Like Catallaxy on a bad day

Journalism academic Julie Posetti has just announced a move from the University of Canberra to the University of Wollongong. This represents a small step up in the status hierarchy, but not exactly front-page news. Except of course, at the Oz, where Posetti ranks high on the enemies list, having induced editor Chris Mitchell to issue absurd threats of a defamation action, based on a tweeted report of statements by a former Oz journalist. So, this story gets the full Oz treatment with references to Posetti’s “notoriety” her “ducking of questions” about the possible move (standard practice when you are in negotiation, AFAIK) and “incidents” that have “rocked” the UC journalism school.

This is pathetic, but typical of what happens when you give a third-rate group blog like The Oz the resources that allow it to pose as a national newspaper.

45 thoughts on “Like Catallaxy on a bad day

  1. Are there actually any other “national” newspapers in Australia. I thought The Australian was the only one.

  2. @Patrickb My point was about the theory of expressive voting. people vote this way or that because they gain pleasure, excitement and self-definition for cheering for particular parties and worthy causes in the same way they cheer and boo for sports teams.

    Let climate science be settled.

    How much will global warming cost is the correct question for policy debate. Global warming is not apt to be severe. It will lower the level of GDP by maybe 2% – the loss of one year’s growth!

    The chances of India, China and the rest of the Third world agreeing for forego or even slow economic development to fight global warming is zero even before you consider the international collective action, verification and free rider problems.

    Adaptation and richer is safer are the only games in town.

    I found the best writer on global warming to be Thomas Schelling. he has been involved with the global warming debate since chairing a commission on the subject for Carter in 1980.

    He is an economist who specialises in strategy so he focuses on climate change as a bargaining problem. Schelling drew in his experiences with the negotiation of the Marshall Plan and NATO.

    International agreements rarely work if they talk in terms of results. They work better if signatories promise to supply specific inputs – to perform specific actions now. Individual NATO members did not, for example, promise to slow the Soviet invasion by 90 minutes if it happened after 1955.

    NATO members promised to raise and train troops, procure equipment and supplies, and deploy these assets geographically. All of these actions can be observed, estimated and compared quickly. The NATO treaty was a few pages long.

    The Kyoto Protocol commitments were made not about actions but to results that were to be measured after more than a decade.

    Climate treaties should promise to do certain actions now such as invest in R&D and develop carbon taxes that return the revenue as tax cuts. If the carbon tax revenue is fully refunded as tax cuts, less reliable countries, in particular, have a additional incentive to collect the carbon tax properly to keep their budget deficits under control.

    The only case for even a token carbon tax is to avoid EU green tariffs on exports. We may as well collect the revenue for ourselves rather than let the EU get it. It is safe to say that green tariffs are more likely in the USA than carbon trading.

  3. @David Irving (no relation) Gittyins cited Herman Daly! Has Gittins no standards?

    The Earth’s carrying capacity is a central issue in ecological economics.

    Daly (1991) and his fellow travellers in ecological economics put forward birth credits as the solution to population bomb. A “choice-based, marketable, birth license plan” or “birth credits” for population control. The credits are like individually transferable catch quotas in fisheries.

    These birth credits would allow any woman to have as many children as she wants, as long as she buys a license for any children beyond an average allotment of that would result in zero population growth.

    men and women get allotments of 1.1 each which are tradeable in units of 1/10 of an allotment. the market would determine the cost of these allotments for an additional child.

    Being nice members of the middle class, the penalty proposed for an illegal baby would be community service. Obviously, none of the proponents of birth credits know the length to which most will go to have children. 200 hours community service with child care provided would be a heavy penalty indeed!

    Daly and his followers were smug enough to think they could see the future better than the less enlightened others and they were concerned about the population bomb.

    Plainly, Daly and co. got the sign of the demographic crisis wrong. a few years later sub-replacement fertility is now the demographic crisis.

  4. Jim Rose, you are attempting to play the game with a very old point of view. Your big fear that europe is going to suck money out of Australia, and more specifically your pocket, does not stand up to scrutiny at any level. But for quick analysis all you should need to know is that each European has just 1.3 hectares over which to spread their carbon foot print. Each Australian has 27 hectares for the same, much of that less suitable for lush carbon sucking growth, granted, but more scope by a huge margin. Russia with 12 hectares per person is a more likely prospect, but their net carbon sink capacity is being hugely eroded with methane releases from the tundra.

