Nationwide energy saving reward schemes will permanently change our energy consumption habits and make climate change reduction possible.
'If you think about human beings, the way to get them to change their behavior is to show them that their own self-interest lies in doing something.'
Everyone knows that people in the developed world use too much energy, everyone knows that climate change is now happening as a result of our overconsumption, yet still only a very small proportion of people in terms of the world population are actively engaged in trying to turn around climate change and do something about it.
Why is this? Well I think the animal behaviourist sums it up beautifully in the above quote: 'If you think about human beings, the way to get them to change their behavior is to show them that their own self-interest lies in doing something.'
Self interest is undoubtedly a strong evolutionary survival trait, unfortunately our self interest does not work as well on threats beyond our lifetimes, though signs of climate change are becoming increasingly more apparent they are still not endangering our own lives enough for us to act with a sense of urgency against it.
What our planet needs above all is a planetwide change in human lifestyle in all developed countries. Governments (being just as self interested as individuals) are understandably reluctant to implement any unpopular authoritarian measures that could make this possible.
Therefore, my proposal is to tap into human self interest in a positive way by rewarding energy reduction. This will grow into a cycle of positive reinforcement and intra-generational education leading to a lasting, continuous spiral of reduction in domestic energy consumption habits. The benefit is not only a reduction in climate change, there will also be a positive economic impact for both households and national economies.
Grassroots neighborhood organizations