"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Looming Global-Scale Failures and Missing Institutions

h/t Dano

Any coverage in the press?
Science 11 September 2009:
Vol. 325. no. 5946, pp. 1345 - 1346
DOI: 10.1126/science.1175325

Looming Global-Scale Failures and Missing Institutions

Brian Walker,1,2,* Scott Barrett,3 Stephen Polasky,4,5 Victor Galaz,2 Carl Folke,2,4 Gustav Engström,4,6 Frank Ackerman,7,8 Ken Arrow,9 Stephen Carpenter,10 Kanchan Chopra,11 Gretchen Daily,12 Paul Ehrlich,12 Terry Hughes,13 Nils Kautsky,14 Simon Levin,15 Karl-Göran Mäler,2,4 Jason Shogren,16 Jeff Vincent,17 Tasos Xepapadeas,18 Aart de Zeeuw4,19

Energy, food, and water crises; climate disruption; declining fisheries; increasing ocean acidification; emerging diseases; and increasing antibiotic resistance are examples of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges spawned by the accelerating scale of human activity. They are outpacing the development of institutions to deal with them and their many interactive effects. The core of the problem is inducing cooperation in situations where individuals and nations will collectively gain if all cooperate, but each faces the temptation to take a free ride on the cooperation of others. The nation-state achieves cooperation by the exercise of sovereign power within its boundaries. The difficulty to date is that transnational institutions provide, at best, only partial solutions, and implementation of even these solutions can be undermined by internation competition and recalcitrance.


rustneversleeps said...

it's been in the physorg, eurkalert, sciencedaily feeds... but having read the original 2-page piece itself? even if i was a mainstream media editor, i'm not so sure what exactly makes these two pages "newsworthy"...???

although it did start some conversations!

that said, i am going to scribble something on this and some other "converging dilemmas"/"diverging interests" literature on the weekend... which is of "emerging interest", at least to me!...

keith said...

While I thought this paper was important and blogged on it early this morning, it's not the kind of thing that would attract any spot news stories. So it probably flew under the media radar.

Several reasons why, the biggest being that it's a "perspective"-oriented article. They don't attract much attention, as opposed to those research articles, which provide clear news angles.