Tag Archives: model

Treasury’s advocacy of a CO2 tax

One thing on which I agree with Julia Gillard is the poor quality of many journalists’ analysis of her proposals. But when you cram journalists with nonsense, you must expect some of them to regurgitate it from time to time. “In theory, this is an ingenious model for adapting our fossil fuel economy to global […]

The “clean energy” hustle

Some aspects of the Prime Minister’s advocacy for her coal tax are, at best, misleading: a wedge for the much greater costs implied by the Labor/Greens agenda. She says: “Putting a price on carbon will drive innovation and investment in clean energy technology, moving production towards less pollution-intensive processes.” But that is far from the […]

Prices to grow 20 percent faster

Among the slogans that the Labor/Greens alliance will pound out over the next few weeks is that their coal tax is “low cost.” They don’t seem to understand the meaning of the CPI increase revealed by their own models. But worse, as far as I can see they don’t understand even basic household budgeting. The […]

Australia’s trade outlook is strong

By 2030 China, especially, dramatically increases its share of world imports of agriculture, fossil fuels and services, according to the World Bank’s modelling Note, too, the projected share of low and middle-income economies in world trade in 2030: up from a third to a half.

Reading on climate

Debate about global warming is grubby because there are so many un-acknowledged private agendas running just below the surface. Many participants in the debate have something to gain (if only notoriety) from their advocacy. But attention to the question has provoked a lot of interesting research that tells us something about climate and something about […]

Let’s end WTO’s Doha agony

Just in … some old news from Geneva:

“The WTO’s week-long “stocktaking” of the Doha Round trade talks ended on Friday with a whimper, not a bang. The much-touted goal of concluding the negotiations toward a global trade deal before the end of 2010 – an objective laid out byheads of state last year – was quietly set aside, as officials acknowledged that political hurdles continue to block progress in the round, much as they have for the past 18 months … As the negotiations stumble along with no end in sight, some observers – and even some delegates, when speaking privately – have said that it might be time to begin thinking about putting the Doha talks on hold for awhile, or even abandoning them altogether.” Extract from Bridges newsletter (ICTSD)

Surely, by now, it’s obvious (even in Geneva) that the tortured ‘single undertaking’ structure of the proposed Doha deal—designed to accommodate every policy option in the spectrum from less protection to more protection by way of elaborate exclusions, exceptions and disguises—is just not going to fly.

Let those who want to open markets find a sufficient number of trade partners to create a globe-spanning ‘free trade zone’ for traded agricultural products. Once they discover a ‘zone’ that provides a mercantilist basis for liberalization among the participants, let them form it without excluding others (to preserve non-discrimination in trade).

In our project on Alternative Frameworks for Agriculture Negotiations for the Australian Rural Research and Development Corporation, Andrew Stoler and I demonstrated that at such a free-trade zone can work. A ‘critical mass’ agreement among 35-or-so WTO members would be both technically and economically feasible and would deliver results comparable to the proposed Doha deal on agriculture.

I’ve prepared a pre-print (not for citation, please) of our full report to the RIRDC, that you can grab here. As well as our main conclusions, the documents contains papers on the economic modeling; the contributions from research institutions from Brazil, China, India and Indonesia; the results of the Global Trade Opinion Polls, and; analytical contributions from trade luminaries such as Kym Anderson (University of Adelaide), Simon Evenett (University of St Gallen), Ambassador Carlos Perez del Castillo (Former Chairman, WTO General Council), Sallie James (Cato Institute), Patrick Low (Chief Economist of WTO), Tim Josling (Stanford University), Peter Lloyd (University of Melbourne), Razeen Sally and Valentin Zahrnt (ECIPE), and Alan Winters (University of Sussex).

Simple deductions about climate change

The UK Met Office (which has been unable to predict British weather recently) now claims to be certain about climate.

“The fingerprint of human influence has been detected in many different aspects of observed climate changes,” said Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Research. “Natural variability, from the sun, volcanic eruptions or natural cycles, cannot explain recent warmingExtract from FT.com (emphasis added)

This sort of mad assertion—reminscent of the IPCC’s origninal claims that there could be no explanation other than man-made CO2 emissions—makes a claim so broad that it would not be feasible to establish its truth. Some climate scientists may like to pretend that they can detect a cause by simple forensics (‘fingerprints’), but if that is so, let them show us the success of their predictions.

Climate is a complex, chaotic system, whose course has not been modelled successfully despited decades of attempts by well-funded institutions such as NOAA, the Met Office and the CSIRO. Not even one model has successfully accounted for the path of warming since 2000 nor do any of the IPCC models succeed even in backcasting the path of warming before 1990.

In the face of the evident failure of current models to produce confirmed projections, god-like pronouncements such as these beggar credulity.