Zero Sum Games in Pollution Control: The Games We Create versus the Games We Discover
6 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2017 Last revised: 2 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 26, 2017
We don't often think about pollution as a zero-sum game, but ecosystems repeatedly demonstrate that they have limited tolerances for pollution, such as when nutrient pollution transforms a lake through eutrophication. At the planetary scale, the Planetary Boundaries project has also identified several pollution-driven problems as having threshold, suggesting that zero-sum pollution games exist at this scale, as well.
This essay, part of the Environmental Law Collaborative's ongoing work, compares the zero-sum pollution games that we discover with the regulatory zero-sum pollution games that we event, such as Clean Water Act TMDLs and the Clean Air Act's cap-and-trade program for acid rain. It then considers climate change's role as a zero-sum game, as well as its ability to affect other zero-sum pollution games.
Keywords: Zero Sum Game, Climate Change, Pollution, Acid Rain, TMDL
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