Thursday, October 07, 2010

What are the relevant facts in the climate debate and how hard are they?

There are some very hard facts in the climate debate that few, but the most partisan would debate. The radiation properties of CO2 for example as measurable in a laboratory.

Experts on specific areas will know these facts more accurately than the general public.

And then there are a great many issues, which are rather less hard. The ideal carbon tax at present from economic models is one example. This comes in from slightly negative to huge values of a thousand Euros per tonne C or higher.

I think it is the least hard facts, those relating to the effects of concrete policy measures that are the most policy relevant.

And I think that for those questions, the opinion of the public is perfectly in line with expert opinion. These are issues, where there is large uncertainty and a large personal values component, and reasonable expert opinion therefore covers a wide range and is not focused on a point estimate.

No comments: