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« IPCC seeks to influence UK FOI laws | Main | More climate emails »

MSPs misled over Stern

From the Dundee Courier:

Pressure group the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum (SCEF) claims a briefing given to MSPs misquoted a report into the economic cost of climate change, although the Scottish Government maintains the threat cannot be ignored.

In the briefing, issued in December 2008, MSPs were told that temperatures rising by just 2 to 3 degrees celsius would lead to a global reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 5%-20%.

However, SCEF chairman Mike Haseler said the Stern Review — seen as one of the most authoritative studies into the possible financial implications of unchecked climate change — said such a change would only reduce GDP by up to 3%, if at all.

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Reader Comments (41)

Courier link doesn't work.

Jul 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJockdownsouth

I don't think it would matter to Soapy Salmond, our esteemed leader, even if he had been misled. If it fits his suicidal pursuit of windmills he will not care one jot. In fact he and his SNP buddies would be quite happy with being misled on a daily basis if it suits their purpose.

Jul 24, 2012 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

I'd have thought that the Scots, with their relatively cold and damp climate, would have done all they could to encourage Global Warming.

Jul 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Looks like the article has been pulled, maybe ? SCEF search on the "home of the beano" website gets no results.

Jul 24, 2012 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

I should imagine that Alex Salmond would be very keen to keep that particular item out of the news.

After all he is very much of the 'science is settled' meme so he was quite unprepared for the winter of 2010 -

"Some travellers were stuck in their vehicles for more than 15 hours as Scotland bore the brunt of the weather."

Wonderful when he was caught out with this quote -

"At the end of the day, you know, no man can tether time nor tide, and certainly you can’t control the elements. I am very sad that a decent man, a competent minister has been forced to resignation because of the extremities of the climate"

So why the heck is he covering the once-beautiful Scottish countryside with those hideous wind turbines!

And despite the lessons that should have been learned is even now pushing electric cars onto Scottish councils -

Jul 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

How does one inadvertantly drop 0-3% in favor of 5-20% GDP reduction in a presentation to legislators? If there is no meaningful penalty for this sort of purposeful mendacity, there will not likely be a meaningful reduction in its occurrence.

Jul 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterneill

The simple fact is that MSPs were told an untruth about the central justification for the climate change bill. It is really quite difficult to imagine something so serious. The MSPs were told that woldwide GDP would be hit by 5-20% for a 2-3°C rise. The truth is that Stern, who is hardly impartial, gives a figure between 0 to 3%.

In other words, the MSPs were told there would certainly be harm much greater than the cost given by Stern (1% of GDP). The truth is that there may not be any impact on GDP and so the cost could be much greater than any benefit.

Parliament has certainly been misled. The Courier which broke this story has apparently been lent on to pull this story.

The Scottish Government now appears to be embroiled in not only the original scandal about misleading parliament, but apparently as this article was pulled immediately after MSPs were emailed to inform them, it was an MSP that lent on the Courier.

There would therefore appear to be an attempt to cover up this deception.

This is just monstrous. This falsehood is so central, the Climate Change Bill would surely be challenged in court by anyone affected which just about makes the bill worthless.

Someone's head is going to roll over this.

Jul 24, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottish Sceptic

Perhaps interested people should enquire from Companies' House whether any relatives of MSPs are Directors of renewables' companies.

Jul 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Discussion of the article being pulled and a copy of the article here:

"It is therefore our belief that one of the MSPs had been in contact with the Courier as a response to our email and forced them to remove the article."

Jul 25, 2012 at 2:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Steady on the tiller,
There's a bad blow ahead.
Backwash from the windmills,
Rows of dead ahead.

Jul 25, 2012 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Here's a PDF with some notes from the the Scottish Parliament website which includes the 5-20% figure:

From paragraph 134. p23:

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is considered to be the most comprehensive review carried out to date on the economics of climate change. The Stern Review report states all countries will be affected by climate change and unabated climate change risks raising average temperatures by over 5°C from pre-industrial levels. Based on the assessment of the science carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 2001, the Review report states that the dangers of unabated climate change will be an increase in global temperature and that an increase of 2-3 °C will reduce global GDP by between 5% and 20%.

Jul 25, 2012 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

The only good lies are exclusively found on golf courses?

Jul 25, 2012 at 7:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Re: Jul 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM | spartacusisfree

"Perhaps interested people should enquire from Companies' House whether any relatives of MSPs are Directors of renewables' companies."

Or perhaps look at the MSPs Declarations of Interest -

There's at least one MSP who benefits greatly from wind-farms on his land (£40-45K/annum)

And guess what - he's on the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee in the Scottish Parliament.

Now I wonder who nominated him for that position and why and also why he decided to accept despite this obvious conflict of interests?

