YOU say I am one of "those who argue that climate change does not represent a global market failure". Yet it is only recently that opinion sufficient to constitute a market signal became apparent in the documents of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is, however, a political rather than a scientific entity. There has scarcely been time for a "market failure".

Besides, corporations are falling over themselves to cash in on the giant financial fraud against the little guy that carbon taxation and trading have already become in the goody-two-shoes EU, and will become in Australia if you get your way.

You say I was one of "those who argue that somehow the market will magically solve the problem". In fact I have never argued that, though in general the market is better at solving problems than the habitual but repeatedly failed dirigisme of the etatistes predominant in the classe politique today.

The questions I address are a) whether there is a climate problem at all; and b) even if there is one whether waiting and adapting, if necessary, is more cost-effective than attempting to mitigate the supposed problem by trying to reduce the carbon dioxide our industries and enterprises emit.

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Let us pretend, solum ad argumentum, that a given proportionate increase in CO2 concentration causes the maximum warming imagined by the IPCC.

By the end of this month, according to the Copenhagen Accord, all parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are due to report what cuts in emissions they will make by 2020. Broadly speaking, the Annex 1 parties, who will account for about half of global emissions over the period, will commit to reducing current emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, or 15 per cent on average in the decade between now and 2020.

Thus, if every Annex 1 party to the Copenhagen Accord complies with its obligations to the full, today’s emissions will be reduced by about half of that 15 per cent, namely 7.5 per cent, compared with business as usual. If the trend of the past decade continues, with business as usual we shall add 2 parts per million by volume/ year, or 20 ppmv over the decade. Now, 7.5 per cent of 20 ppmv is 1.5 ppmv. One-fiftieth of a Celsius degree of warming forestalled is all that complete, global compliance with the Copenhagen Accord for an entire decade would achieve. Yet the cost of achieving this result – an outcome so small that our instruments would not be able to measure it – would run into trillions of dollars.

You say "formal global and national economic modelling" shows "that the costs of inaction are greater than the costs of acting". Yet, every economic analysis except that of the now discredited Lord Stern, with its near-zero discount rate and its absurdly inflated warming rates, comes to the same ineluctable conclusion: adaptation to climate change, if necessary, is orders of magnitude more cost-effective than attempts at mitigation. In a long career in policy analysis in and out of government, I have never seen so cost-ineffective a proposed waste of taxpayers’ money to stop the tide from coming in.

I have done this calculation on the basis that everyone complies with the Copenhagen Accord yet precedent does not look promising. The Kyoto Protocol has been in operation for more than a decade. So far, after billions spent, global CO2 emissions have risen.

Remember, too, that we have assumed the maximum warming that might occur in response to an increase in CO2 concentration. Yet even the IPCC’s central estimate of CO2’s warming effect, according to an increasing number of serious papers in the peer-reviewed literature, is a five-fold exaggeration. If those papers are right, warming forestalled may prove to be just one-thousandth of a degree.

You led a delegation of 114 people to Copenhagen to bring back a non-result. Half a dozen were all that was really necessary. If you and your officials are not willing to tighten your belts, why should the taxpayers tighten theirs?

You say that our aim, in daring to oppose the transient fashion for apocalypticism, is "to erode just enough of the political will that action becomes impossible". No. Our aim is to ensure that the truth is widely enough understood to prevent the squandering of precious resources on addressing the non-problem of anthropogenic "global warming". The correct policy response to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

You say that I and others like me base our thinking on the notion that "the cost of not acting is nothing".

Well, after a decade and a half with no statistically significant "global warming", and after three decades in which the mean warming rate has been well below the ever-falling predictions of the UN’s climate panel, that notion has not been disproved in reality.

However, the question I address is whether the cost of taking action is many times greater than the cost of not acting? The answer is yes.

Millions are already dying of starvation in the world’s poorest nations because world food prices have doubled in two years. That was caused by a sharp drop in world food production, caused by suddenly taking millions of acres of land out of growing food for people who need it, to grow biofuels for clunkers that don’t. The policies that you advocate are killing people by the million. At a time when so many of the world’s people are already short of food, the UN’s right-to-food rapporteur, Herr Ziegler, has rightly condemned the biofuel scam as "a crime against humanity".

Yet this slaughter is founded upon a lie: the claim by the IPCC that it is 90 per cent certain that most of the "global warming" since 1950 is man-made. This claim – based not on science but on a show of hands among political representatives, with China wanting a lower figure and other nations wanting a higher figure – is demonstrably false. Peer-reviewed analyses of changes in cloud cover over recent decades – changes almost entirely unconnected with changes in CO2 concentration – show that it was this largely natural reduction in cloud cover from 1983-2001 and a consequent increase in the amount of short-wave and UV solar radiation reaching the Earth that accounted for five times as much warming as CO2 could have caused.

Nor is the IPCC’s great lie the only lie in the official documents of the IPCC and in the speeches of its current chairman, who has made himself a multi-millionaire as a "global warming" profiteer.

It is also a fact that, while those of the UN’s computer models that can be forced with an increase in sea-surface temperatures all predict a consequent fall in the flux of outgoing radiation at top of atmosphere, in observed reality there is an increase.

In short, the radiation that is supposed to be trapped here in the troposphere to cause "global warming" is measured as escaping to space much as usual, so that it cannot be causing more than about one-fifth of the warming the IPCC predicts.

It would be kinder to your working people to wait another decade and see whether global temperatures even begin to respond as the IPCC has predicted? What is the worst that can happen if you wait? Just 0.02C of global warming that would not otherwise have occurred. It’s a no-brainer.



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