Today [1st April] my new paper on climate change science and economics was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
, a peer-reviewed journal.
Some Unusual Features
The paper builds on my 2009 report for the US Environmental Protection Agency entitled Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act
by presenting some of the material in that report in journal article format, incorporating many new or updated references, and explaining the implications of the science for the economic benefits and costs of climate change control. It is also particularly noteworthy for appearing in a peer-reviewed journal rather than the “gray literature” such as a report to EPA. Although this article was not written for EPA, it has major implications for the scientific validity (or lack thereof) of the December 2009 EPA Endangerment Finding
and the economics that EPA and many economists have used to justify current efforts to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, cap-and-trade schemes, or other approaches.
Although the paper focuses on the economics of climate change, it starts with a detailed examination of the scientific validity of two of the central tenets of the global warming hypothesis. By applying the scientific method the paper shows why these two tenets are not scientifically valid. It then develops correction factors to be used to adjust previous economic estimates of the economic benefits of global warming control for these scientifically invalid aspects of the hypothesis. It also examines the economic costs of control. The paper concludes that the economic benefits have been generally overestimated by about two orders of magnitude, or a factor of 100, and the costs of control have been underestimated by about one order of magnitude, or a factor of 10. This leads to the conclusion that it is not worth trying to do anything about global warming now or in the forseeable future.