His calculations are based on the output of complex computer models, all constructed on the assumption that average global temperatures are directly linked to atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases – in particular carbon dioxide. His estimates are doubtless correct for the scenarios presented, but we question the validity of the starting point.As they drily note, "Not surprisingly, his conclusions are those which the government wanted..." Philip Chaston at the UK-based Samizdata blog gloomily summarises:
Reaction from the public to the Stern Report, which is only officially released today, has not been entirely positive. This BBC forum is an example, with the more popular commenters expressing views like these:
The Letter from David Miliband [PDF], the appointment of the political failure Al Gore and the report by Stern are all designed to provide the intellectual ballast for continued government expansion. These taxes are politically unpalatable and would be rejected by the electorate, if levied without green cover. Therefore, climate change and catastrophism are the reasons for a 'greener than thou' ratchet effect, where politicians use Britain and our money to puff themselves up as a moral example for others.Since the science and the scenarios are still so uncertain, climate change has been adopted as the vanguard for further taxation and a curb on British consumerism. Using the expansion of the state and taxes, rather than market mechanisms, our politicians will dampen our economic growth, steal our wealth, and wrap us in their parasitical hairshirt. The only light in this gloom is that the British electorate may reject such alarmism and the example of our political stupidity will lead India and other nations to seek technological and free-market solutions that do not curb their march away from poverty.
- Everyone in the country is sick to the back teeth of working just to pay ever increasing bills and taxes to this hopeless government.
- We already have a green tax on cars. Its called petrol duty. And at 80% its already more than enough.
- Typical government reaction: if you can't solve it, tax it.
- It seems to me that this government has run out of ideas, and thinks that the failures of tax and spend, can be rectified with new and inifinitely more complex versions of exactly the same thing.
- More taxes???? This really is the Government's answer to everything!
- NO! Despite what the greenies would have you believe, there is NOT a consensus amongst climate scientists that humans have (or even can) affect the climate. The government is jumping on the green bandwagon because it allows them to increase taxes without taking the heat for it
LINKS: The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change - HM Treasury, UK
Too Stern a view of climate change - Scientific Alliance (UK) [Word Doc]
Blair's last word on climate change - Samizdata
Miliband draws up green tax plans - BBC
Would you pay green taxes? - BBC forum
News and Commentary - Junk Science [scroll down a little to see the links of reactions]
RELATED: Politics-UK, Environment, Global Warming