NZ Herald: Dogged lord of climate change

Chris Barton writes in New Zealand Herald about Lord Stern, the author of the 2006’s Stern Review, which looked at the costs of mitigating (or not) climate change.

Stern, an economist, has said that an investment of 2% of the world’s GDP now into climate-change related action could mean we avoid costs as large as 20% of the world’s GDP later.  His response to climate change denialism is rationality – setting out the facts clearly and in a balanced way.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Stern acknowledges it’s a difficult story because the consequences can’t be seen instantly.

“”It’s a test of rationality. It’s a test of our powers to understand science and to explain.”

“The explaining is difficult too: “It’s about relationships and probabilities. If you increase the concentrations of greenhouse gases, the probability of these kinds of temperature increases and the probability of climate changes rises. People try to say because the evidence is about probabilities it’s uncertain. No it’s not. It’s evidence about uncertainty.”

“But the basic scientific conclusions about climate change are very robust and founded in more than 200 years of scientific endeavour. In short, greenhouse gases trap heat and humans are emitting ever more greenhouse gases.”