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Weekend reflections

November 21st, 2009

It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language please.

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  1. melaleuca
    November 25th, 2009 at 13:49 | #1

    Well said Tim Lambert.

    I wonder if we’ll see any copycat hacking? I bet folk everywhere are busily destroying their email tracks.

  2. November 25th, 2009 at 14:54 | #2

    Terje, I that paper is based on Tom’s honours thesis, which I supervised. If you graduated from Elec in 93, I probably taught you in Computing 1A

  3. November 25th, 2009 at 15:24 | #3

    Pr Q@#31November 24th, 2009 at 20:29 says:

    And, in case you hadn’t noticed, the primary political outcomes of all your work on this have been to destroy the Liberal Party, utterly discredit libertarianism and saddle Australia with a scheme that is twice as expensive and half as effective as it ought to be.

    Pr Q gives delusionists altogether too much political debit for their ideological flummery. Spare us the hyperbole!

    The LP has not yet gone through the formality of being “destroyed” just yet, although Pr Q is always spreading exaggerated rumours of its death. For sure the LP is in a bit of a mess today. But the voices of reason and sanity prevailed, just. The dissidents could not even get the numbers up for a spill, nor did a single front-bencher nominate for the leadership. Malcolm Turnbull has done a splendid job of bringing them back from the brink, the better angel of the LP’s nature.

    Libertarianism, as Pr Q has so skilfully shown, has already been discredited as an ideology on its home ground of financial policy. Not to mention the disaster of libertarianism in cultural areas, multiculturalism, drugs, prison sentencing etc. It should focus on curbing bureaucracy in both private and public sectors.

    The political elite did not need much help from delusionists to “saddle Australia with a scheme that is twice as expensive and half as effective as it ought to be”. Rudd-ALP and the state ALP’s had already done most of the work in that direction, as Pr Q has noted already. (Although he always gives the state ALPs a free pass, for some reason.)

    Any kind of ETS is dodgy in my view because it has to be processed by the same people who gave us the GFC and the “debtquity and diversity” recession in the US. If we had a straight carbon pollution tax (CPT) like the goods and services tax (GST) it would be transparent and not subject to all the jigger-pokery of our over-lawyered, over-lobbied political system.

  4. iain
    November 25th, 2009 at 16:17 | #4

    The argument against a tax is that a global price signal would be tough to coordinate.

    Cap and trade is a better policy wedge, and easier to get past the public, it’s also the most economically efficient method over the long term – particularly with rising marginal damage costs.

    There isn’t going to be a good MBI solution put up in time – so cap and trade v tax is more of an academic discussion.

    Eventually it will come down to obvious (and present time) damage costs avoided versus geotechnical solution costs (and/or some pretty serious command and control). But we have a couple of decades to play around with economic policy discussion until then.

  5. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 25th, 2009 at 16:33 | #5

    Tim – thanks. That would probably have been in first year in 1989. I knew you were familiar but it’s been a long time so I wasn’t sure of the context. Googling the course I’d say it was you that taught me Miranda (which I’ve well and truely forgotten by now). I also see that you wrote a book on Miranda with Lindsay Peters, which is also ironic because Lindsay was the Greens candidate in my electorate in 2007 (I was running for the senate) and prior to that he had been a customer of mine when he was at PKS. Assuming of course that it is the same Lindsay which seems quite likely.

    Small world. Very amusing. Sorry for the off topic interlude.

  6. Ken
    November 25th, 2009 at 20:03 | #6

    This focus on trying to damage the reputations of scientists rather than actually showing any flaws in the fundamentals of climate science doesn’t make those who revel in this style of debate look like defenders of truth in science. Focus on this just as the World meets to thrash out real agreements on action is about as disappointing as having an opposition focusing on issues that stir up xenophobic fears and bigotry for the sake of short term political gain.
    As for the ETS, I’m convinced the ‘concessions’ that the Government have put on the table are actually just the kinds of changes their own want but know aren’t in line with their rhetoric; having the excuse of blaming the Liberals for the totally inadequate end result they themselves want is exactly the result they want. Not being serious about action on emissions, they can make the ETS’s pathetic inadequacies the fault of the Liberals and Nationals and keep the mainstream voters who want real action from switching votes to the Greens.

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