Experts Challenge British Report on Economic Costs of Climate Change

Published November 1, 2006

(November 1, 2006 – Chicago, Illinois) A new report addressing the potential economic costs of global warming, being called the “Stern Review” after its author, British economist Nicholas Stern, has the media in a panic. The Washington Post headlined its coverage, “Global Warming Could Devastate Economy”; the New York Times reported on the “cataclysmic” economic effects of “apocalyptic” global warming; and the Detroit Free Press pondered “Global Warming: Calamity?”

Many expert observers are critical of the 700-page report, which was commissioned by Gordon Brown, a Labour Party politician hoping to become prime minister next year.

James Taylor [941/776-5690 – [email protected]], senior fellow for environment affairs for The Heartland Institute, has called the report “suspect” and noted in an October 30 statement [Biased British Study Exaggerates Costs, Neglects Science of Climate Variance] that “the study itself admits to speculation based on incomplete information.”

S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. [703/920-2744], an atmospheric physicist and president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, has criticized the report for being based on the flawed assumption that warming will be harmful to life on Earth. In a letter to the Journal of World Economics Singer noted, for example, that “we know from voluminous records that human existence was good and much more comfortable during the Medieval Warm Period (ca. 1100 AD) than during the following Little Ice Age.”

Roger Pielke, Jr. [303/735-3940 – [email protected]], of the University of Colorado, accuses Stern of “cherry picking” data. Stern’s report cites work by Robert Muir-Wood to establish an economic trend predicting global warming costs related to increased weather catastrophes. “What [the] Stern Report does not say,” writes Pielke on his blog, “is that Muir-Wood et al. find no trend 1950-2005 and Muir-Wood et al. acknowledge that their work shows a very strong influence of 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons in the United States.”

Myron Ebell [202/331-2258 – [email protected]], director of Energy and Global Warming Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), commented in an October 30 news release that “[t]he report’s estimates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are laughably rosy, while the assumptions about the impacts of global warming are ridiculously overblown.”

Ian Murray [202/331-2258 – [email protected]], a senior fellow for CEI, noted, “contrary to speculative economic models used by the Stern Review, the European Union’s actual experience suggests that the costs of cutting emissions would be very high.”

The Heartland Institute encourages you to contact these and other experts on climate change for their perspective on predictions of “apocalypse” and global “calamity.” For help finding climate realists call Michael Van Winkle at 312/377-4000 or email [email protected].