Tropics even more sad if the Earth heats up

Last year, La Stampa published a rather skeptical article on climate change under my name. It was not written by me, as discussed here and here. Today, the record is set straight (original). The piece calls for a carbon tax in Italy.

Leading the world on green tech

The government likes to see Ireland as a hotbed of all things green and techie. It must have been a bit of a disappointment then that the Economist’s briefing on Europe’s tech entrepreneurs (June 12) does not mention the Emerald Isle at all. The only Irish connection is the European Commissioner, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just announced the authors of its Fifth Assessment Report. The list is, to a large degree, a list of the international, academic establishment on all things climate. Ireland is not represented.

The list of authors for Working Group 3 is impressive (scheduled for release at 8 am this morning). WG3 deals with greenhouse gas emission reduction and hence has a lot of economics in it. The list is a mix of world leaders and upcoming talent; expertise and topics match; and there are a few heavy weights with the authority to stand up to anyone who attempts censorship.

The list of authors for Working Group 2, on the impacts of climate change, is good too. There is less economics here, but what is there is well covered.

For completeness, here’s the list for Working Group 1 on the physics, chemistry and biology of climate change.

UPDATE: The (correct) WG3 list is now available.

Economics, voodoo, and climate policy

John Gibbons is having a go at Bjorn Lomborg. Mr Gibbons argues that Lomborg has a PhD in spin, while in fact he has a PhD in political science. Gibbons oddly suggests that Lomborg is behind “climategate”, and refers to economic models as “voodoo”. Most seriously, Gibbons suggests that statisticians and economists have no relevant expertise on climate science and policy.

Climate is defined as the 30 year average weather. Statistics is therefore at the core of climate science.

Greenhouse gas emissions are caused by economic activity. Emission reduction already costs a heap of money, will cost a lot more in the future, and would cost a whole lot more if economists do not help design abatement policies. Economics is therefore at the core of climate policy.

Latest EPA projections

The EPA has released its latest forecasts for the emissions of greenhouse gases up to 2020. It confirms that Ireland will not need to buy additional CO2 permits on the international market. We may even have too many, but the NTMA is not allow to sell any excess for reasons that entirely escape me. The EPA also confirms that Ireland is unlikely to meet its 2020 target (although Greece may lend a helping hand) even in the “optimistic” scenario, which assumes that emissions fall if there is a government report that tells them to.