[LINK] Model of Carbon Trading Missing ICT

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Tue Nov 4 09:54:03 AEDT 2008

The Australian Government released "Australia's Low Pollution Future: 
The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation", 30 October 2008 
<http://www.treasury.gov.au/lowpollutionfuture/>. This reports 
economic modelling of the proposed cap-and-trade "Carbon Pollution 
Reduction Scheme". It finds a modest cost for the scheme.

But the report is deficient in not considering the impact of new 
technologies on climate change. There is only one reference to the 
Internet: "Who at that time could have predicted developments such as 
the internet, containerised shipping or modern air freight?" (page 
18). There are ten references to air transportation, but none to the 
web, ICT computers or telecommunications. This is despite research 
showing ICT more to greenhouse gasses than airlines do.

The main report is provided in one PDF and RTF document and chapter 
by chapter. The full report is 292 pages in a 2.2 Mbyte PDF file. At 
about 8 kbytes per page, that is a reasonable size for a PDF 
document. But the designers could have done a better job of offering 
the summary material to the reader before the full report. Many web 
users will click on the first link of a page and in this case that 
will be to the 2.2 Mbyte full report. It would be better if a small 
web page summary was offered first.

Unfortunately the poor formatting of the document will contribute to 
greenhouse gas emissions. An example, 80% of the "preliminaries" 
section of the document is taken up with high quality facsimile 
autographs of the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and the Minister for Climate 
Change and Water, Penny Wong. As well as providing a way to fake 
government documents, these "signatures" waste space and add nothing 
of value to the report.

More in my blog at: 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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