TREATING CONSUMPTION: STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING A SUSTAINABLE L IFESTYLE by HARMONY MELETA JOHANNA FOLZ B.A., Yale University, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A R T S (PLANNING) in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 2004 © Harmony Meleta Johanna Folz, 2004 Library Authorization In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. H of Authfc Name or (please print) Date (dd/mm/yyyy) Title of Thesis: " p a i - l f ^ G o r y g u m pt '^CM I S ^ f ^ ' l f y Year: ^Q0<4 Department of d o ^ ^ U , Q ^ v d ROQ\&<*L$L rVic The University of British Columbia _3 Vancouver, BC Canada HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION A B S T R A C T Human behaviour, particularly the over-consumption of resources, is highly implicated in the environmental and social i l ls that face our planet. Therefore, i f sustainability is to be achieved, many changes are needed in the way we live our lives. These changes cannot be achieved without significant behaviour change on our part; new technologies, environmental education, and structural changes all w i l l be ineffective unless there is behaviour change. Behaviour change can be incremental and self-reinforcing, so the important thing is not what behaviours need to change, but that some sustainability behaviours are adopted. This thesis examines how these sustainability behaviours could be encouraged. It examines literature on psychological factors influencing behaviour and on behaviour change strategies, using the Precede/Proceed Model as an organizing rubric. From the literature, several conclusions are drawn. First, the goal should be to produce some change, not any specific change. Second, strategies should be comprehensive, and address predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors, as well as including provision for evaluation and refinement. This means that information strategies should be used only to give understanding and motivation as part of a comprehensive strategy, that removing barriers and increasing availability/accessibility is necessary, and that skills and feelings of competence and self-efficacy should be developed. Third, change should be voluntary, and chosen by the individual, preferably as part of a participatory problem solving exercise. Fourth, social pressures, roles and commitment should be utilized by program planners, especially through the use of groups; also, people should be told that they are a certain way in order to shift their personal norms, self-concept and social identity towards being someone who acts sustainably. Finally, change should be framed as an improvement to one's lifestyle and people should be made to feel that they can make a difference, and once behaviour has changed, that they are making a difference. Based on these findings, a comprehensive group behaviour change strategy is proposed and outlined. HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT n T A B L E OF CONTENTS ni LIST OF FIGURES vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENT VII EXECUTIVE SUMMARY VIII 1 DYING OF CONSUMPTION 1 1.1 T H E SYMPTOMS (LECTURE G IVEN ON FRIDAY, APRIL 1,2050) 3 1.2 DIAGNOSIS (LECTURE G IVEN ON FRIDAY, APRIL 8,2050) 23 1.3 H E A L T H (LECTURE G IVEN ON FRIDAY, APRIL 15,2050) 44 1.4 T R E A T M E N T (LECTURE G IVEN ON FRIDAY, APRIL 22,2050, E ARTH D AY ) 59 2 RATIONALE AND METHODS 77 3 T H E PRECEDE/PROCEED M O D E L 82 4 FACTORS IN BEHAVIOUR C H A N G E 89 4.1 PREDISPOSING FACTORS 91 4.1.1 Biology and Culture 91 4.1.2 Demographics 93 4.1.3 Personal Factors 95 184.108.40.206 Values 95 220.127.116.11 Political Ideology 97 18.104.22.168 Religion ; 97 22.214.171.124 Personality 98 126.96.36.199 Emotions : 99 188.8.131.52 Self-determination 100 4.1.4 What is "known" 101 184.108.40.206 Knowledge 101 220.127.116.11 Beliefs 102 4.1.5 Attitudes 103 4.1.6 Self Image 106 18.104.22.168 Self-concept 106 22.214.171.124 Personal Norm 107 126.96.36.199 Self efficacy '. 108 188.8.131.52 Locus of Control 110 4.2 ENABLING FACTORS 110 4.2.1 Ski l ls 110 4.2.2 Resources, Availabi l i ty and Accessibil i ty 111 in HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 4.2.3 L i fe So Far 112 184.108.40.206 Habits 112 220.127.116.11 Experience : 113 4.2.4 Situation-Specific Evaluations 114 4.2.5 Time and Space 114 4.3 REINFORCING FACTORS 115 4.3.1 Reactions 115 18.104.22.168 Reactance 115 22.214.171.124 Cognitive Dissonance 116 126.96.36.199 Intrinsic Satisfaction 117 4.3.2 Tangible Considerations 117 4.3.3 Social Pressures 118 188.8.131.52 Social Milieu 118 184.108.40.206 Social Norms 118 220.127.116.11 Social Diffusion 122 18.104.22.168 Social Commitment 124 22.214.171.124 Social Capital 124 126.96.36.199 Social Identity 125 4.4 BEHAVING SUSTAINABLY 126 4.4.1 The Act ion Process 127 4.4.2 Effects of Actions 128 5 EXISTING BEHAVIOUR C H A N G E STRATEGIES 130 5.1 PREDISPOSING STRATEGIES 134 5.1.1 Education 134 5.1.2 Information 137 5.1.3 Persuasion 140 5.1.4 Simulations 141 5.1.5 Model l ing 142 5.2 ENABLING STRATEGIES 143 5.2.1 Ski l ls Training 143 5.2.2 Avai labi l i ty and Accessibil i ty 144 5.2.3 Structural Changes 145 5.2.4 Technology 148 5.2.5 Urban Planning 149 5.3 REINFORCING STRATEGIES 151 5.3.1 Feedback 152 5.3.2 Tangible Incentives and Disincentives 153 5.3.3 Social Incentives and Disincentives 155 IV HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5.4 COMBINED STRATEGIES 156 5.4.1 Social Marketing 156 5.4.2 Community Based Social Marketing 157 5.4.3 Global Act ion Plan 158 5.5 ADDITION A L ISSUES AND CONSIDERATIONS ; 160 5.5.1 Reciprocity '. 160 5.5.2 Commitment 161 5.5.3 Scarcity 162 5.5.4 Altercasting 162 5.5.5 Community Participation 163 5.5.6 Use of Groups 165 5.5.7 Participatory Problem Solving 167 5.5.8 Consensus conferences 168 5.5.9 Framing of Proenvironmental Behaviour 169 6 CONCLUSIONS AND A N E W STRATEGY 171 6.1 SUSTAINABILITY SELF-HELP GROUPS 174 6.1.1 Individual Sustainability Self-Help Groups 177 6.1.2 Workplace Sustainability Self-Help Groups 177 6.1.3 School Sustainability Self-Help Groups 178 6.1.4 Community Sustainability Self-Help Groups 178 6.2 SUSTAINABILITY SELF-HELP GROUPS AND THEORY 179 6.3 CONCLUSION 181 FINAL THOUGHTS 183 REFERENCES 184 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION L I S T O F F I G U R E S Figure 1: Choices, choices 1 Figure 2: The Ford Excursion 14 Figure 3: Overshoot 17 Figure 4: Typical American family and their belongings 18 Figure 5: Typical Albanian family and their belongings 19 Figure 6: Neo-liberal economists' worldview 31 Figure 7: Ecological economists' worldview 32 Figure 8: The weight of now and future lifestyles 44 Figure 9: Dominant Social Paradigm vs. Alternate Environmental Paradigm 58 Figure 10: The Fateful Hot Dog Toaster 60 Figure 11: Go for the Source! 68 Figure 12: Diffusion of Innovation Curve 69 Figure 13: Transition to Sustainability 76 Figure 14: Precede/Proceed Model 83 Figure 15: Precede/Proceed Model adapted for Sustainability 84 Figure 16: Personal Influences on Behaviour 89 Figure 17: The Diffusion of Innovation Curve 123 Figure 18: Influences on Behaviour 126 Figure 19: The Behaviour Process 127 Figure 20: Effects o f Behaviour 128 Figure 21: Effects of Change Strategies 130 Figure 22: Change Strategies Logic Model 131 VI HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T Grateful acknowledgment is made for the valuable suggestions and help given by my advisors, Dr. Wi l l iam Rees at the School of Community and Regional Planning and Drs. C. James Frankish and Robert Vanwynsburghe at the Institute for Health Promotion Research. M y thesis work has been supported in part by the Sustainable Development Research Institute's Georgia Basin Futures Project, and influenced by work done for that project with Drs. Frankish and Vanwynsburghe and Av i va Savelson, a Masters student at the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability. V l l HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION E X E C U T I V E S U M M A R Y The first chapter examines the over-consumption of developed countries as a root cause of the environmental i l ls and gross social inequity facing the planet and the faulty myth of scientific materialism as a driver of that over-consumption. It discusses the need for a new sustainability paradigm and what it might look like, pointing out that there is no "sustainability checklist" of "good" and "bad" behaviours. It then looks at why technological, structural, political change wi l l l ikely not happen without behaviour change, and why behaviour change is a better fulcrum than any of the previous methods for changing society: because changing some behaviours should lead to the change of more, and eventually to a new myth. It addresses why planners are an appropriate choice for implementers of behaviour change strategies. It concludes that changing any specific behaviour is the best way to achieve change and that "the goal should be to produce some relevant behaviour change and to stimulate activity around serious environmental problems in general" (Th0gersen, 1999, p. 55). The second chapter looks at methodology and methods. It discusses why this research is a valuable contribution to planning. It includes inclusion/exclusion criteria and how subsequent chapters were researched and written. The third chapter looks at the Precede/Proceed Model as an underlying heuristic device for looking at behaviour change and provides an explanation of the model. The Precede/Proceed Model is an effective framework for changing behaviour. According to the model, behaviour change programs should encourage voluntary change, empower individuals with understanding, motivation and skil ls, consider both internal and external factors on behaviour and address them both, make use of predisposing, reinforcing and enabling strategies in a comprehensive strategy, be iterative and include provision for evaluation. The fourth chapter provides a look at the various factors which influence behaviour. Relevant psychological research is examined to see how it can best be applied to changing behaviour. The research shows that pro environmental knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and values are important, but only as predisposing factors since by themselves they do not lead to behaviour change. Further, people choose how they act and react and are motivated by satisfaction, which can be provided by feeling competent and frugal. They prefer to act in accordance with their self-concept and personal norm. People with high values of self-efficacy, internal loci of control and relevant V l l l HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION skills are more l ikely to engage in proenvironmental behaviours. Other findings are that habits and experience are strong factors against changing behaviour, but once behaviour is changed can be strong factors in continuing with the behaviour; mandating behaviours can lead to reactance, which makes people less l ikely to perform those behaviours; cognitive dissonance means that i f behaviour change can be induced, attitude change wi l l l ikely fol low; building social capital can promote proenvironmental behaviour; and social identity, social mil ieu and social norms can all have a strong effect on behaviour, leading to a person behaving in a way that they may not necessarily believe in, but what they think others want or expect them to do. The fifth chapter proposes a change strategies logic model, which highlights that a combination of strategies or a combination strategy is most effective. It then looks at a variety of existing strategies and examines the research around their effectiveness in bringing about behaviour change. According to the research, predisposing strategies (education, information, persuasion, simulations) are necessary but not sufficient to bring about behaviour change, although prompting can help cement new behaviours and modelling behaviours can be effective. Enabling strategies could be very influential, but they are the least often used and would require the most societal change in order to be used. Reinforcing strategies have mixed results. Feedback and tangible reinforcements work, but only last as long as they are provided. Social reinforcement is a powerful factor in behaviour change. Social marketing, community based social marketing and the Global Act ion Plan are strong strategies but have limitations. Other relevant findings are that reciprocity works, even to the point of unequal exchange; asking for and getting commitment is a strong predictor o f the success of a behaviour change strategy; perceived scarcity increases demand for something; participation is an important part of lasting behaviour change; and groups are effective in bringing about change, and in building social norms. Final ly, doom and gloom messages and asking people to sacrifice do not really encourage behaviour change - framing sustainability as an improvement in our lives is a better strategy The final chapter contains a summary of the previous chapters. It also outlines another strategy that makes use of the findings above. This strategy uses small groups of voluntary participants, "Sustainability Self-Help Groups", who meet for a period of time and make a commitment to change their own behaviour within that time. These groups could be formed at several levels: individuals, workplace, schools and communities. The groups have the potential to lead to lasting and incremental behaviour change. IX HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Imagine a future of relentless storms and floods,, islands and heavily inhabited coastal regions inundated by rising sea levels; fertile soils , rendered barren by drought and the desert's advance; mass migrations of environmental refugees; and armed conflicts over water and other precious natural resources. Then think again - for one might just as easily conjure a more hopeful picture; of green , technologies; livable cities; '} .ersergy efficient homes, transport "" and indudry; and rising standards of living for all the world's people, not just a fortunate minority. The choice bet w e n these competing visions is ours to make. Figure 1: Choices, choices 1 D Y I N G O F C O N S U M P T I O N 1 [We are playing Russian Roulette with our future] with the only uncertain element being how long present trends may proceed before they produce mass death. The loaded chambers might be labeled: ozone depletion leading to skin cancer; deforestation and desertification leading to starvation; chemical pollution of air, water and food leading to suppressed immune surveillance and subsequent cancers; global overpopulation producing famine and war, and many other lethal possibilities. Must we continue to march like lemmings toward approaching ecological catastrophes? Or do we human beings have some degree of control over the future of our species? (Howard, 1997, p. 11) I believe that we do have control, i f we choose to use it, and we can avert these ecological disasters i f we take action, starting now. The purpose of this thesis is to look at actions which could most effectively exert that change. Chapter 1 of this thesis provides the rationale for why behaviour change is both necessary and the preferred strategy for effecting that change. This chapter has four parts. In the first I look at 'This title was taken from a work in progress of my father, John Michael Folz 1 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION the environmental problems that we are facing and argue that they are the result of over-consumption of resources by those of us in the First World. I describe that over-consumption, and discuss the unequal consumption patterns of wealthy and impoverished countries. In the second part I argue that our current scientific materialist paradigm is the cause of that over-consumption, especially economic expansionism (neoliberal economics) and scientific reductionism. I then trace the history o f the paradigm back through history. I also look briefly at the roots of the environmental movement as a consistent counterpoint to scientific materialism. In the third part I map out what a future sustainable society might look like, in the best of all possible worlds. I include this part to show what a revised paradigm might look like. I also argue that while we can have sustainability as a goal, and have a good idea of what we mean by it, there is no precise roadmap either of what sustainability means or how we can achieve it. Final ly, in the fourth section I argue that working to change the behaviour o f individuals is the most effective way to bring about a shift in paradigms, and thus a shift towards sustainability. In this chapter I take a bit of a departure from standard academic prose. It's written as a series of four lectures that I purport to give in Apr i l 2050 in honour of the 80 t h anniversary of Earth Day. I was inspired to use this form for the introductory chapter of my thesis by George Howard's book Human Nature: An Owner's Manual (1996). Professor Howard, who teaches psychology at Notre Dame and who often writes about psychology and sustainability, uses stories in that book to convey argument, pointing out that innovative writing styles are easier to read than standard academic prose and better able to hold the attention of the reader (assuming they are wel l -executed). He also says they contribute to his thinking more daring and provocative thoughts. Two forms he recommends are the autobiography (which I use in part o f section 1.4), and the teleography, "an imaginative technique wherein possibly true stories about one's future are constructed in the hope that the future that actually occurs might come to resemble these hoped-for stories" (Howard, 1996, p. 133). I found this latter form especially useful because it allowed me both to tell a story and to talk about our present reality as i f I were explaining it to outsiders. It also allowed me to convey a message of hope to temper the depressing nature of our current ecological crisis since in my story I assume that we wi l l learn to live sustainably within the next 46 years. So now, take yourself ahead to 2050, to a future where our children and their children live in sustainable communities, and cannot even imagine any other way o f life. 2 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 1.1 T H E S Y M P T O M S ( L E C T U R E G I V E N O N F R I D A Y , A P R I L 1,2050) Welcome to the 80th Earth Day lecture series. This year we have chosen Harmony Folz as our speaker. Ms. Folz has spent most of her life working on changing the world and she has been very successful in doing so. She is acknowledged as one of those who worked behind the scenes to shift our way of living from destructive to sustainable. She is a graduate of this institution's School of Community and Regional Planning and a Yale graduate. After she finished at UBC she spent many years working as a planner and a policy analyst and designer, working both in Canada and in several international contexts. In all of her work, her goal has remained clear-the betterment of our world and our society, and she continues to work towards that goal to this very day. In this first lecture, Ms. Folz reminds us of "the bad old days. " She describes in painful detail the over-consumption of resources prevalent in her youth and how it led to serious environmental problems. She also discusses how it was the over-consumption of the wealthy countries that caused problems, rather than the over-population of the poorer countries, as well as how inequitable the levels of consumption were between the rich and poor parts of the world. I am greatly honoured to have the opportunity to give this series of lectures in honour of the 80 t h annual Earth Day. Quite frankly, I'm also relieved, because for much of my life I doubted whether I or any other human would make it this far. Given that I am just fifteen weeks younger than Earth Day itself, it is perhaps not surprising that I didn't know whether I'd make it to 2050, but that the survival of the rest of our species was in doubt is likely harder for most of you young folks to truly understand. It's my job to help you to understand why our future was in doubt and how we turned ourselves around. These regular reminders are essential i f we are to maintain the progress we've made. i To give you a flavour of the danger we were in, let me take you back to the year 2000.1 chose that year because it has a special place in my consciousness. Throughout most of my young life it was viewed as the far future; it was the year we wrote about when tasked to envision the future. We imagined that by then our society would have reached a technological Utopia, with flying cars and settlements on the Moon. Of course, when 2000 actually arrived we were about as far from a Utopian state as we could be. Things were looking bleak, at least to anyone who was 3 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION looking. The changes being wrought on the planet were becoming harder to ignore, which doesn't mean a lot of people weren't trying to ignore them. Some of the problems we faced were: climate change threatened crops, bred disease, and led to sea level rise and had impacts on both marine and terrestrial ecosystems (Moore, 1 9 9 4 ) , not to mention human society > the ozone layer was being lost and huge holes were forming in it (Potter and Dwyer, 1 9 9 5 ; Wackernagel and Rees, 1 9 9 6 ) we continued to burn fossil fuels, which contributed to climate change and pollution (Bradford and Dorfman, 2002); fossil fuels provided 8 5 % of the world's commercial energy and 80% of its residential energy (Summerall et al., 2002); > our emissions and wastes polluted the air and water especially in the megacities of the developing world; sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulates, ozone and other chemicals killed an estimated three million people a year and children were often hardest hit (Summerall et al., 2002); > pollution also affected water supplies and led to acid rain (Oskamp, 2000b); 2 http://geognt.uwaterloo.ca/c3confer/ 3 http://www.ecology.com/ecology-today/antartica-ozone-hole/ 4 http://geothermal.marin.org/GEOpresentation/sldl 12.htm 3 http://sol.crest.org/environment/eol/climate-change/climate-change4.html 6 http://www.shu.ac.uk/pri/scripts/resources/uploaded/ideas/air_poll6.htm 4 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION we made 1000 new chemical compounds each year (Capra, 1982) - in all we had made and used about 70,000 new chemical compounds, most of which had not been tested for human toxicity (Beatley and Manning, 1997), let alone effects on ecosystems; > 440 commercial nuclear reactors produced more than 11,000 tons of spent fuel which could have leaked or been a terrorist target - either of which would have caused huge and irreparable damage (Klesius, 2002); > we destroyed forests at the rate of 36 million acres annually (Kluger and Dorfrnan, 2002); this contributed to climate change because forests capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen and cutting them releases carbon dioxide (Summerall et al., 2002); since forests contain up to 90 percent of all terrestrial species and protect soil and fresh water destroying them had a wide range of negative effects (Summerall et al., 2002); > we erected megadams, which had huge negative effects on local and not-so-local ecosystems and species (Klesius, 2002); > the United States had filled more than half of the wetlands that existed in pre-Columbian times and was continuing to destroy and degrade them (Beatley and Manning, 1997); Z *JLm- ' •'• 11 > hardy aggressive species were invading local ecosystems; these invaders were spread either knowingly (usually in an attempt to control some aspect of the ecosystem or through practices such as fish farming) or accidentally (as a result of foreign trade) by humans (Summerall et al., 2002); http://www.porphyrin.com/chemspec.htm 8 http://people.clemson.edu/~pamrnack/onr.htm 9 http://www.wilderness.org/own/clrcut.htm 1 0 http://www.timegallery.org/pics/set07/pages/dam.htm " http://detnews.com/2000/oakland/0011/04/ 5 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > we were in the midst of the "worst spasm of extinctions since the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 mil l ion years ago" (Bradford and Dorfman, 2002, p. A16); over the past half-bi l l ion years the planet had lost about one species per mil l ion per year, but in 2000 the rate was 1000-10,000 times faster (Wilson, 2002); 11,000 species were known to be threatened with extinction (Kluger and Dorfman, 2002) and i f we had done nothing one fifth of all plant and animal species could have been gone or almost gone by 2030 (Wilson, 2002); this would have had important implications for both the ecosystems they inhabit and humans, who use them for food and medicine (Kluger and Dorfman, 2002); > we increasingly used fresh water from non-renewing sources such as ground water (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996), which led to shortages and could have led to conflicts (Bradford and Dorfman, 2002); ground water was also subject to pollution (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996) and salinization which further reduced its usability; > in 2000, 1.1 bi l l ion people did not have access to clean drinking water and more than 2.4 bil l ion did not have adequate sanitation; i f we had not taken action, by 2025 two-thirds of us could have lived in countries with serious water shortages (Kluger and Dorfman, 2002); > two bi l l ion people did not have reliable access to safe nutritious food and 800 mil l ion (300 mil l ion of whom were children) were chronically malnourished (Kluger and Dorfman, 2002); 1 6 1 2 Harper's Magazine, October 1998, cover 13 http://www.cws-scf.ec.gc.ca/hww-fap/endanger/endanger.html 1 4 http://www.cadizinc.eom/c/cl.html 15 http://www.mps.kl2.nf.ca/cfc/2002/grassroots/planete/watershor.htm 1 6 http://www.etsu.edu/philos/faculty/hugh/hunger.htm 6 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > erosion and salinization made soil degradation common in rest of the world; in places like Africa badly managed agriculture and years of drought exacerbated the problem (Bradford and Dorfman, 2002); soil oxidation and erosion were ahead of soil formation by 26 billion hectares per year (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996); global yields had declined 13 percent since World War II (Summerall et al., 2002) and deserts were encroaching on productive land at a rate of 6 million hectares per year (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996); this was not only a problem of developing countries: the United States lost 3 billion tons of topsoil yearly (Beatley and Manning, 1997); in addition, farmland was being lost to towns and cities (Howard, 1997); perhaps not surprisingly, per capita grain production was decreasing (Howard, 1997); > ice caps and glaciers were melting as a result of global warming; this led to rising sea levels, drowning of low lying settlements and more severe weather (Bradford and Dorfman, 2002); > reefs and marine ecologies were being destroyed through overfishing, pollution and sedimentation (Bradford and Dorfman, 2002); 60% of the world's reefs were threatened with about a third expected to vanish before 2030 (Kluger and Dorfman, 2002), 70% of major commercial fish stocks were depleted, overfished, or exploited beyond maximum sustainable yield, pollution from industrial wastes, pesticides and sewage was rising and eroded soil and fertilizers had created 50 known "dead zones" (Summerall et al., 2002); http://www2.kenyon.edu/projects/fannschool/types/soil.htm 1 8 http://www.okstate.edu/OSU_Ag/oces/timely/drought.htm 1 9 http://whales.greenpeace.org/environment/climate.html 2 0 http://www.greenpeace.org/~usa/reports/biodiversity/sinking_fast/solution.html HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > the planet was overpopulated (Erl ich and Erl ich, 1970), and although population growth was slowing because fertility rates were declining, large increases in countries were expected in countries such as India, which was expected to reach 1.5 bi l l ion (Bradford and Dorfrnan, 2002), and other developing countries: the population o f the 48 poorest countries was expected to triple in the next 50 years (Summerall et al., 2002); population growth exacerbated food shortages and ecosystem damage, as wel l as increasing the possibil ity of plague and/or war (Erl ich and Erl ich, 1970); > infectious diseases such as respiratory infections, H I V / A I D S , diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera and tuberculosis (Bradford and Dorfrnan, 2002; Kluger and Dorfrnan, 2002) were rampant. In short, we were in serious danger of running into the upper limits o f available energy, resources or food; according to Justus von Liebeg's law of the minimum, the size o f a population or the life of an individual is governed by whatever requisite of life is in the shortest supply (Erl ich and Erl ich, 1970). It seemed certain that one of them would soon fail us, but nobody knew which. And this was trouble we had brought upon ourselves, since all of these problems had roots in either our use of natural resources (which caused the physical degradation o f the landscape, land subsidence, flooding, soil deterioration, among other things) or our generation o f wastes (which caused water, land, air pollution, enhanced greenhouse effect, acid deposition, ozone depletion, radioactivity, among other things) or both together (such as habitat disruption and the loss of biodiversity) (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Huby, 1998). Dismal Theorem: If only ultimate check on growth is ecological misery, then the