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What will kill our kids

I have acquired something of a reputation as the economist who is obsessed with the harm of tobacco products. “There he goes again….” There might be an element of truth to this but maybe, because it reflects a reality, it is a relatively healthy obsession. I’ve been reading a report by the OECD (2012) on […]

Selfish US airline policies

As I have discussed on several occasions the EU policy of levying carbon charges on US (and other) international air carriers flying in and out of Europe is simply a border tax adjustment that ensures the competitive neutrality of European airlines also subject to the charge. The latest decision by the US Senate – not […]

Thinking clearly about immigration

We have been selective in sections of our immigration program – for example the business program discriminates on the basis of wealth. But if one raises the case for not favouring the admission to Australia of those who come from violent societies where our democratic values and belief in religious tolerance would get zero respect […]


I am taking some time off and smelling the roses. I’ll be back soon with a lower golf handicap and a more constructive appreciation of my betters.

Update: Ennui squared. I have just been listed as a participant for a half-day workshop on X in Y and because of my immense value to the participants […]

The boy & the fire-engine

A favourite quote from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations:

“Men are much more likely to discover easier and readier methods of attaining any object, when the whole attention of their minds is directed towards that single object, than when it is dissipated among a great variety of things. But in consequence of the division of […]

A hot 2013 is likely

There is nothing particular new in this piece by Stefan Rahmstorf in New Scientist but it is clear and well-written. The year 2013 is likely to involve record high global temperatures simply because of the trend growth in temperatures (0.16 degrees C per decade over the past 30 years) and because a new El Nino […]