Monday, June 01, 2009

Voluntary collective action

Voluntary collective action is a wonderful thing. We find it in various places and some of this has been documented in The Voluntary City, a project that I co-edited.

In yesterday's NY Times, Robert Frank wrote about "Carbon Offsets: A Small Price to Pay for Effciiency". This morning's LA Times has a story that provides some examples ("Forests as good as carbon in the bank"). People get to put their money where their mouth this.

These have been described as a complement to cap-and-trade. Trouble is that they may be seen as substitutes instead. We do not want cap-and-trade that crowds out voluntary collective action. Much better to let the people that gave us open-source software to innovate in this area.

Something for the true believers on Washington to think about.