Sloan and Quiggin agree?

If there’s one reliable constant in Australian economic policy debate it’s that Judith Sloan and I will be on opposite side. However, she’s picked up my idea of a nuclear “grand bargain”, with the rather striking claim that the carbon price side of the deal is already done

Interestingly, professor John Quiggin, a left-wing economist, has given his blessing to the introduction of nuclear power in Australia. He does this on the condition that a carbon price also be introduced, which he sees as a necessary prerequisite to make nuclear power cost-competitive.

The good thing is that we already have a (shadow) carbon price, given our Paris emissions reduction commitment. Estimates put a figure of $90 a tonne on the carbon price by 2030. This part of the bargain is ­already in the locker

The unstated premise here is that the government will do whatever is necessary to meet our Paris commitments, without reliance on accounting tricks, and with a path to further decarbonization. If I could be sure of that, I’d be happy to support removing the legislative ban on nuclear power.

Sadly, I don’t think there is any reason to believe that the government has any coherent thoughts at all on energy policy. Angus Taylor’s absurd claim that the Sydney City Council spent $15 million a year on air travel is enough to show that he is both innumerate (a minute’s thought would have shown that this would require every gardener and office worker in the council to get an overseas trip each year) and more concerned with culture war than with policy outcomes. This is par for the course – Abbott provides the template, and Morrison fits it perfectly.

7 thoughts on “Sloan and Quiggin agree?

  1. I am not sure the distinguishing difference between John Quiggin and Judith Sloan is ‘left’ vs ‘right’. I’d propose the difference is analytical methods vs assuming a solution exists, then….method. MHO is based on the written word and the spoken word (eg interviews or Q&A)

  2. “a minute’s thought would have shown that this would require every gardener and office worker in the council to get an overseas trip each year”

    Not if they fly first class, and stay at $2000 per night hotels in Paris, London and New York, which you can be sure is the way Angus Taylor travels. So it’s more a matter of him being NFI out of touch than innumerate.

  3. Interpreting our weak and inadequate Paris “commitment” as a price on carbon seems a big stretch by Sloan – and if it actually were, it would surely be something she opposes. To go further and interpret that as meeting the conditions Pr Quiggin suggested is an even bigger stretch.

    Meanwhile neither Liberal Party or Nationals have an energy policy in keeping with that (interim climate) commitment, let alone policy that aims for zero emission – and if their “nuclear” policy is anything more than a commitment to attacking environmentalists and symbolically rescinding a symbolic law banning nuclear power that is no impediment to any government with a mandate and the numbers in parliament it is not apparent to me. So they “could” fix the climate problem but greenies opposing nuclear are stopping them? I suppose there could be people who believe that.

    So the LNP won’t commit to the energy option they think is best… because The Greens and Labor don’t support it? Any other issue and that would be a desirable feature for an LNP government that lets no opportunity to oppose something either of those parties supports pass it by.

  4. Sorry if I’m stating the bleeding obvious, but I presume Judith Sloan and the others at The Australian are consciously running a culture war program on this stuff, rather than that they actually believe it. They can’t all believe the fairy tales they’re telling, surely? I mean, even if you write off global warming as something they are definitely deluded on, at least one of them must have read Ziggy Switowski’s report from way back when, or the SA Royal Commission report from a few years ago, and realised that what they were reading was not nonsense. Surely?

  5. I notice that unprecedented floods have (again) disrupted the English midlands, while eastern Australia suffers unprecedented drought and attending fires. The insurance industry tells us that the cost of weather-related calamities is rising steeply, and banks worry that a significant proportion of homes will become uninsurable, leading to large lending write-offs. Is this steady toll reflected in national accounts? At what point does the cost of repair and relocation exceed all growth? How do the Sloans of this world expect their superannuation to be paid?

  6. Tim Macknay,

    I think many of the deniers (of climate science and science in general) really are THAT science illiterate… plus a lot are plain cranks. These headings would include almost all denialist journos who mostly are that obtuse. They are being played as useful fools by a few cognoscenti right wingers who know science denialism is lies but don’t care because they are making money now and expect to be dead before they have to pay the piper.

  7. No Ikonoclast its really just about the deep state seeing to it that the figures are rigged. Thats the alpha and the omega of this story. I studied this matter very deeply 2005-2008 and I can go as complex or as simple as anyone would like. But the simple story is that the figures are rigged.

    What the average person has been lead to believe is the greenhouse effect is something quite different and incredibly mysterious. Here I talk about the absorption and release of thermal energy associated with the phase changes of water. This is one of the most powerful and consequential scientific phenomenon in physics. And it controls everything Jo Public has been taught to think is a function of greenhouse gasses.

    So when the temperature in the rural tropics doesn’t drop below 30 overnight; thats water vapour slowly turning into water and releasing the heat energy as it does so,

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