Thursday, April 03, 2014

Climate Change: Collective action and tipping points

For all the IPCC rhetoric IMO tipping points are crucial and misunderstood.  Currently reading:

On the Sensitivity of Collective Action to Uncertainty About Climate Tipping Points" Free Download

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4643

SCOTT BARRETT, Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

ASTRID DANNENBERG, Göteborg University

Previous research shows that collective action to avoid a catastrophic threshold, such as a climate “tipping point,” is unaffected by uncertainty about the impact of crossing the threshold but that collective action collapses if the location of the threshold is uncertain. Theory suggests that behavior should differ dramatically either side of a dividing line for threshold uncertainty. Inside the dividing line, where uncertainty is small, collective action should succeed. Outside the dividing line, where uncertainty is large, collective action should fail. We test this prediction in the experimental lab. Our results strongly support the prediction: behavior is highly sensitive to uncertainty around the dividing line.
Scott Barrett is always worth reading on this topic.  Linking environmental economics with lab experiments is something I want to look at trying myself. 

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