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A formula for compensating climate change victims

From Newsroom;

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington professors explain their research’s potential to help climate change victims receive recompense from those responsible

During her visit to Fiji on February 26, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced $2 million in New Zealand funding towards the relocation of the island’s communities displaced by climate change.

New research, however, provides a step towards helping Fiji, other Pacific Islands and anyone else harmed by climate change to hold those causing the change to more precise account.

An international team of scientists and economists, led by Professor Dave Frame, Director of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, and Professor Ilan Noy, Chair in the Economics of Disasters and Climate Change in the University’s Wellington School of Business and Government, have contributed to development of methods to quantify how much of an extreme weather event can be attributed to human-caused climate change and then the cost of that contribution because of damage and loss.

This in turn could enable countries such as Fiji – as well as other, smaller communities – to demand emitters pay recompense based on their proportion of total global emissions. These demands might be made through domestic or international courts or through international negotiations initiated by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Frame and Noy – along with climate science expert Professor Peter Stott, Science Fellow in Attribution at the Met Office Hadley Centre and Professor of Detection and Attribution at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom – explained their research and its potential during a two-day Victoria University of Wellington international summit exploring the changing face of the Asia-Pacific.

Co-hosted by the University and international higher education network QS Quacquarelli Symonds, ‘Power Shifts in the Asia–Pacific: Large and Small State Perspectives’ was part of the QS Subject Focus Summit series, the focus on this occasion being politics and international studies.

The summit, organised by the Politics and International Relations programme in the University’s Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, brought together speakers and delegates from more than 15 countries, with more than 10 speakers from the University itself.

Frame said the research he and his colleagues were conducting meant they could “identify the human climate change fingerprint on extreme events” and “help decision-makers have a richer, better and more accurate understanding of the effects of climate change on the economy”.

Noy compared their research to the work done linking smoking to cancer and the legal cases brought against tobacco companies.

“Seventy years ago, most people didn’t think smoking causes cancer,” he said. “We had a long battle and a long period of denial. But we now agree smoking causes, for example, lung cancer. But strictly speaking it doesn’t. Some people smoke and don’t get lung cancer and some people don’t smoke and do get lung cancer. Smoking increases the likelihood you will get lung cancer. In the same way, climate change increases the likelihood you will experience, for example, the heatwave that happened last summer in Europe.

“We take exactly the same approach and argue that if you can say smoking causes cancer you can say climate change causes a specific event and you can actually quantify it, quantify its costs, and attach a liability to it.”

Using examples of droughts in New Zealand and extreme rainfall events here and the United States, Frame and Noy showed how expertise from climate science could be combined with economic estimates to help provide new lines of evidence for those harmed by climate change.

The hope is communities will be able to use these to seek support.

“Someone may be liable for those damages,” said Noy. “And who is that somebody? Well, anybody that emitted greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

As the science of climate change event attribution evolves, researchers will be able to examine more and more events and quantify the influence of climate change on those events. This is useful for those assessing risks, such as financial institutions and insurers, as well as for those who believe they have a case against major emitters.

It was largely through court cases brought against tobacco companies that the world changed in terms of smoking, said Noy.

“The idea of using attribution science in lawsuits dates from British climate scientist Professor Myles Allen’s work in 2003, but we think the additional step of integrating economic consequences with attribution science will make legal claims much more powerful. This is where I think our work can be very useful and has not been used before. It is easy to see how this has a lot of potential.”

I Find it highly offensive that we the taxpayer are funding these lefties to research ways of screwing us out of even more money

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  1. This is going to be amusing. Imagine some Climate Change Activist turning up on China’s doorstep making a demand for their share of the pollution China caused?

    It won’t happen, of course. To the Climate Change Activists it has nothing to do with China, India or Pakistan but everything to do with the cows of New Zealand and the plastic straws at Burger King.



  2. I wonder how this kind of utter stupidity goes down with the average kiwi?

    Similar clear speaking messages could be given about Maoris, Western civilisation, plastics and a host of other topics.

    Is there any possibility at all that a political party will emerge which will call out this bullshit for what it is?

    Imagine if there was a political leader here who stood up and said something like “Climate change has been going on for millions of years and, rather than beating ourselves up over some imagined guilt we should rather be demonstrating our human genius by rolling with it and adapting…. after all, species which do not adapt die out and if we’re not careful, this is what will happen to humanity under this oppressive mad green religion.”

    Can you IMAGINE the huge sighs of relief that would flood the political scene if such a man emerged in our country?

    As it is is, tragically, there is nobody. No fucking hope of sanity.



  3. My theory on the increased waviness of the NH jet streams.
    Colder polar regions increase the thermal gradient between the higher latitudes and the tropics (which don’t fluctuate as much during cooler periods). Increased thermal gradient results in stronger winds. All moving fluids try to dissipate energy and one way is through meandering. The faster the flow, the more the meandering. None of this needs CO2 to increase or decrease, but CO2 may increase or decrease because of these changes. A simple explanation when arguing with alarmists. Feel free to advise of errors if you do have a better understanding of fluid dynamics. (The cooling of the polar regions is probably due to increased albedo due to increased cloudiness caused by increased galactic radiation as the sun goes into a GSM)



  4. To ed, Delete the comment with too many links. I forgot about the 4 link max. Apologies. Looks like Kiwiblog is in hibernation. General debate has 16 comments at 3pm. what a complete omnishambles.



  5. The red lettered final paragraph covers my feelings on the matter.

    I am simply not wanting to pay tax to fund some academic working to find a way to expand the climate change scam and develop a shonky formula to justify a further tax element.

    Not funding Universities is increasingly a good idea in my observation. Are they actually producing a return for NZ Inc? Currently I doubt they are.



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