We highlight three cognitive barriers that impede sound individual decision making that have particular relevance to behaviors impacting the environment. First, despite claiming that they want to leave the world in good condition for future generations, people intuitively discount the future to a greater degree than can be rationally defended. Second, positive illusions lead us to conclude that energy problems do not exist or are not severe enough to merit action. Third, we interpret events in a self-serving manner, a tendency that causes us to expect others to do more than we do to solve energy problems. We then propose ways in which these biases could actually be used to our advantage in steering ourselves toward better judgment. Finally, we outline the key questions on the research frontier from the behavioral decision-making perspective and debunk the myth that behavioral and neoclassical economic perspectives need be in conflict.
“Statistical reports on alternative power sources including wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, bio, ocean, transportation biofuels, fuel cells along with energy storage, efficiency, and infrastructure; and carbon. Also includes electricity power prices.”
Entitled ‘Environmental Policy: Past, Present, and Future’, the special issue of ES&T recognises closure of a ‘green’ decade in which people became more aware of environmental issues, and society marked the 40th anniversaries of Earth Day, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Topics range from the mysterious disorder decimating honey bee colonies to ways to choose and manage energy sustainably. Those marked “Feature” are written in a less technical style and suitable for general readers, including students and non-scientists.
In addition to scientific research articles and features, the issue will include articles on policy analysis and critical reviews on environmental science and engineering. It will also review the history and directions of environmental policies.”