Protocol of silence

The content on this webpage contains paid/affiliate links. When you click on any of our affiliate link, we/I may get a small compensation at no cost to you. See our affiliate disclosure for more info

Last updated on July 26th, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Economist John Quiggin once wrote frequently about Kyoto. Here he is on May 21, and May 7 (“once again, it’s evident that, unless we ratify Kyoto now, we are in danger of missing the boat”), April 29April 19 (in which he rejects “claims Kyoto will be economically ruinous”), April 18April 17February 23February 16 (noting that ratification was “a good day for the planet”), February 8 (“The wheels are coming off Bjorn Lomborg’s attempt to undermine the Kyoto Protocol”), January 28January 26 (“Judging by Australia’s failure to ratify Kyoto, we’re not making the right collective choices at the moment”), January 21January 2December 21December 15December 7November 6October 23October 4October 1 (“Promises by Bush and Howard to produce an alternative, more effective policy have come to nothing”), August 22June 7June 6May 27May 24May 23 (“It’s Kyoto or nothing, and I certainly hope it will be Kyoto”), April 2, and—we’re now back to 2003—December 3 (“my guess is that, whatever their merits, the governments that have rejected Kyoto will continue with business as usual. But I’d be happy to be surprised”), November 7November 2October 9October 1 (“Lomborg is a hypocrite and a fraud. It’s as simple as that”), September 30 (“consistency is not a major issue for Lomborg or for his right-wing employers”), September 18September 15September 14, and September 9—which included this:

Given that I’ve been posting on both Kyoto and admissions of error I thought it would be interesting to check if any of the leading contrarians on climate change had revised their views in the light of recent evidence. On past form, I wasn’t expecting much.

The leading contrarians and their organizations (SEPP, Marshall Institute, Cato) cut their teeth in the debate over the ozone layer. Most of them are pretty quiet about this issue now.

We might later return to this matter of people becoming quiet about certain issues. Quiggin remained loud on September 8August 8June 24May 27March 8 (“the economic argument on Kyoto has largely been won”), March 4 (“the economic costs of implementing Kyoto are quite small”), February 12January 10—now we’re waaaaay back in 2002—December 22December 11 (“Good news … New Zealand has ratified Kyoto”), December 4November 26November 25November 18November 15November 14 (“how do we get the claim that Kyoto would be too expensive?”), November 13November 12November 5October 19September 24 (“The economists statement in support of the Kyoto Protocol, which i helped to organise got nearly 300 signatures”), September 23September 19September 16September 15September 6September 5September 3August 31August 21August 19August 15, and August 14.

But recently Quiggin has barely mentioned his pet Protocol. What might have happened to silence this outspoken Kyotologist?

UPDATE. Quiggin finally addresses New Zealand’s Kyoto woes:

As far as I can tell, this is a beat-up. The government had calculated that under existing policies, New Zealand would meet its Kyoto commitments with a bit left over that could be traded on international carbon emission credits markets. Now it looks as if they won’t, which means either changing the policies, buying credits or repudiating the commitments. Its hard to see how the availability of the second option makes NZ any worse off.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/02/2005 at 03:18 AM
(53) Comments • Permalink