With so many companies and academics creating innovative technologies to conserve energy and exploit renewable resources, we should already be making a big dent in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, right? And yet our dependence seems to only grow stronger. Where is the disconnect?
It’s that old bugaboo—human behavior. We are not in the habit of saving energy and if there is one thing we don’t like to do, it is change our well-worn habits, any more than we like to give up that comfortable recliner or those much-loved slippers. In fact, some of our hardest work in saving energy is right at home with the most infinitely complex machine we have yet to tackle—the human being.
Sendhill Mullainathan, Harvard behavioral economist and MacArthur ‘genius grant’ award winner, says sometimes people need a ‘nudge.’ Have a look at his talk at TED and then post your thoughts about how we can nudge ourselves and our neighbors to change our everyday energy use behavior.
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