human economy will grow until the situation is sufficiently miserable that it cannot expand any more. (Boulding, 1971, in Wackernagel, 2000, p. 108) The reason we were in so much trouble was not because we were using resources or emitting wastes, but because of how we were doing so. Indeed, in order to live we humans need to change our environment -accordingly, waste and pollution have been with us for centuries (Konvitz, 1996). The problem we were facing was the scope of the effects we had on our environment. During the twentieth century our impacts became ecological rather than environmental; by that I mean that they http://www.cnn.coin/US/9910/13/population.youth. surge/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/gallery/galleryguide/0,6143,192726,00.html 8 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION On Mother Nature: The lady is our mother all right, and a mighty dispensationalforce as well. After evolving on her own for more than three billion years, she gave birth to us a mere million years ago, the blink of an eye in evolutionary time. Ancient and vulnerable, she will not tolerate the undisciplined appetite of her gargantuan infant much longer. (Wilson, 2002, p. 23) started to affect the regulatory actions of the atmosphere, oceans and land, sometimes irreversibly (Holl ing, 1986). Previously, environmental problems had been localized and the effects o f our actions were directly observable through the accumulation of pollutants, waste or the loss of aesthetic values (Dunlap et al., 2000). Then, the solutions were similarly obvious. But by the year 2000, we were driving "global change by altering the flows of energy and materials among components of the geosphere-biosphere system" (Clark, 1989, p. 317) and although the evidence of our use was everywhere - in the land use patterns that were visible from space, in the concentration of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other gasses in our atmosphere and in our mineral use (Vitousek et al., 1986) - many of the effects of our actions were globalized and less directly observable than they were in previous times (Dunlap et al., 2000). Phenomena such as the greenhouse effect or the decreasing ozone layer were complex and synergistic, had ambiguous origins and were difficult to directly observe (Elander et al., 1995; Dunlap et al., 2000). In other words, many things were going wrong and we were less than certain exactly why or how or how to fix it. Why were we doing so much damage even though there were fewer people then than now? Because the amount of impact a population has on the planet comes from the multiplication of the number of people by the amount of resources that each person uses and by the environmental pollution and degradation caused by that use (Corson, 1994; van den Bergh and Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2000). Since we were using and polluting more per capita then, our impact was much greater than it is now. A measure of the size of this impact is given by the ecological footprint concept (Rees, 1992, 2000), which shows "how much biologically productive space is necessary for a given population to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb the corresponding waste that it generates, with the use of prevailing technology" (Wackernagel, 2000, p. 104). In 1995 the average Canadian footprint was 8.8 ha. Yes, more than seven times our current average of 1.2 ha per person (Wackernagel, 2000; Loh, 2002). This high level of consumption was reached fairly rapidly during the latter part of the twentieth century. Between 1950 and 1990, the world population more than doubled. A t the same // is increasingly apparent that a continuation of the present levels of resource use and waste generation is likely to lead to environmental deterioration on a growing scale and, since human beings are so critically dependent on the natural environment for meeting their most basic needs, this will inevitably lead to social crises and even societal breakdown. (Huby, 1998, p. 1-2) 9 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Material consumption is linked to almost every other aspect of our lives, for example: consumption patterns are related to economic development, technological change, institutions, landscapes, demographic distributions, education systems, communication systems, and cultures. (Michaelis, 2000, p. 75) time the number of livestock went up by a factor of 1.8, grain consumption increased 2.6-fold, water use nearly tripled, fish consumption went up by 4.4 times, energy use quintupled, consumption of wood and copper doubled, steel production quadrupled, economic output nearly quintupled, industrial production septupled, aluminum output and use of chemical fertilizers increased by a factor of 10, organic chemicals by a factor of 20 and air travel by a factor of nearly 70. In short, the average resource use per person nearly tripled, which means that in 1990 we were using six times as many resources as in 1950 (Corson, 1994). A t the same time, the Gross Wor ld Product was growing at 4% a year, which gave it a doubling time of 18 years (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). " A n irresistible economy [seemed] to be on a coll ision course with an immovable ecosphere" (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, p. 1). How were we possibly consuming that much? Part of the answer is in the form our cities had evolved into in the same period. At the turn of the century, American (and Canadian) cities lacked any sense of limit or constraint (Beatley, 2000). Urban agglomerations spread as far across the landscape as possible, usually limited only by natural barriers. The normal form of these agglomerations was a central downtown with high rises surrounded by seas of suburbs filled with strip malls and housing subdivisions that oozed out across the landscape. In 1960 we had been evenly divided between the city, the suburbs and rural areas but by 1990 over half of us in North America lived in suburbs (Register, 2001) which spread faster than our population was growing (Beatley and Manning, 1997) and became further and further away from urban centres. This suburban lifestyle was not a completely natural development, but was actively brought about by a conspiracy between car, bus, truck, gas and tire companies, who bought up transit systems in many cities, only to destroy them to encourage demand for their products (Register, 2001). Our cities had high carbon dioxide emissions, produced a lot of waste and drew in large amounts of energy and resources California businesses cannot compete globally when they are burdened with the costs of sprawl. An attractive business climate cannot be maintained if the quality of life continues to decline and the cost of financing real estate development escalates. People in central cities and older suburbs cannot become part of the broader economy if sprawl continues to encourage disinvestment, and the state can neither afford to ignore nor fully subsidize these neglected areas. California must find a new development model. We must create more compact and efficient development patterns that accommodate growth, yet help maintain California's environmental balance and its economic competitiveness. And we must encourage everyone in California to propose and create solutions to sprawl. (Bank of America 1995, p. 8, in Beatley and Manning, 1997, p. 11-12) 10 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Individualistic civilization in the United States was launched upon perhaps its last great binge at the end of World War II, when people felt they had a right to a separate house - usually rather nondescript, even humble, with a moat of grass and picket-fence battlements - and a car to get to where everything else in life happened. (Register, 2001, p. 106) (Beatley, 2000). This was partly due to how we transported ourselves. In most cities (Vancouver was a partial exception), massive freeways sped people in and out o f the city for work and many people spent more than four hours in their cars every day, going to their jobs downtown or, increasingly, in other suburbs (Register, 2001). Perhaps sped is the wrong word - as it turned out, increased sprawl led to more traffic congestion, increased commuting time (Beatley and Manning, 1997), more accidents and air pollution (Konvitz, 1996), each of which kil led 20 mi l l ion of us in the 20 t h century (Register, 2001). Sprawl also led to noise pollution (Konvitz, 1996), low use of alternative transport options (Beatley, 2000) and a lack of opportunity for anyone who could not drive (Beatley and Manning. 1997). The suburbs contributed to costly public infrastructure and high energy use and the size and scatteredness of the houses meant it took more energy to do the heating and cooling, and a lot of heat was wasted on heating up the outdoors (Beatley and Manning, 1997; Register, 2001). Bui lding the suburbs was resource intensive (Beatley and Manning, 1997) and took up land that was often sensitive habitat, productive farmland or forest (Beatley, 2000) or precious landscapes (those that give us wonder and peace and help us connect to the other) (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Ironically, sprawl came from the best of impulses - people wanted to live in 'garden cities' surrounded by nature (Register, 2001). When World War II ended and 10.5 mil l ion soldiers in the United States needed work and housing it seemed the perfect time to build the garden city dream (Register, 2001). The U S already had 50% of the world's cars at that point, so transportation wasn't an issue, especially since some of the former soldiers got to work building more. Unfortunately, what was built was uninformed by ecological principles and so ultimately led to the sprawl, slums and ecological chaos we lived in at the beginning o f this century. But the building and car industries became huge parts of our economy, each employing a sixth of us, and so it became necessary to keep them growing Our land use patterns are the physical foundation of our society and, like our society, they are becoming more and more fractured. They increasingly isolate people and activities in an inefficient network of congestion and pollution rather than joining them in diverse and human-scaled communities. Our faith in government and the sense of common purpose essential to any vital democracy are eroding in suburbs designed more for cars than people, more for market segments than communities. Local zoning laws and development patterns designed to separate and segregate us make it difficult for Americans to work together on the social issues facing the country. (Calthorpe and Richmond, 1993, p. 700, in Beatley, 2000, p. 14) 11 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION since such a large part of our collective livelihood came from building more sprawl (Register, 2001). A t the same time, it became cheaper to move out to the periphery than invest in the centre as long as greenfield sites were available (Konvitz, 1996). The spread of suburbs had an effect on our society, especially in the U S , but even here in Canada. The move out there left behind the poor - 42% of the poor continued to live in cities even as close to 60% of us lived in the suburbs (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Wi th revenue from property taxes declining, so did the cities. Many cities (though not Vancouver) became economically dysfunctional and crime in them rose. This fueled more flight, which heightened the dysfunction, and so on (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Out in the suburbs, a family's house became its castle, to be defended against all comers. Some people became so scared of the perceived crime in regular suburbs that they moved to gated communities where they believed they could shut everyone out except for 'their k ind ' (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Ironically, this fed their fear o f the outside while giving them no more protection from crime than they would have had otherwise. Most suburbians lived in bland boxes surrounded by other bland boxes in a neighbourhood that lacked character and a sense of place (Beatley and Manning, 1997) and didn't know their neighbours because their houses were too far apart to lead even to a simple " h i . " The neighbourhood became a collection of individuals rather than a neighbourhood, which made these individuals retreat further into their house-cocoons. The social ties that gave individuals pleasure and invigorated community life were undermined by this disconnection or fragmentation (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Lack of knowledge of the neighbours encouraged a lack of consideration; also, since most neighbourhoods were fairly homogenous (Beatley and Manning, 1997) it became easier to distrust those who are not like the group and to come to lack sympathy or empathy for their problems (Beatley and Manning, 1997). The long commutes also meant that people had diminished time, opportunity and energy for face-to-face social interaction anyway (Beatley and Manning, 1997). In short, "our singular quest to develop [had] come at the expense of the creation of enjoyable, livable, quality communities" (Beatley and Manning, 1997, p. 9). Another part o f the answer to how we consumed so much lies in how we lived in our urban agglomerations. Most people l ived in, or at least aspired to, a separate dwelling of at least 2000 square feet (186 square meters) with as much space around it as In many respects, consumption will probably prove to be the least tractable of the three interlinked problems [of consumption, environment and population], in that consumption patterns and expectations are deeply entrenched in most societies and cultures. (Myers, 2000, p. 5) 12 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION possible, usually green lawn which was rarely used but nonetheless carefully tended with massive amounts of water, chemical pesticides and fertilizer, all to keep up appearances for the strangerly neighbours. These houses were usually in subdivisions, and the zoning bylaws, erected to keep noxious uses away from dwellings, forbade any mixed use, even a convenience store. This meant that suburb-dwellers had no services within walking distance. And since the lots were as big as they could be and houses were so spread out, public transit was usually infeasible. For suburb dwellers cars were a necessity and each person old enough to drive needed one for him or herself. We knew that cars used fossil fuels and caused air pollution but we had no choice if we were to get to our jobs or schools. At the time households spent one quarter of their after-tax income on their cars (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Pity the poor folks who were too young, too old, too poor or too disabled to drive: they had to rely on a transit system with few buses that rarely came. In North America in the 1990s only 5% of the population used transit - before the car boom in the 1950s, 35% had (Beatley and Manning, 1997). It was an immense positive feedback loop - cars were necessary to get around so most people had one. Therefore few people took transit, which understandably meant that transit did provide poor service except in crowded city areas. Since transit was poor, no one wanted to give up his or her car. And so on. On walking in Baltimore: Massive monuments to the rich tower oppressively around me. An elaborate state-subsidized welfare system supports hotels, corporations, upscale condominiums, football and baseball stadiums, convention centers, elite medical institutions, and the like. The affluent build a system of private schools, universities and medical establishments that are the best in the nation while the mass of the excluded population drown in a miasma of a public sector that is so busy subsidizing the rich that it cannot achieve even elementary standards ofperformance for the mass of the population. The suburbs boom with unecological sprawl while forty thousand vacant houses in the city disintegrate and decay. A filthy ozone cloud hovers over the city on warm summer days. Forty thousand IV drug users roam the streets; the soup kitchens are pressed to full capacity (as are the jails); the food banks for the poor have run out; and the Malthusian specters of death, famine, disease, and 'the war of all against all' hang like a pall over the streets of the city. (Harvey, 2000, p. 280-1) Cars were much more than a way to get around. They were a symbol of freedom - teenagers waited eagerly until they were old enough to drive so that they could at last escape the confines of their houses and neighbourhoods full of nothing but huge identical houses. Cars were also a reflection of status and personality - to drive a cheap or small car made others question your worth. Everyone was expected to drive the best car he or she could afford. A l l of this may explain why despite the rising price of gas, people were moving towards less efficient cars in the decades spanning the year 2000 (Beatley and Manning, 1997). The Sport Utility Vehicle, or SUV, was the pinnacle of this trend. This was a large pickup truck-like vehicle with an enclosed 13 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION rear which could seat up to eight people and which was usually quite luxurious inside. They were monsters -some, like the 2003 Ford Excursion, even reached as much as 3.5 tonnes - and had huge engines that used an obscene amount of gas and spat out pollutants. Most of the people who drove them had absolutely no need for them because they rarely left the cozy confines of their urban area. And in the urban areas they exacerbated traffic jams - besides the effect of their size, other drivers rightly gave them extra space. However, despite all this, they were the most popular kind of car in North America in the early years of this century. They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned - we drove SUVs while the world fell apart. Figure 2: The Ford Excursion Consumption might not produce happiness, but it does produce the drive for self-expression in a society in which 'lifestyle' and 'image' are promoted by the media and by socially transmitted signals of approval and disapproval. (Jordan and O 'Riordan, 2000, p. 93) But the SUV was only one of the more visible markers of our consumption. The others, equally wasteful, were harder for us to see clearly because they were such a part of the way we lived. Besides the infrastructure needs, water was needed to feed the lawn, the toilet, the shower, the dishwasher and the washing machine - this led to groundwater pollution and the depletion of freshwater reservoirs. Besides the chemicals I mentioned earlier, lawns also needed to be maintained - this required machinery such as riding lawnmowers and gas-powered leaf blowers - almost every household had at least a gas-powered or electric lawnmower. Inside, having a large house meant having to fill it with more stuff - at the very least each room needed to be furnished. Since most people lived far away from any sources of entertainment, family houses became the premier entertainment centres and hence needed a barbecue, a huge entertainment centre with a large television, stereo and gaming equipment. As income increased families added personal hot tubs, pools and even tennis courts. We also really liked to buy things; consumption was deeply entrenched and very sexy (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Naess, Number and picture from http://www.ford.ca Madison Avenue's advertisement propaganda, urging people to adopt wasteful, consumption-oriented lifestyles, represents an important ecologically destructive force against which children and adults need to be inoculated. Contrary to the consumerist vision of life, wasteful overconsumption, unbridled greed and short-term myopia should be understood as destructive vices. (Howard, 2000, p. 512) 14 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 1997). M y first husband's grandmother was the epitome of the super consumer. She went shopping almost every day of her life once her husband retired, not really because she needed anything, but because she enjoyed it and had little else to do. Because she was a sweet lady she liked to buy her children and grandchildren lots o f gifts, and on Christmas and birthdays we would get a package containing gadgets and knick knacks ranging from very useful to entirely useless. To give you an idea, at some point she'd gotten the idea that my first husband liked frogs so he received frog dish towels, frog ornaments, a frog foot wiper for the back door, frog candle holders, frog pictures, a frog hand-soap pump, frog T-shirts and a mechanized frog band that moved to the beat of ambient music, among other frog related items. A l l of these were mass-produced in factories and were highly consumptive of resources. Though my ex-grandmother-in-law did buy more than average, she was definitely part of the norm. Shopping and acquiring items was supposed to make us happy while it kept an economy built on the production of gadgets propped up. This meant that we usually had too much stuff, even for our huge houses. And of course, it was our lifestyles, "complete with automated gadgets that do everything from washing dishes to brushing teeth, [that were] diminishing our supplies of natural resources" (Huby, 1998, p. 73). Too Much Stuff I've got a big house, big car, back seat, full bar House boat won't float, bank won't take the note Too much stuff oh just too much stuff It'll hang you up dealing with too much stuff Hanging out on the couch, putting on the pounds Better walk, run, jump, swim, try to keep it down Eatin' too much stuff, too much stuff It'll wear you down, carrying around too much stuff Hundred dollar cab ride, fogged in, can't fly Greyhound, Amtrak, oughta bought a Cadillac Too much stuff, ooh, too much stuff It'll slow you down dealing with too much stuff It's way too much, you 're never gonna get enough You can pile it high, but you '11 never be satisfied Rent-a-tux, shiny shoes, back stage, big schmooze Vocal group, can't sing, won awards for everything Too much stuff, ah, too much stuff They just keep on going, rolling in all that stuff Got hurt, can't work, got a lot of bills But the policy don't pay unless I get killed Too much stuff, too much stuff Just my luck, counting on too much stuff It's way too much, you 're never gonna get enough You can pile it high, but you '11 never be satisfied Running back can't score 'til he gets a million more . Quarterback can't pass, only wants his money back Too much stuff, too much stuff You know you can't get a grip when you 're slipping in all that stuff Women have a witchy way, messing with my mind You know Ifall in love every day three or four times Too much stuff, oh too much stuff It'll mess you up fooling with too much stuff Yeah, too much stuff (too much stuff), too much stuff (too much stuff) You never get enough, 'cause there's just too much stuff You know you can hurt yourself fooling with too much stuff Yeah, it '11 tie you down, fooling with all that stuff (that's a lot of stuff) (that's a whole lot of stuff) There's just too much of it, man (yeah I know, there's more stuff) Is that your stuff? (man, you know it) That's a lot of stuff (I have hurt myself) Might be too much (I'm serious, I've hurt myself) Delbert McClinton, with John Prine and Lyle Lovett From the 1997 album One of the Fortunate Few 15 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Not surprisingly, we threw out a lot of stuff as wel l , f i l l ing up landfill after landfill with the detritus from all of these things: the packaging they came in, the bags they came home from the store in and in the end the item itself. Very few things were repairable or reusable. In the 1990s we started recycling en masse, but though this helped, it wasn't enough, especially when people thought it was O K to buy more as long as they recycled the packaging. What we ate also contributed to the problem because of the amount of resources it took to produce it. We ate "instant" foods, which usually came wrapped in several layers of disposable packaging and were heavily processed in energy and resource intensive factories. This " food" was full of chemicals and other bad stuff, even "edible oil products." Additionally, many people ate meat at least once a day, meat that was usually heavily laden with chemicals and hormones as a result of the cramped quarters and inhuman treatment deemed necessary by the industrial agriculturalists. This livestock ate about half o f the grain that was produced (Myers, 2000) and contributed to ground water pollution, water shortages and land degradation. We also had over-fished most of the food fish stocks and were bringing in stocks from other areas to farm. This was more wasteful o f resources than catching fish in the wi ld because the fish were usually fed manufactured pellets made from wi ld fish. It also contributed to the downfall of native species because the farmed species often had diseases or escaped and drove the natives out of their niches. Nearly all food was transported for long distances, even across oceans, which used up more fuel and other resources. On top o f all this, we tended to buy and serve too much food, which led to us throwing out a large proportion of it due to spoilage or over-preparation. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the unhealthiness of our food and our tendency to overeat, a sizable proportion of the US and Canadian populations was obese. In North America all of this was viewed as normal and even desirable. A n d in a world of unlimited resources and/or very few people, it might have worked. However, by consuming at this We will be sorely tempted to lash out at the blindness and selfishness of those "others " who inflict scars upon our planet. But in their own inner realities, such people aren't trying to be destructive. They are just building a business, trying to have a little fun, providing a better life for their children, simply doing exactly what their parents did. We should all try to practice the charity suggested by James and attempt to be less blind to what these destroyers of the earth are trying to accomplish. I know of no one who would purposely set out to destroy the earth. However, all of us tax the earth's ecosystems (to a greater or lesser degree) as we undertake our daily tasks. (Howard, 1997, p. 7) Viewed from a larger perspective, it is not only pollution that is making modern society unsustainable; it is the totality of our highly consumptive lifestyles and our swiftly growing society that cannot be sustained. Even though some people will recognize that society in general must scale back, those who feel unjustly victimized are unlikely to join the effort. (Milbrath, 1995, p. 117) 16 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION rate we were controlling a disproportionate amount of the resources of the Earth. Including direct use, all the land that we were using and rendering unsuitable for other use, we were using about 40% of terrestrial net primary production, which is the total food resource of the Earth, and affecting much of the other 60% (Vitousek et al., 1986). This figure doesn't include land uses such as forestry. Ecological resilience and social well-being are more likely to be assured if the total human load remains substantially below Earth's carrying capacity. Living at the ecological edge compromises ecosystems' adaptability, robustness, and regenerative capacity, thereby threatening other species, whole ecosystems, and ultimately humanity itself. (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, p. 57) At this level of consumption we were using more natural capital than could be regenerated and were therefore actually reducing the biocapacity of the system. In other words, we had overshot our carrying capacity (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Wackernagel, 2000; Rees, 2002a). Carrying capacity is the population of a species that can be sustained by a given habitat without degrading its integrity and productivity (Wackernagel, 2000). Most species cannot overshoot their carrying capacities, but humans can, if only temporarily (Wackernagel, 2000). Overshoot is possible for us because we can systematically change both ecosystems and their productivity and because many systems do not provide immediate feedback (Wackernagel, 2000). Unlike other flora and fauna we were able to acquire things from distant places and expand beyond our local and global biocapacities (Wackernagel, 2000). We used "[bjetter financing schemes, more cheaply convertible currencies, C O V E R S w a r ) HO ' " E H G A V, W v l ^ j } Figure 3: Overshoot 17 With these short-term strategies, humanity is only buying time, but unfortunately wasting it by entrenching the conventional self-destructive path. (Wackernagel, 2000, p. 107) faster money transfers, fewer trade taxes, more reliable international legal frameworks, better communication networks, more potent transport capacity, and more efficient resource extraction [to] help to access the remaining resources at a faster rate with less human effort" (Wackernagel, 2000, p. 107). At the same time, the market became insensitive to resource scarcity because access to resources got easier faster than demand for them grew and prices actually went down (Wackernagel, 2000). By the end of the twentieth century we were using 130% of our available resources (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). As global trade unlinks market scarcity from ecological scarcity, the healthy and necessary feedback loop between ecological capacities and human consumption is broken, allowing modern society to lead the dangerous life of an ecological invader. (Wackernagel, 2000, p. 107) Biologically, we were behaving like an invader species, entering niches and consuming everything we could. With most species this leads to a loss of capacity and a population collapse in the invading species. Luckily humans have the capacity to see what is coming, even if we don't always use it (Wackernagel, 2000). Up until now I've used the word we rather loosely and you may have thought that all six billion of us shared roughly equal blame for the state of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The we who were at fault were the we in the developed countries of Figure 4: Typical American family and their belongings (Menzel, 1994) Footprint 9.7 ha/person (Loh, 2002) 18 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Europe, As ia and the "New Wor ld," about 20% of the world's population. Alone we were using 80% of the resources, or about 104% of the world's carrying capacity (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). In the rich countries, we were Figure 5: Typical Albanian family and their belongings (Menzel, 1994) Footprint: 0.96 ha/person (Loh, 2002) consuming resources 10-20 times as fast as those in poorer countries (Huby, 1998). A t the same time that we rich folk tried desperately to become less obese, much of the world's population was unable to meet basic requirements (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Not only were we in the developed world consuming way more than our share, but we were also providing 75% of the pollution, as well as toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes (Myers, 2000). In 1995 the 730 mi l l ion people in Europe emitted 26% of the world's pollution, double that produced by the 1.2 bi l l ion people in China (Myers, 2000). They weren't even the worst offenders - that title fell to the U S which emitted 20.5 tonnes o f carbon dioxide per capita, compared to Europe's 8.5 tonnes (Myers, 2000). Compare this to the world average of 3.9 tonnes per person and you can see just how unequal things were (Myers, 2000). The kicker was that we were already polluting too much to allow anyone else to jo in us - i f the growing demand of the developing countries had been met by fossil fuels our total emissions would have gone up by 70% (Myers, 2000). 