The apex problem is the Tragedy of the Commons or free-rider problem, in which the observation that some nations are not pulling their weight disempowers most other nations from making any serious effort. This is why a rigorously thought through framework for international cooperation is vital.

Many ‘green’ NGOs survive by communicating overly-simplistic, appealing narratives. This distracts passionately committed people from more fruitful activities, such as debating and enacting scaleable solutions.

‘Snake oil bubbles’ fund misleading publicity, a phenomenon that is self reinforcing.

Given the armies of shrewd fund managers looking for good investments, we can conclude that solving climate change is not usually profitable, otherwise emissions would already be falling. Strong carbon pricing would harness capitalism by making solving climate change profitable.

Uncertainty about the future favours short term thinking.


Next: Geopolitical Problems