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Walport and his evidence

Another entertaining episode in the hearings this morning was where Mark Walport was asked about Matt Ridley's suggestion that global warming would bring net benefits over 40-50 years. This conclusion is based on Richard Tol's metaanalysis of mainstream economic studies into such questions (see key figure below).

In response to this, Walport had this to say:

I understand the point [Ridley] is trying to make but I think he's completely wrong unfortunately. While there might be trivial benefits in some parts of the world for some of the time the long term direction for all of us is a negative direction. And frankly I think he is...he described himself as a "rational optimist". I'm not sure about the rational bit.

I wonder if Walport has any actual evidence to support his position that Ridley is wrong. The words read like our chief scientist substituting name-calling for a lack of evidence.

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Reader Comments (53)

We must also be realistic I suppose. If the members were truly reasonable and rational what could they do with a body such as Energy and Climate Change Committee, except disband it? Can anyone tell me, please, when was the last time a Parliament disbanded one of its committees?

Mar 12, 2014 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn DeFayette

Yes, it did strike me that the Sparticusisatroll, "oh they are public schoolboys" ad hom comment, was a deliberate attempt to discredit BH & THIS discussion by driving it into the dirt.
..and whoaa and behold David McKay turns up here, contradicts that ad hom ..but ignores the main points of Bish's article.

Mar 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Why does anyone take that graph seriously? It relies almost entirely on one positive data point at 1C from Tol's 2002 study. Without that one data point the curve would be entirely negative.

Mar 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

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