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Escalation of commitment to fossil fuels

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  • Arbuthnott, Katherine D.
  • Dolter, Brett
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    Abstract

    The use of fossil fuels has been a great boon to human civilization. However, given the issue of climate change, it has become clear that this is a time-limited strategy and that we will at some point need to severely curtail, and perhaps ultimately eliminate, this strategy of meeting our energy needs. Given this long-term perspective, the authors argue that continued public investment in fossil fuel industries and infrastructures reflects escalation of commitment, continued investment in a failing strategy. In this context, this paper reviews the research on escalation of commitment and factors that encourage de-escalation, highlighting strategies that citizens can use to encourage politicians and public administrators to protect long-term civic well-being by shifting investments away from fossil fuel industries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 89 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 7-13

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:89:y:2013:i:c:p:7-13

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Escalation of commitment; Sunk cost; Energy investment; Path dependency;

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