Kyoto Misrepresentations

A while ago, Ken Parish made the point that normally calm and sensible bloggers tended to get emotional and unreasonable when the topic of global warming came up. He was talking about Kyoto supporters like me and Don Arthur, but the same point can be made about Ken himself. Once this issue comes up, he is prone to misrepresentations and dodgy arguments he would never use in any other context. Consider, for example, this claim “Anyone would think from reading John Quiggin’s blog that his ANU colleague Warwick McKibbin supports Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.”
The post in question begins by describing Warwick as ‘a leading critic of Kyoto’, describes the results of his modelling of the impacts of ratification and concludes “Although I disagree with Warwick’s policy position on Kyoto, I compliment him for keeping his independence as a modeller. The government clearly didn’t like his results one bit.”
I’d love to see Ken’s explanation of how this can be read as saying that “Warwick McKibbin supports Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol”
To be as charitable as I can on this, it appears that Ken has failed to grasp the distinction between saying that Warwick’s model results support ratification, and saying that Warwick himself supports it. The model results are in the public domain and anyone competent to analyse them is free to do so and draw the appropriate inferences. The government’s decision to bury the report with a 6pm Friday release is a pretty good guide to the inferences that they drew.
The model results are ambiguous. Australia initially benefits from ratification (with existing measures) relative to nonratification, but loses from 2015 onwards. The standard way of resolving this is to reduce the flow of gains and losses to a discounted present value. There are, however, choices that must be made in terms of the scenarios that are used and the time period for the projections. I am discussing these questions with Warwick McKibbin presently, and will report soon.
Update Ken has posted a gracious concession that he hadn’t read my post carefully enough before his criticism. I’m looking forward to a resumption of constructive debate, and will have something to say before long.