Author Archives: Brian Easton

Notes to Select Committee Considering the Zero Carbon Bill

Presentation on 26 August, 2019. The full submission is here. Summary 1. Climate change and sea level rising is one of the greatest challenges the world faces. 2. New Zealand should play its part in the world’s effort to restrain greenhouse gas emissions. 3. I broadly endorse the intention of the Climate Change Response (Zero…
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Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Submission to Select Committee reviewing the bill     July 2019                                                                                                             Fundamental Recommendation That the 2050 target in the legislation be defined in terms of ‘net’ methane emissions rather than ‘gross’ methane emissions. Proposed Amendment That all references to biogenic methane emissions in Clause 5O be deleted. In particular the current proposed clause 5O 5O Target…
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What Happened to Egalitarian New Zealand?

Bob Scott Lecture Series on Inequality, 25 June 2019. (See also Have We Abandoned the Egalitarian Society?) What I want to do this evening is examine egalitarianism. In particular, New Zealand is a less egalitarian society today than it was when I was growing up in the 1950s. Why? How? The structure of the paper…
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The Macroeconomic Implications of the Public Finance Act

Presentation to the Symposium: ‘Wellbeing’, Budget Responsibility Rules, and the Public Finance Act (15 April, 2019, Victoria University of Wellington) [1] Macroeconomic analysis, research, policy and forecasting is based upon two major data bases. One, provided by Statistics New Zealand, is centred on the National Accounts, but there are many additional elements. The other, which…
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Obituary: Ian Francis Shirley

Ian Shirley (28 February 1940 – 20 January 2019) This obituary was first published in “The Policy Observatory” which Ian founded New Zealand’s progressive causes have been driven by a strong sense of social justice. Ian Shirley was one of the nation’s strongest drivers. He was born in Kaiapoi and spent his early years in…
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NEW ZEALAND’S 9/11: UNITY IN DIVERSITY

This was submitted to an American publication but not published.) On 15 March, 2019, a gunman entered Masjid Al Noor, a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, during prayer time, and fired a semiautomatic rifle adapted to shoot continuously. He then went to a second mosque a few miles away, shooting people there too. Altogether 50…
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NEW ZEALAND’S METHANE CLOUD

Summary:. Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas. Some methane comes from atmospheric carbon-dioxide which is fixed in grass, eaten by livestock, belched into the atmosphere and eventually returns to atmospheric carbon-dioxide. Before it breaks down, the methane molecules form a ‘cloud’ in the atmosphere which adds to global warming at a much higher rate per…
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Census Mess Can Be Resolved with a New One in 2021

I was commissioned by the ‘Dominion Post’ to write an opinion piece as part of their review of the anniversary of the 2018 Census. This is a slightly revised version of what they published. The main article is ‘365 days and still counting:  Census results still nowhere to be seen’.  An earlier ‘Pundit’ column is ‘The…
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Posts on Health Economics on Pundit

The following are various columns on my Pundit website which involve health economics.  What is the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder? (7 November 2014) The Cost of Demanding More Health Care (10 November, 2014) Prolongation of Life and the Quality of Life (28 November, 2014) Thrive: The Power of Psychological Therapy (November 2, 2015) Are we spending enough…
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BEING A HEALTH ECONOMIST

Wellington School of Medicine Summer School  22 February, 2019. But, first, you may well ask, why should anyone – especially a health practitioner – care about health economics? When I was teaching health economics to sixth-year medical students, I wrote on the board so that it was there during the entire session: EITHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS…
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