19 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION The ecological footprint brings home the disparity between the amount consumed by those of us in rich countries and the rest o f the world. As stated before, in 1999, the average Canadian used 8.8 hectares of land in maintaining his or her lifestyle. A t the same time the average person from Mozambique used 0.47 hectares (Loh, 2002). That was almost 19 Mozambiquians l iv ing on the amount of resources that I used up; or put another way, me having a 'reasonable' two children was equivalent in resource use to a couple from Mozambique having 37 children that all l ived to adulthood. Given these statistics it's easy to see that the real problem children of the world were ours (Schumacher, 1973). The population growth of poor countries, while a problem in its own right, was not the growth problem that was going to do us in. 10 Biggest Footprints (in hectares per capita): The United Arab Emirates: 10.13 The United States: 9.7 Canada: 8.84 New Zealand: 8.68 Finland: 8:42 Norway: 7.92 Kuwait: 7.75 Australia: 7.58 Sweden: 6:73 Belgium/Luxembourg: 6:72 10 Smallest Footprints (in hectares per capita): Mozambique: 0.47 Burundi: 0.48 Bangladesh: 0.53 Sierra Leone: 0.54 Pakistan: 0.64 Tajikistan: 0.66 Guinea-Bissau: 0.70 Myanmar: 0.70 Yemen: 0.71 Viet Nam: 0.76 (Loh, 2002) Many densely populated rich countries were using more land than they had, which meant that they had to exploit other countries to maintain their standard of l iving (Rees, 2002a). Obviously all countries couldn't do that (Rees, 2002a). A t the time the footprint of a "fair Earth share," leaving aside 12% of the world for other species, was 1.8 ha per person (Wackernagel, 2000). This meant that because we used almost five times our earth share, we needed close to four other people to each use a quarter o f our share (Wackernagel and Rees, 1 9 9 6 ) . And indeed, at the turn of the century, 70% of the world's population had a smaller footprint than their capacity - as a whole they only occupied 25% of the total footprint, or 1/3 of our carrying capacity. This was the same capacity used by the 4% of the population with footprints larger than 10 hectares, i.e., 9% of the United Kingdom, 37% of the United States, 5% of Italy, 5% of Mex ico , 6% of Chile, 32% of Australia, etc. (Wackernagel, 2000). And income disparities were increasing - between the 1960s and the 1990s the share of global income going to the richest 20% of the world's population rose from 70 to 85%, while the share going to the poorest 20% fell from 2.3% to 1.4%. The gap between the industrialized and the developed world almost tripled (Huby, 1998). In 1970 the rich were 30 times as rich as the poor - by 2000 the ratio was between 60 and 74 to 1 (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Myers, 2000). In 1997, 25 mi l l ion rich Americans had the same income as the poorest two bi l l ion people in the 20 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION world (Rees, 2002a). The disparities were accentuated by gender and ethnicity differences (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Huby, 1998). Even within industrialized countries there were increasing inequalities - in the last days of the twentieth century, the poorest 40% households in these countries received only 18% of the national income (Huby, 1998). Many of these inequalities were structural, resulting from the organization o f society and social relations (Huby, 1998). Besides not getting any of the good stuff, the poor got most o f the bad stuff. The negative effects of the consumption on the part of the rich countries was mostly felt by the poor countries because we took resources and disposed of wastes on a global market (Beatley and Manning, 1997). But even within individual societies the burden of the pollution and other environmental degradation usually did not fall on the rich who were complicit in creating it (Huby, 1998). R ich people tended to be better educated and could use the bureaucracy to complain about current problems or militate against future ones. They were also able to avoid the problems by choosing where to live or by ameliorating the effects. The poor bore more most of the social costs of environmental damage, including risks to health, decline of human and natural resource productivity, and loss of amenity and quality of life (Huby, 1998). Because they had to worry about day-to-day survival, they didn't have the time, energy or know-how to deal with these additional problems (Huby, 1998). At the same time, trying to fix the problems often made things worse for the poor (O'Riordan, 1995) - for example, the poor suffered most from air pollution, but i f gas prices went up, their transport options became more severely limited than those of the rich, who could afford the rate hike (Huby, 1998). A lso, i f land was put aside for parks or reserves all benefited, but it was often the poor people who lived in remote areas that bore the costs (Huby, 1998). In other words, "Poorer people not only [suffered] the worst effects o f environmental damage, but all too often they [paid] a disproportionate price for environmental protection. The associated costs, whether tangible or intangible, [were] rarely equally distributed." (Huby, 1998, p. 7). Basically, society was in the grips of two positive feedback loops that were careening madly away from each other: the rich were getting richer, the poor poorer, and the gap between them was becoming a chasm. European, Australian, American and Japanese majorities are not likely to support such a programme [of decreasing their relative wealth] while their own societies grow increasingly unequal and the numbers of their own poor increase. We must, therefore, accelerate the degradation of the environment to make the world safe for inequality. (Young, 1990, p. 20) 21 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION I've laid out quite a depressing picture: environmental damage, over-consumption, and rising inequity, and you're probably wondering how people could let this happen. It's important to realize that all of this was happening through no conscious action on the part o f the vast majority of people, who were just trying to attain happiness for themselves and their families. Why this natural human impulse brought about the outcomes I've just discussed w i l l be the topic of next weeks lecture. Good night. 22 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 1.2 D I A G N O S I S ( L E C T U R E G I V E N O N F R I D A Y , A P R I L 8,2050) Last week Ms. Folz described the how the over-consumption of resources in rich countries led to the environmental problems that wreaked such havoc on our planet in recent history. This week she delves into the ultimate cause of that over-consumption, and how it was in fact an integral part of the worldview of most of our grandparents. This belief system was known as scientific materialism. Ms. Folz looks at how economic expansionism, the neoliberal economic system and scientific reductionism and how these systems were inherently flawed, before tracing these beliefs back through history. She ends with a brief look at the some of the roots of ecological thought which formed a counterpoint to scientific materialism throughout its history. Every culture has its myths and these shared stories serve as "comprehensive visions that give shape and direction to life. " Defined in this way, myths "move from being dispensable misunderstanding to essential categories that we all take for granted. " (quote from Grant, 1998, in Rees, 2002a, p. 16) After last week's lecture I imagine a great number of you went home feeling very superior. Y o u l ikely felt much smarter than those poor hapless folk who came before you. It's so easy to look back and think that the people who lived before us were stupider than we are, that they must have been in order to behave the way they did. But that has never been the case -what changes is not our level of intelligence but the paradigm under which we live - the vision that gives our life meaning. Paradigms, or myths, are usually based on a series of assumptions and are internally consistent - i f you accept the assumptions, the rest follows logically. We make myths in order to "confer intelligibility on events, to provide cultural reference points and social cohesion, and to instil l individuals with a sense of personal security" (Rees, 2002a, p. 42). No paradigm can accurately describe reality as a whole, though each is good in a limited sense. The whole can only be intuitively grasped in our consciousness (Jones, 1987a). Perceptions wi l l always differ from reality, but proximity to events and bias (hearing what we want to hear) wi l l further distort how close they can come (Clark, 1989). "The reality that we see and understand in the world around us in energized by the assumptions and perspectives, the values and biases, the twists and turns of our Most of our modern assumptions are so deeply rooted that either we count them as "just natural" or we have no recognition as to what they really are. A major part of that consciousness comes from being raised in a society dominated by science and its technological arrangements, most of which would not be here without the high energy that comes from fossil fuel and nuclear power ... Even when we try to think about other possibilities, other worldviews, the powerful assumptions stirring within us reassert themselves in unexpected and often undetected ways. So our modern thinking is itself resistant to critique and change, even as the end of the fossil fuel epoch comes in sight. (Jackson, 1996, p. 104) 23 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION The culture of industrial society is the most unbalanced example of the rule of materialism and 'rationalism' in the history of man. (Waller, 1980, p. 224) own inner wor ld" (Howard, 1997, p. 6). Our current paradigm, while enabling us to live more sustainably than the previous one, is no exception to that rule. The paradigm that was dominant in the early years of this century, the one that caused the problems and behaviours I talked about last week, was scientific materialism, a post-Enlightenment philosophy that gave birth to the industrial revolution and the consumerist society that I talked about last week. L ike most paradigms, scientific materialism was so deeply embedded in our psyches that it coloured everything else that we did. And because human beings are social creatures, our paradigms influenced others through the approval or approbation that we showed towards others. Few people questioned the system or saw others doing so, so it was widely assumed that everyone held the same paradigm (Milbrath, 1995). Further, we held ourselves to be post-myth since we thought we had finally reached the truth and were unable to see that our beliefs were as much myth as anything that had gone before. This may have been an artifact of our beliefs (Howard, 1996) or it might be part of human nature - it's much easier to call the beliefs of our ancestors' myths than it is to see that our beliefs are also simply myths. The paradigm was so powerfully in place that even those of us who saw the flaws with it and would have preferred to live differently found ourselves unable to make real changes in our lives. We were caught in a bind between what seemed necessary and philosophy and too often necessity won out. "Our daily behaviour [was] accompanied by beliefs and attitudes that [made] business as usual seem sensible, even though we [knew] that business as usual [was] jeopardizing the future survival of humankind" (Winter, 2000, p. 516). Those of us who both saw the flaws and were not overcome by feelings of hopelessness tried to do as much as we could within the system by our choices of what to drive, where to live and what to buy, but large scale change was out of range for the majority of us. As it turned out, small-scale change was a viable option, but we' l l get to that in the final lecture. Back to scientific materialism. One of its components that became especially dominant in the twentieth century was economic expansionism, a belief "grounded in the concept of All subjects, no matter how specialized, are connected with a centre; they are like rays emanating from a sun. The centre is constituted by our most basic convictions, by those ideas which really have the power to move us. In other words, the centre consists of metaphysics and ethics, of ideas that - whether we like it or not -transcend the world of facts. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 94) 24 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION continuous growth which [was] extrapolated optimistically into a seemingly boundless future" (Taylor, 1992, p. 26). Economic expansionists assumed that the "earth's life systems are resilient to human perturbations and we [were] not risking their good functioning; monoculture agricultural works fine and can feed increasing numbers o f indefinitely; there are no limits to growth in economic activity and human population; competition in the free market is the key to excellence, wealth, and survival" (Milbrath, 1995, p. 107). Nature was thought to be a storehouse of resources and human ingenuity and technology would continue to solve all problems brought on by human 'progress,' harness new sources of energy and increase global standards of l iving (Taylor, 1992; Moore, 1994; Wackernagel, 2000). Material growth was held to be equal to development and a prerequisite for human happiness and prosperity and world We know the benefits of the worldview we are "in " now. We no longer identify ourselves primarily as tribal members alive in nature in a spiritual cosmos. We have instead a great sense of selfhood, with which have come clear-thinking technical consciousness and control, leading to capacities for autonomous action. In other words, much of what we call human freedom is a product of our sense of selfhood and our clear-thinking consciousness. But what about the costs? If this is the only path to all knowledge, it is a path posted with one-way signs directing us toward separation, alienation, abstraction, things quantitative, and all of it at last sense-bound. All of the important qualities we call human -meaning, value, life, consciousness, soul, self, spirit -are off that path of knowing. (Jackson, 1996, p. 39) peace (Schumacher, 1973; Taylor, 1992). Universal prosperity was possible, and since humans were inherently good, increasing wealth and distributing it fairly would create a prosperous and happy society (Schumacher, 1973; Waller, 1980). Conservation of natural resources, i f held to be necessary at al l, was based on the idea of sustainable exploitation using scientific management procedures to harvest renewable crops; that is, "conservation should work against the wastefulness and environmentally disruptive excesses o f a developing society, but not against development per se" (Taylor, 1992, p. 26). Economic expansionists "highly [valued] economic wealth, power, and control of their environment (including other people); [and] would expand throughput o f all materials and would wil l ingly risk ecosystem degradation and disruption of global biogeochemical systems to maximize those values" (Milbrath, 1995, p. 106). Despite the inequities of the system and "notwithstanding the effects of political and financial interests and their power to perpetuate this cultural construction for their benefit, ... it also [represented] the way in which the majority [hoped] to find fulfillment. It [was] an expression of prevailing human values, priorities and w i l l " (Maiteny, 2000, p. 341). Most continued to believe in the system because they believed that increased consumption would make them happier, and that with hard work and smarts they could make enough money to consume more and perhaps even jo in the rich and powerful. 25 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Economic expansionism was based on a theory of economics known as neoclassical or neoliberal economics 2 4 (Moore, 1994). Adherents of the system held it to be a force that existed outside of their own conception and seemed unable to see that it had no more or less basis in reality than any other myth. And , like most people who see things in either-or terms, they tended to ignore or minimize the problems of their own system. Besides the difficulty of seeing one's own myth, there was "a peculiar characteristic of neoliberal economics. Most disciplines test their models against the real world and then adapt the models the better to reflect reality. B y contrast, the economists' myth [was] so entrenched that its devotees [presumed] to force reality to (Rees, 2002a, p. 20). In reality, there are no exclusively "economic " problems; there are simply problems, so that distinctions between "economic " and "non-economic "factors are, at best, artificial. The very act of clarifying what we should mean by "economic"problems or "economic "factors implies an analysis that includes all the "non-economic " determinants as well. The only worthwhile demarcation and the only one that is fully tenable logically - is between relevant and less relevant factors, and that line of demarcation will vary with the characteristics of the environment under study. (Myrdal, 1968, p. 14) conform to their models" Neoliberal economists were fervent capitalists and believed strongly in a market economy. In their view an ideal market would see to the equitable distribution o f goods, social welfare and environmental goodness. Goods would flow freely across borders in a manner that maximized each country or region's comparative advantages in producing the goods. The world's separate markets would integrate into a global unrestricted economy (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). The 'invisible hand' of the market place would ensure that prices were set fairly and that no one would be exploited. Wages would be set by a meeting of the needs of employers and employees and, while there would be differences in income based on success, no one would be poor. To this end, the free market folk were in favour of opening up borders for the movement of goods and capital, getting rid of tariffs, subsidies and taxes and minimizing government and regulations. And because they had great influence in the most The most striking thing about modern industry is that it requires so much and accomplishes so little. Modern industry seems to be inefficient to a degree that surpasses one's ordinary powers of imagination. Its inefficiency therefore remains unnoticed. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 118) powerful nations, they were wel l underway in achieving many of these aims. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the market economy didn't work. That isn't to say that communism was the answer either - both systems held at their core the same assumption: that economic growth and material goods provided the path to happiness. They just differed on how Choosing which term to use seems to depend mostly on one's political stance. 26 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION to get there (Waller, 1980; Bookchin, 1989; Taylor, 1992). However, after the 1991 collapse of the communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics into Russia and the other surrounding nations, the communism myth didn't hold much power. Therefore, I'll concentrate on the problems of neoliberal economics. And the problems with the neoliberal economic system were legion. It suffered from "being ahistorical, amaterial, and apsychological. Economics, that is, largely [ignored] history, the material laws of nature, and the study of the nature of man" (Common, 1995, p. 5). It "[eschewed] moral and ethical considerations; [ignored] distributive equity; [abolished] 'the common good' ; and [undermined] intangible values such as loyalty to person and place, community, self-reliance, and local cultural mores" (Rees, 2002a, p. 24-5). Human actions are not solely motivated by economic interests. The concept itself, though popular among economists, presents on closer inspection, certain difficulties. Presumably 'economic interest' means the desire for higher incomes and lower prices and, in addition, perhaps stability of earnings and employment, reasonable time for leisure and environment conducive to its satisfactory use, good working conditions, etc. But even with all these qualifications, political aspirations cannot be identified with those interests. People are also interested in social objectives. They believe in ideals to which they want their society to conform. Citizens do not fight wars merely to protect their economic interests, however much they may overrate their importance. Or again, it would be a mistake to think that the struggle for higher wages or even for security and other material advantages is the driving force of the working-class movement. (Myrdal, 1954, p. 199) Psychologically, economics transformed "decent well-rounded citizens into gluttonous single-minded consuming machines" (Rees, 2002a, p. 18). The individual was an insatiable self-interested utility maximizer with unchangeable preferences whose only goal was to participate in the market (Rees, 2002a). A l l choices were based on monetary considerations, and people always tried to maximize or optimize their profits (Howard, 1997). He or she was assumed to be "unaffected by other people's sufferings or satisfactions, ... unevious of others' victories and unpained by defeat, and ... indifferent to his/her relative position in society" (Daly, 1994, in Rees, 2002a, p. 18). Fami ly and responsibility to the rest of society were not important, nor was love or loyalty (Schumacher, 1973; Waller, 1980; Rees, 2002a). Since these expectations formed the basis of our system, it is perhaps not surprising that we tried to live up to them. The market model was based on the assumption that there was perfect competition between an infinite number of buyers and sellers, none of whom could influence price, but all of whom had perfect knowledge of present and (infinite) future markets If earlier societies tried to foster a belief in the virtues of cooperation and care, thereby giving an ethical meaning to social life, modern society fosters a belief in the virtues of competition and egotism, thereby divesting human association of all meaning -except, perhaps, as an instrument for gain and mindless consumption. (Bookchin, 1989, p. 19) 27 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION (Rees, 2002a). Besides the impossibility of infinite anything, a quick glance around could have told them that none of their assumptions were true. As it turned out, a small number of global organizations labelled trans-national corporations controlled the production and distribution of almost all products and services, and they were the ones in the best position to take advantage of the opened trade borders. "Furthermore, as Myers and Kent (1998)... detailed, most goods and services [were] subsidized to varying degrees. There [was] no 'market' as such, and much consumption [was] fuelled by prices that [distorted] their true social and environmental cost" (Jordan and O'Riordan, Economic progress, [Keynes] counselled, is obtainable only if we employ those powerful human drives of selfishness, which religion and traditional wisdom universally call upon us to resist. The modern economy is propelled by a frenzy of greed and indulges in an orgy of envy, and these are not accidental features but the very causes of its expansionist success. The question is whether such causes can be effective for long or whether they carry within themselves the seeds of destruction. