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Tricking Americans to Slow Global Warming

If your neighbors took steps to curb climate change, would you do it, too?

Yes, you would, if a recent exercise in energy savings is any indication.

In a recent article, the Washington Post reports that OPOWER, an energy efficiency software company, has been mailing reports to utility customers in twelve areas across the country, hoping to incite peer pressure to get them to conserve energy:

“The sheets compare each customer's power usage to that of neighbors with similar houses and offer tips for catching up, such as turning off lights and lowering the temperature settings of water heaters. It works, the company says, lowering electricity usage by 2 percent in several test cases.”

What’s more, the article notes that these mailings don’t mention one word about climate change.

This intriguing tidbit was buried at the end of a long article exploring the psychological motivations behind Americans’ general unwillingness to take action against the growing problem of greenhouse gas emissions. One psychologist’s theory? We’re just lazy:

“'We are collectively irrational, in the sense that we should really care about the long-term well-being of the planet but when we get up in the morning it's very hard to motivate ourselves,’ said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, who gave a keynote speech last month at a Washington conference devoted to understanding why people don't do more to save energy.”

Apparently, psychologists have uncovered a number of other reasons why Americans refuse to step up and support the environment: we’re in denial, we can only worry about so many things at a time, and we have a “deep-seated desire for the status quo and [a] willingness to defend it.”

According to a recent poll, fewer Americans now believe global warming exists despite ample evidence to the contrary. (And I’m no mathemetician, but it seems wildly irresponsible to say that one hapless British scientist’s poor judgment negates a host of research proving the earth is getting hotter.)

In any case, the “keeping up with the Joneses” strategy embraced by OPOWER has the potential to reap substantial benefits. In an interview with the SolveClimate blog, the company’s president, Alex Laskey, predicts that the approach “could help cut back on the 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions that come from residential electricity use and produce savings equivalent to taking six million cars off the road.”

Considering that so many of us are doing virtually nothing, the idea of tricking America into saving energy seems like a good one. What’s to lose? Americans are social animals. We even gain weight in groups, as a 2007 study found. And for better or for worse, we’re characterized by our competitiveness. So why not put our cutthroat qualities to work, and help save the planet while we’re at it?
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  • erinjoy 2009/12/11 16:06:06 (edited)
    erinjoy
    +15
    If I want to have a light on in my living room all day, and I paid for the lamp, the bulbs, the electricity and all the tax that go along with that, then dammit, that's what I'm going to do! Stop telling me how I need to live my life!!!!!!!

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  • Judester 2009/12/14 16:29:25
    Judester
    +1
    I had the opportunity to speak to an American that had his passport torn up when he visited relatives in the then Soviet Union and he spent 25 years there. Nixon got him out in 1972. I stated that there was about 3% of the population that were communists in the Soviet Union and how does 3% control that many people? Food, he said, and the reason people join the party was it gives them privileges to get food and housing. He also stated that a construction job the size we were working at the time would have so much theft it would be shut down. Why, was my immediate question and he said, to sell on the black market in order to buy food.
  • intolerantrwj 2009/12/14 08:31:55
    intolerantrwj
    +2
    Key word ... " Tricking " !

