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Unintended consequences


HAVE you ever noticed a friend or neighbour driving a new hybrid car and felt pressure to trade in your gas guzzler? Or worried about what people might think when you drive up to the office in an SUV?

That’s the question in a New Scientist article on how we could cut down on damage to the environment by making people ‘fess up to what they consume. HotAir ran it under the headline Newest solution to global warming: Shame.

The author studied the way subjects would selfishly abuse shared resources — basically, the tragedy of the commons — but could be persuaded not to if everyone was aware how much everyone else was consuming.

See, this is why the excess of liberals in academia is a problem. You miss subtle data points, like MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF HOW MUCH ENERGY THEY USE. We pay for what we get, fair and square. Through the nose, even. What’s to be ashamed?

Energy consumption is a proxy for success. Bigger cars, bigger houses, maybe a boat or motorbike, lots of air travel — the good life is hell on your carbon footprint. Arch warmist and soon-to-be green billionaire Al Gore has a fucking GIGANTIC carbon footprint (I remind you, one of his three mansions uses twenty times the energy of the average American family home). If he’s not ashamed, why would I be?

Only in a leftist’s — or Christian missionary’s — dream world is a thin, dry, gray life of parsimony a status symbol. For the rest of us, we’re pretty proud of our toys. I predict outting the carbon exploiters wouldn’t play out quite the way it did in a university lab.

Say, did you catch yourself thinking, “gosh, I wish there was a range of quality merchandise with this logo or design emblazoned on it?” Well, it’s your lucky day!

November 17, 2009 — 5:04 pm
Comments: 36