Paperback review: The Carbon Crunch, By Dieter Helm


Dieter Helm's lucid assessment of the risks of climate change, and what we can do about it, has attracted fierce criticism from Green groups – not for his diagnosis, with which they agree, but for his prescription.

Helm is clear that man-made climate change is occurring; but he has no faith in renewables and argues that global agreements such as Kyoto are a waste of time. It's no good trying to cut carbon production – that's easy for advanced economies, but they just get coal-mining countries such as China to produce it instead. We need to limit carbon consumption – that means taxing it. Moreover, the best weapon against climate change is research and development – government-funded science will have to get us out of this, which means less cash for wind-farms. Sounds like common sense.