4th November 2006
CSIRO's Kevin Hennessy suggests (Letters,2/11) my unawareness of many scientific papers identifying causes of the past 30 years' global warming. He also refers to computer models using past climate experience to estimate future warming of 1.4 to 5.8 degrees by 2100. While acknowledging some scientific uncertainties exist, he claims "there is enough evidence to raise concern".
As an economist I cannot claim close familiarity with this vast climatologic research.
But I am aware, first, of the difficulties the science of economics has in predicting the economic future, let alone in agreeing major policy changes designed to avoid bad experiences.
Second, while climatology science might conceivably be less uncertain, many distinguished scientists do not support the CSIRO perspective, let alone the drastic reduced living standard policies advocated in the Stern report. For example, meteorology Professor Lindzen exposes as near farcical the Hadley modeling used in Stern's predicted temperatures and statistician Bjorn Lomborg identifies serious errors.
Humanity faces many potential concerns. While global warming is a concern, the risks and uncertainties seem too large to justify Stern's fundamental policy changes.