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Cooking the planet

As Machievelli wrote five hundred years ago, “there is nothing more difficult … than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well […]

Climate Institute sees Liberals reducing CO2 emissions more than Labor.

Green groups often have naive political philosophies that they couple with sound environmental policy strengths. The Greens are generally preferencing dumb-dumb Labor in the forthcoming House of Representatives election in exchange for Labor preferences in the Senate. Its a good deal for the Greens since the Senate preferences matter to them and most Green preferences […]

Julia Dullard

I have said that Julia needs to be given some time to get on top of the job of PM but her accomplishments in the few weeks since she took on the office really bring into question whether experience is the issue. Is Dullard just a nonentity who cloaks her lack of leadership skills behind […]

Rising & falling stars: Economic imbalances & global environmental problems

Draft of a paper in preparation for presentation in China later this year. Comments welcome. The gist is that efficient global climate agreements won’t plausibly be implemented because of current global imbalances. This means cooperative responses are more difficult and hinge on unilateral penalty devices such as border tax impositions. Of course developed countries should […]

US Senate won’t vote soon, Gillard fiddles

The lack of any Republican support and the defection of Democrat Senators from coal-producing states means the US is unlikely to pass a comprehensive energy bill this summer. Our own climate nitwits in the ALP (Bernard Keane at Crikey has an excellent summary) want to make Australian climate policy contingent on gaining a community consensus […]

Economics of population growth

Mark Crosby over at Core Economics has a post on population economics that created stress for me. Stress because it argues an intellectual position I (and many others) have being trying to combat for many years.


Voting Green

It is difficult to get excited about the coming national elections in Australia. John Quiggin is advocating a vote for the Greens and so do I. I think urgent action is required around the world to address the climate change problem and Australia should share the costs of doing this. Neither of the major political […]

Strategic aspects of China-US climate change agreements

I’ll be in Canberra tomorrow presenting a seminar at 2-30 pm in the Arndt-Corden Division of Economics, Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University on:

Strategic Aspects of International Climate Agreements: China and the United States

If you are at the ANU and would like to catch up meet me there. […]

Dumping on Krugman

The latest issue of Agenda in which my paper in the previous post is published contains a symposium titled: Krugman on Economics in the Light of the Crisis. My colleagues Don Harding and Jan Libich have a piece there called: Froth and Bubble: The Inconsistency of Paul Krugman’s Macroeconomic Analysis. Their summary reads: ‘ We […]

Golf & the environment

My friend Liam – who is interested in ‘sports economics’ – sent me this paper which is worth a look. Golf courses sometimes have a bad environmental reputation – for using fertilisers that contaminate water supplies, for destroying wildlife and for simply using too much water. This need not be the case. In urban areas, […]

Climate change policies under uncertainty

This is my recently published contribution on this issue, published in Agenda.

Julia ‘oops

I doubted that Julia Gillard had resolved the boatpeople issue but she jumped so prematurely on this one that she doesn’t look good – she has now admitted that she did nominate East Timor as a relocation site prior to getting agreement from their government. It is a question of judgement and on this one […]

Gillard & queue-jumpers

Provided Julia Gillard can gain the co-operation of the East Timorese – things sound very much up in the air at present – her solution to the problem of illegal, queue-jumping migrants, by setting up an offshore processing facility is a good one. That it replicates the Howard Government’s policy doesn’t matter at all – […]

Pelicans & petroleum

Todd Litman has some rough figures on the estimated cost of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill based on a short paper by Mark Cohen. This is ‘order of magnitude’ stuff. Litman claims estimated cleanup and compensation costs from $50b to a whopping $500b although I couldn’t see any rationale at all for the estimates […]


Craig Emerson capably discusses the collapse of the comprehensive RSPT and the adoption instead of a much narrower resource rental tax (an MMRT) on coal, oil and iron ore. Readers of this blog will know (see last post) that I have changed my view on the RSPT. It was a (possibly justifiable) grab for resources […]