Sliver (thesliver) wrote,

The Economics of Risk assessment

It was extremely interesting listening and from time to time watching to reactions to the Stern report on the radio and TV. It was like this long exhalation of breath from all these pundits and politicians. At last, they seemed to breathe, we can talk about it.

Not that the Vox Pop was all that welcoming, the general reaction being that its just government being government as it was only expressed to them in the form of taxes. The Stern report is more than just about taxes, indeed it barely mentions them and doesn't identify particular taxes. What it does do is cost the environment, or rather the risk assessment of cost if nothing or very little is done.

And for that Stern needs more than commending, since if for no other greater reason, governments around the world, the US government in particular will take it seriously, far more seriously than they take the science that underlies it. Because now it is a tangible risk with a tangible price tag.

1% Mr Pisspot or 40-60% for you in the future, choose now, yes I thought so.

There are other recommendations in the Stern report which are also heartening especially as I proposed them (in very small voice), more than ten years ago.

If poor countries with rich resources use up those resources then the likelyhood is that green house gas emission will increase and if those resources are largely rain forest the cost of renewal will be even greater as it takes 25 years to replace trees to clean the air.

More than ten years ago I suggested that we pay those countries with the scarce and important resources the exact value of those resources in rent for them to manage and not utliise them in any way. I called it and it had a (very tatty) web site.

This is exactly the argument that Stern uses and he uses economic magic formulae to prove it works.

But I'll take no credit, other than the credit for being able to reason.

I must remember to take the recycling box to the pavement tomorrow morning...

The original posting in the new journal is here

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