Rudd misread the weather

My opinion columns at the Fin appear to have emerged from behind the paywall. I guess that says they aren’t vital enough that people will pay to read them (especially since they can get much the same opinions here) but maybe that having this material available will attract readers to the Fin site and sell advertising. Anyway, here’s my latest

37 thoughts on “Rudd misread the weather

  1. I hope no-one thinks I’m sympathising with some racist party or racist views – I was following Hermit with respect to the topic of immigration. I’m not even particularly nationalistic.

  2. Changing tack I think if ‘contraction and convergence’ is taken to its logical conclusion then population should redistribute to where the local resources are. If I recall the ABC ran a series with Flannery and Nelson discussing a population shift from SE Australia to the Kimberleys. Dare I suggest that Sydney has now outgrown its local resources if you exclude coal. A resources hot spot like a ore mine which was otherwise unsustainable would earn its keep by trading with other areas.

    The implications of this are profound, not just for GHG emissions. Some parts of the world might be deemed overpopulated and others underpopulated, though mostly overpopulated. What will force this is all fossil fuels (thus cheap energy) peaking by 2025 and problems with water supply and sea level rise.

  3. We had a previous stoush on the issue of per-capita targets (I cannot find it) where, as I recall, JQ finally admitted that we will have to end up with per-capita rather than total. Otherwise, it becomes a mathematical fact that every immigrant reduces my emission allocation – not a tension multi-culturalists should welcome. On the other hand, mother nature does not care at all about per-capita, only total.

    I notice that JQ invokes the authority of Xinhua’s analysis in his second paragraph, the same Xinhua that thinks the Dalai Lama is a terrorist. Not a good look, but I guess the point was being made that the Chinese leadership see western backsliding as an excuse to not come on board. Fair enough.

    BTW John, racial bias is unethical. Religious bias is not unethical.

  4. Racial bias is nonsensical because the underlying concept, there are human races distinguished by phenotype and/or genotype, is unsupported. One might as well talk of there being two races – those with asthma and those without.

  5. #28 “finally admitted” suggests a previous denial, which I don’t think you’ll find.

    I’ll leave your suggestion of a religion-based immigration policy for others to deal with.

  6. You could be right John. I recall that I was getting some strong opposition – I thought from you amongst others – to the suggestion that immigration and total caps set up a problematic trade-off. Overall though, I find myself in agreement with your stance that the main game is to act in a manner that will get China and India on board.

    I did not suggest a religion based immigration policy – I pointed out that such a suggestion is not, in itself, unethical. I am sure you appreciate the difference.

  7. #25. Thank you for replying to my question, John.

    I don’t have a relevant knowledge base to have a feel for politics in general and the specifics in the case in question in particular. However, even I can see that without a political agreement close to nothing will work and this would be the worst possible outcome.

    Regarding your potential modifications, option a) is appealing on the following ground. Assuming my interpretation of past behaviour is not totally wrong, many people in the so-called developed countries are prepared to make sacrifices for the poor people in so-called developing countries but they are not prepared to subsidies those segments of the societies in question who have effectively a higher (luxurious) standard of living than themselves. To cut a long story short, is it possible to link differences in CO2 emissions among groups of countries to the requirement that the income distribution has to be made less unequal by some gamma percentage of an income distrituion measure?

  8. Thanks John, this article just made me realise *another* reason why the white paper is so bad.

    In the developed world the major obstacles to a global agreement are currently seen as Italy, Canada, the former Eastern block members of the EU. Rudd added Australia to the list.

    But the Canadian government has lost its majority, and when parliament sits again it is likely it will be replaced by a coalition where enthusiasm for action on climate change is one of the few things holding them together. The Eastern members of the EU can legitimately be bought out, so Rudd is effectively staking his position on one of two things:

    * Obama not coming up with the goods or
    * Italy managing to wreck havoc within the EU.

    It’s a particularly craven leadership that stakes its position on one of the most corrupt and racist governments in the world, led by a man who will not be around to see the damage, destroying humanity’s best hope of avoiding catastrophe.

  9. “some gamma percentage of an income distrituion measure”

    A gamma percentage? Is that a new kind of way to calculate a percentage? Very cool.

  10. No, Joseph Clark, it is not a new way of calculating percentages – its just a name for a percentage to be specified by someone other than me (ie policy parameter).

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