The Stern Report is the just-published report on climate change commissioned by Tony Blair. The Business isn’t impressed:
[Stern’s] portentious study, The Economics of Climate Change, prepared for the British government, was treated as if it had been carried down from Mount Sinai rather than put together by an ordinary British mandarin. The fawning media classes, which now regard environmentalism as the new religion, immediately took it as gospel (to do otherwise is the new heresy). The Tories and the Liberal Democrats, which have both suspended their critical faculties on the matter, rushed to clamber aboard the bandwagon. Even airlines and oil companies, these new paens of political correctness, welcomed its arrival. But consensus is always dangerous – and this one comes loaded with particular menace. As a compendium of alarmist studies on global warming, the Stern report has no rival. Few outlandish claims have not been included in his 570-page tome, making it a useful guide to current eco-nuttery. Naturally, it paints the now-familiar vision of apocalypse; malaria doubling; Bangladeshis drowning; Europeans expiring in summer heatwaves and hurricanes ripping apart America. Stern’s novelty was to produce two figures: that global warming would eventually reduce the size of the world economy by 10% if left to fester; but that curbing emissions at his recommended level would cost only 1% of global wealth. Between those two suspiciously certain figures lies a world of conjecture, supposition and stabs in the dark.