Jul 25, 2012 at 7:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Climate science assumes contrary to a century of observational physics that IR from the Earth's surface is the same as from a black body in a vacuum. Because every other part of the IPCC pseudo-science collapses when you correct this mistake, the Stern Report has no scientific justification.

However, some politicians are masters of deception and the rest are doomed to be suckers. The exaggeration of Stern's fantasy spreadsheet is exactly what the Scots' suckers want to hear. There can be no CO2-AGW but they want it to be true so will destroy their economy whilst blaming the English.

We must not make the same mistakes so we can cope with the flux of refugees from the power cuts.

Jul 25, 2012 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

The difference, in my opinion, lies in the way the argument is worded. According to the notes from the Scottish Parliament, "the Review report states that... an increase of 2-3% will reduce global GDP by between 5% and 20%" (my emphases.) No ifs, no buts.

The Stern report does indeed present a range of 5%-20% for a reduction in per-capita consumption, but only if certain factors are included:

See page 143:

Using an Integrated Assessment Model, and with due caution about the ability to model, we estimate the total cost of BAU climate change to equate to an average reduction in global percapita consumption of 5%, at a minimum, now and forever. The cost of BAU would increase still further, were the model to take account of three important factors.

And then they list the factors:

First, including direct impacts on the environment and human health (‘non-market’ impacts) increases the total cost of BAU climate change from 5% to 11%, although valuations here raise difficult ethical and measurement issues. But this does not fully include ‘socially contingent’ impacts such as social and political instability, which are very difficult to measure in monetary terms;

Second, some recent scientific evidence indicates that the climate system may be more responsive to greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought, because of the existence of amplifying feedbacks in the climate system. Our estimates indicate that the potential scale of the climate response could increase the cost of BAU climate change from 5% to 7%, or from 11% to 14% if non-market impacts are included. In fact, these may be only modest estimates of the bigger risks – the science here is still developing and broader risks are plausible;

Third, a disproportionate burden of climate change impacts fall on poor regions of the world. Based on existing studies, giving this burden stronger relative weight could increase the cost of BAU by more than one quarter.

I think that these are the big ifs and buts that the MSPs were not made aware of.

Jul 25, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Re: Jul 25, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Alex Cull

Nor do they appear to have been made aware of the major criticism of the Stern Review by Richard Tol who's work was cited by the review and who was himself an AGW proponent.

Jul 25, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

"So why the heck is he covering the once-beautiful Scottish countryside with those hideous wind turbines!
Jul 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion "

So why the heck isn't he covering the once-beautiful Scottish countryside with trees and shrubbery!?
You know, photo synthesis and all that jazz.

Jul 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Re: Jul 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM | John Silver

I suppose they prefer their own hideous structures/models to nature/reality.

Jul 25, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

i like the fact u r going thru the whole CAGW scam under a Tory Govt because in Australia and even in the US, there are still too many who believe it's a leftwing scam rather than just another power grab.

perfect example for those who know anything about the major rightwing "neocon" think-tank, America Enterprise Institute, is this Forbes article by Larry Bell. once upon a time if AEI breathed, there'd be reports all over the MSM, yet here we find out they've had FIVE secret meetings:

24 July: Forbes: Carbon Taxomania: Bipartisan Stupidity On Steroids
On July 11, the usually conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) co-hosted a hushed-up meeting with the liberal Climate Crisis Coalition (CCC) to discuss how to enact a carbon tax in a lame duck Congressional session either this fall or in the 113th Congress. That was the fifth meeting they have sponsored on this subject. While the most recent gathering, the “Price Carbon Campaign/Lame Duck Initiative: A Carbon Pollution Tax in Fiscal and Tax Reform”, was represented by Washington Examiner sources as simply some economists brainstorming, the meeting’s discussion topics suggest a very clear agenda. The first session addressed “Detoxifying climate policy for conservatives”. Session II was titled “Framing and selling a carbon pollution tax.”AEI’s director of economic policy studies, Kevin Hassett, a free-market economist and regular National Review contributor, defended his organization’s role in hosting the carbon tax meeting, stating: ”In recent years, AEI has been accused of being both in the pocket of energy companies and organizing to advocate a carbon tax. Neither is true. AEI has been, and will continue to be, an intellectually curious place where products aren’t influenced by interested parties, and ideas are welcome in seeking solutions for difficult public policy problems.”.
Yet the participation and messaging certainly wasn’t dominated by curious, idea-probing conservatives. Representatives were present from numerous liberal groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Public Citizen, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Brookings Institute, the Climate Action Network and Clean Air-Cooled Planet…

Jul 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

pat; we are aware of Agenda 21 and the intention by the elite to kill 30 million UK citizens whilst becoming rich from the electricity and carbon trading oligopoly.

