Treasury modelling on ETS - garbage in, garbage out
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong on Wednesday was putting a positive spin on the modelling ahead of its release, saying it shows there is nothing to fear in emissions trading.
Well, she would, wouldn't she (or else her job and her department would disappear in a puff of Nitrogen Trifluoride).
Treasurer Wayne Swan said the data showed emissions trading would not hurt economic growth.
"What the modelling will show is that we can deal with climate change ... without having a dramatic impact on economic growth," he told Macquarie Radio Network.
I bore myself having to repeat this, but an Australian ETS will not deal with climate change, as cutting 10% or 20% from Australia's tiny contribution of 1.5% of global emissions will, in terms of "dealing with climate change" achieve nothing. And the Government is in cloud cuckoo land if it thinks that the rest of the world is going to somehow "follow Australia's lead."
The EU is in a shambles on its emissions reductions, India and China are simply not interested, and the US is far from unified on its approach (apparently only 18% of the US public think that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful - thanks to Watts Up With That).
There are a number of parallels that can be drawn between the results of the Treasury modelling about the effects of an ETS on the Australian economy and the modelling of the future climate by the IPCC.
Any model of a complex system is an approximation, and complies with the usual "GIGO" (garbage in, garbage out) rule. The IPCC, as we all know, have cherry-picked the data they use in their models to advance their own political agenda (think Michael Mann and "hockey sticks"). The results show that we must "act now" to avoid "catastrophic" climate change, and allows the socialist/anti-capitalist agenda of the UN to be advanced.
Similarly, we all know what the Treasury's modelling will say - the ETS will have little effect on the economy and they will trot out the usual desperate argument that if we don't act now, it will cost more later. The government have admitted that the models do not take into account the current financial crisis, although somehow, despite the boffins taking a year to produce this modelling, the government seems able to incorporate a "fudge factor" which will miraculously deal with this, from the ABC:
The modelling was done before the global financial crisis began.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett says it is one element that will help shape the final policy, due to be finalised by the end of the year.
"This provides us with additional information on how we can approach this issue," he said.
Dismissing the global financial crisis as just "one element" is sheer nonsense. It will be no surprise that the modelling will favour the Government's approach. It will have been carefully designed to achieve that result. Treat with caution.
Read the SMH article here, although there are hundreds of others to choose from.