Tag Archives: policy

It’s the politics (stupid)!

If his­to­ry has rules, one must be that inter­est smoth­ers con­cept (and eats its lunch). The polit­i­cal chal­lenges of imple­ment­ing any big, dis­rup­tive tech­nol­o­gy on a large scale inevitably deflate the hopes of tech­no­log­i­cal opti­mists. The com­mer­cial chal­lenges track close­ly behind. This is why, if for no tech­ni­cal rea­son, the pro­jec­tions in Treasury’s 2008 ETS […]

Sounds good, but…

The cur­rent Labor gov­ern­ment, unlike the Hawke gov­ern­ments, seems bent on announc­ing major pub­lic poli­cies as faits accom­plis and con­sult­ing on the ratio­nale and imple­men­ta­tion only afterwards…if at all. “Trade Min­is­ter Craig Emer­son, who was Bob Hawke’s eco­nom­ic advis­er, will announce the new [trade] pol­i­cy today. It fol­lows debate with­in Labor about how to tack­le […]

Climate ambush arrives

The Prime Minister’s announce­ment today that, con­trary to the posi­tion she adopt­ed before the elec­tion, she has decid­ed to com­mis­sion a rec­om­men­da­tion on a car­bon price as an “eco­nom­ic reform” (sic) intend­ed to address “car­bon pol­lu­tion” is ade­vice to allow her Green allies to pur­sue their cli­mate change agen­da in dis­guise. She is break­ing the […]

Academy of alarm

What does the Aus­tralian Acad­e­my of sci­ence think their role should be? To inform or to fright­en? To elu­ci­date pub­lic pol­i­cy issues from a sci­en­tif­ic view­point? Or to indulge them­selves in scare­mon­ger­ing so unsup­port­ed by facts that it bor­ders on irre­spon­si­ble? Their lat­est cli­­mate-alarm pam­phlet con­tains appalling rub­bish, includ­ing claims that the world will warm […]

A climate ambush

When she took pow­er, Julia Gillard said she want­ed a nation­al con­ver­sa­tion and ‘deep com­mu­ni­ty con­sen­sus’ about cli­mate change. What she has giv­en us, instead, is an elec­tion cam­paign that is, by its nature, guar­an­teed to pro­duce nei­ther. “I was con­cerned that if you were going to do some­thing as big to your econ­o­my as […]

Revisiting the climate evidence

Julia Gillard’s deter­mi­na­tion as Prime Min­is­ter to revis­it the debate about an Aus­tralian response to the poten­tial dan­gers of cli­mate change calls for a review of the evi­dence to ensure that any response is pro­por­tion­ate and effec­tive. In my view, the rel­e­vant data show less and less rea­son to attribute recent warm­ing to human activ­i­ties […]

Forward to the past with the NBN

Although details are still sketchy, Hen­ry Ergas points out that in one of his last acts, Rudd appar­ent­ly sad­dled us with a return to a gov­­ern­­ment-sanc­­tioned oli­gop­oly at the heart of our telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket. Worse still, it will be tax­­pay­er-fund­ed. “Cen­tral to those out­comes is the heads of agree­ment, which has two basic com­po­nents. A […]