date: Wed Aug 23 10:07:28 2000
from: Mike Hulme <m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: CONFIDENTIAL
to: John Shepherd <John.G.ShepherdatXYZxyz.soton.ac.uk>
Not sure why you didn't get Tirpak's application - its on its way now. Although his
application and CV are oddly presented, he has had relevant experience at both US
EPA and the UNFCCC in Germany. Martin Parry and Tom Wigley speak highly
of him - indeed, on that basis I alerted him to the position to see whether he was
About Gottinger ........... when he was applying I asked Terry, Jonathan and Kerry about
Jonathan and Terry's replies are below.
Kerry was vaguely aware of him and raised a Q. about his professional integrity.
None of the three gave me the impression that we were onto someone good! The logistics
of the day will not allow us to interview more than 3 candidates, so let's see if all three
can make the 19th and keep Gottinger in the background.
I know of this man, but don't know him personally.
He has done some interesting things, but my opinion is that I doubt
if he is of the calibre we are looking for - what do you think, Terry?
He is in the 'opposite camp' in that his economic modelling approach
is theoretical - neoclassical as opposed to ours which is time series
data analysis based. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as
he is not arrogant (a common trait in economic modellers).
1) I do not know him. I have looked up his work on the web, and if I
have identified him correctly, he is a mathematical, neo-classical,
game theory economist with interests in climate change and other
environmental issues. Some text summarising a climate change
study is copied from the web below to give you a flavour. Not much
"Summary: Gottinger paper on endogenous model of climate change
A major problem that is common to the existing research on climate
change is the neglect of forces of the market mechanism. The
existing estimates are obtained under the assumption of exogeneous
economic activities. Clearly, such an assumption suppresses the
feedback effects to economic activities of the predicted changes in
climate. For example, one of the major worries in the studies on
climate change is that higher global average temperature may have
severe adverse effects on world agricultural production. However, of
the productivity of agriculture falls as a result of the global warming,
the relative price of agricultural commodities is expected to rise,
which, under certain demand conditions, will drive down the
production of the manufactured goods and hence the emissions of
greenhouse gases. Taking this force into account, it is probable that
existing models may have over-estimated the amount of future
emissions of the greenhouse gases and their impacts on future
climate. In order to model the dynamic interaction between
economic activities and the climate system, a dynamic two-sector
general equilibrium model is constructed. This paper attempts to
answer the question "what are the possible scenarios that would
arise from the interaction between economic activities and the
climate system: would the world temperature reach a steady state?
or would it be increasing forever? or something
else?" The answer to the above question will also provide an answer
to the following questions. The greenhouse effect is supposedly
caused by economic activities.Will the market mechanism itself be
able to correct this problem? In other words, will the forces
of the price mechanism be sufficient to stop the trend of global
warming? The model is constructed in such a way that the market
has a built-in self-stabilizing mechanism that offsets rising
temperature. The climate is also assumed stable. The interaction
between the two stable systems, however, does not necessarily lead
to a stable long-run equilibrium. It is shown that the characteristics
of the equilibrium paths depends critically on the planet's cooling
capability. The world economy and temperature will reach a staedy
state as long as the rate at which the planet sheds
heat is not too small. If this decay is too small, however, competitive
equilibrium will, under certain conditions, lead to climatic cycles or
even a climatic chaos. It is shown that under certain conditions the
equilibrium law of motion of temperature displays sensitive
dependencies on initial conditions."
At 16:47 22/08/00 +0100, you wrote:
Further to John Lawton & Brian's comments... if Tirpak is a possible
candidate, can I have a copy of his CV etc, please ?
Thanks for sending those for McIlveen & Gottinger. I'm not an economist,
and don't know them at all. I wasn't impressed by McIlveen's application or
his record (too little necessary detail, and basically many years as an
operational economist for the Canadian Govt : no publications of any
consequence) so I agree to discard him.
However Gottinger looked much more interesting. Loads of apparently
reputable and relevant publications in all sorts of relevant fields in
economics and decision theory (and a broad range of interests too). Could
we ask an economist whether he's any good : maybe someone from his year at
Oxford (he lists Christopher Bliss as a referee : does anyone at UEA know
him well enough to phone him and get a quick pen-picture ?)? I fear he may
be at the mathematical end of the spectrum, but at this stage think he
might be worth interviewing as a dark horse, unless we find that his
personal qualities are all wrong.... but I would welcome some input from
someone in his field (maybe the people at Cambridge or SPRU know him, even
??) Over to you.