OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Nick Smith. Spanking. Now.

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  • Kumara Republic,

    Don C:

    Currently family in the UK *only* buy NZ butter etc. because they, rightly, view our farmers as the least subsidised and most efficient in the world. This attitude will change very fast if they see us as one of the dirtiest countries in the world. Just saying.

    It's already starting to happen with fisheries.

    And the names Henry Waxman and Edward Markey are ringing louder with each passing day.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth,

    Smith is getting less impressive by the day (if that's possible). My pet beef with the Infometrics/NZIER (and Smith), is that they ignore forestry. You know, growing trees and stuff, that compensates for all the emissions growth since 1990... and of couirse we weon't be planting any more at all over the next decade...aaarggghhhh.

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Guyon Espiner's report on One News (Sunday 6 pm) was shameful.

    Stupid and ignorant people being stupid and ignorant is annoying. But when smart people (and Espiner is no dummy) choose to pretend to be stupid, because they think the audience is ... that's really depressing.

    Although I suppose, since I was stupid enough to be watching One News in the first place ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    With Simon Power's flub last week

    Flub? I thought people just got the wrong end of the stick. Or was there something I missed in my week away from Wellington?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    I thought people just got the wrong end of the stick.

    He said, in his speech, that he was going to enact a reform which - people then pointed out - had already been enacted. (Regarding admissibility of evidence about sexual history of complainants).

    That's my understanding. Is that what we're talking about?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    That's impressive work Keith. I've expressed my disgust in a letter to the editor (or two).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I've pretty much concluded that National is so captured by special interests (Steven Joyce is the Minister for Tony Friedlander and Nick Smith appears to have strings on him that lead back to Federated Farmers HQ) that it has merely moved from denying the climate is doing any changing to denying they can do anything about the climate changing.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    That's my understanding. Is that what we're talking about?

    That's what I thought. It wasn't a flub.

    The speech:

    ... I believe we need to have an open debate about the way in which sexual violence cases are conducted.

    In this regard, I am currently considering potentially far-reaching reforms, including:

    ...

    Making evidence about previous sexual relationships between the complainant and any person inadmissible without prior agreement of the judge.

    The current law is that:

    evidence about previous sexual relationships between the complainant and any person (except the defendant) is inadmissible without prior agreement of the judge.

    It may be a nuance, but I suspect most people understand the difference between the words "any person" and the words "any person (except the defendant)". No flub here.

    Were you talking about some other flub, Russell?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Any one bothered by this;

    “RGNDI per capita is expected to rise from about $38,500 in 2009 to around $49,000 in 2020, in the absence of any participation in an international agreement on emission reductions.
    − With 1990 levels of AAUs (61.9Mt) and a world price of $100, this would drop to around $48,000.
    − An extra 15% of AAUs (9.3Mt) would soften the impact by around $400 per capita to $48,400.
    − Conversely, 15% fewer AAUs would cause RGNDI per capita to drop by a further $400 to $47,600.
    − A tough target of 40% fewer AAUs with a world price of $200 (a worst case scenario) would cause 2020 RGNDI to fall by $3,000 per person to $46,000.”

    Points 2 and 3 ($48.4k, $47.6k) are based on $100/t.

    From the table on pg 3 it seems that only a $200/t scenario has been done for the 40% case.

    Apples and pears...

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Alan P,

    Personally I suspect that our new government are, in the main, a bunch of lazy arseholes, who aren't really interested in what's right or wrong, just pushing their own perverse version of "how the world should be". That it also happens to align nicely with lining their, and their friends' pockets is possibly a contributing factor, of course.

    "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
    - I think this sums up Smith's "gaff" quite nicely.

    That the majority of the public seem to either agree with them, or just can't tell that they're being screwed is beyond depressing...

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Wammo,

    Here's Keith Ng on this morning's show making sense of this... without bold type and salty language...

    Keith Ng with Wammo on Kiwi FM

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    From the table on pg 3 it seems that only a $200/t scenario has been done for the 40% case.

    Apples and pears...

    The assumption seems to be that a 40% reduction is equivalent in price to $200. Which isn't unreasonable, it just isn't noted as one. Every paper I ever read written by economists consists of assumptions, few of them explicitly noted.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Er, Craig

    Indeed -- meanwhile

    May I be the first to say, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, WTF?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It may be a nuance, but I suspect most people understand the difference between the words "any person" and the words "any person (except the defendant)". No flub here.

    Were you talking about some other flub, Russell?

    No, that one. If he meant "including the defendant" -- ie, the part not covered by existing law -- one would think he'd have specifically said so (which he only did in releasing "further details" after Gary Gottlieb etc had sounded off).

    None of the original reports made the distinction. So even if he did mean the right thing, all the reports were wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    The assumption seems to be that a 40% reduction is equivalent in price to $200. Which isn't unreasonable, it just isn't noted as one. Every paper I ever read written by economists consists of assumptions, few of them explicitly noted.

    I don't think it was an assumption that prices will go to $200 if there was a 40% reduction - it was just a high-end scenario. "Where would we be if price was at $200 *and* we were faced with a 40% reduction?"

    Whoops: It doesn't test for price @ $200 for other reduction scenarios because it doesn't consider $200 to be likely. That's why it's the only scenario at $200.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    None of the original reports made the distinction. So even if he did mean the right thing, all the reports were wrong.

    Thus, I went to the speech he delivered. He could have been clearer. Next time I imagine he will be. But why so many people - reporters and lawyers - thought "any person" meant anything other than "any person" is a mystery.

    The original speech is not a lengthy one.

    Even if reporters don't have the time or skills to analyse it properly there should be people at major media organisations who can do that.

    =)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Smith,

    Keith, you're usually very good at this, but in this instance you're just plain wrong.

