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Sustainability.

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This week we're thinking about sustainability. Ridley and Low contest that in order to get people to adopt sustainable business and living practices we must appeal to their self-interest. This week I want you to consider whether we can get people to live sustainably by appealing to their better natures, or whether we need to provide some incentive or disincentive to create change. Or, would an appeal to both conscience and self-interest be our best bet? Why?

Incentives are a huge par t of our everyday lives. Nothing is less common in our

capitalist world system. People perform actions in order to directly benefit themselves in

some way or another. These benefits mostly include money and resources. It is a part of

human nature to behave and act this way. Mankind has been driven by the accumulation

of wealth and power thought history, and it will continue to do so. I believe that we have

the capacity for change, but people today do not desire change. Therefore, I believe that

the only way to get real progress made, we must play on the self-interest of both

companies, and the general public. Once they are offered these incentives, they have a

desire for change. Also, with disincentives they are pressured or even forced to comply

with government restrictions. Moral incentives are not effective because they are not

given a “push in the right direction. At most these incentives considered for a short

amount of time before totally dismissing it. Self-interest calls for action, while moral

incentives do not. Money talks. Everyone has their price. It is the only sure thing in this

world today. If there were enough incentives foe enough people, the change would

happen practically overnight. But why is this not happening? It is because no one wants

to pay the bill after all is said and done. It is all about the money, no one wants to give it

up. However, I believe that we can learn from this and act accordingly. We have the

capacity within us, we just need to tap into it.

Comments

Your post was logical and realistic. self-incentives play directly on human nature in the same way that our capitalist system does. Perhaps it's not the most enlightened approach, but systems modeled on human nature are always more effective. In the end it seems the only benefit of the moral approach is that it, if it succeeds, will leave us feeling like our morals can outweigh our genes, that we can break the bounds of evolution and elevate our species.

Your argument makes sense. It reminds me of the article we had to read for wednesday. While it's logical to make changes right now, the people being offered benefits for their care of the environment may not truly care. They may not pay attention in the long run to how they can better the environment. Maybe if we put that money into the wide-spread education of the entire public. public service announcements are a realistic place to start.

I think you're pretty much right. We definitely like our incentives, and they get us to do stuff. I'm not sure why we're not helping ourselves as quickly as you say we should, thats where you bring up a good point i think. Are there not enough incentives in the world? Too many? I have no idea, i guess that's something left to ponder.

I agree that our world has become increasingly driven by power, money, and wealth. The urge to do good for the world with no personal gain has definately diminished in our society today. Although this can be very frustrating, we can not force people to change their thinking or force them to act in a certain way, which is why we must provide incentives.

I definately concur with this...it is kind of sad that our world has come down to a system of having to receive rewards and incentives. I guess as long as we can do something to get people to do things. What should we do though? do we cotinue with this approach since it seems to be working? or do we try to stop our dependence on receiving something for our actions?