IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v89y2013icp7-13.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Escalation of commitment to fossil fuels

Author

Listed:
  • Arbuthnott, Katherine D.
  • Dolter, Brett

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Arbuthnott, Katherine D. & Dolter, Brett, 2013. "Escalation of commitment to fossil fuels," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 7-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:89:y:2013:i:c:p:7-13
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.02.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800913000657
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Giampietro, Mario & Mayumi, Kozo & Munda, Giuseppe, 2006. "Integrated assessment and energy analysis: Quality assurance in multi-criteria analysis of sustainability," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 59-86.
    2. Charles A. S. Hall & Stephen Balogh & David J.R. Murphy, 2009. "What is the Minimum EROI that a Sustainable Society Must Have?," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, January.
    3. Mario Giampietro & Kozo Mayumi & Sandra Bukkens, 2001. "Multiple-Scale Integrated Assessment of Societal Metabolism: An Analytical Tool to Study Development and Sustainability," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 275-307, December.
    4. Unruh, Gregory C. & Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "Globalizing carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1185-1197, July.
    5. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 164-187, February.
    6. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
    7. Smith, Adrian & Stirling, Andy & Berkhout, Frans, 2005. "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1491-1510, December.
    8. Martínez-Alier, Joan & Pascual, Unai & Vivien, Franck-Dominique & Zaccai, Edwin, 2010. "Sustainable de-growth: Mapping the context, criticisms and future prospects of an emergent paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1741-1747, July.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:34728611 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. McDonald, Alan & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2001. "Learning rates for energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 255-261, March.
    11. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    12. Jacobsson, Staffan & Johnson, Anna, 2000. "The diffusion of renewable energy technology: an analytical framework and key issues for research," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 625-640, July.
    13. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    14. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
    15. Dorian, James P. & Franssen, Herman T. & Simbeck, Dale R., 2006. "Global challenges in energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 1984-1991, October.
    16. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    17. Rivers, Nic & Jaccard, Mark, 2006. "Choice of environmental policy in the presence of learning by doing," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 223-242, March.
    18. Schulz-Hardt, Stefan & Jochims, Marc & Frey, Dieter, 2002. "Productive conflict in group decision making: genuine and contrived dissent as strategies to counteract biased information seeking," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 563-586, July.
    19. Funtowicz, Silvio O. & Ravetz, Jerome R., 1994. "The worth of a songbird: ecological economics as a post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 197-207, August.
    20. Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 1985. " The Disposition to Sell Winners Too Early and Ride Losers Too Long: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 777-790, July.
    21. Ayres, Robert U & Ayres, Leslie W & Warr, Benjamin, 2003. "Exergy, power and work in the US economy, 1900–1998," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 219-273.
    22. Konnola, Totti & Unruh, Gregory C. & Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "Prospective voluntary agreements for escaping techno-institutional lock-in," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 239-252, May.
    23. Nema, Pragya & Nema, R.K. & Rangnekar, Saroj, 2009. "A current and future state of art development of hybrid energy system using wind and PV-solar: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 2096-2103, October.
    24. Cavallo, Alfred, 2007. "Controllable and affordable utility-scale electricity from intermittent wind resources and compressed air energy storage (CAES)," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 120-127.
    25. Dincer, Ibrahim, 2000. "Renewable energy and sustainable development: a crucial review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 157-175, June.
    26. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    27. Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 296-312, March.
    28. Sims, Ralph E. H. & Rogner, Hans-Holger & Gregory, Ken, 2003. "Carbon emission and mitigation cost comparisons between fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy resources for electricity generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1315-1326, October.
    29. Martin L. Weitzman, 2011. "Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
    30. Sivanathan, Niro & Molden, Daniel C. & Galinsky, Adam D. & Ku, Gillian, 2008. "The promise and peril of self-affirmation in de-escalation of commitment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 1-14, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Trinks, Arjan & Scholtens, Bert & Mulder, Machiel & Dam, Lammertjan, 2017. "Divesting Fossil Fuels: The Implications for Investment Portfolios," MPRA Paper 76383, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. de Gooyert, Vincent & Rouwette, Etiënne & van Kranenburg, Hans & Freeman, Edward & van Breen, Harry, 2016. "Sustainability transition dynamics: Towards overcoming policy resistance," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 135-145.
    3. Trinks, Arjan & Scholtens, Bert & Mulder, Machiel & Dam, Lammertjan, 2017. "Divesting Fossil Fuels," Research Report 17001-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Escalation of commitment in Wikipedia English ne '')

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:89:y:2013:i:c:p:7-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.