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Megan McArdle

The Mother of All Collective Action Problems

Why climate change is a real problem that we're unlikely to do anything about.

I am in the unpleasant position of believing that climate change is a real problem, and also believing that we are very unlikely actually to do anything about it. The collective action problem is just too hard. As recession-plagued Europe pulls back on its carbon-reduction efforts, Michael O'Hare seems to be in the same camp:

The best hope is probably cheap solar, which would be a simply enormous boon to the world, and something we should all hope happens, fast. But the current solar market is heavily influenced by subsidies for installation, especially in Europe, and by subsidies for production, especially in China. If governments pull back, it's not clear to me what is going to happen to prices over the longer term.