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Because his paper, “The Brave New World of Carbon Trading,” is a lucid and damning exposition of emissions trading, the model behind the Rudd government’s carbon trading scheme, the CPRS.
Spash argues that problems with carbon trading schemes cannot simply be designed away. Carbon trading, he concludes, is a dangerous diversion from real solutions to climate change.
You can access the full paper via Solidarity’s website at
The businesses of the financial sector, by acting as middlemen, advisors and consultants, are set to make considerable profits from such schemes.
Clearly many in already powerful positions, able to lobby politicians and be heard, have strong self-interest in seeing emissions trading adopted. There are a variety of other options: direct regulation (e.g. improved building codes; restricting the most polluting inputs), subsidies, education, building new infrastructure, and so on. However, such options challenge the dominant political rhetoric that market solutions and minimal governance are best.
Thu, 4th March 2010
SENATOR CARR HEAVIES CSIRO FOR
Mrs Sophie Mirabella MP
Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Sophie Mirabella MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science
and Research, said that scientific integrity at the CSIRO has taken a back
seat to the political game playing of the Rudd Government.
“In a clear abuse of the scientific process, the Minister for Science, Kim Carr, today continues to
defend his use of a confidential referees report to discredit a paper titled The Brave New World of
Carbon Trading by Dr Clive Spash,” Mrs Mirabella said.
Dr Clive Spash left the CSIRO late last year as a result of the controversy surrounding the
publication of this paper. In last month’s Senate estimates hearing, Science Minister Kim Carr
quoted selectively from a referees report criticising Dr Spash’s early draft of the paper.
“The referees report referred to an early draft of the paper prepared by Dr Spash which was
subsequently rewritten – which is the whole point of peer review and part of the scientific process
to ensure the integrity of the paper,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“It was the peer reviewed paper that was accepted for publication by an international journal that
was later banned by CSIRO managers.”
“This is a clear violation of the peer review process.”
“How do we expect scientists at the CSIRO to do their work effectively if they feel that their work
will be subject to this sort of political interference or censorship?”
Dr Spash said (ABC Radio PM 24 February 2010):
“This report must have been passed on to him [Kim Carr] by senior CSIRO
“I think they’ve [CSIRO] got themselves into a total mess both with their
public policy statements and also their charter signed with the Minister. It
seems impossible for the CSIRO to conduct research engaging on public
policy issues and yet maintain a statement which prevents them from doing
“The good work of scientists at the CSIRO, and the CSIRO brand, is under threat from a
desperate Labor Party playing political games to try and avoid criticism and open debate,” Mrs
Mrs Mirabella said that the case of Dr Clive Spash, who is not a climate change sceptic, is not
isolated. The former head of the climatology department of the CSIRO, Dr Garth Paltridge, has
said that there is systematic intimidation of scientists within the CSIRO who do not agree with the
views being put forward about the human causes of climate change