Friday, April 9, 2010

Some models are better than others

Update 15 April, 2010: The Australian's Cut and Paste pick up the thread

Tony Burke Minister for Population April 8: Coalition 'flip-flopping' on population
"To be able to give a precise projection for 2050 forwards would mean being able to accurately predict every cycle in the national and international economy," he said.
"I don't see how any modelling would be capable of providing that level of precision.
"I don't see how you can determine what the economic needs of the nation will be. You can project forward on current trends, that's what Treasury projections do, but to be able to say in 40 years' time this is precisely what the economic needs of the nation in the new global context will be, I think is a pretty long bow."

Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong Interviewed by Tony Jones on Lateline 10/3/2009  Penny Wong discusses the Govt's draft carbon reduction scheme
TONY JONES: How many jobs will your emissions trading scheme create?
PENNY WONG: Well, what we can say is looking at the Treasury modelling that renewable energy and the jobs associated with that we're likely to see a 30-fold increase over the decades to come.
PENNY WONG: Well, look, modelling is modelling, and obviously the Treasury modelling is out there.
TONY JONES: I want to know what your Treasury modelling is suggesting in terms of the numbers of jobs an emissions trading scheme might create. I mean, that's what you were suggesting in the Senate today.
PENNY WONG: Well, the point I was making - and I've given you the indication that the renewable energy sector will grow by some 30 times out to 2050. The point I'm making is ...
TONY JONES: So how many jobs are we talking about?
PENNY WONG: Well, I'd have to look at the modelling, but it's a 30-fold increase.
PENNY WONG: Well, Tony, the Treasury modelling is a whole of economy modelling over a number of decades.
TONY JONES: So no numbers on potential jobs created in the term of your Government, or even beyond that for the next three years?
PENNY WONG: Well, the modelling that was done was a whole-of-economy modelling over a number of decades.

A more appropriate headline: Government Flip Flopping over use of economic models

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