February 04, 2009 | Graham

Treasury ETS modelling fails peer review

There’s a certain line of argument in the greenhouse debate that says only those documents that have been peer-reviewed are worth anything. It’s a strange line of argument. I have a vision of a queue of facts all in a quantum state, waiting for a bureaucratic process to either confirm or anihilate them. Facts aren’t facts anymore it seems unless they have the right paper work.
So, it was interesting to realise that while Treasury modelling was greeted with glee by the evangelists of an ETS, it was still in that limbo of facts that have not been “confirmed” by the peer review process.
Well, now it has been peer-reviewed and found wanting (PDF 805kb).
Apparently it significantly under-states costs because amongst other things it assumes that capital is fungible and that technologies will exist that probably won’t in the time frame required. The author of the report, Henry Ergas, also comments that the modelling lacked transparency and that the Senate had not been able to obtain for him the assumptions etc. underlying it. This has shades of Mann et al and the now infamous Hockey Stick graph.
I haven’t seen any reports of this in the Australian mainstream media, although I did a Google search earlier today after I found it in the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps it has been lost in the midst of reports of all the other money that Kevin Rudd is spending. But it should be added to the bill. I’m sure it will still be sizable, even compared to $42 billion.

Posted by Graham at 11:45 am | Comments Off on Treasury ETS modelling fails peer review |
Filed under: Environment

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