6 thoughts on “Put your money were your mouth is”

  1. Uh, is science ever locked on everything, ever? Isn’t science, by definition, never irrevocably locked into a single explanation?

  2. Surely there’s some appropriate cliche involving babies and bathwater that I can invoke. Let me fish around in The Google for one.

    Here’s my take: if you set CO2 emissions and global warming concerns to the side, you can still find benefits in improving efficiency, reducing consumption, and reducing pollution. Consider the health benefits of reducing air pollution. Consider the benefits to a business of reducing energy usage, waste, and cleanup costs.

    You might counter that the market would reward these activities anyway. A company that can reduce costs while maintaining output becomes more competitive, so there is already an incentive to improve efficiency and reduce consumption. I’ll grant that. However, if customers prefer improved environmental stewardship when they choose products and services, that preference becomes an additional incentive on top of the tangible benefits.

    How can you tweak consumer preferences? Talk to Al Gore, et al.

    Going back to one of your recent posts about voter irrationality, the poster you quoted talked about satisfying emotional demands without really doing anything. That’s where the Goreites bother me. I worry about the conscientious citizen who replaces their bathroom light with a CFL and calls it a day.

  3. I think you threw my point out with the bath water. My point is that people talk as if the science is locked. Its not. That’s all.

    Saying its not is not saying anthropogenic global warming isn’t happening. But if the science was locked and AGW was happening, that would say almost nothing about whether or how we should do something about it. People tend to go from “there’s global warming!” to “we need to put economic growth hampering policies into effect!” too fast for my tastes.

    On this point, you make very good points… points worthy of their own blog post. Hint, hint.

    I tend to think Al Gore, et al, is just cheap talk. If you want to change behavior, you have to change prices.

    BTW, here’s a rather weak debunking of the debunking of AGW.

  4. Hah, I was tempted to link that article, then thought better of it.

    I agree that the the loudest AGW arguments are damaging the cause. There are plenty of positive ways to market environmentally responsible products and techniques, and I have a feeling that those will form the majority of actions over the next several decades, e.g.
    solar power will spread because it cuts your AC bills in the summer, not because Al Gore said the ice caps would melt in 6 weeks if we don’t cork all the smoke stacks.

Comments are closed.