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BlueScope Steel’s share price collapses in week before significant share issue

BlueScope Steel seems to have some questions to answer. It recently announced a 4 for 5 issue of shares at 40 cents. As the ex rights shares have traded over the last few days for less than 40 cents the value of these rights is zero at present. As Bryan Frith points out in The […]

Worth quoting in full

13 of last 15 years warmest on record From: AFP November 29, 2011 8:36PM

THIRTEEN of the warmest years recorded have occurred within the last decade and a half, the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation said today.

The year 2011 caps a decade that ties the record as the hottest ever measured, the WMO said in […]

Murray Darling Basin Draft Plan

The MDB Draft plan was released today. It is complicated and long – I have done little more than glance through it. The length and complexity has not stopped irrigators and conservationists from attacking it from different perspectives. Extra water diverted to the environment to flush out the system and provide therapeutic flooding is set […]

Climate sensitivities & probabilities of catastrophic climate change

Climate sensitivity measures the sensitivity of mean global surface temperatures to a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

The work of Andreas Schmittner and colleagues uses paleoclimatic data and temperature reconstructions from the Last Glacial Maximum (19-23,000 years ago) with climate model simulations to recompute climate sensitivities. Their preferred estimated climate sensitivity is 2.3 degrees C which […]

Shopping in America

Don’t go to Walmart unarmed.

Signs of a US economic recovery?

Smoking in China

China is the world’s largest tobacco market. The Chinese Government is addressing the tobacco problem but the response is probably not enough. Here is a paper I wrote with Bao Jia Tan on tobacco control policies in China.

Plain packaging of cigarettes

I am trying to get some thoughts together on the recently passed ‘plain packaging’ legislation in Australia. Comments very welcome on these notes which are based on a relatively quick Goggle search.

From December 2012 cigarettes in Australia will only be able to be sold in ‘plain packaging’. Government legislation will force […]

Indian showmanship

Speechless after watching this. We are selling these guys nuclear fuels.

HT Marginal Revolution

Phillip Morris #1 in carcinogen production

Phillip Morris have sought to reject the ‘plain packaging’ legislation approved by the Australian Parliament today via an appeal to the High Court. If the appeal fails this firm seeks compensation for the loss of the value of its brands of several billion dollars. It is interesting to note that the Coalition joined with the […]

Value of life

If you are considering the net benefits of reducing the prospects of death using a costly technology then it is necessary to work out the value of a statistical life – a life that is anonymous but real. Non-economists find this macabre but the question makes perfect sense if budgets are limited as they always […]

The Australian – more climate science inaccuracies

The Australian quotes Bjorn Lomborg as saying:

“….carbon taxes are hugely inefficient: for every dollar of tax, they reduce climate damage by the equivalent of 2c.

…. the best “bang for your buck” is to be had in spending public money on research and development on reducing the cost of renewable energies to the point […]

Andrew Bolt & Peter Roebuck’s suicide

A disgusting piece of scandal-mongering by the disgusting Andrew Bolt. Bolt is asserting that in the wake of Peter Roebuck’s suicide that he is being assessed unfairly by the media because he is not being treated comparably to a suspect pedophile priest. Bolt admits there is almost no evidence on the issue but that Roebuck […]

President’s Cup 2011

I wandered out to Royal Melbourne Golf Course today to watch practise rounds for the 2011 President’s Cup. Its a great way of watching professional golf – the crowds are smaller and the admission costs are slightly lower than during the tournament itself. The day itself was perfect Melbourne weather – sunny with only light […]

Long term trends in global CO2 emissions

This excellent EU reports tells us – up to 2010 – where the world is in terms of carbon emission trajectories. Over 2009 to 2010 there was a rapid switch back to trend in global carbon emissions. World emissions fell by 1% in 2009 but rose by more than 5% in 2010, an unprecedented increase […]

An influential but fallacious argument on climate

I have been following a thread at John Quiggin’s blog where a standard argument used by climate policy sceptics is raised in comments yet once again. Again, again & again this same argument appears.

The sceptic claim is this: A country like Australia contributes less than 2% of the world’s emissions so that measures to […]


At lunch today a friend provided a 1969 Wynns ‘Claret’. This was something of a misnomer as the label revealled it was, in fact, a cabernet-shiraz blend. It was a supremely aromatic, elegant aged wine that at 42 years of age was more than just perfectly sound and a curiousity – really close to perfection. […]

Carbon tax for Australia

Australia will have a carbon tax of $23 per tonne from July 2012. Thereafter the price will be linked to prices in international carbon markets since Australian firms will be able to buy half their permits in these markets. Setting a fixed tax rate now means that carbon prices in Australia are 2-3 times those […]

Beijing Forum 2011

II have taken a break from golfing and enjoying my ‘rich social life’ to attend the Beijing Forum 2011 at Peking University, Beijing. Its my fourth Beijing Forum and, in format, it follows the standard, immaculately-organised pattern. Some amazing speakers are presenting – Roger Myerson and James Mirrlees are both Nobel Laureates in economics – […]