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A Perfect Moral StormThe Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change$
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Stephen M. Gardiner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379440

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379440.001.0001

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Somebody Else's Problem?

Somebody Else's Problem?

(p.75) Chapter 3 Somebody Else's Problem?
A Perfect Moral Storm

Stephen M. Gardiner

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers a mainstream and optimistic analysis of the global storm. It fleshes out that analysis by appeal to a simple public goods model, and a simple game theoretic model, the battle of the sexes. It argued that the optimistic analysis fails both in practice and in theory. In practice, neither Kyoto nor the Copenhagen agreement corresponds to the model of a small group of cooperators trying to enforce a ceiling on emissions, and so supply the public good of climate stability for themselves and others. In theory, none of the main claims of the broader battle of the sexes model—Partial Cooperation, Internal Motivation, and Passive Cooperation ‐ seems likely to be true of climate change. The scale of the problem is simply too large, and the incentives to undermine an agreement too great, at least in the short‐ to medium‐term.

Keywords:   game theory, climate policy, Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen Accord, battle of the sexes, public Good, cooperation, United States

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