probably missed it:-

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2013/05/cost-to-restore-climate-a-game-changer/#comment-197851

    There never was a Monckton-Stern discrepancy of any material consideration Nick. Hopefully in future you can do a bit more looking before leaping and save me some effort on your behalf.

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