    Will Russia invade Europe? 140 million people with huge natural resources attempting to dominate 750 million people with no resurces? Hahahaha, not at all likely.

  5. @Jim Rose
    Your argument is circular: You are essentially arguing that climate change policies don’t work if no one does them. This should be bleedin’ obvious. The converse, that they will work if enough jurisdictions enact them should also be obvious. Your choice is ideological, not the result of some startling insight. Getting agreement on *either* option is going to be difficult. Unfortunately, a lot of people need to be hit by a hurricane before they’ll move out of habitual though patterns.

    Cost of global warming abatement isn’t a matter for policy debate. The cost benefit calculation is a job for experts. Then you can debate policy. The problem at the moment, as always, is that a lot of people are assuming that can make this stuff up. Then other people select positions based on what is cognitively easy to incorporate. From what I’ve read, your 2% figure fits right into this category. There’s some substantive work on abatement cost/benefit and I’m sure that you haven’t refuted it.

  6. @David Irving (no relation) the Cost of global warming abatement is a matter for policy debate. We live in a democracy where the costs and benefits of all policy choices are the subject of elections.

    cost benefit studies involve issues such as choice of the discount rates that weigh issues of intergenerational justice. that is not a technical issue. Green voters supposedly have very low discount rates; others have different views.

    By 2009, only 14 estimates of the total damage cost of climate change had been published

  7. @haiku
    Yeah, watching the Catallaxians talk about US politics is gut-bustingly funny.

    The Democrats are slightly to the right of the Liberals, but at Catallaxy you get to see rusted-on Liberal voters accuse Barack Obama of being a Marxist.

  8. “Maybe the thing to do is wait until the Oz-failure has an “Alan Jones moment”. Then pounce and mount a full campaign to boycott it just as was done to AJ and his station.”

    Sorry that I’m late to the party on this. Crikey has been doing an analysis over the last couple of months or so on ads in the Oz. The boycott has already happened. Ads in the Oz have fallen away to almost nothing.

    Terje, of course, flaunts his ignorance as if it was some kind of badge of honor by asking: “Are there actually any other “national” newspapers in Australia. I thought The Australian was the only one.”

    The other one is the AFR. And its ad revenue has also dropped to close to zero, a trend which apparently started when they poached Michael Stutchbury from the Oz to be editor.

    Yay wingnuts! Own goal!

  9. @SJ

    The Fin is still a “news” paper. Their climate-denialism and anti-worker rhetoric, at the editorial level, has cranked up a notch or so under such’n’such but as a rule you will still get infinitely better journalism and news across Australia from the Fin than that horrid yellow loss-maker masquerading as a paper.

    Neil Chenoweth’s stuff on News Ltd has been excellent over the last few years.

    Bernard Keane hilariously managed to place the Oz as the ‘most influential’ paper in Australia at the same time acknowledging its circulation was zero in the real world.

  10. I’m sorry, Megan, but I disagree.

    Before Stutchbury arrived, the AFR contained loads of obvious bullsh*t, but it was confined within the editorial and letters pages. You could ignore that stuff entirely if you wanted to. The WSJ used to be like that too.

    It’s not like that anymore. The news pages are now filled with bullsh*t as well. There might be some useful stuff in there, but once you start mixing in obvious bullsh*t with the news, the news becomes useless. It can’t be trusted.

    But all of that is irrelevant. I cancelled my subscription a few months ago, not to “protest” in any way, but simply because the thing had become useless as a source of information and analysis. From the Crikey ad analysis, it’s apparent that the advertisers have come to similar conclusions about the uselessness of the AFR.

  11. @SJ

    I probably agree with all of that.

    My point was more one of degree and comparison. In precis: Yes, the Fin is crappier than it was but it is still less crap than News Ltd.

    And Fairfax absolutely disgraced itself today with that rubbish by Kinnimoth and Carter.

    It’s as if there is a grand conspiracy involving ABC/Fairfax/News Ltd to deprive us of journalism.

  12. @Bring back Birdy at Catallaxy Bring back Birdy at Catallaxy, are you aware of when they left, ie. in terms of the timing of when that happened and/or the circumstances, eg. is George writing another book? I see that Mike Steketee did a guest piece for The Global Mail back in August.

  13. George leaves today to write books. Farewell column today or Saturday I think.

    He’s keeping the Insiders gig.

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