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.