Global Warming Advisor Garnaut Is No Expert And Not Infallible

Posted on Sat 04/02/2011 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

Chris Kenny warns that the Gillard Government’s chief adviser on global warming has no formal expertise on the subject:

At a recent dinner party a guest who impressed me with her detailed knowledge of the climate change debate was disbelieving when I insisted the government’s prominent climate change adviser, (Ross) Garnaut, was not a scientist but an economist.

The problem is that Garnaut’s record in making predictions in his own field of economics is not so hot that we should now trust his predictions in climatology as well:

Until he was co-opted into the climate change arena Garnaut’s most influential work was his 1989 report to the Hawke government, Australia and the Northeast Asian Ascendancy. This is where he mapped out the free-trade agenda and more. …. Even now, Garnaut’s work seems impressive. But as you would expect with picking economic trends decades in advance, it also got some things drastically wrong.

What he predicted correctly is the core of the report: that our geographic and economic complementarity with Northeast Asia would prove a great advantage….But Garnaut, like just about everyone else, did misjudge the dimensions of the resources boom that was about to sweep across the Australian economy.

He suggested coal exports would expand and perhaps double during the coming decade, and talked about the “meagre fortunes” of coking coal exports, which he said would drop in value. As it turns out, coal exports have trumped all expectations. They doubled during the following decade and have increased more than three times in volume and seven-fold in value, with the growth expectations continuing upwards. Coking coal makes up the same tonnage as thermal coal and at double the value.

On iron ore it is a similar story. Garnaut predicted that after a period of stagnation export growth would resume at a “moderate rate”, averaging a few per cent annually. But our iron ore exports have almost quadrupled in volume and increased more than 15 times in value….

The Garnaut report was optimistic about wool exports, suggesting that with some provisos the prospects were strong. Yet since then our wool exports have halved in value and dropped from nearly 10 per cent to less than 1 per cent of our merchandise exports…

But another misstep was Garnaut’s advocacy of hi-tech manufacturing development and even supporting, with heavy qualifications, the misguided idea of developing a so-called multi-function polis in Australia. The idea, taken up by the Hawke-Keating and South Australian Bannon Labor governments, was a humiliating non-event that cost taxpayers at least $100 million.

TonyfromOz adds…..

Treasury documents gained under the Freedom Of Information act have shown that the Government’s proposed ‘Price on Carbon’ will add nearly $900 a year to the average household costs if introduced.

And the difference it would make to the world’s temperature is zero:

VICTORIAN households face price rises of $863 a year – $16.60 a week – for essentials including electricity, gas, petrol and food under the Federal Government’s carbon tax.

Secret Treasury documents reveal the average electricity bill would rise by $218 and gas by $114. Fuel would cost $187 more at the bowser and food prices would rise by $88 at the checkout.

The figures are based on a tax of $30 a tonne and were prepared on February 1. It includes a tax on petrol.

If petrol is excluded the price rise for households is $608 a year – $11.70 a week.

Note: this estimate includes only the price rise on essentials. It also estimates only the extra costs for households, and not, say, for small business people. For the tax to cut our emissions by the Government’s target, petrol and farm emissions will later have to be included. And the $30 a tonne must certainly rise, perhaps to $80 a tonne.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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