Do We Need Rewards?
After reading the article "Can Selfishness Save the Environment?" I realized that we need to have a realistic view of the situation we face today and we need to understand that it is most people will not act just for the benefit of nature. It is discouraging to think that most people do not act with the thought of the environment in the back of their minds, but it is reality. Most people strive to better themselves and their lives and most of the time this does not include striving to better the environment. Therefore, the government should create incentives to, in a sense, force people to act in ways that are not to damaging to nature.
I recently read an article in The New York Times about the new green movement. I have recently noticed the increase in discussion on how to be green- in magazines, commercials, new papers, etc. I am happy to see that there is more of a push to act with more care towards the environment. The article talked about how this surge in green power is directed towards the 95% of people who want to be 5% green, not towards the 5% of people who want to be 95% green. This holds much truth in our society today because most people don't want to hurt the environment but they also don't want to give up daily pleasures, such as driving their cars. This also leads to the idea of the tragedy of the commons- the idea that people, as individuals, don't feel that their actions have an impact on the environment; however, if 95% of people share this viewpoint, the damages add up.
The idea that people will change just for the sake of the environment and future generations is a romantic idea. Yes- there are people who do simply want to save the environment, but most people do not want to give up certain activities to accomplish this. I understand that this is just how our society is today. The article "Can Selfishness Save the Environment?" states that we should use that fact to our advantage and create incentives for people to act to better the environment. This is the realistic way of approaching the issue.