What is in it for me? Modelling the social dilemma of climate change

27 May 2021 5pm - Sustainability Lecture by Arne Traulsen

27 May 2021 | Time: 5:00-6:30 pm | Virtual Public Lecture

Zoom link: https://mppmu.zoom.us/j/95035223926

Speaker: Arne Traulsen | MPI for Evolutionary Biology

For details on the last press release, see here.


Watch recorded lecture on YouTube


Mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change is a social dilemma that requires global cooperation between many actors. Cooperation is beneficial for society, but individual decision makers are often focusing on their own welfare instead. Solutions discussed for such social dilemmas, such as reciprocity or punishment, typically do not work in large systems. Moreover, certain aspects of climate change are not well described by models of social dilemmas: The global climate may change more rapidly when certain thresholds are exceeded – and benefits are only occurring in the future, while costs have to be paid today. Evolutionary game theory allows to identify robust strategies in such situations that emerge when every player focuses on her own advantage. If the impact and timing of a potentially catastrophic loss is precisely known, it pays off to contribute as late as possible. But if these factors are unknown and repeated losses occur, immediate collective action can be optimal even in the absence of catastrophic scenarios.

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