Monday, June 28, 2010

Martin Parkinson Gives the Sir Leslie Melville Lecture

This lecture was part of an annual series in memory of economist Leslie Melville who was the second vice-chancellor (=president) of the Australian National University. Parkinson, who has a PhD in economics from Princeton, made a point related to Ken Henry's recent comments. He said that there was limited engagement on climate change among Australian economists (with exceptions such as Ross Garnaut and Warwick McKibbin) and there was no consensus on whether action even needed to be taken let alone what form that action should take. He said that economists needed to take the science seriously. That's something I can agree on. I was somewhat surprised about his statement that there was little enagagement as a bunch of names went through my head of economists who are very engaged on this issue. But then I realised that he was giving a lecture aimed at economists to an audience that seemed to consist of few economists and the few that I recognized were well known as environmental economists in one capacity or another. I guess this made his point.

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