Changing behaviors: You’re doing it wrong
Shifting to sustainability will involve more than changing laws. Inevitably, it will involve changing behavior: the way people get around, where they live, what they eat, and so on. I was semi-obsessed with this topic for a while — see here, here, and here, for example — and I still think it gets far too little attention from climate wonks and activists.
At it happens, Stanford University has a whole Persuasive Tech Lab devoted to the subject of behavior change (and the ways technology changes behavior). The team there has put together a short, sweet slideshow on the “Top 10 Mistakes in Behavior Change.” No matter what your job or purpose, on some level I bet it involves trying to get people to change their behavior. So almost everyone can learn from this. Check it out:
In particular, those involved with climate campaigning should heed Nos. 4 and 7. Information does not, in and of itself, prompt people to change their behavior. And people are much more likely to be motivated to do new things than to stop doing old things.
So how can climate hawks motivate people to adopt new behaviors?