Some months ago I suggested that media coverage of The Stern Report — an assessment of the economics of climate change by a British economist for the British government — was completely over the top. I also commented that from a quick scan there were some obvious errors of fact.
Now the journal World Economic has published a lengthy critique of The Stern Report. Part 1 of the critique deals with ‘The Science’. Written by Robert M. Carter, C. R. de Freitas, Indur M. Goklany, David Holland and Richard S. Lindzen it concludes:
“The Stern Review is biased and alarmist in its reading of the science. In particular, it displays:
• a failure to acknowledge the scope and scale of the knowledge gaps and uncertainties in climate science
• credulous acceptance of hypothetical, model-based explanations of the causality of climate phenomena
• massive overestimation of climate impacts through an implausible population scenario and one-sided treatment of the impacts literature, including reliance on agenda-driven advocacy documents
• lack of due diligence in evaluating many pivotal research studies despite the scandalous lack of disclosure of data and methods in these studies
• lack of concern for the defects and inadequacies of the peer review process as a guarantor of quality or truth.
These and other related problems arise because the Review has relied for advice almost exclusively on a small number of people and organizations that have a long history of unbalanced alarmism on the global warming
issue. Most of the research cited by the Review does not, on inspection, make a convincing case that greenhouse warming constitutes a major threat that justifies an immediate and radical policy response. Contrary research is consistently ignored, as are basic observational facts showing that alarm is unwarranted. The Review fails to present an accurate picture of scientific understanding of climate change issues, and will reinforce ill-informed alarm about climate change among the general public, the bureaucracy and the body politic. HM Government will need to look elsewhere for a balanced, impartial and authoritative review of the current climate change debate. “
The complete document from World Economics, Volume 7, Number 4, October-December 2006, can be downloaded here: