Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford

Take Climate Change Efforts for Example.

  • Tim uses the example of how governments’ efforts to fight climate change have been largely ineffective due to unanticipated consequences of government regulation. Sometimes regulations are worse than useless, and far less effective than they could be. Even efforts by individuals to lower their carbon use are often ineffective or counter productive. As for the problem itself, Tim feels that a flat carbon tax of some sort will spur energy saving innovations from many fields. Although he doesn’t say so directly, I see the lesson here is to expect unintended consequences as a result of any decision you make. You need to look at them and ask yourself if they are positive or negative.
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