Economists and Climate Science: A Critique

David Henderson

Published: March 2009

This paper presents a critique of the characteristic treatment by economists of climate science, which appears as over-presumptive and uncritical. While the paper draws on a range of illustrative cases, the main focus is on six recent and important contributions. The present author argues that the authors and sources concerned, along with a good many others not quoted, have accepted too uncritically the received view as to the current significance of anthropogenic global warming and its possible dangers. They have placed undue trust in the official advisory process that governments have created and rely on, and disregarded evidence that puts that process in question. Hence there is a missing dimension in their treatment of policy aspects: they have not caught on to the need to strengthen the basis of policy by making the advisory process more objective and professionally watertight.

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