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Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists

Overview

There is currently a consensus amongst the political establishment—and amongst the intellectual communities that feed into it—that detailed and wide-ranging government intervention is necessary to combat the effects of climate change and this monograph challenges that consensus. With contributions from Ian Byatt, David Henderson, Russel Lewis, Julian Morris, and Alan Peacock, the book looks in detail at a number of the underlying assumptions and proposals of the policy activists and finds that there is enormous ...

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Overview

There is currently a consensus amongst the political establishment—and amongst the intellectual communities that feed into it—that detailed and wide-ranging government intervention is necessary to combat the effects of climate change and this monograph challenges that consensus. With contributions from Ian Byatt, David Henderson, Russel Lewis, Julian Morris, and Alan Peacock, the book looks in detail at a number of the underlying assumptions and proposals of the policy activists and finds that there is enormous uncertainty relating both to the economics and to the science of climate change. Given the uncertainty, and the historic failure of central planning to do anything other than undermine economic welfare, the book argues that it is prudent to proceed with caution. It purports that the flexibility of the market economy will deal better than central planning with any problems arising from man-made climate change, and the wide ranging array of regulations, taxes, subsidies, and artificially created incentives proposed by climate change activists should be rejected.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780255365956
  • Publisher: Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Robinson is editorial director of the Institute of Economic Affairs and professor of economics at the University of Surrey. He is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a fellow of the Institute of Petroleum, a trustee of the Wincott Foundation, and a member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (Electricity Panel). Bruno Prior is managing director at Forever Fuels Limited, a company that specializes in the distribution and supply of wood pellets for sustainable heating systems.

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Table of Contents

The authors 8

Foreword Bruno Prior Prior, Bruno 11

List of tables 16

1 Climate change and the market economy: Introduction Colin Robinson Robinson, Colin 19

References 25

2 Global alarmism Russell Lewis Lewis, Russell 26

Introduction 26

The population growth false alarms27 27

Natural resources false alarms 30

Ecological false alarms 33

From global cooling to global warming 36

Conclusion 38

References 40

3 Climate change, centralised action and markets Colin Robinson Robinson, Colin 42

Apocalyptic predictions 42

Climate change and its consequences 48

Markets and global environmental problems 55

The policy response 57

References 67

4 Governments and climate change issues: questioning a consensus David Henderson Henderson, David 70

An official worldwide consensus 70

The basis for consensus 72

Aspects of mishandling; the content of policies 75

Questioning the IPCC process 78

Summing up 88

What can be done? 88

Postscript 90

References 91

5 Weighing the present against the future: the choice, and use, of rates of discount in the analysis of cliamat change Ian Byatt Byatt, Ian 92

The issues and the options 92

The underlying analysis 98

What flows of resources, i.e. of goods and services, should be discounted at what rate? 111

Referenes 113

6 Climate change, religion and human freedom Alan Peacock Peacock, Alan 114

Introduction 114

A typology of the climate change issue 115

Climate change and individual freeedom 121

Is individual freedom under threat 124

References 130

7 Which policy to address climate change? Julian Morris Morris, Julian 132

What do we know about the science of climate change? 132

'Insuring' aginst global warming 136

Adaptation: insuring against th impacts of climate change 139

How should society address the threat of catastrophe? 142

A proposal 149

Conclusion 151

References 152

About the IEA 160

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