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 31) 2000, p. 98). One of the cherished assumptions of the market system was that "a rising tide floats all boats," which meant that growth would make everyone wealthy - this meant that the rich could keep consuming since their consumption would actually help the poor (Rees, 2002a). This was believed in spite of rising intra-national inequality, ironically most concentrated in countries that had followed the market ideal most closely (Harvey, 2000). It was also believed in spite of the demonstrable resource limits and the "wide agreement that the Earth's ecosystems [could not] sustain current levels of economic activity and material consumption, let alone increased levels" (Wilson, 2002, p. 1). Underlying this belief was the assumption that growth in itself was good, "despite the evidence that it has become more an act of aggression against other people and species than a means of improving lives" (Wackernagel, 2000, P- 107). Growth was measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measurement of all economic activity in a country. GDP also affected the credit rating of countries, which meant that countries tried to maximize the measure. However, critics of GDP pointed out that the measure included societal ills like funerals, medical expenses, and reforestation, which were counted positively towards the total, but left out societal ills like environmental degradation and loss of amenity, which would have counted negatively, meaning that the measure was severely [It is] fruitful to distinguish institutions such as norms, conventions or rules in use from the organizational shells in which they might be embedded. ...In particular, it is important for us to separate the organizational reality from the romantic conceptions. Government agencies are not "democracy"; transnational corporations are not Smithian economic agents and the integrated global economy does not constitute a Smithian "market" with any optimality properties of the original Lifeworld counterparts. (Dobell, 2001, p. 360) 28 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION flawed (Myrdal, 1973; Naess, 1997). G D P was also "crit icized for assuming implicit ly that basic human conditions, such as space, direct access to resources (for example Nature or fresh water) and serenity, [could] be replaced by economic goods such as large apartments, fast cars and expensive holidays. Using the G D P as the single progress indicator [implied] that the replacement of 'nature' by 'economy' is taken for granted and evaluated as 'progress'" (van den Bergh and Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2000, p. 117). Economic growth, which viewed from the point of view of economics, physics, chemistry and technology, has no discernible limit, must necessarily run into decisive bottlenecks when viewed from the point of view of the environmental sciences. An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth - in short, materialism - does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 29-30) All income elements to be included in the GNP are dependent for their definition on institutional arrangements, which are constantly changing and regularly show differences for different countries. This must make comparisons, in time and still more between countries, hazardous. Added to this is the fact that income elements, which are included, are often defined in an arbitrary way. Still more arbitrary is the inclusion or non-inclusion of income elements. (Myrdal, 1973, p. 184) The market system also assumed that poverty, not wealth, created environmental degradation and thus everyone should become wealthy (Rees, 2002a). This was untrue for two reasons First, contrary to the common belief at the time, it was found that the citizens of poor countries were actually more environmentally concerned than those in wealthy nations, l ikely because they often depended on their immediate environment for sustenance (Dunlap and Mert ig, 1995). Second, as it turned out, high levels o f wealth worked against the environment because people didn't seem to come with an off-switch - they just kept on upping their consumption while they exported the effects to the poor by over-exploiting the resources of developing countries and creating the problems I talked about last week (Schumacher, 1973; Common, 1995; Huby, 1998; van den Bergh and Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2000; Rees, 2002a). The idea that wealth would save the environment also ignored the problem that "most of the prevailing technology and the expanded trade regimes [made] it possible for societies to increase their ecological throughput... [and that] many technological advances [had] locked industrial society into resource-intensive infrastructure traps such as car-dependent city designs, making it harder for people to choose less resource-intensive lifestyles" (Wackernagel, 2000, p. 107). In other words, the consumption of the rich was unsustainable (van den Bergh and Ferrer-i-But even if development were not a problem in terms of our relationship with the planet, even if it did not deplete the mines and the wellheads or poison the earth and deplete its atmosphere, even if there were an infinite supply of resources or infinite substitutability, development has been destructive of our relationships with people and with place. (Jackson, 1996, p. 105) 29 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Carbonell, 2000). In fact, "routine acts of non-essential consumption ultimately [translated] into acts of violent harm against the poor and racial minorities" (Rees and Westra, 2003, p. 116). Whatever has turned human beings into 'aliens' in nature are social changes that have made many human beings 'aliens' in their own social world: the domination of the young by the old, of women by men, and of men by men. Today, as for many centuries in the past, there are still oppressive human beings who literally own society and others who are owned by it. Until society can be reclaimed by an undivided humanity that will use its collective wisdom, cultural achievements, technological innovations, scientific knowledge, and innate creativity for its own benefit and for that of the natural world, all ecological problems will have their roots in social problems. (Bookchin, 1989 p. 39) Global markets posed a problem for sustainable practices in natural resource industries since, in order to sell to the world, standardization and high-input production methods were needed (Rees, 2002a). Besides the environmental degradation this caused, the technology costs meant that poor countries couldn't do it on their own. The resulting dependence that many countries had on trans-national corporations threatened their national sovereignty, democracy and economic stability and undermined their options for true community economic development (Rees, 2002a). In addition, it caused people to lose connections with the resources that sustained them and their own local resources and destroyed their culture (Jackson, 1996; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Harvey, 2000). Market forces also created regional inequalities - a tendency that grew more dominant in poorer countries (Myrdal, 1957). A lso , since all nations, rich and poor, were in debt, all nations were jockeying for favourable trade imbalances - this meant that some countries had to lose out (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Rees, 2002a). But the game wasn't fair because the rules were created by organizations set up by developed countries - the Wor ld Bank and the International Monetary Fund. B y forcing countries to remove restrictions and subsidies and gut social welfare programs in order to qualify for development loans, these organizations removed the very conditions that enabled the developed countries to get that way (Rees, 2002a). And because of the lower value of their currencies and their low wages, the poor countries were at a serious disadvantage when it came to paying back loans and paying for the imported manufactured products that they found impossible to make. They were thus forced to sell off their natural resources at bargain prices (Rees, 2002a). Further, the free movement o f capital without a corresponding free movement of people meant that workers in poor countries had to accept lower wages. In short, there was a "net flow of wealth from South (less developed) to North (more developed) nations [which] exacerbated a spiral of increased poverty and environmental 30 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION degradation in the former" (Barkham, 1995, p. 857). This f low further enriched a powerful minority, mostly already wealthy, giving them a cogent incentive to maintain the status quo (Rees and Westra, 2003). The economists have come along and taught us to believe that checks on self-interest are not only unnecessary but harmful. In their minds, self-interest behavior is rational behavior. Now that this ethos has become the dominant force at work in the market, wittingly or not, given the technological array that has popped up, the earth, including countless life forms, has become a mine and an overflowing sink for our wastes. (Jackson, 1996, p. 85-6) The problem that loomed largest for the environment was the market economic model's near exclusion of nature and its forces. The model ignored its position within the natural environment and dealt with it only as a source of resources and a source for waste sinks and lacked any representation of material flows, energy sources, physical structures or time-dependent processes (Moore, 1994; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). "The implied simple, reversible, mechanistic behavior of the economy [was] inconsistent with the connectivity, irreversibility, and positive feedback dynamics o f complex energy, information, and ecosystems, the systems with which the economy interacts in the real wor ld" (Rees, 2002a, p. 21). This inconsistency could be seen in the assumptions that complete substitutability o f human-made and natural capital was possible, any effects on the environment were completely reversible, carrying capacity was infinitely expandable, trade could overcome resource limits and an increase in intensity would always equal an increase in output (Moore, 1994; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). These assumptions were flawed because the monetary analysis used could mask declining physical stocks and was biased against the future because of discounting. It was not realized that while market fluctuations affected prices, they did not effect the ecological value or integrity of natural capital, or that while the potential for monetary Figure 6: Neo-liberal economists' worldview 31 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION growth was virtually unlimited, there were definite biophysical limits (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). It also ignored the fact that once natural capital became over-exploited, manufactured goods would not be able to compensate for it -usually natural capital was a prerequisite for u Scot Figure 7: Ecological economists' worldview human-made goods whereas human-made goods were entirely unnecessary for natural capital to regenerate (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). The only way for the market system to include natural amenities was to give them a price, but most natural life support systems and products weren't on the market (Moore, 1994; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). If they had managed to be properly priced, their value would have been too immense for anyone to pay for and it was entirely possible that something important could have been missed (Moore, 1994; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998). Natural resources which were on the market had prices determined by the resource's current availability rather than its importance to life so false pricing signals were given - platinum was infinitely more valuable in money terms than water (Moore, 1994; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). In short, the dominant economic paradigm was not compatible with biophysical reality (Moore, 1994) and it created conditions that favoured ecological unsustainability (Naess, 1997). Despite all of these problems, there might have been some value to the system had it worked on a fundamental level, doing what it was supposed to be doing: increasing our happiness and wel l-being and making our lives better (Huby, 1998). But "increasing economic production [had] Putting a cash value on phenomena that are part of the essence of earthly vitality is not only faintly ludicrous, it is also dangerously arrogant; how can one assume that dollars call the shots? (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998 p. 14-5) 32 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION neither levelled income differences, made the haves noticeably happier, nor satisfied the basic needs of the world's poorest one bi l l ion people" (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, p. 1). A l l of our comfort, security and affluence didn't solve our social and economic problems - at the turn of the century our societies were rife with inequality, crime, drug addiction, vandalism and mental and emotional problems (Schumacher, 1973; Jackson, 1996). The market system "produced substantial wealth and empowerment for the few and disillusionment, repression, misery, and degradation for the rest" (Harvey, 2000, p. 193). The year 2000 found the inhabitants of the western world more unhappy than we 'd been 50 years previously, when we had had less (Huby, 1998; Jordan and O'Riordan, 2000; Rees, 2002a). It was found "that above a certain threshold improvements in standard of l iving, accompanied by increased negative environmental effects o f consumption and the generation of wastes and pollution, can actually contribute to a fall in the quality of life. Surveys in O E C D countries [showed] that growing feelings o f insecurity and dissatisfaction [were] accompanying increasing per capita incomes" (Huby, 1998, p. 155). An industrial system which uses forty per cent of the world's primary resources to supply less than six per cent of the world's population could be called efficient only if it obtained strikingly successful results in terms of human happiness, well-being, culture, peace, and harmony. I do not need to dwell on the fact that the American system fails to do this, or that there are not the slightest prospects that it could do so if only // achieved a higher rate of growth ofproduction, associated, as it must be, with an ever-greater call upon the world's finite resources. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 119) Clearly, the neo-liberal economics that gave rise to the free market ideal was losing any touch with reality it might have once had. In an attempt to avoid these messy and intractable real world problems, it increasingly valued neat and tidy theories and prescriptions that had less and less to do with the real world and more and more to do with making economics a "scientif ic" discipline (Rees, 2002a). Economics, in fact, acted "as a most effective barrier against the understanding of these problems [of adverse effects on the environment and the quality of life of industrialism, population growth and urbanism], owing to its addiction to purely quantitative analysis and its timorous refusal to look into the real nature of things" (Schumacher, 1973 , p. 47). It avoided theoretical discussions which might have pointed There is an obvious lack of agreement between the principles of research in economics and its practice. On the one hand, it is emphasized that economic science only observes social life and analyses what can be expected to happen in different circumstances, and that it never pretends to infer what the facts ought to be. On the other hand, practically every economist draws such inferences. And the various specific economic theories are most of the time arranged for the very purpose of drawing them. The result is political precepts of a supposedly scientific and objective nature. It would seem as if the terms 'observations' and facts' do not mean the same things in economics as they do elsewhere in scientific terminology. Economists appear to have access to a sphere of values which are both objective and observable. (Myrdal, 1954, p. 5) 33 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION out that free market thinking wasn't really sound economic theory, which would have had "us maximize welfare, but [recognized] that income/consumption is only one factor in the equation. A healthy environment, natural beauty, stable communities, safe neighbourhoods, economic security, social justice, a sense of belonging, and countless other life-qualities contribute to human wel l-being" (Rees, 2002a, p. 21). However obvious this might seem, it didn't fit with the science that economics was trying to be, a science had fragmented itself to the point where it no longer had much to do with the holistic nature of reality. The free-market juggernaut, with its mantras of private and personal responsibility and initiative, deregulation, privatization, liberalization of markets, free trade, downsizing of government, draconian cut-hacks in the welfare state and its protections, has rolled on and on. For more than twenty years now we have been battered and cajoled at almost every turn into accepting the utopianism of process of which Smith dreamed as the solution to all our ills. We have also witnessed an all-out assault on those institutions - trade unions in particular — that might stand in the way of such a project. Margaret Thatcher proclaimed that there is no such thing as society, only individuals and their families, and set about dismantling all those institutions - from trade unions to local governments — that might stand in the way of her Utopian vision. (Harvey, 2000, p. 176) Economics was trying to become a science because science was held by many to be the only form of valid knowledge and the ideal to which all other disciplines aspired (Jones, 1987a; K a y and Schneider, 1994). A l l of the social sciences tried their hardest to be viewed as rational and scientific and discarded other ways of knowing (Howard, 1996). Science was attractive because it seemed to provide certainty and rationality as wel l as "the power to analyze, to discover and to manipulate the quantitative and mechanistic dimensions of our wor ld" (Jackson, 1996. p. 38). Scientific knowledge was an instrument of power and control, and industrial growth and expansion depended on scientific advances (Jones, 1987a; Jackson, 1996). For these reasons, science became synonymous with state and society, meaning that any attack on science called into question our society itself (Jones, 1987a). Unt i l the turn of the century it was rarely questioned. Twentieth century science was based on scientific reductionism, another component of our scientific materialist paradigm (Moore, 1994). Scientific reductionism meant that scientists were studying tiny pieces of reality in as much isolation as possible (Jones, 1987a). According to the 'scientific method,' the scientist was an observer whose thinking self should not enter the objective world he or she was studying using only his Science is much closer to myth than a scientific philosophy is prepared to admit. It is one of the many forms of thought that have been developed by man and not necessarily the best ...as the accepting and rejecting of ideologies should be left to the individual it follows that the separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science ... such a separation may be our only chance to achieve a humanity we are capable of, but have never fully realised. (Feyerabend, in Jones, 1987a, p. 237) 34 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION or her five senses (Jones, 1987a; Jackson, 1996). Morality, values or any questioning of the ends was not tolerated (Jones, 1987a). Scientists observed parts of reality, looked for causes for its behaviour and sought to place the causes and effects in a quantitative framework that was inanimate and without consciousness (Jones, 1987a; Jackson, 1996). Causes were further explored using controlled experiments that could be replicated. In these, the scientist held all but one variable constant while exploring the behaviour o f the other variable. It was understood that the understanding of the whole could be built up from understanding the parts, as i f the universe was a giant machine and the laws of nature were universal (Jones, 1987a; Jackson, 1996). Humans were "the subject and the only real repository of mind and consciousness. A l l else [was] mere object, and mindless" (Jackson, 1996, p. 37). For a long time this approach to science was successful, since it was wel l suited to gaining mastery over the material world (Waller, 1980; Jones, 1987a). However, by the turn of the century there was an increase in iatrogenic illnesses and technological disasters (Jones, 1987a) as well as all of the other problems I talked about last week. These came about because each scientist only worked with a small part of reality so his or her explanations of the whole were coloured by his or her discipline and lacked an understanding of the implications of the work of other disciplines (Jones, 1987a) and because we were "estranged from reality and inclined to treat as valueless everything that we [had] not made ourselves" (Schumacher, 1973, p. 15). Science also provided the basis for 'managing the environment.' It was thought that we had sufficient knowledge to determine the maximum of any resource we could take without damaging. Quite often, relationships within and between ecosystems were not seen or ignored. In some cases there were deliberate attempts to 'simpli fy ' ecosystems such as forests so as to make their management easier. This led to systems that were "more fragile and more dependent on vigilance and error-free management at a time when greater dependencies had developed in the socioeconomic and institutional environment. The ecosystems simplif ied into less resilient ones as a consequence of man's success in reducing variability" (Hol l ing, 1986, p. 312). Although it sporadically fosters grandiose feelings ofpower and godlike mastery over nature, science as mechanism is inherently unstable, since it is founded upon denial of the very conditions that make science possible at all, that is, perception. Such a science cannot last - it must either obliterate the world in a final apotheosis of denial, or else give way to another mode of science; one that can affirm, rather than deny, our living bond with the world that surrounds us. (Sattaur, 1987 p. 18) 35 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION As the transfer of power to our species proceeds, our responsibility for maintaining planetary homeostasis grows with it, whether we are conscious of the fact or not. Each time we significantly alter part of some natural process of regulation or introduce some new source of energy or information, we are increasing the probability that one of these changes will weaken the stability of the entire system, by cutting down the variety of response. (Lovelock, 1979, in Jones, 1987b, p. 34) Scientific reductionism thus led to "a tendency to perceive reality as though it is fragmented, with interactions between the parts operating mechanistically, rather than being dynamically integrated in an infinite web of interconnectedness without beginning and without end" (Jones, 1987a, p. 237). A t the same time, scientists were pressured to find new facts and so delved deeper and deeper into minutia and lost sight of the larger picture. A lso , since science was supposed to be value free, scientists were under no obligation to consider the uses of their discoveries. It did not occur to them that science, "applied to a society through technology, could reach a stage at which it no longer improved human life, but threatened to undermine its existence by gutting the planet for the sake of realising its ideals of prosperity and equality. It was not . . . realised that industrialism was overriding the teleological processes of nature, including human nature" (Waller, 1980 p. 226). We were unable to "recognize that the modern industrial system, with all its intellectual sophistication, [consumed] the very basis on which it [had] been erected" (Schumacher, 1973 p. 20). Science has become the only acceptable form of knowledge in modern industrial society. But its reductionist approach has led to a fragmented view of the world, with an understanding of particular aspects of reality being gained at the expense of the whole. Such a fragmented worldview lies at the heart of the ecological crisis confronting us today. (Jones, 1987a) So, I've shown how we were held in the sway of scientific materialism, a paradigm that was based on neoliberal economics and scientific reductionism. The more curious among you are probably wondering how these theories came into such prominence. For that we ' l l have to reach even deeper into our history. For both scientific reductionism and neoliberal economics had roots that reached back at least to the ancient Greeks, the first scientists in our western tradition. Although the ancient Greeks were much more interested in contemplating reality than trying to change it (Jones, 1987a), the ideas of Aristotle in particular were very influential in developing Western science and philosophy (VanDeVeer and Pierce, 1994). Aristotle (387-322 B C E ) viewed nature as a hierarchy with plants on the bottom and humans on top. Each level's purpose was to serve the one above (VanDeVeer and Pierce, 1994). Aristotle's teacher was Plato (427-347 B C E ) , who held the unchangeable non-material world to be perfect rather than the messier world o f the biosphere 36 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION (VanDeVeer and Pierce, 1994). Aristotle's writings were rediscovered by the Western Europeans in the 12 t h century and became the basis of their science. Christ himself shows that to refrain from the killing of animals and the destroying of plants is the height of superstition for, judging that there are no common rights between us and the beasts and trees, he sent the devils into a herd of swine and with a curse withered the tree on which he found no fruit. (SaintAugustine, in VanDeVeer and Pierce, 1994, p. 40) Prior to and after that the Church was the fundamental influence on the thinking of Western Europe. And , according to Lynn White, Latin Christianity was essentially anthropomorphic from the beginning - " B y destroying pagan animism, Christianity [had] made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects" (White, 1994, p. 49). Two of the most influential thinkers in the development o f Latin Christianity, Augustine (354-430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), believed that Man was set above all other things and that other beings had no moral standing (VanDeVeer and Pierce, 1994). Further, according to Father Thomas Berry, there was a change in consciousness that took place in Europe after the Plague in the 14 t h century, when people came to believe that life in this world was not important and started to have a deep rage against the human condition (Cayley, 1990). Nature was dangerous and needed to be controlled (Jones, 1987a; Register, 2001). "Christianity provided the ideological, the educational and the administrative basis for a society ... organized for economic growth" (Young, 1990, p. 58). Despite this, the dominant world view before the 13 t h century was organic, l iv ing and spiritual and scientists spent their time seeking the meaning and significance of beings and events rather than trying to predict and control them (Waller, 1980; Capra, 1982; White, 1994). However, in the 16 t h and 17 t h centuries, this idea was replaced with the idea that the universe was a machine. "Natural theology ... was ceasing to be the decoding of the physical symbols of God's communication with man and was becoming the effort to understand God 's mind by discovering how his creation operates" (White, 1994, p. 50). A t the same time, the idea of stewardship, or taking care o f the world, was being replaced - "it was a short step from the emphasis on the permission of God to utilise the environment to human purposes to the belief that technological advancement and success in moulding the environment to human purposes was the reward of Protestant virtue or evidence of God's approval" (Young, 1990, p. 62). Our daily habits of action ... are dominated by an implicit faith in perpetual progress which was unknown either to Greco-Roman antiquity or to the Orient. It is rooted in, and is indefensible apart from, Judeo-Christian teleology. (White, 1994, p. 49) 37 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION This change was due in great part to the views of Renaissance thinkers like Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and Gali leo Gall i lei (1564-1642) who held that scientists should "restrict themselves to studying the essential properties o f material bodies - shapes, numbers, and movement - which could be measured and quantified [since] other properties, like color, sound, taste, or smell, were merely subjective mental projections and should be excluded from the domain of science" (Capra, 1982, p. 55). Other scientists took the idea of the world as a machine and ran with it, improving it and shaping the scientific method which controlled our inquiries until very recently. The inductive method , which is the basis of 'rational' science, was pioneered by Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a contemporary of Gali leo. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) added the separation of mind and matter; he was a radical doubter, questioning everything until he reached something he couldn't doubt - his own thinking; hence his famous "I think, therefore I am" (Capra, 1982). However, despite his doubtful nature, he was convinced o f the certainty of scientific knowledge which came from a new science of nature based on 'evident first principles' (Capra, 1982); accordingly "we inherited and developed a knowledge-based world view founded on the assumption that we can accumulate enough knowledge to bend nature pliantly and to run the wor ld" (Jackson, 1996, p. 23). Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) realized Descartes' dream of a new science when he took the empirical, inductive method of Bacon and the rational, deductive method of Descartes and combined them to describe the world as a perfect working machine (Capra, 1982; Jones, 1987a). These scientific principles applied to humans as wel l as nature. John Locke (1632-1704) postulated that we come into this world as tabula rasa, or blank slates. In this idea, our minds are blank at birth and everything that makes us who we are comes from the environment (Capra, " Inductive reasoning makes inferences from seeing patterns in one's observations, leading to a theory. In a deductive argument, if the premises are true, it is unlikely that the conclusion is false, but it is possible. It is also possible to make a true conclusion from faulty reasoning. Deductive reasoning, on the other hand, starts with a theory and proceeds to test it. It is based on the idea that if the premises of an argument are true, a logical conclusion is self-evidently true. Science uses the inductive method form hypotheses, but deductive reasoning to prove them. Before the 16th century, only the deductive method was formally used. This separation from the natural world, this estrangement from the realm of the wild, I think, exists in no other complex culture on earth. In its attitude to the wilderness, a heightening of its deep-seated antipathy to nature in general, European culture created a frightening distance between the human and the natural. ... To have regarded the world as sacred, as do many other cultures around the world, would have been almost inconceivable in medieval Europe - and if conceived ... punishable by the Inquisition. (Sale, in Register, 2001, p. 64) 38 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 1982). A long with David Hume (1711-1776) and George Berkeley (1685-1753), Locke also believed that the data from our senses was the only reality (Gl icken and Fairbrother, 1998). The rise of science during the Renaissance and thereafter was aided and enabled by new technologies such as the pendulum clock, which introduced artificially powered machinery to aid accurate measurement (Young, 1990) and "separated scientific and supposedly factual senses of time and space from the more fluid conceptions that might arise experientially" (Harvey, 1990, p. 244). It was also helped along by the voyages of discovery, and the maps which resulted from it, which by representing the world in a practical, objective and functional space made the world seem conquerable, containable and explicable (Harvey, 1990). The voyages also exposed the aristocracy to imported luxuries, for which they developed a taste (Michaelis, 2000). Changes in agricultural methods, banking and government and the move to greater equality also had wide ranging effects on consumption and the development of the scientific materialist paradigm (Michaelis, 2000). Newtonian thinkers viewed science as a way to master the natural world through the use of technology (Jones, 1987a). Both Bacon and Descartes advocated controll ing and enslaving nature and torturing her secrets from her under contrived and artificial experimental conditions (Capra, 1982; Jones, 1987a) and rendering "ourselves the masters and possessors of nature" (Capra, 1982, p. 61). Newtonian science also led to an emphasis on things rather than relationships and a belief that understanding individual things was more important than understanding the whole (Glicken and Fairbrother, 1998). Its methods were reductionism, quantification and the separation of facts and values (Taylor, 1992). B y restricting science to quantifiable measurements and discarding the findings of the senses, "out go. . . . aesthetics and ethical sensibility, values, quality, form, all feelings, motives, intentions, soul, consciousness, spirit. Experience as such is cast out o f the realm of scientific discourse" (R.D. Laing, in Capra, 1982, p. 55). The industrial revolution and the Enlightenment, both of which began in the 18 t h century, elevated and made into doctrine the scientific materialist paradigm (Taylor, 1992; Richardson, 1997). The Enlightenment was a movement by thinkers in many fields to apply the principles o f science and technology to all areas of human experience - they went to extraordinary efforts "to develop objective science, universal morality and law, and autonomous art according to their 39 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION inner logic" (Habermas, 1983, in Harvey, 1990, p. 12). It was thought that this would bring about great advances in human emancipation and the enrichment of daily life (Harvey, 1990). It embraced the idea of progress and sought to break with history and tradition, placing great faith in the ability of human intelligence to find the answers (Harvey, 1990). It sought the greatest happiness for the greatest number, and assumed that material goods created happiness (Waller, 1980). Enlightenment thinkers believed that The scientific domination of nature promised freedom from scarcity, want, and the arbitrariness of natural calamity. The development of rational forms of social organization and rational modes of thought promised liberation from the irrationalities of myth, religion and superstition, release from the arbitrary use of power as well as from the dark side of our own human natures. Only through such a project could the universal, eternal, and the immutable qualities of all of humanity be revealed. (Harvey, 1990, p. 12) there was only one possible answer to any question. From this it followed that the world could be controlled and rationally ordered i f we could only picture and represent it rightly. But what this presumed that there existed a single correct mode of representation which, i f we could uncover it (and this was what scientific and mathematical endeavours were all about), would provide the means to Enlightenment ends (Harvey, 1990, p. 27). At the same time that Enlightenment ideals were taking hold, the industrial revolution applied science to the problems of production. The resulting new methods of production finalized the separation of humans and nature and of worker from the product of work. The industrial revolution equated growth with progress and encouraged growth in order that its products find buyers. In short, it "helped efforts to equate progress with the satisfaction o f material wants and eventually create a consumer oriented society" (Taylor, 1992, p. 26). B y the Victorian period in the 19 t h century, the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution were in full swing and scientific materialism had become the organizing principle for society. However, although Victorians rejected the idea that laissez faire practices could have immoral consequences, avowed scientific materialists were denounced (Waller, 1980). "It was this tension between the Victorians real motives and their pretended motives that made them such neurotic hypocrites" (Waller, 1980, p. 224). It was also at this time that God left the scientific arena. Up to and including Newton, every major scientist was motivated by religion and was able to believe both that the universe was a grand machine and that it came from the Creator (White, 1994). However, in the 19 t h century, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's (1744-1829) and Charles Darwin's (1809-1882) ideas of evolution removed the Creator from the equation (Capra, 1982). The theory o f evolution replaced the 40 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION power of God in making changes with the ideas of survival o f the fittest, competition and natural selection. These ideas also contributed to the formation of the scientific materialist paradigm (Schumacher, 1973; Jones, 1987a). Scientific materialism was finally able to wipe out the mystical level of the human dimension (Waller, 1980). A l l the higher manifestations of human life, such as religion, philosophy, and art were now nothing but "necessary supplements of the material life process, a superstructure erected to disguise and promote economic interests" (Schumacher, 1973, p. 88). It was during the Victorian era that economics began its ascension to the position it holds today. However, back then, even one of its greatest thinkers, John Stuart M i l l (1806-1873), held that it was "not a thing by itself, but ... a fragment of a greater whole; a branch of social philosophy, so interlinked with all the other branches that its conclusions, even in its own peculiar province, are true only conditionally, subject to interference and counteraction from causes not directly within its scope" (Schumacher, 1973, p. 41). This view of interconnectedness was completely lost by the latter part of the 20 t h century. O f course, not everybody embraced scientific materialism wholeheartedly. Throughout its pre-eminence there was always a group of thinkers who argued for a different way. I'm only going to skim over the history of these counter movements because it is so wel l taught in schools today, in much the same way that the foregoing history of science was widely taught in my day. O f course, in my day the history o f science was taught without the mostly negative interpretation that I've given it here. Instead, it was taught as a progression of thought leading ever upwards towards an eventual total understanding of a rational universe. Counter movements tended to be dismissed as the spurious musings of mushy thinkers. I think that now we have done a better job at integrating both steams of thought, but I would still warn against the increasingly apparent tendency to dismiss the rational strain of thought and to glorify and beatify the early romantics and deep ecologists. But just in case any of you slept through history class, I'll give you a quick look at some of the major precursors of the sustainability movement of this century, going back to the 18 t h century, when the Enlightenment gave rise to the Counter-Enlightenment. Part o f this movement was romanticism, which stressed the importance of the irrational, the emotional and the instinctual and the natural (Taylor, 1992). Romanticists tried to unify the dualisms of mind and matter, 41 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION knower and known, and God and nature and denied the atomistic and reductionist tendencies of Newtonian science and the Enlightenment (Taylor, 1992). In the 19 t h century, this same general theme was followed by American Transcendentalists such as Thoreau and Emerson. They asserted that "individuals have access to universal truths by recourse to the inner light o f intuition and by way of empathetic communion with nature. Moreover, it is the state, with its institutionalized forms of authority, that stands in the way of these truths" (Taylor, 1992, p. 275). John Mu i r (1838-1914), the first great conservationist, was influenced by these writings (Taylor, 1992). He argued for the creation of a land ethic which would recognize the intrinsic value of all natural objects and l iv ing things (Taylor, 1992). In the early part o f the 20 t h century the scientific materialist paradigm was pretty much unchallenged. There were always those who did not agree with it, but they didn't have any recognized movements or philosophies during that time. However, there was change happening in science as the Newtonian ideas of science were being replaced by quantum physics. Quantum theory meant that scientists had to reexamine the idea that certainty could be achieved, and called for understanding the whole rather than isolated parts (Jones, 1987b). Though the implications of quantum theory on our theory of reality were not understood at the time, it was eventually to make a huge contribution to our current understanding of science and life. During the 1960s and 70s there was a growth of environmentalism and the rise of something called ecological thought. This view held that the universe was a totality made up of interrelated and interlocking parts; nature was intrinsically valuable and must be protected and human activities must work within the limits of the planet's ecosystems (Taylor, 1992). It drew on concepts from India, China, Native culture, premodern European culture and the traditions of Sufism, Hasidism, as wel l as romanticism (Taylor, 1992). Dur ing the 1960s and 70s there were several movements beginning that would eventually contribute to our current paradigm, like deep ecology, ecofeminism and social ecology. Deep ecologists called for self-realization of one's inseparability from the rest of the world and for biocentric equality (Taylor, 1992). Ecofeminists saw the domination o f nature coming from the same source as the domination o f women by men and sought to erase both (Taylor, 1992) Social ecologists argued that at as long as domination existed in any form society was doomed to extinction; they sought an egalitarian, decentralized and communal social order (Taylor, 1992). 42 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION During the 1980s all forms of environmentalism were dormant, but the movement started to rise again in the 1990s, though it was still a minority view and remained so at the turn of the century (Taylor, 1992). O f course, as you know very wel l , our worldview has been rapidly shifting since that time, to a point where i f a 'normal' person from my youth had been brought forward in time, he or she would have found us so foreign as to be nearly alien. So, do we need new ideas or a new consciousness? Or does it matter which we need? How would we know the difference between a mind generating new ideas and a mind reflecting new consciousness? (Jackson, 1996, p. 40) Now, i f that hypothetical time traveller had been an environmentalist, she might have been better able to deal with our present because it might closely resemble her most wi ld ly optimistic projection of the future. But we' l l get into her projections next week. Good night. 43 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 1.3 H E A L T H ( L E C T U R E G I V E N O N F R I D A Y , A P R I L 15,2050) Over the last two weeks, Ms. Folz has looked at some fairly depressing times in our recent history. She detailed the over-consumption of our wealthy grandparents and discussed how that over-consumption was a direct result of the prevalent paradigm of the time, a paradigm known as scientific materialism. This week she will look at a more positive topic - our ecological paradigm, and the sustainable society she has spent so much of her life working towards. By her choice of material she stresses how important having a goal is to success, while pointing out that it is possible for both the path and the destination not to meet preconceptions while at the same time fulfilling the goal in ways inconceivable at the time of goal conception. Over the past two lectures, I've talked about the problems we faced in 2000, the causes of those problems and how we treated them. Today, instead of telling you something you already know -what our society looks l ike today - I'd like to read you something that I wrote in the early part of this century about what an ideal future would look like. I think it 's instructive for you to compare our ideas of what an ideal future would bring to what has actually happened. I think you' l l agree that, for the most part, although the specifics are different, the gist of what I wrote has come to be. Truthfully, I'm not surprised that the specifics are different since it 's impossible to know ahead of time whether something wi l l actually work out as you've envisioned. A l l you can do is plan with the general idea of where you'd like to end up in your mind. And what I had in mind was a sustainable community. This is what I wrote, as I pondered what sustainability might look like, way back in 2004: PM! TtMlsmait ta ttfrJauiHgrJiu*! fiwx. 1996. j>. JOS Figure 8: The weight of now and future lifestyles 44 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION That we need to learn to live sustainably is no longer in doubt. We must transform or we wi l l die (Milbrath, 1995). It w i l l be a long hard road to travel, but travel it we must, because waiting wi l l only make it harder (Milbrath, 1995). If we're wise, we w i l l start out now and keep going even though the start of the trail wi l l be rough, keeping in mind that the destination we are trying to reach wi l l be much better than our present reality. But what wi l l guide us along the trail? Our directions are simple - we need to recognize that we need to manage human affairs "so as to address the problems of poverty and inequality while also minimising threats to ecological sustainability" (Common, 1995, p. 55). We need to live within our means, to strive to attain sustainable sufficiency: "satisfying our vital physical and material needs - together with our non-material or spiritual needs - within the ecosystem; putting in as much as we take out" (Richardson, 1997, p. 58). We need to ensure that future generations can continue to live, and to live well. We need to take our place among the rest of the species on the planet without trying to usurp what they need to live. We need to aim for voluntary simplicity and emphasize the achievement of sustainable l iving patterns as a superordinate goal for everyone (Oskamp, 2000b). We need to recognize that "the cultivation and expansion of needs is the antithesis of wisdom. It is also the antithesis of freedom and peace" and that Conclusions o/Beyond the Limits, 1992: 1. Human use of many essential resources and generation of many kinds of pollutants have already surpassed rates that are physically sustainable. Without significant reductions in material and energy glows, there will be in the coming decades an uncontrolled decline in per capita food output, energy use. and industrial production. 2. The decline is not inevitable. To avoid it two changes are necessary. The first is a comprehensive revision of policies and practices that perpetuate growth in material consumption and in population. The second is a rapid, drastic increase in the efficiency with which materials and energy are used. 3. A sustainable society is still technically and economically possible. It would be much more desirable than a society that tries to solve its problems by constant expansion. The transition to a sustainable society requires a careful balance between long-term and short-term goals and an emphasis on sufficiency, equity and quality of life rather than on quantity of output. It requires more than productivity and more than technology; it also requires maturity, compassion and wisdom (Common, 1995, p. 88-9) "only by a reduction o f needs can one promote a genuine reduction in those tensions which are the ultimate causes o f strife and war" (Schumacher, 1973, p. 33). We need to realize that "ecological sustainability, along with social justice and economic prosperity, is a necessary condition for the well-being of cit izens" (Dobell , 2001, p. 355). We need to maintain ecosystems' integrity in terms of species composition, biomass and productivity (Moore, 1994). We need to create a new future, one that learns from the past, but does not try to recreate it, since we can't simply recreate our past simple life (Young, 1990; Jackson, 1996). 45 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION In short, we ' l l need to embrace what is now called 'strong' sustainability, 'deep' ecology, or 'dark' green thought, as opposed to their opposites. This approach realizes that sustainability cannot be achieved by tinkering with the current system, but only by striving for a whole new one (Jones, 1987b; Taylor, 1992; Elander et al., 1995; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Azzone et al., 1997; Naess, 1997; Richardson, 1997; Schnaiberg, 1997; Huby, 1998; Rees, 2002a). We wi l l recognize that we need to remake our current society (Bookchin, 1989) and adopt a new paradigm, and that a sustainable future w i l l require shifts in personal "values, beliefs, attitudes and goals, and substantial alterations of economic, social and political processes" (Corson, 1994, p. 207). This new paradigm informs our economics, our health and our communities (Jackson, 1996) and in the end we ' l l l ikely find that "it is as much a personal exploration as it is a societal quest" (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998, p. 4). It w i l l be our guide and our mantra and wi l l come to inhabit us as deeply as scientific materialism does now. As for how we ' l l know when we get to sustainability? Wel l , we ' l l know when we can look at those statements above and think to ourselves that we're doing all of them, and doing them well. At the same time, we ' l l realize that solutions can never be permanent because there are always new problems that come from solving the first set (Konvitz, 1996). And what w i l l it look like? We l l , as with any journey to a never-seen but oft imagined place, we can only know the broad outlines o f what it might look like. We ' l l have to f i l l in the details when we get there. But I can tell you about the world that I imagine when I think about our journey's end. One path continues the status quo by simply projecting our current patterns of development into the future. This scenario is one of continuing to accommodate the march of low-density, auto-dependent, sprawling growth; facilitating the loss of natural landscapes that sustain us and other life on the planet; perpetuating our irresponsible patterns of waste and consumption; and witnessing the continuing decline in the bonds of community and quality of our living conditions. But there is an alternative vision, one that imagines a different future. This future is one in which land is consumed sparingly, landscapes are cherished, and cities and towns are compact and vibrant and green. These are places that have much to offer in the way of social, cultural, and recreational activity, where the young and the old are not marginalized, and where there is a feeling of community, an active civic life, and a concern for social justice. In these communities, the automobile has been tamed, many transportation options exist (including public transit and walking), and fundamental human mobility and freedom are enhanced. These are communities in which the economic base is viable as well as environmentally and socially restorative. This vision of place emphasizes both the ecological and the social, where quantity of consumption is replaced with quality of relationships. In short, the vision is about creating places that citizens can be proud of - places of enduring value that people are not ashamed to leave to their descendants. (Beatley and Manning, 1997, p. 1-2) 46 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Thoughts and Behaviours We would change our current worldview and adopt ethics which "reject the dominant, growth-oriented social paradigm; that recognize the need for more equity between wealthy and poor, and between present and future generations; that value natural resources and respect all forms of life; that see the Earth as a l iving, interdependent system in which people depend on a finite biophysical environment that imposes biological and physical restraints on human activities; and that recognize the need for stewardship of the Earth to ensure human survival" (Corson, 1994, p. 208). There is no blueprint for a sustainable society waiting to be discovered. The problem itself changes over time as the result of economy-environment linkages, and their repercussions in human societies. In so far as there is any solution to the sustainability problem, it is successful adaptation to changing circumstances. The notion of success in this regard, is, itself, somewhat ambiguous. In terms of policy relevant analysis, it is a matter of addressing current and prospective threats to sustainability, rather than preparing and implementing the blueprint for a sustainable system. (Common, 1995, p. 6) We would reopen our minds to the ecological unconscious and awaken our inherent sense of environmental reciprocity (Reser, 1995). This ecological ego would feel ethical responsibility for the planet and would seek "to weave that responsibility into the fabric o f social relations and political decisions" (Reser, 1995, p. 236). Our ecological sense of self would be expansive and include all life forms, ecosystems and the Earth itself (Bragg, 1996). We would see everything as connected (Milbrath, 1995). We would have emotional resonance with other life forms and would see ourselves as similar to them, and would behave towards them as we would towards ourselves (Bragg, 1996). We would recognize that we were part of nature and that abusing nature meant abusing ourselves (Jones, 1987a). We would recombine rational knowledge with the "intuition for the nonlinear nature of our environment" (Capra, 1982, p. 41). This holistic epistemology would postulate "the oneness of all reality with a total embeddedness of all the parts of the whole" (Jones, 1987a, p. 239). We would embrace Commoner's laws of ecological thought: everything is connected to everything else, everything must go someplace, nature knows best and there is no such thing New Paradigm: • Love nature for its own sake. • Love, feel compassion for, and nurture other creatures (humans too). • Have tolerance, patience, and mutual respect. • Reject violence. • Reject domination and patriarchy in personal behaviour. • Co-operate more than compete. • Fulfill responsibilities. • Think systematically and integratively. • Emphasize continual learning and development. • Live simply but richly. • Live a healthy lifestyle. • Have few children and nurture their development. • Reduce waste and carefully dispose of it. • Minimize risk to ecosystem, society and self. (Milbrath, 1995, p. 427) 47 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION as a free lunch (Jones, 1987b). We would "acknowledge and raise to consciousness both the distal (biological) and proximal (socio-cultural) roots of our dysfunctional behaviour, [realizing that] only then wi l l we be able to assert our independence from both genetic predisposition and our dysfunctional behaviour" (Rees, 2002a p. 43). We would "seek the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption" (Schumacher, 1973, p. 57). This would lead to non-violence because we would be less stressed about stuff (Schumacher, 1973). We would live in material comfort within the means of nature, realizing that we can decrease the material standard of l iv ing while improving our quality of life (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Naess, 1997). "Our needs [would] diminish and we [would] wi l l ingly choose to live simply, so others can simply l ive" (Strong, 1995, p. 25). We would seek quality over quantity (Corson, 1994). As part of nature, our needs would continue to be important, but we would realize that they can only be met through moderation for all. We would recognize that all beings manage nature so we may as wel l get good at it (Register, 2001) but we would shift from managing resources to managing ourselves (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Therefore we would try to work with nature rather than conquer it - we would "favor a highly interactive approach in which ... we neither try to impose our categories nor merely adapt to what i s " (Jackson, 1996, p. 83). We would see that "ecological sustainability is, then, not a well-defined state to be attained by following some simple rules. We can say that it is the requirement that the resilience of the system be maintained through time. There is not a set of indicators that can be said to demonstrate that resilience is, or is not, being maintained" (Common, 1995, p. 54). We would " l ive more lightly on the earth, conserve and husband resources, cherish other species and other humans, use regenerative methods to nourish uncultivated systems (e.g., Advocates of sustainabUity are often popularly perceived as-holding in contempt the human quest for the best possible quality of life, but true respect for this most legitimate of human desires dictates that we find ways of pursuing it within the means of Nature. (Wackernagel, 2000, p. 108-9) The stillness following liberation [from greed and envy] - even if only momentaiy - produces the insights of wisdom which are obtainable in no other way. They enable us to see the hollowness and fundamental unsatisfactoriness of a life devoted primarily to the pursuit of material ends, to the neglect of the spiritual. Such a life necessarily sets man against man and nation against nation, because man's needs are infinite and infinitude can be achieved only in the spiritual realm, never in the material. