The cartoon represents a modified version of the prisoner’s dilemma. The best (or least bad) course of action for both parties (the man and everyone else) is to start spending again. However, no-one else follows the man’s lead, so he ends up in the street. As with the prisoner’s dilemma, both parties benefit only if they are prepared to put aside personal interest and act selflessly. Unfortunately, it tends to be every man for himself.
The idea of using game theory is no more workable than any other, as it always comes down to self interest and the negotiators at the Climate Synod in Durban are ultimately accountable to the politicians, who in turn are accountable to their votes, and Climate Religion is in decline globally. Read the rest of this entry