13 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. This sort of unprincipled dealing, euphemistically referred to nowadays as ‘Industry Policy’ is a foretaste of the sycophantic relationship between Labor and Big Biz. What’s good for BB is good for their union mates and their power base. It’s why we in SMEs love Labor so much. Always thinking of ‘the worker’ aren’t they eh?

  2. John Humphreys has a good piece on Free Immigration Agreements over at the ALS blog.


    FIAs could be negotiated with countries that share our basic values (rule of law, democracy) and only in situations where there is no expectation of a surge of immigration. In most cases, this would require that the partner country has a standard of living similar to Australia. Migrants between FIA countries would have the rights of a permanent resident, but would retain the citizenship of their home country (so can be deported if necessary).

    Australia already has an “open-door� policy with New Zealand and people move relatively freely between Australia and New Zealand to the benefit of both countries. Good candidate countries for an FIA include Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands among others.

    I’d be interested to hear comments on this idea from the economic boffins (and others) that frequent this jquiggin blog.

  3. I read the AFR article that observa mentioned. It seems like the NSW government has made one of the stupidest policy decisions that I have ever seen.

    Basically the Iemma government has agreed to provide an exemption to Bluescope from paying any carbon tax for 25 years in return for them investing in an electricity plant. Bluescope’s NSW operations emit 10.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The cost of a tonne of CO2 in NSW’s greenhouse gas abatement scheme is about $10, while the IPCC’s 4th assessment report’s summary for policymakers suggests higher costs than this. This suggests that the NSW govt is likely to be subsidising Bluescope by over $100 million per year.

    But it gets worse than this – paragraph 13 of the agreement states that the NSW Government will “not intend to support the inclusion of industrial process emissions within the initial framework of the National Emissions Trading Scheme (being developed by the States and Territories)”.

    The agreement means that Bluescope will reduce emissions by about 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by building some sort of cogeneration plant. This is “due to offsets in coal power generation off site”. It seems like a very expensive way to reduce emissions (for the NSW govt).

    The AFR article was saying that the NSW govt was considering more policies like this, and a spokesman from Origin Energy was worried that this would seriously undermine any emissions trading schemes. It is a pity that AFR is paywalled, because the article is well worth reading.

    What really worries me is that exemptions such as this would seriously undermine the integrity of a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme. Emissions trading schemes and carbon taxes are a very good idea but it is essential that they are credible and not undermined in this way. It would be very sad if a price on carbon ends up being like the millenium development goals or government spending on indigenous health and housing – something that is committed to but is not realised in practice.

    The agreement is at http://www.bluescopesteel.com/file/download.cfm?DownloadFile=EDFFC0F1-972A-C3A9-6AE449C76968136D

  4. Howard’s policies on climate change are based on him placing various sectional interests in the economy over global or national interests, and over common sense. This is why he is a bad economist. Unfortunately it is often the case that Labor governments do this too.

  5. Thanks for the link Peter. The preamble to the agreement says it all particularly-

    “The Government recognises that as a steelmaker, Bluescope Steel is engaged in a trade exposed industry and that many of its competitors[in China and India?] are not subject to significant regulation of their greenhouse gas emissions. Maintenance of a commercially viable steel manufacturing export sector is desirable in terms of economic, employment and investment growth, and international competitiveness.”

    Well we know exactly where this particular Labor government stands when in office and now the $64000 question is where the Rudd Opposition would stand on this, if it were in office too. That’s the big question for the mainstream media to ask our new, out in front, moral leader on the great Global Warming issue now. Over to the Milky Bar Kid pundits.

  6. Implications of “Peak Oil� for Atmospheric CO2 and Climate


    The TOD article suggests that declining oil, gas and coal would mean that the business as usual scenario will lead to 580 ppm CO2. It is useful to compare this to the Summary for Policymakers from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III (mitigation). A level of 580ppm CO2 corresponds to the lower range of stabilisation scenario D, which results in greenhouse gasses being at the level of 710-855 ppm CO2-e. The SPM suggests that Scenario D corresponds to a stabilisation temperature rise of 4.0-4.9 degrees. The figure on page 294 of Stern suggests that a temperature rise of 4.0 – 4.9 degrees would constitute very dangerous climate change.

    The IPCC SRES scenarios describe temperature rises in the year 2100, which makes some of them lower than some of the figures in the worse mitigation scenarios. This is because the mitigation scenarios describe a stabilisation temperature, which will occur after 2100, while the SRES scenarios don’t have temperatures stabilising.

    There has been some recent discussion amongst peak oilers that global coal supplies are lower than previous resource estimates have suggested. An article at http://www.energywatchgroup.org/ suggests that coal will peak some time this century. It also has future coal supplies which are 3-4 times higher than the coal consumed so far. These figures would also lead to dangerous climate change.

    I don’t know how accurate the different predictions of fossil fuel supplies are. Predictions of low fossil fuel supplies will lead to less temperature increases than some of the SRES scenarios, but still lead to dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

  7. I noticed on the ABC science units Crude the other night that if we waited til will burnt it all we would easily exceed the levels in this article. For me its more about the time we have to cross over to non fossil energy, with uncertainly concering the effect of feedbacks I’d rather be safe than sorry.

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