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 38) 48 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION forests), and restore the productivity of soils and cultivated systems" (Milbrath, 1995, p. 106-7). We would move to a greater consumption of grains, cereals and other plant products (Corson, 1994). We would recognize that non-human entities have interests in their continued well-being and we would have a reverent and non-violent attitude to all beings (Schumacher, 1973; Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999). We would shift from degradation to protection and restoration (Corson, 1994). We would "not only become mindful of the needs and rights o f other species but [would] come to love and cherish them. We do not keep about us those things for which we do not care" (Rees, 2002a, p. 44). Phi losophy of Science Our science would be based on understanding systemic thinking, the first two laws of thermodynamics, biodiversity for ecosystem stability, carrying capacity, sources and sinks, doubling times, the tragedy of the commons, the distinction between growth and development and thinking in a futures mode (Milbrath, 1995). We would adopt the Gaia hypothesis (see Hol l ing, 1986), which holds "that the non-living and l iving represent a self-regulating system that keeps itself in a constant state - or at least within a limited range of conditions" (Kerr, 1988, p. 393). That is, "the physical and chemical condition of the surface of the Earth, of the atmosphere and of oceans has been, and is, actively made fit and comfortable by the presence of life i t se l f (Sattaur, 1987, p. 16). The idea that all things are connected and self-regulating wi l l guide our science (Holl ing, 1986; Sattaur, 1987). We would recognize that l iving systems are complex, dynamic, The conscious realisation that we live in an indetermined world, of which we are an integral part, will have profound implications for science and society. It will in particular release those powers of intuition suppressed by the dogmatism of modem science, which assumes its superiority over all other forms of knowledge. Once we become aware that we can never know what will be the overall effect of our actions on the environments, we will appreciate the need to contain them at a scale at which we can retain ultimate control. The lessons of Chernobyl, Bhopal and similar disasters will become writ large in the new consciousness as indications of the counterproductive tendencies of industrial growth and progress. Questions will be raised about the validity of equating the quality of life with ever-rising material standards of living, with the resultant devaluation of the spiritual and moral dimensions of human existence. Finally, and very importantly, greater attention will be given to the problem of what has been referred to as 'diachronic competition', which emphasizes the degree to which the continuity of the industrial system depends on the use of non-renewable resources. As the earth's resources become irreversibly depleted the relative stability of societies today will be gained at the expense of the increasing instability of societies in the future. Whether this crisis will be resolved must ultimately depend not just on the transformation of consciousness, but on the merging of the ftnjany interconnected themes within the Green movement as a whole, so that its position can be established within the framework of a fully coherent and integrated philosophical base. Only in this way can the Green vision of the future move from utopianism to actuality. (Jones, 1987b, p. 34) and far from equilibrium and that they are self-organizing holarchic open systems (i.e., nested 49 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION hierarchies of linked subsystems) (Taylor, 1992; Kay and Schneider, 1994; Moore, 1994; Rees, 2002a). In other words, we would see " a myriad of wholes within wholes, all of them interconnected and interacting" (Taylor, 1992, p. 31).We would know that ecosystems are usually in a steady state but can be disturbed and reach bifurcation points, where they move to a new and unpredictable state (Moore, 1994). We would try not to cause this. However, we would also recognize that ecosystems are in a constant cycle of change (Holl ing, 1986). We would hear the rhythms of ecosystems, which "alternate periods of increasing organization and stasis with periods of reorganization and renewal" (Holl ing, 1986, p. 313). We would strike a balance between anticipation, monitoring and adaptation and realize that we don't manage ecosystems, we manage our interactions with them (Holl ing, 1986; Kay and Schneider, 1994). Precaution What if we had an ecological worldview as our operating paradigm? An ecological worldview is also an evolutionary view. Time-honored arrangements would inform us of what has worked without our running the empirical experiment. Our evolutionaiy/ecological worldview would inform our decisions, inform our do's and don 'ts in scientific investigation. This is another way of saying that we must turn to nature to inform us, to serve as a reference, must turn our thoughts to building a science of ecology that reflects a consultation of nature. Ecology is the most likely discipline to engage in a courtship with agriculture as we anticipate a marriage. (Jackson, 1996, p. 25) We could begin by accepting our profound ignorance - that we will never know more than a small part of what we need to know. Beginning with this veiy different assumption we are forced to remember our past, to hope for second chances, to keep the scale of our projects small, and to be ready to back out when things go sour. (Jackson, 1996, p. 24) We would embrace the Precautionary Principle as our fundamental environmental protection policy (Blowers, 1992; O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998; Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999; Oskamp, 2000b). This Principle states that "where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainly should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation" (Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, in Fisher, 1999, p. 184). Using the Precautionary Principle would mean avoiding serious or irreversible damage to the environment by using caution whenever outcomes are not certain and when there is any risk of damage (Fisher, 1999; Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999), and "recognizing the benefits of anticipatory action and the costs of irreversibility" (O'Riordan, 1995, p. 234). It would mean shifting the balance of power to those who are affected by the action rather than those who benefit from it Precaution will not explode onto the environmental stage, sweeping away all forms of risk or cost-benefit assessment, careful scientific analysis, and existing legal norms relating to the relative power of polluters and victims. Rather it will seep through the pores of decision-making institutions and the political consciousness of humanity by stealth. It will do this, when, and if it has the tide of the times behind it. (Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999, p. 33) 50 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION by shifting the onus of proof to those who propose change (O'Riordan, 1995; O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998; Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999). We would treat new substances as guilty until proven innocent (Jackson, 1996). We would abandon the idea that we can understand our planet and so should always try to go for the limit, for the maximum sustainable yield (Cayley, 1990; Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999). We would embrace a measure of ignorance and humility (Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999). We would recognize that there are unintended consequences of almost everything we do and we wi l l work to limit those (Cayley, 1990). W e would have a greater concern for our actions' impact on future generations (Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999; Harvey, 2000). We would use our intuitive knowledge and keep notes o f what works and what doesn't and work with nature instead o f on it (Cayley, 1990). We would step back from the edge of the abyss, realizing that we can't see it clearly for the fog of uncertainty. Governance We would live in decentralized communities, united in free confederations or networks for coordination purposes (Schumacher, 1973; Bookchin, 1989). Municipalities would strive toward local and regional self-sufficiency and would take full advantage o f and nurture local/regional food production, economy, and power production (Beatley, 2000). However, these communities would be aware of both their connections with and their impacts on other cities and communities and on the larger planet (Schumacher, 1973; Beatley, 2000). Small-scale municipalities would foster communal intimacy and would be participatory democracies where self-restraint, dignity, The religion of economics promotes an idolatry of rapid change, unaffected by the elementary truism that a change which is not an unquestionable improvement is a doubtful blessing. The burden ofproof is placed on those who take the "ecological viewpoint": unless they can produce evidence of marked injuiy to man, the change will proceed. Common sense, on the contrary, would suggest that the burden ofproof should lie on the man who wants to introduce a change; he has to demonstrate that there cannot be any damaging consequences. But this would take too much time, and would therefore be uneconomic. Ecology, indeed, ought to be a compulsoiy subject for all economists, whether professionals or laymen, as this might sei~ve to restore at least a modicum of balance. For ecology holds "that an environmental setting developed over millions of years must be considered to have some merit. Anything so complicated as a planet, inhabited by more than a million and a half species of plants and animals, all of them living together in a more or less balanced equilibrium in which they continuously use and re-use the same molecules of the soil and air, cannot be improved by aimless and uninformed tinkering. All changes in a complex mechanism involve some risk and should be undertaken only after careful study of all the facts available. Changes should be made on a small scale first so as to provide a test before they are widely applied. When information is incomplete, changes should slay close to the natural processes which have in their favour the indisputable evidence of having supported life for a very long time. " (Schumacher, 1973, p. 134 (quote in quote from Ralph and Mildred Buschsbaum's 1957 book, Basic Ecology)) 51 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION courtesy and a strong commitment to civic decorum would be the norm (Bookchin, 1989; Reser, 1995). Decision making would be based on deliberation and coordination rather than the "unguided aggregation of uncoordinated individual decisions or actions" (Dobell, 2001, p. 352). A l l citizens would be involved (Blowers, 1992; Corson, 1994; Oskamp, 1995). Within those limits, individuals would be free to work for change in the society because it would be recognized that there would be constant need for adjustment and change (Konvitz, 1996; Harvey, 2000; Register, 2001). Common property would be held by the collective, but individuals could own things (Harvey, 2000). Individual household makeup would be left to the individual, but all forms would be welcomed (Bookchin, 1989). Similarly, communities would be under no pressure to be the same but people would be free to move within communities anywhere in the world (Harvey, 2000). Economics and W o r k The Welfare State of tomorrow would then realize a type of society which in many fundamentals would have deeply satisfied John Stuart Mill and all the earlier liberal philosophers more than a hundred years ago, if they had had the power of imagination to envisage the final implications of a development they barely saw the beginnings of. Even that angry old philosopher-historian, Karl Marx, who gave such an uncompromising expression of the old liberal vision, held since John Locke, of a society freed from class monopolies, and who enjoyed such a sadistic dream about the painful way it was determined to be reached by natural development, would find much of his "realm of liberty. " And Thomas Jefferson would most definitely see in the accomplished Welfare State a realization of "grass-roots democracy," though in a very different, much more complication, world than was within his vision. We would finally be reaching a state worthy of consensus sapientium. (Myrdal, 1960, p. 95-6) We would base our economic system on the idea that we are part o f nature and that economic activity takes place in the environment or biosphere, which provides our resource base, waste sink, amenity base and life support system (Common, 1995). Cities would strive to live within their ecological limits and fundamentally reduce their ecological footprints (Beatley, 2000). We would recognize the difference between growth and development (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Our economics would be close to what is now known as Buddhist economics, where the function of work is threefold: to allow people to util ize and develop their facilities, to overcome ego-centredness by joining other people in common tasks and to produce goods and services needed (Schumacher, 1973). In this Everybody would be admitted to what is now the rarest privilege, the opportunity of working usefully, creatively, with his own hands and brains, in his own time, at his own pace - and with excellent tools. Would this mean an enormous extension of working hours? No, people who work in this way do not know the difference between work and leisure. Unless they sleep or eat or occasionally choose to do nothing at all, they are always agreeably, productively engaged. (Schumacher, 1973, p. 152) 52 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION view work and leisure are complementary and work forms our characters; "work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products" (Schumacher, 1973, p. 55). Employment would be seen as more important than production, and everyone would have a job (Schumacher, 1973). We would not be opposed to wealth or pleasure, just to being attached to and craving them. Our employment would not depend on increasing consumption, using resource or energy-intensive industry, or on decreasing the productivity of the eco-system (Common, 1995). We would implement ful l cost accounting (Moncrief, 1974; Corson, 1994; Jordan and O'Riordan, 1999). We would use renewable resources, renewable low-polluting energy sources and efficient, environmentally benign, sustainable methods of production (Corson, 1994). We would recognize the need for "cleverer technologies and humbler aspirations" (McKibben, in Beatley, 2000, p. 4). Our 'technometabolism' would "be of a kind and intensity that can be indefinitely tolerated by the biosphere without interfering with its capacity to support humanity" (Common, 1995, p. 111). We would use local production for local needs (Schumacher, 1973). Work would be varied and less intense than it is now, with workers owning the process and product of production (Bookchin, 1989; Harvey, 2000). Only small-scale enterprises would be privately owned - anything larger would be owned by the workers (Schumacher, 1973). People would have much unstructured leisure time and would be encouraged to take up crafts and pursue their strengths, and athleticism would be encouraged (Bookchin, 1989). The form of the city would facilitate and encourage more healthful lifestyles (Beatley, 2000). Each individual would have equal life chances (Harvey, 2000). Production would strive for quality over quantity and homes, furnishings, utensils and clothing would be made to last (Bookchin, 1989). Industrial installations would be small, based on multi-purpose machines and human scaled technologies, using minimal energy and labour saving devices to free workers from needless toil (Bookchin, 1989). They would be placed within regions to serve as many as possible without duplication (Bookchin, 1989). Equ i ty and Social Capital We would become aware of our strong disposition for interdependence among members of a group. We would realize that "The overwhelming mass of anthropological evidence suggests that participation, mutual aid, solidarity, and empathy were social virtues early human groups 53 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION emphasized within their communities" (Bookchin, 1989, p. 28). We would realize that our general human interest "cuts across the particularistic interests o f class, nationality, ethnicity and gender" (Bookchin, 1989, p. 169). Citizens in rich countries would recognize that everyone could not possibly l ive l ike them and that ignoring this problem would lead to eco-catastrophe and geopolitical chaos. They would realize that equity was in their own best interests and choose to do the right thing, which would be to reduce our footprint to the point at which it becomes sustainable (Barkham, 1995). At the same time, they would work with poorer countries so citizens in those countries can gradually raise their standard of l iving to the same level as theirs (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Our overall industrial throughput would decrease, but the poor would consume more (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). We would recognize that having greater equality among all citizens would remove many sources o f conflict (Blowers, 1992). Each person would have a decent and healthy l iving environment (Harvey, 2000). Population growth would come under control as the relative standard of l ife equalizes around the globe (Common, 1995). We would achieve low birth and death rates and stable populations (Corson, 1994). Women would aim to have children later in life, realizing that doing so wi l l contribute less to population growth because of the increased time between generations (Howard, 1997). Women would have full access and participation in all spheres (Corson, 1994) We would strive to create social capital, which "refers to connections among individuals - social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them" (Putnam, 2000, p. 19). We would recognize that a "society characterized by generalized reciprocity is more efficient than a distrustful society" (Putnam, 2000, p. 21). We would build the dense networks that facilitate reputation-building, which contributes to trustworthiness, and economic efficiency through reduced transaction costs (Putnam, 2000; Dobel l , 2001). We would create both bridging social capital (among groups) and bonding social capital (within groups). We would recognize that social capital has many benefits: it allows easier resolution o f collective problems, it greases Sustainability requires that the human enterprise remain within global carrying capacity. If global carrying capacity is already overshot, and advanced countries have taken more than their fair share of the Earth's bounty, then these countries must find ways to reduce material consumption while maintaining their livability. Of course, even within rich countries, consumption is inequitably distributed so that even as we strive to reduce aggregate resource use, consideration must be given to improving the lot of those whose basic requirements are not met. (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, p. 152-3) 54 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION the wheels of community advancement, it widens our awareness of our links with others, it facilitates the flow of information, and it helps make us feel better both physically and mentally (Putnam, 2000). We would realize that "it is the formation of human capacity and cultural understanding, on the one hand, and social capacity to facilitate constructive interactions among individuals and to support continuing deliberation in a democratic and inclusive manner, on the other, that w i l l prove essential to both continuing economic growth and ecological sustainability" (Dobell, 2001, p. 357). Settlements We would live in harmony with nature, using land ecologically and integrating the natural with the urban (Bookchin, 1989). We would live in cities that are green and function in ways analogous to nature (Beatley, 2000). Our cities would "strive to achieve a circular rather than a linear metabolism, which nurtures and develops positive symbiotic relationships with and between its hinterland (whether that be regional, national, or international)" (Beatley, 2000, p. 7). In our cities we would have organic gardening, renewable energy, livestock, composting and mixed farming and "indeed, an entire ecological ensemble or pattern in which one component is used to interact with others to produce a humanly modified ecosystem that meets human needs while enriching the natural ecosystem as a whole" (Bookchin, 1989, p. 193). There would be four kinds of land use. There would be cities, towns and villages where most people would live. There would be land that was primarily for human use, like mining, forestry, agriculture and fishing. There would be land that was almost natural but was inhabited by people who knew it intimately, like the Lapps or the Inuit. And there would be land that was nature's alone. The last two types of land would make up 75% of the world's surface and productive land would be most of the rest. Our settlements would be small and active (Register, 2001). Municipalities would be within walking distance of each other 'Natural man ' has never abandoned the heritage of a distinctive humanity, or been loath to place his vital interests ahead of those other species. Nor need we, but because of our disproportionate power, we are victims of a false dichotomy between the welfare of humanity and that of other species. Pre-industrial society was not able to make this mistake. Without the illusion of omnipotence, the interdependence of species was so obvious as to be enshrined in many forms of religious belief. (Young, 1990, p. 27) When the traditional agriculture relied exclusively on sun power, the agricultural/cultural activity around and below could best be characterized as a form of intimacy. This activity was at once artistic and cultural. The body and the mind with the eye worked as one. There was no separation. (Jackson, 1996, p. 102) 55 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION and transport would be arranged around the collective use of vehicles (Bookchin, 1989). Only small meandering country roads would go between settlements - people would travel long distance by rail or air (Register, 2001). Communities would "emphasize a high quality o f life and the creation of highly livable neighborhoods and communities" (Beatley, 2000, p. 8). These communities would be places where people o f all ages and income levels could live together in affordable, attractive houses, townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings (Roseland, 1992; Register, 2001). It would be a place where shopping and services would be mixed in with housing, perhaps with a central commercial core (Roseland, 1992; Register, 2001). Buildings would be tall and green and creative and there would be water everywhere (Register, 2001). It would be recognized that older areas often have more assets for good growth - such as reasonable density, proximity to shopping, good transport and mixed land use patterns - and these areas would be reclaimed and redeveloped (Konvitz, 1996). Depending on the locale, outer areas would be turned back into farmland or natural areas. Cities would be ful l o f pedestrian amenities and anything you needed for daily life would be within walking or biking range. There would be frequent and convenient transit that would take you to other parts of the city for work or play, but you wouldn't have to go far for work. There would be community gathering places o f many different kinds - parks, recreation centres, cafes and pubs. Community members would be involved with each other and with the political process, helping to make decisions that affected their lives. In and around the city there would be small farms using low-input, regenerative transitions using organic fertilizers and integrated pest management (Corson, 1994). They would be growing produce for local consumption. People would work to restore the natural environment. Everyone would try to recycle, use innovative and appropriate technology and try to conserve resources through the avoidance of excessive consumption (Roseland, 1992; Register, 2001). Care would also be made to create public spaces that catered for a wide ranging and integrated human activities (Gehl, 1998). These would be places where all kinds of people could be, and would have many places both to sit and to play (Oldenburg, 1989). Every neighbourhood would Even small increases in density can greatly reduce a household's ecological footprint. To achieve these higher densities, it will be necessary to make the associated lifestyle desirable, especially for those households that have choice over dwelling type and location. In this light, it is important to distinguish perceived densities from actual densities. Good design, public open space, and creative landscaping can reduce perceived density. (LyleA. Walker and William E. Rees, in Roseland, 1997, p. 110). 56 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION have 'third places' which could host "the regular, voluntary, informal and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work" (Oldenburg, 1989 p. 16). It would be recognized that these third places get people in the habit of association, provide controlled fun, are levellers, are accessible and accommodating and allow for the making of friends (Gehl, 1998). They are places that build social capital and create the bond that keep society together (Gehl, 1998). Destination: Utopia Like many Utopian visions, this one now seems like an impossible dream. But it 's not. We could definitely achieve this paradise before 2050 i f the richest 20% of us curtail our consumption by about 10% a year and allow the other 80% o f the world to gradually increase their consumption, keeping in mind our sustainable destination. B y doing this we could eventually balance the biocapacity of the planet and our human need for the best quality of life (Wackernagel, 2000). This vision of sustainability is definitely Utopian, but it is also achievable, i f we start to change our behaviour now. When I wrote this, I wasn't much older than you are now and I was facing a future far more uncertain than the one you now face. This vision that I wrote about was but one possible future, and in my mind the others looked dreadfully bleak. I knew that change was needed and I hoped that by sharing my vision with others I could encourage them to work for change as well . M y reason for sharing it with you was more complex. B y doing so I hoped to show you two things: one, that seeing a vision of the future and working towards it can work, and two, that you not having one's plans realized exactly can be better than i f they do. I've certainly seen that, as in my mind this future has turned out even better than the one I had planned. Next week I'll share with you some of the actions and policies that helped us reach this future, as well as the reasons for choosing those strategies. Good night. The sustainability transition, therefore, is the process of coming to terms with sustainability in all its deeply rich ecological, social, ethical and economic dimensions. The transition is as much about new ways of knowing, of being differently human in a threatened but cooperating world, as it about management and innovation of procedures and products. As a species, we have barely began to imagine how to think sustainability, though we suspect much of this will have to do with the adjuncts of justice and democracy. These include loving and caring, listening and sharing, revealing and rewarding, and fully sensing the history and future of the creative evolution that is life on Earth. The transition is, above all, a participatory and spiritual process of welcoming the purpose of human and personal existence on this planet. (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998, p. 3) 57 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Figure 9: Dominant Social Paradigm vs. Alternate Environmental Paradigm (Taylor, 1992, p. 32) Dominant Social Paradigm Material (economic growth) Natural environment valued as resource Domination over nature Market forces Risk and reward Differentials Individual self-help Centralized Large-scale Associational Ordered Ample Reserves Nature hostile/neutral Environment controllable Confidence in science and technology Rationality of means Separation of fact/value Alternative Environmental Paradigm Core Values Non-material (self-actualization) Natural environment intrinsically valued Harmony with nature Economy Public interest Safety Incomes related to need/egalitarian Collective/social provision Society Decentralized Small-scale Communal Flexible Nature Earth's resources limited Nature benign Nature delicately balanced Knowledge Limits to science Rationality o f ends Integration of fact/value, thought/feeling 58 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 1.4 T R E A T M E N T ( L E C T U R E G I V E N O N F R I D A Y , A P R I L 22,2050, E A R T H D A Y ) Over the past three weeks, Ms. Folz has taken us on a fascinating journey through history and through competing paradigms and the societies they engendered. One thing that is stunningly clear from her descriptions of the actual then and her predicted now is the wide gap between them, a gap that would appear inconceivably difficult to bridge. Yet it was bridged. Tonight Ms. Folz will give us her first-person account of the planning, construction and use of that bridge. She looks at how she came to undertake the work for which she is known, how planning as a profession was able to effect change, and some of the difficulties she and her fellows faced as they worked to bring about that change. So, how did we get from scientific materialism to what we have today? Indulge me as I take you through my personal journey, a journey that w i l l hopefully shed some light on that very question. B y doing this I in no way mean to imply that I was single-handedly responsible for the changes which have taken place in our society - rather, it serves as an example of the personal and professional journeys that many of us undertook. I hope that by sharing my microscopic story with you I can shed some light on the macroscopic changes that were taking place. First, I'll take you back all the way to the late 1980s and early 1990s when I was an undergraduate. Back then I had no patience for environmentalists. I really didn't see what the fuss was about - why bother caring about the environment when there were so many people in dire straights? It seemed very spoiled to me. I wanted to help people, not hug trees. I was not alone in these beliefs. Though environmentalism had first gained power in the late 1960s, by the oh-so-consumerist 1980s it had faded to a fringe concern. And the issues that environmentalists were concerned about seemed like fringe issues. While I was growing up, the only types of concerns that gained publicity were campaigns to save a certain species or piece of land. Though the environmental philosophers and environmentalists had written about the deep roots of the problem, the general public remained unaware that more was at stake than the saving the whales or the Clayquot valley. A few years after I graduated a confluence of events helped me to change my views. In the summer of 1994 my first husband and I planted trees in areas which had been shorn by lumber companies and I realized that we were not recreating magical forests but planting monoculture crops of trees in straight rows, 'forests' that would be treated like a commercial garden. In the 59 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION evenings in our tent, I read a book that he had been assigned for a class. It was written by Anita Gordon and David Suzuki and was called It's a Matter of Survival (1990). The book detailed the symptoms of the environmental crisis that we were facing and then took on some of the prevailing myths o f the time, myths such as those I detailed two weeks ago. Though I'd grown up in a household where the dominant myths were often questioned, this was the first time that I'd seen the connection between our myths and the environmental problems which were becoming increasingly evident. I started to think that maybe the environmentalists were on to something, though I was not yet ready to commit. Later that year we used the money we earned planting trees to travel for four months in Central America, which was then very poor and 'underdeveloped.' It was my first real taste of the difference between what we had in North America and the conditions o f the rest of the world. And although I didn't think that it was right or just that people should be without basic services, it seemed to my young eyes that the inhabitants of these countries were in fact happier than we were up in Canada or the U S . Seeing that people could be happy with so little really brought home to me the unnecessity of so much that we in North America took for granted. This last was hammered home to me on the flight home. On the plane there was a mail-order catalogue designed for the executive traveller. The product that caught my attention was a hot dog toaster - with separate slots for the buns and the dogs. This hot dog toaster helped me to realize both how consumerist our society really was and how far our