Monthly Archives: March 2011

Huge gaps remain in WTO negotiations

Recent rounds of bilat­er­al talks between the USA and Chi­na on open­ing both farm and non-farm prod­uct mar­kets as part of WTO’s long-delayed Doha Round have been incon­clu­sive for very famil­iar rea­sons: “[U]nfortunately, what we learned con­firmed our worst fears — that we would see no new mar­ket access on our major agri­cul­tur­al export inter­ests” […]

Hesitate to regulate global exchange

Alan Greenspan iden­ti­fies the inevitable igno­rance of reg­u­la­tors. Recall Gary Banks’ advice to con­sid­er all pub­lic poli­cies as ‘exper­i­ments’. “[The Unit­ed States’ 2010 “Dodd-Frank” finan­cial reg­u­la­tion law] fails to cap­ture the degree of glob­al inter­con­nect­ed­ness of recent decades which has not been sub­stan­tial­ly altered by the cri­sis of 2008. The act may cre­ate the largest […]

The reason ‘compensation’ will fail

House­holds have a con­ser­v­a­tive propen­si­ty to save more and spend less when tax­es are ris­ing. Even if the car­bon tax were (as the Gov­ern­ment some­times, but incon­sis­tent­ly, says) “100%” off­set by com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments to house­holds, it will still shrink the whole econ­o­my. “Pre­cau­tion­ary sav­ing stems from uncer­tain­ty about the future and is undoubt­ed­ly relat­ed to […]

Presentation on C02 tax

The Trade and Inter­na­tion­al Affairs Com­mit­tee of the Aus­tralian Cham­ber of Com­merce and Indus­try invit­ed me, recent­ly, to make a pre­sen­ta­tion (120kb) to them on the trade aspects of the pro­posed CO2 tax.

Climate debate and climate policy

Bat­tles between ortho­doxy and non-con­­for­mi­­ty are nev­er won or lost. Only a naïve empiri­cist, or a reli­gion­ist who con­fi­dent­ly expects all to be made clear at the final trump—when the prizes are hand­ed out, truth is con­soled and error con­sumed by shame—could sup­pose oth­er­wise. There will be no “killer blow” to either the alarmist or […]

A salty climate “bonbon”

Wor­ried by Ross Garnaut’s claim in his revised review that sea lev­els are ris­ing faster than even the U.N. pre­dict­ed: “Ris­ing sea lev­els will con­tin­ue to increase the fre­quen­cy and inten­si­ty of coastal flood­ing events dur­ing the 21st cen­tu­ry. Obser­va­tions indi­cate that there­has been a sig­nif­i­cant increase in the fre­quen­cy of extreme high sea lev­els […]

More urgent, more humane

Why waste our nation­al effort on “world lead­ing”, futile, emis­sion abate­ment? There are more impor­tant goals that will save lives now. “Rather than bend­ing over back­wards to accom­mo­date the US, if Aus­tralia main­tained the human­i­tar­i­an com­mit­ment it dis­played in sign­ing [the 2008 U.N. Con­ven­tion on Clus­ter Muni­tions ] and active­ly worked to con­vince all our […]