Because the Scots are more advanced than us we can turn it to our advantage by using their experience as a warning. Power failures from interaction of Longannet and wind energy are already happening.

Jul 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Apparently the article is here

with a theory on why it was removed.

Jul 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Re: Jul 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM | pat

Thanks for the info, pat.

Here in the UK our political party leaders are virtually indistinguishable - Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. All three have had meteoric rises through their respective parties to become leaders and have far too much control over party policy. All three are very much pro UN/pro EU, against national interests. Cameron is something like the RINOs in the US.

You can see how 'popular' they are - these are negative ratings by the way -

In fact we don't seem to have any senior politicians that are truly representative of the people, they seem more to represent their own narrow vested interests be it political careerism or with an eye to future opportunities in the companies who employ them as 'consultants'.

Indeed Blair (Labour) who took this country to war on a lie (and was given a standing ovation by Cameron (Conservative) on leaving Parliament) was awarded the position of UN peace envoy to the Middle East and now tours the world providing consultancy on climate change. Brown who sold our gold reserves at rock bottom prices, trashed our pension reserves and assisted in ruining our economy was touted for the World Bank at one time and has been handsomely paid since for speeches given to hedge fund managers, and Miliband, david (brother of ed) has been paid £70,000 for just three days' work advising venture capitalists investing in 'green' technology. One wonders just what sort of 'expertise' they bring to these areas to warrant such rewards.

Sorry for the rant but as you can see I am not a fan of our political classes. As far as I'm concerned it's politicians vs the people!!

Jul 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

As independent corroboration of the SCEF interpretation of the Stern Review see this BBC summary of it under the Economic Impact heading:

A two to three degrees Celsius rise in temperatures could reduce global economic output by 3%

If temperatures rise by five degrees Celsius, up to 10% of global output could be lost. The poorest countries would lose more than 10% of their output

In the worst case scenario global consumption per head would fall 20%

The executive summary of the Stern Review linked to on that BBC page says on page 10:

In summary, analyses that take into account the full ranges of both impacts and possible outcomes - that is, that employ the basic economics of risk - suggest that BAU climate change will reduce welfare by an amount equivalent to a reduction in consumption per head of between 5 and 20%. Taking account of the increasing scientific evidence of greater risks, of aversion to the possibilities of catastrophe, and of a broader approach to the consequences than implied by narrow output measures, the appropriate estimate is likely to be in the upper part of this range.

The difference I think is due to the time frames involved. The estimate of up to a 3% reduction in global gdp is to the end of this century. The estimate of a fall in per capita consumption of between 5 and 20% is to the end of the next century, *I think*. It isn't especially clear. It is also probably not quite cricket to conflate total gdp and per capita gdp without a nod to what your estimates of population are.

Jul 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

I wonder if the GDP figures take any account of one of Scotland's favourite exports... Aberdeen Angus beef?
According to: Van Ginkel, J.H. and Gorissen, A. 1998. In situ decomposition of grass roots as affected by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. Soil Science Society of America Journal 62: 951-958.

Elevated CO2 significantly increased shoot biomass by an average of 28% at both low and high soil nitrogen concentrations. Similarly, atmospheric CO2 enrichment increased root biomass by an average of 42%.

This should translate into even better steaks for me ^.^

Jul 25, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Morph, thanks for the link.

The hits just keep coming. How many more surprises can there be?

Unchecked fraud and misrepresentation prior to Climategate is astounding to say the least. The fact that the players haven't been called to account seems to show that it is accepted behavior by the elite class. Still defending the past behavior rather than removing the players shows compliance.

"FOIA" should be awarded the Nobel Prize.

Jul 25, 2012 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

I am not sure they were misled, they were told what they wanted to hear.

Jul 25, 2012 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Stern's argument was that the "do nothing" scenario would cost 5-20% of GDP by 2100. However, Stern also recognized that stopping any further rises in CO2 would be economically disastrous. Constraining CO2 increases to 550ppm to 600ppm is the optimal policy according to Stern. Low policy costs, and the climate change impacts are small as well - at least relative to the letting global warming go beyond some dangerous tipping points.

I showed this graphically here.

Jul 25, 2012 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

eyesonu, RC/FOIA has already garnered more honor and fame than most Nobel winners. He/she/they will be remembered longer than most, too.

Jul 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

This is worth viewing so you can appreciate the sheer incompetence of the IPCC:

Jul 26, 2012 at 7:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

I wouldn't trust Stern as far as I could spit him.
I know for sure that he cherry-picked data to paint the most dismal picture possible for his political masters.

What do you think he got elevated to the Lords for?

Jul 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Re: Jul 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Don Keiller

Mustn't forget -

Prof. Julia Slingo OBE who also contributed to the Stern report -

"Julia Slingo is the Met Office Chief Scientist and has responsibility for our scientific research and development."