consumerism had descended into the realm of the ridiculous. After that hot dog toaster epiphany I decided that I wanted to work to help the environment. I started to research what organizations I could work for. I quickly found that the majority of the organization: that existed in B C in the mid-1990s were Pop-Up Hot Dog Cooker. Operating much like a pop-up toaster, this unique kitchen appliance lets you easily prepare two hot dogs (complete with heated buns) in minutes. To use, simply drop two hot dogs in the center basket, and the buns in the two warming chambers on either side. Its 660-watt electronic heating coil has time settings so that you can heat the wieners and both buns to your taste preference. Crumb basket removes for cleaning. Plugs into household outlet. SV" H x 10/" W x S'A" D. (6 lbs.) 50929D $49.95 Figure 10: The Fateful Hot Dog Toaster 60 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION single-issue - that is, they were working either to save a particular valley or river or for or against specific target like recycling or the use of dairy products. To me these seemed worthy, but not for me. I wanted a larger organization with larger goals. There were only a few of these then, and most had very few paid staff members, and at the time I didn't really have any special skills or relevant experience. I also didn't have a really clear idea of how exactly the environment could best be helped. So, instead of working for an environmental organization I ended up teaching English in Korea. During my time in Korea I realized that change would have to happen in North America for it to have any meaning for the rest of the world. I could see that the Koreans were looking to us to gauge what level of consumption was appropriate as they increased their standard of l iving. This wasn't surprising since the North American way of life must have seemed like heaven to a country which had so recently been abjectly poor. However, the resources simply did not exist for all the nations in the world to mimic us, and the poor deservedly rejected the idea that they should consume less that we might continue to consume the l ion's share of resources. A t the same time, we could not go into other 'undeveloped' countries and ask them to develop in sustainable ways when we could not, though that didn't stop some development agencies and organizations from trying. Those in 'developing countries' were justified in replying " i f these things are so great, why aren't you using them?" It became clear to me that we in North America had to clean our own house first before handing the brooms to others. While I was in Korea I also read more about environmentalism and sustainability and determined that I needed to go back to school and get a further degree in order to achieve anything in the field. But what to go into? After a search of the internet (such as it was back then), I stumbled across the planning program here at U B C . It seemed perfect to me - here was a program that could enable me to actually D O something about bringing about change. A way must be found to permit these people access to more of the fruits of industrial societies without attempting to industrialize the entire world. At the moment the trinkets of industrial civilization have the strongest appeal to the naive, both within and outside of industrial society. If we continue to train our own people to think of the automobile and color TV as the finest achievements of mankind, it seems unlikely that the "rising expectations" of the UDCs will rise above them either. But if we can learn to recognize and attempt to correct our own gruesome errors, than perhaps the UDCs will see their way clear to establishing new goals: development within resource limitations and with careful attention to the quality of life. (Erlich and Erlich, 1970, p. 303) 61 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION On my planning school application I wrote that I wanted to "further sustainable l iv ing." Over the years I was in school that goal did not change - in fact it's remained my fundamental goal throughout my life. However, my idea of how to do it went through a large shift. When I entered the program in 1999,1 had the "bui ld it and they wi l l come" mentality; I thought that the problem was that we lacked the technology to live sustainably. At that point, I was a 'techno-optimist' since I thought that technology would be our saviour, one that would save us in spite of ourselves (Moncrief, 1974). I was partly right, since new technology was needed, but this techno-optimism ignored several problems inherent to technology. New technology often had unforeseen and unintended negative consequences, and new problems often arose from our successes, not our failures, as technology knew no limits to its growth (Schumacher, 1973). For example, more efficient cars and cheaper fuel had the potential to lead to greater sprawl because people could afford to drive further (Register, 2001). Improved technology without any societal changes also led to increased consumption as technological improvements reduced the amount o f labour needed while increasing the need for capital and energy (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Improved efficiency in one area also ignored limits in other areas (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). But the biggest problem with techno-optimism was that no new technology, no matter how "green" could save us " in spite of ourselves" - even at that time there were many technologies available which could have greatly reduced our consumption of energy and/or resources, but they weren't widely known or used (Naess, 1997). Therefore, without behaviour change, we would merely be extending catastrophe's due date, not forestalling it. It is always easier to think of a better way to produce food or a consumer item than to think how to avoid using that food or that gadget wastefully. We waste, I believe, largely because of our fallen condition. We employ human cleverness to make the earth yield an unbounded technological array, which in turn produces countless more technologies, more things. In agriculture, we hot-wire the landscape, bypassing nature's control devices. We do this in the face of abundant evidence that we are destroying our habitat. (Jackson, 1996, p. 89) Our viability as a species depends upon our future relationship with the natural world. This problem cannot be settled by the invention of new technologies that will supplant natural processes without making society more technocratic, more centralized, and ultimately completely totalitarian. (Bookchin, 1989, p. 171) The impact of physical technology on environmental problems always depends on whether and how it is used. Put another way, environmental impact usually depends most directly upon people's behavior and only indirectly on physical technology. (Cone and Hayes, 1980, p. 5) Transforming society to a sustainable state ... is not only, not-even mainly, a technological matter. It will require wide and deep social relearning of thinking, value structures, behavior patterns, and institutional arrangements. (Milbrath, 1995, p. 115) 62 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION / concluded that [Environmental Education] cannot adequately be implemented until the public, especially parents, demand that it be given priority. In the meantime, we will encounter frequent pious admonitions to implement EE and little will happen. (Milbrath, 1995, p. 105) So, simply improving technology wasn't the answer. The next idea I had was concentrating on education. Perhaps by educating youth in the formal education system we could build a better tomorrow. However, when I asked teachers how the education system worked I found that the education a child received was more dependent on the outlook of his or her classroom teachers than the goals of school boards or curriculum writers, and since teachers were understandably reluctant to change anything too much without backing from parents, education could not effect societal change alone. So, while holistic changes to the education system were certainly needed, they would not happen without buy-in from both teachers and parents (Milbrath, 1995). I then considered educating adults. There were many groups trying to do this already. They most often provided people with information about our rising environmental il ls in the form of pamphlets, books, broadcasts and advertising. The idea underlying these media efforts was usually that i f people only knew what they were doing and had a new way to behave, they would be so horrified that they would change immediately. But I looked at a lot of research that said that all these information campaigns generally achieved was to change attitudes and strengthen attitudes, beliefs and values; they usually did nothing to change behaviour except to add guilt to our pleasures (Hungerford and Volk , 1990; Newhouse, 1990; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Corson, 1995; Tli0gersen, 1999). I then considered structural change, that is, change to our political and economic system. I found that while structural changes were certainly necessary and could have strong influences on behaviour (Olander and Thogersen, 1995; Howard, 2000; Oskamp, 2000b), they were unlikely to come about on their own. Structural elements were very resistant to change. If [conservation education] is to become a significant force for a sustainable and humane world, it must be woven throughout the entire curriculum and through all the operations of the institution, and not confined to a few scattered courses. This will require a serious effort to rethink the substance and process of education, the purposes and use of research, the definition of knowledge and the relationship of institutions of higher education to human survival. All of which will require courageous and visionary leadership. (Orr, 1992 p. 152) Environmental policy and environmental education must be seen as mutually dependent and supportive. Hence an environmental policy will not work without an informed population, while environmental education will not be effective if it is contradicted in wider society through environmental policy being weak or absent. (UK Council on Environmental Education, in Roseland, 1992) 63 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Since governments tended to institutionalize the dominant values of the society (Moore, 1994), the values of neoliberal economics and scientific materialism that I outlined two weeks ago were thus fundamental parts of the structure. Politicians who reached the pinnacle of the structure were also unlikely to want to change the machinery that brought them power and prestige. Politicians were also deeply indebted for their positions to their donors, many of whom happened to be large corporations who also benefitted from the status quo (Oskamp, 2000b). Therefore, the politicians didn't want to alienate the corporations by instituting changes in taxation and subsidy system on which their profits depended. Mov ing to full cost accounting for taxation and eliminating subsidies to consumptive industries would have been very effective at bringing about societal change (Corson, 1995; Howard, 2000) but politicians at the time were unlikely to suggest these measures since the corporations were their means of staying in power. Since politicians were highly motivated to stay in power, they were also unlikely to do anything that would go against the views they believed their constituents held. Opinion polls, which measured the attitudes of their constituents, provided justification for many of the actions or inactions (Olander and Thogersen, 1995). At the turn of the century much of the general population was sympathetic to the general idea of sustainability but few people understood the full implications of making the shift to that state or what the shift would entail for them (Milbrath, 1995; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). This meant that the public opinion polls so valued by politicians reflected the public's flawed understandings rather than its general values There is clearly no shortage of strategies to increase densities and otherwise reduce our urban ecological footprints. However, sustainability requires more than technical means and political good intentions. Taking sustainability seriously forces a re-examination of deep social values, popular beliefs, and personal behaviours. Thus, if ordinary citizens are to "buy in " to sustainability, they • must be convinced they have more to gain than to lose by doing so. Success will undoubtedly require strong leadership and integrated strategies and plans for future development. Most important, however, will be an informed public supportive of strong polices for change, many of which seem to fly in the face ofpopular perceptions today. (Walker and Rees, in Roseland, 1997, pp. Ill-2f The search for efficient implementation structures tending towards a sustainable society is connected to the relationship between values and structures. Do we have to restructure society according to the ideas put forth by radical environmentalists to foster new ecocentric values, or does the causal relation work the other way, making it more appropriate to start by changing values? If we have to start with structures, could this restructuring really be achieved without a considerable measure of central (even supra-national) control and steering? On the other hand, if a change in values is primary, how could we proceed to change perceptions of our relationship to nature? To what extent would such a change in perception of man's human-ecological situation entail a change in behaviour? In other words, could what is perceived also be achieved or attained? (Blander etal, 1995, p. 10_Tf 64 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996). Sam Bernstein, a San Francisco dealer of Asian art, said he had never driven an SUV before he fell for the Hummer. He drives the Hummer to work and uses it to transport art and sculpture. On the weekends, he and his wife like to go off-road to look at birds. "I'm a Sierra Club member,"said Bernstein, who noted that he avoids such disposables as paper cups. "You can be environmentally correct and drive a Hummer." (Guthrie, 2002, p. A23) However, even i f politicians had been wi l l ing to pass laws without visible public buy-in, those laws wouldn't have been very effective. Most people, now as then, tend to react badly to being made to do something, and to dig in their heels against it, even though they may have been wil l ing before the action was mandated. This results from a psychological process called reactance (Cialdini, 1985; Wiener and Doescher, 1991). Reactance is the reaction we have whenever our free choice is limited or threatened: we perversely come to desire whatever is being taken away significantly more than we did previously (Brehm and Brehm, 1981; Cialdini , 1985). For example, in Florida in the 1970s, Dade County (Miami) outlawed the possession and use of phosphate detergents. But because the public was not behind the change in laws, they came to believe that phosphate cleaners were better in all ways than non-phosphate cleaners. They turned to smuggling, organizing van caravans to stock up on phosphate detergents in other counties, laying in as much as a 20 year supply (Cialdini, 1985, p. 209). Enforcement in cases like this is very expensive and difficult. Public buy-in for new laws and regulations is therefore necessary. And providing tangible reinforcement (incentives and disincentives) for sustainable actions taken by citizens would have resulted in change, but only for as long as it was in effect because change based solely tangible reinforcement generally only lasts as long as the reinforcement does. It can be extended with intermittent reinforcement, but it does eventually die of f (Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; De Young, 1993; Dwyer et al., 1993). Further, using tangible incentives can actually lead to reduced natural interest; for example, i f a person is composting and then gets offered money to do it, he or she w i l l come to associate composting with being paid. If funding is then cut, the Citizens looking to create solutions that support sustainability often find their efforts thwarted by permit restrictions and regulations which force compliance to the status quo - unsustainable building and land use patterns. Examples include low density zoning bylaws which regulate number of units per lot or acre, instead of the amount of square footage of the built area; minimum parking space requirements which often exceed the needs or wants of residents; and mandatory connections to water and sewer which precludes the introduction of alternative technologies such as composting toilets or solar aquatic sewage treatment systems which treat wastes on site. In theory, alternative technologies are permitted if a fail-safe, backup system is in place, e.g. sewer. However, the cost of providing both in the same project is prohibitive. Therefore, despite the availability of alternative technologies, their introduction into mainstream use continues to be impeded. (Moore, in Roseland, 1997, pp. 170-1). 65 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION person wi l l most l ikely stop composting, even though they had done it before they got paid (Werner, 1999). What did that leave? On reflection, the strategies I had considered, technology change, education and structural change, all came down to the choices and behaviours of individuals. I realized that "the health of our planet is inextricably dependent upon human behaviour" (Geller, 1995b, p. 179). Our destructive consumption was clearly a behaviour and clearly needed to be changed (Weyant, 1986; Newhouse, 1990; McKenz ie-Mohr et al., 1995; Olander and Thogersen, 1995; Oskamp, 1995; Dwivedi , 1996; Thogersen, 1999; Howard, 2000; Oskamp, 2000a, b; Winter, 2000). [The large system-wide problems that we are facing are] strikingly closely linked to value-systems anchored in people's eveiyday lives (consumption, transportation, etc.) that are thus becoming a main arena for environmental issues. Therefore, with regard to many of tomorrow's environmental questions, both their causes and remedies are deeply rooted in our urban kitchens, refuse rooms and transport systems, for most of us live in towns. (Elander et al, 1995, P- S5) A sustainable future depends on sustainable changes in human behaviour - ie by persons - and that sustainable behaviour change depends, in turn, on meaning and conviction, as much as it depends on structural changes in society. We argue that behaviour that changes solely in response to incentives or regulation is less likely to be long-lasting than that which is experienced as imperative. Facilitating structures are then needed to support individuals in putting their convictions into practice. (Maiteny, 2000, p. 340) I then thought about the level at which behaviour needed to be changed. There were three possibilities: first, the micro level, or individual behaviour; second, the meso level, or collective or group level behaviour; and third, the macro level, or the behaviour of regions, provinces or countries. It seemed to me that the best approach would be to try to change micro level behaviour, while realizing both that this would have effects on the meso and macro levels and that the meso and macro level context would also have strong effects on micro level behaviour. It also seemed worthwhile to explore changes at the meso level where these could be effected. But micro level behaviours seemed to be the building blocks for other levels of behaviour in that it is possible to have micro level change without significant changes to the meso and macro levels, but it is impossible to have meso or macro level change without changes to the micro level. Even when meso or macro level change is mandated it is ultimately a choice whether to follow the mandate or not. Further, given that micro level change is in the realm of the individual, it is much more possible to achieve than changes that rely on others. Human activities exert pressures on the environment, and change its state in terms of its quality and its stocks of natural resources. Society responds to these changes through changes in behaviour, thus affecting the pressures caused by human activities. (Department of the Environment, 1996, in Huby, 1998, p.J) 66 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Changes in behaviour are more resilient when founded on conviction and meaningful experience than when they are in reaction to incentives or regulation from outside. Real change occurs when a person's 'heart' is in what they are doing. Without this, old habits and aspirations are suppressed and can reemerge later - with all the ecological and social knock-on effects this can entail. (Maiteny, 2000, p. 340) As for the macro level, wel l , although technological, structural and educational changes were necessary, none of them would be possible without also changing individual behaviour (Cone and Hayes, 1980). Consider technology. In order for a new technology to be used, someone must make a choice to use it; that is, they must change their behaviour. But unless the user is aware that there is a choice and perceives there to be a social, practical and/or economic advantage of some kind to choosing differently, he or she is unlikely to do so. So, the adoption of a new technology depends on a choice, which is in turn based on two perceptions: the perception of having an advantage and the perception of what an advantage is, perceptions that are strongly influenced by one's paradigm. For example, the S U V s that I mentioned three weeks ago were a new technology that was widely adopted by choice. To their devotees, the machines were sexy and worthy of envy. They were also comfortable, sat many people, had cargo space and provided a good view of the road. That these values existed and were positive was taken as a given whereas the myriad problems I detailed before were discounted as unimportant by those who drove them. However, i f these vehicles were made today, nobody would buy them because the problems now seem to greatly outweigh the benefits because we now make choices about which behaviours to pursue based on our values of sustainability. As for structural changes and changes to the education system, the only way I could see to achieve these changes was, again, to effect changes in the behaviour and values of the general public. This would send clear signals to politicians that people were serious about sustainability. Changing citizen behaviour would also have the corollary benefit of affecting what the corporations produced, since these organizations were motivated by the need for profit - and changing what was produced would further enhance the shift to sustainability. It would also result in changes to the education system. Having determined that changing the behaviour o f individuals was the most effective way of 'furthering sustainable l iv ing' I The issue, like all great decisions, is moral. Science and technology are what we can do; morality is what we agree we should or should not do. The ethic from which moral decisions spring is a norm or standard of behavior in support of a value, and value in turn depends on purpose. Purpose, whether personal or global, whether urged by conscience or graven in sacred script, expresses the image we hold of ourselves and our society. A conservation ethic is that which aims to pass on to future generations the best part of the nonhuman world. To know this world is to gain a proprietary attachment to it. To know it well is to love and take responsibility for it. (Wilson, 2002^p. 39) 67 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION had to think about how to do it most effectively. A t the time there were numerous fragmented programs aimed at changing one maladaptive behaviour or another, but this approach seemed time-consuming and Sisyphean. It made me think of a primitive computer game called Missi le Command. In the game, the Earth is under attack from the sky from missiles which, i f not stopped immediately, split infinitely, as shown by the left-hand part of the drawing. Each particular missile needs to be stopped; otherwise it destroys the houses and the defense posts. Figure 11: Go for the Source! I thought of the three houses as social, economic and environmental sustainability. On the left we were using policies aimed at the symptom rather than the source. It seemed certain that eventually we would miss one which would cause irreparable damage to the Earth. However, i f we could stop the laser beam as soon as it appears, as has happened with the right-hand beam, we could stop our maladaptive behaviour at its source. This illustrated to me that although the problem was the behaviour and choices of individuals, the solution would need to have a more general aim. The general aim would have to involve changing our paradigm from the one I outlined last week to a new paradigm that would embrace and encourage true sustainability. A new paradigm would mean wide-reaching change because it would influence many behaviours simultaneously. We would begin to consider the effects our each behaviour on the global Unaware of what we have done or its order of magnitude, we seek to remedy the situation by altering our ways of acting on some minor scale, by recycling, by diminishing our use of energy, by limiting our use of automobiles, by fewer development projects. The difficulty is that we do these things, not primarily to cease our plundering of the Earth in its basic resources, but to make possible continuation of our plundering industrial life patterns by mitigating the consequences. We mistake the order of magnitude of what we are dealing with. Our problems are primarily problems of macrophase biology, the integral functioning of the entire complex of biosystems of the planet. (Berry, in Register, 2001, P- 25) 68 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION ecosystem (comprising both 'natural' and human systems). But how to accomplish a paradigm shift? Paradoxically, the answer seemed to lie in changing as many micro-level behaviours as possible to those which were sustainable. There were several reasons for this. The first was cognitive dissonance, which is what happens when we do things that are incompatible with our beliefs and attitudes. Because we like to be consistent, we usually feel bad when we do this. To minimize this feeling we need to either change the belief/attitude or stop doing the action (Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Eagly, 1992; Monroe, 1993; Winter, 2000). Thus, by encouraging sustainable actions we found that we could slowly shift belief systems. The second reason was the spillover effect, which happens when taking one action leads us to take another, similar action. It was found that "when people start to act in an environmentally friendly way in one area, this behaviour tends to spill over into other areas" (Th0gersen, 1999, p. 72). The third reason was the effect of visible behaviours on encouraging others to behave in the same way through the activation of social norms. Social norms reflect what we think is socially appropriate and lead to behaviours designed to win social approval (Werner and Makela, 1998). They are a strong predictor of behaviour, outweighing personal attitudes, and they also influence responses to opinion polls (Newhouse, 1990). Social norms that lead to behavioural change become internalized as personal norms as the behaviour continues (Olander and Th0gersen, 1995). The fourth reason was a process known as the diffusion of innovation. In this process only a few people usually adopt a new way of doing things at first. They are called innovators and make up only 2.5% of a given population (Rogers, 1983). They are followed in the process by 1W& •50% / / / / f Cumulative / S-shapcd curve / / / / / / / \ Heli-siiapeo \ (ri:^nciicy curve \ S . V L^-t- J_ Figure 12: Diffusion of Innovation Curve 6 9 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION early adopters, who tend to be cosmopolitan opinion leaders, and who make up about 13.5% of the population (Rogers, 1983). As the next group of individuals, the early majority, starts to adopt the innovation, it "takes off," the time period shown by the shaded area on the diagram. This early majority, making up about 34% of the population, tends to be very deliberate and is wi l l ing to follow, but not to lead - their adoption of the innovation signals that it is moving into the mainstream (Rogers, 1983). The next group to adopt is termed the late majority, also about 34% of the population. They are Consumption is a social act as much as it is an economic one. Consumption bestows identity, self-perspective, status and the admiration of peers. For sustainable consumption to gain hold, sustainability as an ideal will have to be universally valued in society, and in the image of social responsibility. Unless and until consuming sustainably achieves the same moral and social status as consuming unsustainably, any government-led policy to achieve sustainable consumption will be hard pressed to achieve significant results. (Jordan and O 'Riordan, 2000, p. 93) more skeptical and cautious and like to be with the majority of their peers (Rogers, 1983). The last 16% to adopt are called laggards - they tend to be the most traditional and isolated of anyone, and suspicious of change (Rogers, 1983). The existence of these four psychological effects meant that policy should be focused on activation and behaviour change, but instead of trying to install a specific and well-defined behaviour - which may produce reactance