    If Glo - Bull Warming was such a ' Real ' problem, we'd have Mandatory Minimum Building requirement for heating/cooling from you know who ... Uncle Shanghai Sam ... the guy who makes rules for you to live by and ignores themselves.
  • BART 2009/12/14 06:51:26
    BART
    +2
    late 60's early 70's population explosions, late 70's global ice age, and now global warming. The sky has not fallen yet. Global Warming only comes from Al Gores open pie hole. If that moron would shut up, the earths temperature would go down. All the rest of this climate change stuff is from junk science, and politicians.
  • grumpy 2009/12/14 02:53:41
    grumpy
    +3
    Hapless British scientist?? Look what happened to the cigarette manufacturers when their emails were leaked a few years ago, everyone knew cigarettes kill and had been on packs since the 60's but still all the uproar. We now have the exact same thing going on with the warmers and their emails prove it. Tree rings being used to measure carbon but when the data went south they "improvised" the numbers to embellish their case
  • ray 2009/12/14 02:10:49
    ray
    +3
    How are they going to "hide the decline" in the number of people who think this is legit?
    And the growing number of people who see it as a reparations scam to transfer wealth to the 3rd world ...with the cooperation of NWO, globalist , control freaks.
  • HoldenBeachBum 2009/12/13 22:11:54
    HoldenBeachBum
    +2
    Duke Power just raised their rates (7%) for the first time since 1991. With this freakin cap and trade bill, that 7% will turn to an additional 33%. Now you tell me where I am going to get the money to pay my electric bill? I am mostly on natural gas, but the AC is electric. I will have to go solar, no doubt about it. But Obama better pay some of the damn costs if he is forcing me to do it!
  • jackolantyrn356 2009/12/13 17:03:20
    jackolantyrn356
    +2
    I'm always amazed by Marxists. It's always that less is more with them.
  • soberso... jackola... 2009/12/14 04:23:47
    sobersouljah
    except when it comes to political power
  • Judester 2009/12/13 11:28:41
    Judester
    +6
    All the experts that tell me how to think. The earth was once thought to be flat. Contrails from high flying aircraft are now known as chemtrails, (Google this one) hydrogenated foods are healthy. Ask why we have leap years? Why are we three million miles closer to the sun in the winter and it's so cold here New England? Why is there sediment layers of rock in the mountains? Why are there shark teeth in Wyoming deserts? The government is playing on my ignorance of the planet to control my thought process, and tax me to their beliefs which they say are facts. Where are these people educated? Oh, I'm sorry, in our schools but that's another subject.
  • ɟʇʇoɔs 2009/12/13 06:11:56
    ɟʇʇoɔs
    +6
    Seriously... is anyone but me tired of hearing about climate change this and global warming that, and save the environment, and let's all go hug trees...blah blah blah blah
  • laureenf ɟʇʇoɔs 2009/12/13 13:12:18
    laureenf
    +5
    saw a great bumper-sticker: 'Hug a logger, you'll never go back to trees!'
  • sparta 2009/12/13 05:59:54
    sparta
    +5
    global warming is another lie perpetrated on an uneducated and apathetic public...let's say its true, do American's need to carry the cross for socialist country's like china? Does America need to support india? The answer is Hell No.

    Mother nature with its volcano's puts a hundred times more sulfur and co2 in the air than all of man kind every year. Even if mankind did not put anything into the air, would it make a difference and if so, where is the empirical evidence NOT the lies witnessed today that proves, note I said PROVES man is causing the earth to warm when every shred of evidence show the earth is going through a cooling cycle.

    Please, don't bore us with more lies causing earth warm shred evidence earth cooling cycle bore lies
  • govout 2009/12/13 05:43:59
    govout
    +6
    Global warming is just the natural cycle of the earth and nothing more.
  • sobersouljah 2009/12/13 04:20:58
    sobersouljah
    +7
    Don't be fooled, green is the new red -
    fooled green red
    We should be drilling OUR oil while it is still worth something, because one day an INDIVIDUAL will come up with some superior energy source, making what is currently worth big bucks into something worth a whole lot of nothing...

  • govout soberso... 2009/12/13 05:45:21
    govout
    +2
    I agree.
  • Callista soberso... 2009/12/13 11:13:14
  • soberso... Callista 2009/12/13 21:50:54
    sobersouljah
    Are you laughing with me or at me?
  • Callista soberso... 2009/12/13 23:37:45
    Callista
    +1
    Unfortunately at you. Sorry.
  • soberso... Callista 2009/12/14 04:18:12 (edited)
    sobersouljah
    +2
    Don't be sorry, it's all good! I am glad that I was able to give you a laugh. I do pride myself on my ability to put a smile on someones face. But what part of what I said had you laughing? The drilling of our oil or that the green movement is driven by communism?

    The more of this you read the funnier it gets...

    If will leave our oil in the ground, does that stop us from using fossil fuels?

