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 […]