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 […]