The Stern review isn't finished; we have a Discussion Paper from 31 January 2006 (together with a pile of similar-looking stuff related to a lecture/press: see the index).
Stern appears to have got one thing right that the HoS got badly wrong: rather than waste time listening to skeptics over the science, he has taken the IPCC view as standard, slightly updated. So we have from the executive summary:
Climate change is a serious and urgent issue... There is now an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that human activity is increasing the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and causing warming. We are already seeing significant impacts. There remain uncertainties about the nature and scale of impacts in the longer term, but the most recent science indicates that some of the risks are more serious than had first appeared. The problem is global in its cause and consequences. Greenhouse gases have broadly the same impact on the climate wherever in the world they are emitted. And in terms of its consequences, no region will be left untouched. But impacts will be unevenly felt throughout the world. Some of the most severe impacts will be felt in the poorest countries that are least able to adapt to the changes. The economic challenges are complex. At its most basic level, climate change is an externality: the emission of greenhouse gases damages others. But these costs will be felt over a long period and over the entire globe; their exact nature is uncertain; they interact with other market failures and imperfections; and those most affected – future generations – are not able to speak up for their interests. This points to a long-term international collaborative response. Effective collaboration will require a shared understanding of the incentives and institutions needed, and careful attention to the complex ethical issues involved.
Actually that seques from the science to the economics, but I'm happy with it so far (RP will quibble the some of the risks are more serious than had first appeared and perhaps I will too... oh hold on, they give examples later: for example release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost or the dieback of the Amazon forest. Yes thats fair enough). After that we're on econ/pol, which I'll ignore.
The fun thing, though, is that Stern has put all the evidence submitted online, which makes for some fun reading. Boehmer-Christiansen seems to have failed to do even a basic punctuation and spelling check before she submitted. However, her evidence itself is deeply boring and carefully avoids the science. British Airways also wimps out of the science - perhaps they (correctly) regard it as a foregone conclusion - and spend a lot of words saying "please don't tax aviation fuel" in a coded way. To my surprise the CBI don't quibble the science: In view of the scientific consensus about the level to which concentrations of carbon need to be reduced, we think it right that the government’s ambition should be for the world’s developed economies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 60% by around 2050 – and that the UK should put itself on a path towards achieving such reductions. Well well.
Someone called Pielke, P :-) has also submitted, and has said what you would expect. While we're on the miss-spellings, "Exxon Mobile" (the fly-by-night branch?) couldn't be bothered to write a proper submission so they dump a pile of old reports on poor Stern, all of which (you guessed it) carefully avoid any mention of the science, which appears to be their current strategy (a step up from trying to poke holes in it, as they used to).
Rahmstorf argues for Sea level rise as a defining feature of dangerous interference with the climate system which harks back to what-is-dangerous: In the UNFCCC, most nations of the world have agreed to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent “dangerous interference with the climate system” (Article 2). A key question for policy thus is: what level can this be? We here propose a criterion involving long-term sea level rise. We argue that a significant likelihood of causing a global sea level rise in the range of 3-5 m over the next few centuries (say, by the year 2300) would constitute a “dangerous interference”, since such a sea level rise would destroy much of the current world coastlines, including small island states, many large cities, most beaches and many coastal ecosystems.
John Quiggin responded to the Castles-Henderson critique of the IPCC - good grief, has the entire blogosphere written to Stern? :-)
I suppose I ought to look at the NERC response... hmm, well, apart from having the name "Helen" associated with it, it seems to do its best to mention all the NERC institutes, as expected :-)
But enough serious stuff, I was wanting to look through the skeptics, sadly they don't label them so you have to look through for keywords like Kininmouth. Who mentions that well-known piece of science, The Day After Tomorrow. Its always convenient when people start off with stuff like that, so you know not to bother taking them seriously (if you think I'm being impolite, he has the gall to call t' hockey stick "fraudulent", so is beyond the Pale). Oooh, but thats not the best bit: apparently "There are ongoing efforts by the climatology establishment to suppress any meaningful debate on the science of greenhouse gases". And his evidence? "The first serious problem with the theory of anthropogenic global warming is that tropospheric temperatures, which have been measured by satellites since 1979, show no significant upward trend". But this is botty-wipes, as [[Satellite temperature measurements]] will show you. Come on: if you're going to be a septic, at least don't be a cr*p one. The Marshall Insititute has a submission, but its so dull and stupid I won't bother link to it. "Allan MacRae" (who he) rants on: The current scientific basis of the Kyoto Protocol is deeply flawed - its greatest weaknesses include excessive reliance on: 1) The IPCC 2001 Summary for Policymakers (SPM) report, which is now in disrepute... etc etc. He seems to be connected to Baliunas, somehow.
So... nothing too surprising. Science 1, septics 0; prize for most interesting piece of science evidence goes to Rahmstorf.