Global warming reversal?

Rumor has it that George Bush will shift course on global warming and support limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

I suspect that the United States is far more likely to take unilateral action on this issue than to engage in a multilateral treaty.  Americans enjoy feeling like magnanimous leaders, plus they believe that foreigners take advantage of them in treaties.  In contrast, the standard "international public goods" analysis suggests that each country will refuse to restrict emissions unless other major countries do the same.  This analysis neglects expressive voting, whereby voters choose policies to make themselves feel good, rather than to maximize their incomes.  After all, no single voter is decisive over the final outcome, so why not vote your conscience?  This suggests, by the way, that the global warming hold-outs will be the non-democracies.

Comments are open, but don’t debate the science of global warming per se, you already had a chance to do that.


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