"Contributed to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC.

Served as a member of several national and international committees, including the Met Office and ECMWF Scientific Advisory Committees.

In 2007 was appointed to the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme.

Regularly involved in Royal Society activities, and in 2008 became the first woman President of the Royal Meteorological Society. "

Also well known media spokesperson and witness for the Science & Technology Committee Reviews into the CRU scandal.

start watching from 2:19 to see some interesting answers

(Oh and Julia Slingo didn't wait for the Muir Russell Inquiry before she instigated her infamous petition)

Jul 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

start watching from 2:19 to see some interesting answers

Also interesting is how they deflect the questions providing their own which they prefer to answer!

Not uncommon for IPCC supporters in this forum!

Jul 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Also some interesting discussion of computer code - start watching at approx 2:40

(Interesting question from Graham Stringer asking if there is a problem with the code)

She claims they're 'tested' as they are the same codes used for the weather forecasts, they don't always get it right !!! but that's the nature of the chaotic system. they're also shared with academic institutions around the UK but more interesting they're licensed to other Met Offices around the world who are also using them to produce their own forecasts, according to Slingo this is 'testing' the code.
They also touch on FOI.

Jul 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

I sympathize with your cynicism about the political classes, Marion. In Australia around the time of Copenhagen we very nearly had the Liberal National (conservative) opposition hijacked into support of an ETS bill by its then leader, a former merchant banker big-end-of-towner with strong past Labor connections by the name of Turnbull. Luckily he was given the heave-ho by his outraged party room, who had no desire to be the Labor government's doormat.

The current leader Tony Abbott is too conservative for the MSM and perhaps lacking in some popular appeal, but has promised to repeal the vile carbon tax once he takes over next year, probably in a landslide the way the polls are going. The UK seems to have too few traditional middle class Conservatives (Peter Lilley is a laudable exception), whereas Canada and Australia still retain some common sense in their politics. There are even some old-fashioned socially conservative blue collar types in the Australian Labor Party who very likely know the carbon tax is bogus, but of course aren't allowed to say so in the present "climate".

Jul 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Turnbull is ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs Australia, so he's a fully paid-up carbon trader which is heading to be as big a scandal as the mortgages which wrecked the banks.

This time though, it's to double the cost of energy to every man and woman in the street with enormous profits to the bankers so they can continue the gambling with a new set of chips.

My advice is to take every politician who wants carbon taxation to the nearest lamp post with a bit of rope and proceed to string them up unless they recant.

In Australia the Unions are behaving like our Mafia in that they are building the useless windmills to produce more CO2 than the plant they are supposed to replace, but don't because it's still needed.

Jul 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Seems the link is live again. time for an update?

Jul 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

Thanks, Chris and Spartacus

I knew that Julie Gillard also had a meteoric rise through her political party (and Obama of course) but I wasn't aware of the background on Turnbull.

Certainly most of the MSM seem to have a visceral hatred for any type of 'conservative', and the ABC in Australia seems to have a similar bias to the BBC here. Peter Lilley is definitely one of the better Conservatives, one of only a handful of MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act. I hope Tony Abbott keeps to his promises, can't say that any of our party leaders have (on an EU referendum for example all three parties promised but none delivered!) But yes there seems to be a glimmer of hope in Canada.

The wind turbines are a nonsense, no sense at all but very profitable for some whilst even more of the population are plunged into fuel poverty. Our politicians have a lot to answer for.

Jul 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Marion: Mafia connection -

Three types of financial backer: Enron, who thought up the idea, GS and Deutsche etc. want to replace MBSs with a new income stream. Hedgies like Grantham want new gambling, re-insurers like Munich and California get 1% more for every 1% increase in risk they can claim to be validated by the IPCC.

The last group is probably behind Stern's fantasy spread sheet. This was used by Blair, now reportedly earning lots advising banks on global warming, to justify fake science.

The physics: 5 mistakes, two elementary [wrong surface heat transfer, 33 K ‘GHG warming’ is really ~9 K],, two subtle [Sagan's aerosol physics, IR physics with a twist], failure of Meteorology to understand ‘back radiation’ is a pyrometer artefact.

Jul 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Also interesting is how they deflect the questions providing their own which they prefer to answer!
Not uncommon for IPCC supporters in this forum!

The oldest trick in the book-I'm amazed it works. When one of my students tries this on- rewording the question to their liking, I put a red line through the whole lot, write "irrelevant", or "does not address original question" and give them zero.
A similar approach in politics is needed.

Jul 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I see a copy of the disappeared article in the Google Cache - grab a copy whilst you can:

Jul 29, 2012 at 2:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Cave

And yes, the link is live again - heh I should have checked beforehand :)

Jul 29, 2012 at 3:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Cave

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