People don’t put a high value on climate protection

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An international team of researchers led by Manfred Milinski from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology has shown how poorly we manage collective risk. “Our experiment is based on an essay which Thomas Schelling, the Nobel laureate in economics, wrote back in 1995”, explains Milinski. Schelling pointed out that it was today’s generation which would have to make the efforts for climate protection, while it would be future generations who would gain the benefits. So the people of the present have little motivation actually to do anything. Does this gloomy theory withstand experimental scrutiny?

The full study is: “Intra- and intergenerational discounting in the climate game”, Jennifer Jacquet, Kristin Hagel, Christoph Hauert, Jochem Marotzke, Torsten Röhl, and Manfred Milinski, Nature Climate Change, 20 October 2013. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2024

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Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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