    Two things:

    1) The allowance of AAUs is not equal to a domestic target.

    Well yes, but it's a good proxy; Unless you assume we can't use international trading to meet our domestic target. If you want to take that stance then the cost is going to much much higher than the $15bn Nick Smith's been bandying about (because by and large domestic emissions reductions cost more than overseas emissions reductions - bullet 4, page 16 ).

    The other reason its a good proxy is that the international target is actually binding, unlike the domestic target. So it models what it costs to actually meet it.

    2) You said that all the scenarios assumed New Zealand's emissions were 87.7 Mt.

    This is just wrong.

    The scenarios measured the emissions deficit against a BAU case of 87.7 Mt, but assumed that it would be met by a mix of domestic reductions and purchases of units from overseas.

    To reiterate: All the scenarios assumed some domestic emissions reductions. You can tell because in each table is a row that says ' Domestic emissions reductions.' From page 16:
    "In all scenarios, the 2020 target is met by both domestic reductions and purchasing further permits from other countries."

    So, no, the report did NOT assume that our emissions level was unchanged.

    The figure Nick Smith is using might not be the cost of reducing emissions, but it is the cost of meeting the target, with emissions reductions both here and overseas.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Dear Keith

    (For effect please be imaging following text to be becoming progressively bolder.)

    We should not be involved in emission trading.

    These are emission targets for a Kyoto type country-by-country emission policy. Kyoto based emissions caps have a few minor issues which bear thinking about.

    The most important of which (from my perpective as an enviromentalist) is that they do not work. Ever.* They do not reduce global carbon emissions, quite the opposite.

    Second most important problem is that the idea of global Kyoto based emission trading caps are dead in the water, absolutely positively never going to be adopted by the Chinese or Indians or any developing world nation with a backbone. If we've waited this long before adoption, why adopt now when they are mere months from sinking below the surface never to be seen again?

    Third most important problem (and this the reason the Chinese & Indians are not buying the BS) is that Kyoto agreements are manifestly exploitative of the third world. They are a tax on industrial growth at a time when the largest economies of the third world are raising almost 1 billion people out of poverty through industrialisation. They are a tax on industrialisation that subsidises reducing industrial capacity at a time when the first world nations(Europe/USA) supporting the measure are (cue fucking amazing surprise) reducing industrial capacity. These same first world pricks do presume to be running a "market" based in the financial centres of Europe and soon to be USA which will clip the ticket of every carbon trade - further penalising the 3rd world. And the best part is that the West recognises this problem and promises to remedy the unfairness by (get this) providing "aid" - the same aid that has been so successful in fulfilling the millenial goals of debt reuction (not), combating maliria (not), assisting with HIV harm reduction (not) and having broken hundreds of other similar aid promises down the line - Third World countries have a deep understanding of the worth of First World aid promises (paper + ink + free buffet at signing ceremony).

    We. Should. Not. Make. Any. Commitment. To. An. Emission. Cap. Ever.

    * Sweden has maybe contributed to reduced global carbon emissions by operating a carbon tax which is an effective system for reducing greenhouse emissions (the fact that they also Kyoto style cap'n'trade is detrimental to their success rate). France maybe about to adopt similar taxation.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth,

    The figure Nick Smith is using might not be the cost of reducing emissions, but it is the cost of meeting the target, with emissions reductions both here and overseas.

    No. It's a special case in which the economists and Nick Smith (completely unrealistically) ignore the impact of expanding carbon sinks - ie forestry - on the cost of meeting the target. It is thus completely useless as a tool for informing policy decisions.

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The figure Nick Smith is using might not be the cost of reducing emissions, but it is the cost of meeting the target, with emissions reductions both here and overseas.

    And that is exactly the point. "40%" in the context of this report does not mean a reduction in domestic emissions of 40% as Smith has tried to lead us to believe, but is a reduction in our AAUs by that amount. A significant difference.

    The only part of the report which deals entirely with domestic emissions, and thus tries to quantify the cost of their reduction, is table 7, where international trading is assumed to not be part of the agreement. This part however rightly notes

    stress, however, that at carbon prices of this magnitude the models’ parameter and elasticity values may not be valid

    as significant economic and technological shifts would occur with this high carbon price, as would changes in forestry (which Gareth has already noted is not considered by this report).

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Keith Ng wants to be careful, I imagine Paula Bennett is about to release his student loan record as we speak.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Hey Matt, I'll take the easier one (number 2) first.

    Check out tables 3 and 4 on page 7. Domestic emission reductions are affected by assumptions about price. In the Infometrics model, they are fixed for any given price level. In the NZIER model, they move very marginally at a given price level.

    You're right that the 87.7Mt figure is wrong. The assumed emissions level depends on the price of carbon. However, my point is that this is an analysis about how much the emissions deficit would cost, not an analysis about how much the reduction of emissions would cost, and that still stands.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Whoops, that was run 7, as presented in table 9.

    Although, now that I look at it again, I can't see the sense in declaring that "parameter and elasticity values may not be valid" at $262 because of the shifts this would induce in the economy, and declaring them valid at $200.

    These values are then fed into our CGE models as shocks, to determine the overall economic impacts

    Assuming carbon prices as shocks, for which we are unable to prepare or adapt to, seems like a very inadequate way of understanding the impacts of carbon pricing.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Apologies for screed.

    Short summary: Kyoto based carbon emission trading.

    It will cost us a shitload of money (Keith's, Nick Smith's, whoevers estimate). It won't work. It won't be adopted by the rest of the world. It is manifestly exploitative of the 3rd world.

    It has no up side.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    To clarify - at any given price level assumption, the amount of domestic emissions reduction is (more or less) fixed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

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