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Peter Sinclair on climate science

A very useful, enjoyable and concise Youtube on climate science by Peter Sinclair. The video refutes the message that those suopporting climate science are inept at spreading its message. Other videos by Peter Sinclair at his blogsite here. HT ClimateSight.

Chile earthquake

The earthquake in Chile is 8.8 on the Richter Scale so it is of extreme intensity – ground movement is about 63 times that generated in the Haitian quake (Richter scale 7) while 483 times the energy was generated in the earthquake. The Richter scale is calculated as the logarithm to base 10 of the […]

Compartmentalized thinking – god & universities

I didn’t get far yesterday with my claim to a postgraduate student that climate change delusionism is analogous to irrational belief in biblical creationism – both involved a rejection of mainstream science and reliance on emotional instincts. The student responded that he believed in the latter – that Adam’s dalliance with Eve created the human […]

Parking economics

The Victoria Transport Institute (Victoria, BC, Canada) has this excellent survey. Less theoretical than the discussions by Donald Shoup and by myself – it has lots of excellent case studies but no reference to the role of telematics. I continue my long-term search for a doctoral student interested in pursuing a topic on the economics […]

Guns in America

I don’t like guns or the idea of owning guns for ‘protection’. Gun ownership delivers a Prisoners’ Dilemma where there is a collective loss in legal law-abiding welfare and where ownership increases the stakes in planned criminal acts. Having more than a few punch-ups is socially preferred to having only a few killings. You buy […]

Bhagwati on climate change negotiations

Jagdish Bhagwati argues in the Financial Times (subscription encouraged) that developed countries should be subject to a strict tort liability for damages done because of cumulative past greenhouse gas emissions. I disagree with most of his views but cite them (see below) given his pre-eminence as a trade theorist, development economist and trade policy analyst. […]

Robert Frank on climate catastrophes that can be averted at low cost

I have argued several times (here, here) that it is wise to be very pessimistic about the consequences of continued unmitigated releases of greenhouse gas emissions. If this is alarmism then it is a rational form of alarmism. Rational because, as has been repeatedly pointed out, the costs of averting a climate catastrophe are small. […]


Parking economics revisited

One of the interesting and influential figures I met recently in Paris was Professor Donald Shoup from the University of California, Los Angeles – I have a great shot of him iding a (rented) Velib bike near a well-known Parisian tourist attraction. Shoup is one of the world’s experts on the economics of […]

Learning some Mandarin

As I plan to spend at least 4 months in China this year and, because I found difficulties getting around Beijing during my month-long 2009 stay without knowing any of the local language, I am doing a couple of units in elementary Mandarin here in Melbourne over the next few months. As part of these […]

Numerical economic modelling

I am not a keen supporter of numerical modelling of economic phenomena. I have seldom seen key issues of controversy in economics resolved by numerical modelling and think that, as a policy tool, numerical modelling does not improve on sensible thinking through of the issues using low order non-numerical and even purely conceptual models. It […]

Does environmental economics fail to account for ecological complexity?

I provided these remarks at the 54th Annual Conference of AARES (Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society) that I am now attending in Adelaide. It is in the main a simple argument for using adaptive management techniques for managing highly uncertain and complex environmental systems. Very provisional. Revised, comments welcome.


Malcolm Turnbull’s defense of the CPRS better than Rudd’s

I regret that Malcolm Turnbull was replaced by Tony Abbott as Liberal Party leader. To me it is the replacement of a decent hard-thinking politician by a populist clown who stands for nothing of consequence. Turnbull has stated he will cross the floor to vote for the Government’s CPRS. It is hard to see he […]

Daft proposals for Melbourne’s transport woes

The Sunday Age today presents a proposed ‘transport revolution’ for Melbourne prepared by Monash University’s Professor Graham Currie – a ‘transport expert’. The plan recognizes that expanding road supply is not a major sensible option in the face of Melbourne’s ballooning congestion problems and instead argues for creating a ‘road hierarchy’ that gives pedestrians, cars, […]

Practical congestion pricing

I am attending an OECD meeting on ‘Implementing Congestion Pricing’. There are some excellent papers here – the one by K-K. Chin on the Singapore experience was particularly good but presentations on the Stockholm, Oslo and proposed Dutch schemes also useful. Generally, the International Transport Forum website is useful for transport planners.

A few of […]


I am in Paris staying at (what is to me) an expensive hotel with rooms that would leave the proverbial door-mouse feeling cramped. Taking a break from blogging.