New Global Warming Consensus: 95% Of ‘Climate Economists’ Want Tax On CO2

(REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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A new survey by New York University, used Monday by The Guardian to attack Republican presidential candidate Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], claims 95 percent of “climate economists” support putting a tax or price on carbon dioxide emissions to combat global warming.

“Two hundred and eight-one people want to impose trillions of dollars of costs on the economy every decade for a theoretical 0.2 degree reduction in world temperature a century from now.  The other 299,999,719 people in the U.S. may disagree.  You don’t have to be a climate expert to recognize a bad deal,” Heritage Foundation economist Doctor David Kreutzer told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The new 95 percent however, has just as many problems as the old 97 percent of consensus used by environmentalists.

The survey defined “expert” as someone who published in an academic environmental economics journal since 1994, which automatically biases the survey results. Only 11.5 percent of academics self-identify as conservative while 50.4 percent identify as liberal and 12.4 percent identify as far-left, according to Inside Higher Education. The percentage in a highly liberal field like environmental economics is likely much more skewed towards far-left. By surveying only published academics, the work of think-tanks, which tends to be more evenly distributed between liberal and conservatories, is ignored.

The survey’s authors admit they invited 1,103 “experts” to participate in the survey, but only 365 responded. Although survey researchers do not have an absolute standard for what constitutes an acceptable response rate, such a rate of only 33 percent, or one in three, is generally considered inadequate. The low response rate means the conclusions cannot be generalized to a larger group of “climate experts.”

The survey is even more biased because individuals who are more extreme in their political views are more likely to respond to this type of survey, further skewing the response. The “consensus” is subject to massive response bias to give the socially acceptable, rather than the real, answer. In any survey, the people who respond are typically those with the strongest ideology, which in this case means being in favor of taxing carbon dioxide emissions.

Rubio has substantial academic support when he claims that putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions will hurt the economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan is expected to cost a staggering $41 billion annually. Yet, the plan likely won’t have a large impact on global warming by reducing carbon emissions. According to analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute using models created by the EPA, the Clean Power Plan will only avert 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected.

Even environmentalists like executive director of Greenpeace Annie Leonard agree with Rubio. Leonard has called the kind of scheme endorsed by the survey a “multi-trillion dollar carbon racket” which creates “real incentives to cheat” and is a “dangerous distraction.” Even environmentalists who agree with the idea of the schemes admit that, historically speaking, they’ve “fall[en] short of creating real price pressures due to its closeness to baseline emissions.”

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