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Preventing carbon emissions

This post is regarding concerns about climate change. And it has been suggested that it probably should concern all of us. But what can we do about it? Specifically, how can we apply our knowledge of social psychological processes to avert this impending disaster?

One approach to this broad question is to do something like this: First articulate more carefully the many different kinds of human behavior that contribute to carbon emissons (which, in turn contribute to climate change). And then, take these kinds of behaviors one at a time, and think through how each particular behavior might be modified or changed through the clever application of social psychological insights. So, surely, there is not any one single answer to the big question; there are probably dozens and dozens of smaller answers.

Do you have any ideas?

Solution Preview

Here are some behaviors that contribute to carbon emissions:

1. operating an electric radio alarm clock for 23 days
2. a 15 minute shower (or a 7 minute power shower)
3. 20 minutes of gas cooking, or one hour of electric cooking
4. 6 days of refrigeration (with a modern unit)
5. 4 km travel by car, 16 km of travel by bus, train or tube
6. Using a computer for 5 working days (9 hours)

Here are some psychological solutions:

1. Since cell phones are usually on anyway at all times, the ...

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