Collective Action On Climate Change: Theory By Mancur Olson

This topic is important and should be discussed as it has to do with climate change and carbon dioxide emissions, which are a major part of the environment we live in today’s 21st-century. Olson’s theory about Collective Action helps us understand how policymakers face enormous challenges in reducing carbon dioxide emission. This is due to the nature and market for public goods. My case will be supported by Olson’s theory as well as some real-life examples.

Olson’s theory about collective action says that any group of individuals trying to provide public goods has trouble doing so efficiently. Public goods are non-excludable or non-rival. Non-excludable means that no one can be excluded from purchasing the product. While non-rival simply means that there is no reduction in availability for others. This is a classic example market failure as public goods are undersupplied, which can lead to inefficient markets. These two characteristics are what allow us to understand the free-rider problem. Olson stated that public goods cannot be withheld from any member of the group if one member of the group consumes them – even though they are not contributing to their provision. This is a great example of how taxes can be applied. A tax evader can’t be stopped from accessing public goods provided by the government at no cost. These include street lights, roads, defense, and other services. While individuals may have incentives to ‘freeride’ others’ efforts in certain groups, it is difficult to know the optimal size of any group. Olson was trying to make it clear that “collective actions in large groups are unlikely”. Olson defines a group as “a group of people with common interests”. Olson divided the term “groups” into three categories. The “privileged groups” are those in which all members agree to pay the collective costs. The “intermediate small group” is where no member has an interest in sharing the burden of providing the goods. Finally, the “latent large group” is one in which one member will have to bear the costs. It makes sense that small groups are more likely to achieve their goals than large ones. Olson pointed out that small groups often find it easier for them to work together to make a decision. He/she is willing to contribute a substantial amount of costs if they feel the benefits will be worthwhile. This is because the benefits of the actions must be greater than the costs. Olson also explained why collective actions are more difficult in large groups than for smaller groups. This example is an example of how policymakers can face the collective-action problem in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Large groups may not be able to make a collective decision in their mutual interest. The first and most important thing is that large groups are less likely to get individual benefits than smaller groups. Because of this, it is unlikely that members will be willing to act and pay the majority of the costs. It is also possible for large groups, like the Paris Climate Change Protocol, to have high-cost meetings. Members from different countries are coming together to discuss ways to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon dioxide emission levels have risen to unprecedented levels. The greenhouse effect and climate changes are being caused by the massive increase in pollution.

This is a very important topic and world leaders have summits to discuss it. The main problem is that there is not one solution and no single nation can resolve it. Because so many world leaders are involved in this debate, people can have different views which leads to conflict. Olson explained his Theory of Collective Action by pointing out a common belief. He believed that if there are rational, selfish actors, then everyone will act together in order to achieve their common interests. Olson also said that this is not the case. Even if all the actors have the same goal, rational actors won’t work together to achieve that objective. Even if all parties reach an agreement on how to handle the issue, this can happen. Olson said that rational, self-interested people will not cooperate to reach their common interests unless they have a small number of members or if there is coercion. People want to take advantage of collective action in climate change. Although there may be a shared interest in a group working towards a common goal, it is rare for the parties to agree to pay. This is because the public goods are free regardless of contributions. Everyone would like others to pay the cost and get all the benefits. It is important to discuss the best strategy to address the problem of climate change. There are many countries that can work together to find the best ways to pay for their actions and reduce pollution. As mentioned, a single country cannot make the decision. It involves high costs, and it is not feasible for one country to take the lead. However, it can be done. It is clear that Olson’s theory on collective action matches the history of climate change. No country has ever benefited from having to pay the majority of the costs. It would be a common feeling for all countries to wonder why they should pay the majority of the costs, and then why other countries would not share equally or free-ride. These countries often resist changing anything and wait for others to take the burden. This gives them the opportunity to enjoy free-riding and the benefits. This means that we remain stuck in the same situation and hope to reduce carbon dioxide but don’t take any action. Since long, scientists have predicted that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases. There are many theories to the contrary, and this is why there has been no major action. The governments of different countries have not reached a common agreement on climate change. Donald Trump, US President currently, opted to withdraw from the Paris Agreement regarding climate change mitigation. He said that he didn’t believe climate change or global warming. How can policy makers agree on this topic if they are not all on the same page? The world leaders must decide whether or not this issue is really important before anyone will agree to take action. However, all other countries who are part of the Paris Treaty agree that climate change is a major problem. The issue is that it can be difficult to allocate appropriate resources, costs and responsibilities. But, most importantly, who will lead the charge and make the change happen? A lot of countries, including Australia, think that the impact of climate change is still not severe enough to warrant concern. Even though reducing carbon dioxide emission is important, it won’t immediately take effect. The cost-benefit analysis and further analysis are needed before making a decision. Olson’s theory is applicable again because policy makers and governments are reluctant to give up resources and their time in order for carbon dioxide emissions to be reduced and greenhouse gasses to be reduced.