    We have an economic crisis on our hands ( do you know what the Cloward & Piven strategy is? ) Why keep sending our money to the Mid East, when we can keep it here? Does our oil produce more carbon emissions than that from the Mid East? Why keep paying an inflated price for oil ? What do you think would happen to the price of oil if we unleashed our reserves on the market? Would lower prices at the pump help our economy? Would it cause more pollution? Heck, we do not even have to keep drill'n on a continuous, just off and on to keep prices down. As soon as the Mid East sees us using our oil they will drop prices dramatically as they are dependent on our money while we need not be dependent on them... In your own life, do you prefer to be dependent or independent?

    An INDIVIDUAL coming up with a superior form of energy, is that what you find funny? Have you seen what A MAN came up with over in ...




































    Don't be sorry, it's all good! I am glad that I was able to give you a laugh. I do pride myself on my ability to put a smile on someones face. But what part of what I said had you laughing? The drilling of our oil or that the green movement is driven by communism?

    The more of this you read the funnier it gets...

    If will leave our oil in the ground, does that stop us from using fossil fuels?

    We have an economic crisis on our hands ( do you know what the Cloward & Piven strategy is? ) Why keep sending our money to the Mid East, when we can keep it here? Does our oil produce more carbon emissions than that from the Mid East? Why keep paying an inflated price for oil ? What do you think would happen to the price of oil if we unleashed our reserves on the market? Would lower prices at the pump help our economy? Would it cause more pollution? Heck, we do not even have to keep drill'n on a continuous, just off and on to keep prices down. As soon as the Mid East sees us using our oil they will drop prices dramatically as they are dependent on our money while we need not be dependent on them... In your own life, do you prefer to be dependent or independent?

    An INDIVIDUAL coming up with a superior form of energy, is that what you find funny? Have you seen what A MAN came up with over in Israel? He made these things that they put in the roads that when cars drive on produce energy. It is big bucks, but they project a return on investment to be half the time of solar energy. Give it time, be patient, brilliant ideas will come,

    This is where we start getting funny, have you ever heard the Khrushchev prophecy?

    Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev bragged to American patriot and Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson";Your grandchildren will live under communism!" To which Secretary Benson enthusiastically replied: "If I have it my way, your grandchildren will live free!" Khrushchev, undeterred, fired back "Oh you Americans! You're so gullible! We'll spoon feed you socialism until you're Communists and don't even know it. We'll never have to fire a shot!"

    Communism, do you know what it is? Have you read the communist manifesto ? Do you know who Karl Marx is?Lenin? Stalin? Mao? Do you know what the communist end game is? What they are trying to achieve?

    Ronald Reagan said, "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

    Do you agree with the following statement
    "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." ???? (Should a rich guy be forced to give money to people with less money)

    Do you agree with Barry Soetoro when he told Joe the Plumber "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." ???? ( do you know who Barry is? )

    Do you want to really bust a-gut? This is hillarious, ya gotta read this
    http://sobersouljah.org/commu...
    it is from a real document out of congress, ya gotta at least read the summary and find the part about Pavlov's dogs...

    Did you read it? Don't be lazy, it is the funniest part - Go read it!!!
    Did you see the part about liberals?

    Do you still doubt that green is the new red?

    Did you know that Obama's old "Green" jobs czar, Van Jones, is a self proclaimed communist. He vanished from the white house in the middle of the night after being called on his shit, but he is not gone...

    If global warming is a threat, then why did the scientist have to alter data ? Did you here about the emails that prove they have been try'n to pull the wool over our eyes?

    Do you believe that there is evil in the world? Do you believe that Satan is a reality ? Do you think that he would come out and say" come do my evil workings for me?"
    If there is a Satan he would be a sneaky bugger. He would try and trick us, make us think that what we are doing is good.

    Thanks to Bob Marley, I try my best to check what I am thinking. The Lyrics from "Could You Be Loved"
    "We have a mind of our own, so go to hell if what you are thinking is not right, love would never leave us alone, what's in the darkness must come into the light"
    something like that



    ruff, rufff,
    (more)
  • Callista soberso... 2009/12/14 12:16:34
    Callista
    Both actually.

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Bethany Young Hardy

Bethany Young Hardy

United States

2009/10/24 00:28:24

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