Olson’s theory explains that collective action will not be possible if the costs are too high. Therefore, large groups should make a greater contribution to collective benefit. The emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane has increased global warming to new levels. Leaders around the world have become aware of the dangers of melting glaciers and heatwaves across many countries. It is quite bizarre and amazing that world leaders are saying it doesn’t make sense to pay for the cost of improving our planet’s future. Many forecasters predict that Earth will cease to exist in the next 100 years. This is largely because of the rapid loss of the ozone layer and the rising global temperature. Although these predictions might be wrong, they send a clear message that things will only get worse if nothing is done. Olson’s collective action theory states that people will take action when they are given incentives. Many developing countries don’t have the necessary resources to pay for these actions. Their primary goal is to provide basic education and healthcare to their citizens. They won’t have any resources left to improve the world if they spend all of their budgets on their citizens. To save the planet, rich countries should provide other resources than basic aid for poor countries. The Kyoto Protocol, which was approved by the United Nations in 2005, is a great example of global leaders coming together and addressing a major issue. Two important reasons led to the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. The first was that the members acknowledged that global warming is happening and the second was that greenhouse gas emissions from humans, namely Carbon Dioxide, are responsible. The treaty may be used as a model and more initiatives to decrease carbon dioxide emissions could be implemented. However it is imperative that a collective action plan is taken. Olson’s theory, which explains how large groups often lack coordination and inefficiency, is also mentioned. According to scientists, there are still many difficulties in climate change policies. This is mostly due to uncertainty about the costs and the plan of action. Even though there have been cases (such the Paris Treaty), when world leaders tried to reach a common conclusion, it has not been able to produce any significant results. Again, this shows that the collective action theory is not very applicable to large groups. It is evident that Olson mentioned the inability of large groups to act unless given incentives. Robert Keohane, a US academic, said that climate change demands a leader known as a “hegemonic”, in order to see a significant change. He also said that strong leaders must be able to take control and put the foot down. For example, nearly 25% of all greenhouse gases and pollutants are produced in the United States. Therefore, it is crucial that the US participates in any efforts to bring about change. Trump, the US President, chose to leave the Paris Climate Change Protocol. This is a remarkable statement. His country is responsible for almost 25% of global warming-related pollution, according to statistics. It seems absurd that Trump says that he does not believe climate change and global warm. How is it possible to believe that the leader and most powerful economy in the world will not address such an important issue? Based on the current trends and facts, it’s highly unlikely that Trump will act before the United States is elected.

This seems like a terrible decision. The situation will only get worse. It is also going to be more expensive to reverse the course. In this case, it is trying reduce carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. We are not yet at the point of success in solving the global climate change problem. However, many attempts have already been made to resolve it. Although there are many theories out there that claim otherwise, Olson’s Theory of Collective Action is still the best and most complete theory to explain why large groups fail to achieve a common goal. Important to note that Olson explicitly stated that action is unlikely until the climate change and global warming effects reach serious levels. The policy makers have tried to reduce carbon emissions by imposing fines and bans, but this doesn’t solve the big problem. Leaders around the world must take responsibility and reach a shared conclusion in order to resolve this major crisis. This seems like a far-fetched dream. Scientists can play a major role in this issue. If they can show concrete evidence of global warming’s rapid increase and how temperatures are likely to rise in the future, then there is a good chance it will cause panic and encourage leaders around the globe to take a different approach to this problem and to hopefully address it. They could work together with their country’s government to explain the problem and share their findings. They can try to work with non-governmental organizations to increase awareness and educate policy makers. It is important to realize that this would take a lot more coordination and planning than it would be possible to do, as well as the cost that each country would have to bear. As I have already mentioned, coordination in large group settings is not an easy task. Olson’s theory that there is no incentive will prevail in this instance. The idea that everyone will organize this is so that the message to all countries and their leaders can be sent that we must reduce carbon dioxide and prevent global warming. Olson’s theory seems to be correct, considering all the arguments. At this point, climate change isn’t something that can be done. However, we as humans should take responsibility for the effects it has on our planet.

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