in some and which others may find is prohibitively inconvenient -the goal should be to produce some relevant behaviour change and to stimulate activity around serious environmental problems in general (Th0gersen, 1999, p. 55). Based on all of this, my goal became to work for a paradigm shift through a cohesive program of behaviour change by individuals. There were two major differences in my mind between the behaviour change approach and technological, educational and structural change approaches. First was the placement of responsibility for change - the other approaches (technology, education and structural change) mostly asked for change in others rather than in the individual. And while it 's certainly easier to think that others should change than to think that oneself should change, it's easier to change oneself than to change others. The second was that in order for any of the other three approaches to be successful, there would need to be What one can hope to achieve -and certainly has to strive for - is the attainment, in [a] broad strata of the population, of an intrinsic motivation, an environmental ethics [sic] or internalised personal norm which carries over . to a wide variety of behaviours and which produces lifelong behaviours that maintain environmental quality. (Olander and Thogersen, 1995, p. 376) The real threats to human development arise not from the diminishing physical resources, perse ... but from the 'inner limits' of human beings, our inability or unwillingness to change ourselves, psychologically, culturally and politically. (Maiteny, 2000, p. 341) 70 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION massive and rapid changes to the system, changes that would seem to rely on a deus ex machina - it was said many times that change was needed, but less often how to achieve this change. The behaviour change approach, on the other hand, recognized that change would have to be incremental and include simultaneous shifts in technology, education and the political-economic structure. Determining this meant that I had my goal and needed to implement it. Lucki ly , I had chosen to work in planning because the city was the cornerstone of our civi l ization (Register, 2001) and changing its form enabled many other changes (Robinson, 2003). The form of the city affected our individual behaviour in so many ways, from transportation to agriculture, from the use of energy for heating to the purchase of household goods. Thus, planning was able to locate uses, structure settlements, design the environment and directly influence which forms of transport were used (Marshall, 2000). Most environmental issues, such as pollution, waste management and natural area access were best dealt with locally (Eckerberg, 1995). Not only were the causes of the problems located in the individual or company, but the effects of changes at a local level were more striking. And since public buy-in and massive behaviour change was essential to any other change, planners could help encourage this at a local level. They could target individual innovators and bring about gradual behaviour change. Planners could also improve the civicness of a community through supporting community organizations and events (Moore, 1994). These civic connections in turn helped the community through improving the safety and cleanliness of urban areas, as wel l as the sense of continuity and responsibility that developed (Putnam, 2000). It was also easier to approach people in groups that they were already in, on their home turf (Jones, 1996). Though cities at the turn of the century were wasteful and polluting, planners recognized that this didn't have to be the case. Cities could use new technology and bring about lifestyle changes; they could be restorative and regenerative (Beatley and Manning, 1997; Beatley, 2000; Register, 2001). And besides their influence on urban form, planners were increasingly taking responsibility for encouraging other sustainable behaviours. Planning was coming to include energy and procurement policies, pricing of resources and services, economic development strategies, housing programs and community institutions (Beatley and Manning, 1997). However, just as local and regional actions were interconnected with outcomes and conditions at 71 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION a number of geographical levels, so planners increasingly recognized that actions needed to happen at many levels and in many spheres (Beatley and Manning, 1997). They couldn't do it alone, but they were in a great place to start. They were able to efficiently coordinate between and among private developers and other levels of government (Scheele, 1995). The turn of the century was also an excellent time for planners to work for change. Between then and now the population of the planet went from six bi l l ion to nine bi l l ion, and all of that growth went into cities, whose populations doubled (Robinson, 2003). Even though it was difficult to deal with this growth, it was a time of great opportunity. Because of the growth, local governments were able to gradually change the infrastructure and form of the city to reflect the emerging sustainability ethic (Robinson, 2003). Local governments had a key role in bringing about sustainability (Konvitz, 1996; Beatley, 2000; Robinson, 2003). In many respects, the agenda of sustainable places is the next natural progression in the evolution of planning history. In the last several decades the planning field has seen a gradual expansion of the notion of planning, from more narrow considerations of land use and zoning to the broader set of concerns addressed in the emphasis on "growth management" that blossomed in the 1970s. ... The agenda of sustainable places is, necessarily, more ambitious. It represents both an evolution in the spirit of growth management and an expansion of the subjects of concern. It is a change in spirit in the sense that its objectives, while not antidevelopment, question the accommodation of traditional patterns of development and growth. It is an expanded agenda in the sense that it takes a more holistic and comprehensive view of planning and of communities; it is not simply concerned with the way a parcel of land is used, or whether certain infrastructure exists to accommodate growth. (Beatley and Manning, 1997, p. 18-9) Planners were certainly not the only ones who could have taken action, but they were the ones who did. This was in part because planners were self-selected forward thinkers who tended to be generalists rather than specialists. This gave them a unique perspective on the problems of our unsustainability and fostered within them the desire to effect change. They were also often able to see both the bigger picture of what was wrong with our cities and actions which could be taken. And because they did not benefit particularly from the status quo they were more likely to embrace change than politicians and business leaders, who certainly did benefit from keeping things on the same path. Planners were able to work with local policy makers to forge policies to encourage sustainable development. Sustainability thus entered municipal planning and policy little by little and snowballed to critical mass (Elander et al., 1995). 72 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION So, that was what I did. I became a sustainability planner. I worked on ways to change both the urban form and to encourage the formation of a new sustainability paradigm through effecting behaviour change. Throughout my career, I worked at several different levels of government, influencing and ultimately writing policy. It was rewarding work and I was able to actually help people while we all adjusted to a new way of l iving. However, it was also often frustrating, especially in the beginning, when it seemed like change would never come. There were so many barriers that we had to overcome as we proceeded along the path to sustainability. There were barriers resident in ourselves, barriers in our institutions and in our political economic system (Moore, 1994). As individuals we were faced with amazingly complex problems that were connected in ways that we were only beginning to see (Moore, 1994). Many of us either did not perceive there to be a problem, or were unsure about what to do with it (Corson, 1994; Moore, 1994; Corson, 1995). Others were in denial, protecting ourselves against the thought of the threat of destruction, by denying that it could exist (Howard, 1997). For some of us the idea of sustainability conflicted so strongly with our world view that we cannot even start to think about it (Corson, 1994, 1995). Many of us denied our personal responsibility for the problems we did see (Corson, 1995). We remained convinced that new technologies would enable us to adapt without fundamental change, which we thought would be too difficult and costly (Schumacher, 1973; Corson, 1994, 1995). At the same time we were reluctant to adopt new technologies because we thought they we would cost more and cost jobs (Howard, 1997). We tended to pay more attention to what was 'here and now' than what the future held (Moore, 1994). Those of us who saw the need for change were not united in our conception of what change was needed (Moore, 1994). We got our information Between a 'here' that is totally irrational, wasteful, based on giant industrial and urban belts, a highly chemical agribusiness, centralized and bureaucratic power, a staggering armaments economy, massive pollution, and mindless labour on the one hand, and the ecological society I have tried to describe on the other, lies an indefinable zone of highly complex transitions, one that involves the development of a new sensibility as well as new politics. There is now substitute for the role of consciousness and the support of history to mediate this transition. No deus ex machina can be invoked to make the leap from 'here to there,' nor should we desire one. What people cannot shape for themselves, they will never control. It can be taken away from them as readily as it is bestowed upon them. Ultimately, every revolutionary project rests on the hope that the people will develop a new consciousness if they are exposed to thoughtful ideas that patently meet their needs and if objective reality - be it history, nature, or both - renders them susceptible to the need for basic social change. Without the objective circumstances that favour a new consciousness and the organized means to advance it publicly, there will be no long-range change or even the measured steps needed to achieve it. Every revolutionary project is, above all, an educational one. The rest must come from the real world in which people live and the changes that occur in it. (Bookchin, 1989, p. 196-7) 73 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION from a media fixated on 'breaking stories,' one that for the most part ignored analysis, and that information was often conflicting and leads to uncertainty (Corson, 1994; Moore, 1994). We got too much information and not enough time to deal with it (Milbrath, 1995). Societal leaders feel more comfortable when dealing with physical elements that can be readily defined and discussed than they do when dealing with 'in the head' elements like culture, ways of thinking, values, feelings and fears that are difficult to discuss unambiguously. Because physical elements can readily be manipulated by rational thought whereas people resist manipulation, psychological-cultural barriers impeding transformation to a sustainable society are likely to be more difficult to surmount than physical-technological-economic barriers. (Milbrath, 1995, p. 102) At the same time we were faced with governments that didn't share information among their departments, had weak linkages both to other levels of government and to constituents (Moore, 1 9 9 4 ) . These governments were fragmented vertically, meaning they couldn't really deal with interconnected problems, and they were in power for such short terms that they couldn't get anything accomplished (Moore, 1994). They were also prey to "institutional rigidity, bureaucratic momentum and unwillingness or lack of motivation to change long-standing policies or practices" (Corson, 1994, p. 209). They feared losing power and support (Moore, 1 9 9 4 ) Outside of the governments there were many people and corporations with a vested interest in maintaining things the way they were. Businesses had financial investments in infrastructure and systems of practice. They were unlikely to desire change and usually worked actively against it. They seemed to have more power than just about anybody, and they wielded it wel l . But despite all of these barriers those of us working for change persevered, realizing that change would be gradual and the process would last far beyond most o f our lifetimes (Bookchin, 1989). We knew that change would have to be undertaken at first by a small number of vision oriented people (Bookchin, 1989) but that our numbers would eventually grow to the point where we became a majority and then a society. Change, imperceptible at first, did occur. Recognizing this made it possible for us to keep on going despite our apparent lack of success in the beginning. We knew that we just had to get the snowball going and then it would take on a life of its own. This was fortunate because, when faced with the situation we were in in the early part of this century, the easiest Agents of planned change must resist in themselves the despair and accept the deepened ethical responsibility both of which are implicit in acknowledgment of the problematic character of human survival today. (Bennis et al, 1976, p. 21-2) 74 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION In this sociopolitical atmosphere, the very idea of trying to move a society to a sustainable condition seems like such a huge undertaking that many conclude there is no point in trying. They may refuse to think about it and refuse to listen to people who may offer good ideas. The resulting sense of hopeless malaise turns the belief that society will not change into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Milbrath, 1995, p. 108) thing for an individual to do would have been to give up and either live life as "normally" as possible for as long as he or she could or retreat into the wilderness and hope for the best. And indeed, I was tempted many times to buy a farm as far away from others as possible. But something kept me and others like me going, despite the Sisyphean nature of the battles we were fighting. That something was in part a missionary zeal - just as missionaries seek to convert "pagans" in order to save their souls, we sought to convert "consumers" in order to save the planet. And just as missionaries keep their faith in God and their belief that their reward would come in the next life, we kept our faith in humanity's ability to reform itself and our belief that the reward for our work would be reaped by the generations to follow us. And, in the end, our faith was validated, as a society better than anything most of us had dared to dream of was born and is now growing to maturity. As for myself, I can go gladly into the gloaming knowing that I was in some small way a part of it and that my life's work has been successful. However, before I go, one caution. It is said that i f we don't learn from history, we're doomed to repeat it. I would hate to see this world return to the consumptive ways of the past. Even though I'd like to still be around to see the 100 t h Earth Day, that may not happen and I'd like to end my life knowing that my great-great children and their descendents wi l l not have to refight my battles. I'd prefer that they, and everyone else on this planet, continued to live in peace and prosperity for the rest of their days. Therefore, I hope you can take something out o f the ramblings that you've listened so politely to over the last four weeks, something that wi l l help you avoid the mistakes of the past and work for the best future you can dream of. May you be successful in achieving it. Good night and happy Earth Day - enjoy the festival!! 75 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Figure 13: Transition to Sustainability (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998, p. 16) Environmental Economic Policy Public Public Policy Awareness Discourse Stage 1: L ip service to Minor tinkering D i m awareness Corporatist very weak policy integration with economic and little media discussion sustainability instruments on a coverage groups and case-by-case consultation basis; some exercises reinvestment income toward the goal of sustainability Stage 2: Formal policy Substantial Wider public Roundtables, weak integration and restructuring of education stakeholder sustainability specific targets, economic involving group backed by new incentives; large perforated participation and institutional scale classroom walls legislative structures reinvestment of surveillance income toward the goal of sustainability Stage 3 : Binding policy Ful l valuations of Curriculum Community strong integration and the cost of l iving, integration with involvement, sustainability strong green local educational pairing of international accounting, and initiatives geared initiatives in the agreements creation of a to community developed and coupled to civic income for growth developing performance social use worlds targets and indicators Stage 4: Strong Formal shift to Comprehensive Community-led very strong international sustainability cultural shift initiatives sustainability conventions, accounting coupled with become the norm national duties of locally, technological care, and nationally and innovation and statutory and internationally new community cultural support structures Note: This figure shows the four stages of sustainability. Each stage is characterised by particular environmental and economic policies, degree of public awareness, and type of public discourse. Generally speaking, moving from one stage to the next involves more serious environmental commitments, closer alignment of economic policy to environmental goals, greater public awareness of environmental problems and possible solutions, more democratic decision-making, and a greater role for local government 76 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 2 RATIONALE AND METHODS The central question of this thesis is how can planners, program planners and policy makers best effect a change in micro and, to a lesser degree, meso level behaviour towards sustainability? This is a topic that has not yet been explored in depth, in part because planners lack readily available information on how to apply relevant findings from psychology to policy and program planning. A s one planning academic wrote: Although some planners are familiar with certain attitude-behaviour psychology research, on the whole this body of work has not crossed over into the planning literature. Cultivating an understanding of what psychologists know about how our emotions, values, beliefs, and behaviours are all tied together may help planners gain insight into the very personal nature of our some of our grand visions for a sustainable future. This insight could make the sustainability discussion more productive and may help us design policy programs that w i l l give people the appropriate motivations for adopting the behavioral changes that w i l l make our visions reality (Jones, 1996, p. 57). Jones' article, which discussed the application of one psychological model to a planning process, was the only one I found in a planning journal explicitly l inking attitude-behaviour research and planning. While there may be others, they are certainly scarce, and as far as I could determine there was no comprehensive review of psychological research into behaviour change and how it applies to planning available in the planning literature. This means that planners often do not have a thorough understanding of what works and does not work from a psychological point of view. That is not to say that there is a lack of psychological research into behaviour change in general and behaviour change and sustainability in particular. There is. However, it is usually not accessed by planners and policy makers; Doug McKenzie-Mohr , a psychologist who researches and writes about behaviour change strategies, especially community based social marketing, starts a recent (2000) paper as follows: I have a simple wish. Each time I journey to the library to review new contributions to the environmental psychology literature, I hope that I w i l l see an individual whom I know, from either a nongovernmental organization, or the Department of the Environment, or the city, who works on environmental programs. M y wish is that I w i l l find this individual reviewing the literature and contemplating how best to apply it to program delivery. I have carried this wish for a decade now and it is yet to be realized. Consequently, I have become increasingly convinced that despite our desire to contribute to the attainment of a sustainable future, our publications contribute far more to career advancement 77 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION than they do to environmental betterment. We have created a psychological literature that is largely invisible to those who can benefit from it. Lack of visibility, however, does not equal irrelevance. Accordingly, psychology is o f considerable relevance to the delivery of effective environmental problems, (p. 543-4) McKenz ie-Mohr 's wish for relevance is unlikely to be granted while the findings of psychology languish in psychological journals that most planners are not familiar with, and which they are unlikely to wade through in the hopes of finding a useful nugget. Addit ionally, most psychological research concentrates on a single problem or aspect of behaviour. While this is understandable due to the nature o f science, it means that very few individual articles contain enough information to base policies and plans upon - for this, a thorough reading of the literature is necessary. And since planners are by nature generalists, and very busy, they are unlikely to devote the time to doing this. A lso , as Geller et al (1982) point out: [WJhile many professionals may prefer to conduct laboratory or small-scale field projects and publish results in professional journals, strict adherence to this academic tradition w i l l not assure maximal impact on environment preservation problems. We have already indicated that the mere publication o f findings in no way results in the dissemination (adoption) of the procedures, practices, or products of a research project (Fairweather et al, 1974). Further, it is quite obvious that in an era of diminished resources and opportunities, acquiring support and developing collaborative agreements is a highly competitive and political process. If one is not wi l l ing to spend time developing relationships with other professionals, becoming part of a particular environment preservation network, and engaging in other promotional activities, then one's impact on this field w i l l probably be limited, (p. 302) One of the very few people who has tried to combat this gap between the psychological literature and planning is McKenz ie-Mohr himself. He has co-written two books, Fostering Sustainable Behaviour: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing (1999, with Smith) and Tools of change: Proven methods for promoting environmental citizenship (1998, with Kassirer), on how to apply his findings. These books are valuable contributions, and I have used the information contained within them in Chapters 4 and 5. However, community based social marketing has some limitations as a general solution, as I w i l l discuss in Chapter 5. Other than McKenz ie-Mohr , there have been very few attempts to make the findings of psychology relevant to behaviour change easily available to practitioners o f other disciplines. Therefore, there is a need to rectify this overall lack of connection between psychology and planning, and to comb the literature to find what works to effect behaviour change. For this 78 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION reason I chose to do a thesis based on coming to an understanding of the literature, and synthesizing, analyzing and presenting the findings to a planning audience. The scope of this project precluded testing or applying my findings at this time, although I hope to have the chance to do so in the future. In this choice I was heartened by the words of C. Wright M i l l s , as true now as when he wrote them in 1959: In the intellectual condition o f the social sciences today, there is so much to do by way of initial 'structuring' ... that much 'empirical research' is bound to be thin and uninteresting. Much of it, in fact, is a formal exercise for beginning students, and sometimes a useful pursuit for those who are not able to handle the more difficult substantive problems of social science. There is no more virtue in empirical inquiry as such than in reading as such. The purpose of empirical inquiry is to settle disagreements and doubts about facts, and thus to make arguments more fruitful by basing all sides more substantively. Facts discipline reason; but reason is the advance guard in any field of learning (p. 205). Thus, this thesis is based on using those findings from existing literature to design possible behaviour change strategies to be undertaken by planners and those working in similar capacities. Most ly psychological research was used, reflecting the fact that psychologists have done the most research in this area. I analyzed the literature as follows. First, I searched online databases, notably the Silver Platter and Web of Science databases, for journal articles and book chapters. I also gathered books through a keyword search of the U B C library resources. Database searches were carried out between February 2000 and August 2001, with the bulk occurring between M a y and August 2001. Searching was iterative; that is, initial findings influenced subsequent searches, and bibliographies of especially relevant sources were scanned and those articles found. Relevance was determined by how wel l a source met the objectives below the list. A variety of search terms were entered into these databases in various combinations. These terms and combinations were: > environmental education + behavior/behaviour > environmental education + behavior/behaviour change > sustainability/sustainable + behaviour/behavior > sustainability/sustainable + behaviour/behavior change > sustainability + knowledge/attitudes > sustainability + behavior change + knowledge/attitudes/beliefs/values > environment/environmental + behaviour/behavior change > stewardship + knowledge/attitudes/behavior change/beliefs/values 79 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > planning + behavior/behaviour change > social change > social norms From the lists generated, articles and books were selected based on their perceived relevance to the problem of changing behaviour, including understanding how behaviour occurs. For these purposes, the behaviour in question was primarily micro level behaviour. The objective in selecting resources was to select those that would lead to a broad understanding of the factors influencing behaviour and those which described and evaluated various strategies for their efficacy in changing behaviour. I had a strong preference for resources which provided experimental or experiential evidence regarding a factor or strategy's effect on behaviour. During the search I recognized that it would be impossible to exhaustively research any one factor or strategy, given that several have entire sub-fields of psychology related to them. For example, attitude research alone occupies the academic life of several researchers, and the research goes to a depth such that a truly comprehensive look at attitudes would encompass an entire thesis. Instead, enough research was done to reach a state of sufficiency; that is, research was done until no new information was being generated at the level of detail required for this project. I attempted to present a fair picture of the findings regarding the various factors and strategies for a generalist audience. Resources were further limited by language and availability. Only resources in English were chosen and resources in the U B C library system or online journals were given priority; however, I did order some whose abstracts seemed especially relevant (according to the above criteria) from Inter-Library Loan. A lso, the majority df sources are from the 1990s and 2000s; some are from the 1980s and a very few from earlier than that. After selection, resources were skimmed to ascertain whether they did discuss behaviour change strategies and/or the process of behaviour change. I read those that did more closely, and entered notes into an EndNote database, assisted by a fellow student working on the Georgia Basin Futures Project. 2 6 See http://www.basinfuUires.net 80 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION From these sources I generated a list of factors that influence behaviour, a list which is given graphical form in the two diagrams of Chapter 4. The first diagram in that chapter takes terms relating to an interior attribute or process (e.g., attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, personal norms) and places them in a graphical grouping based on their relatedness to each other. This diagram provides an organizing heuristic for the related text, which goes into detail about these interior factors. The second diagram is an inclusive integration of several different but related theories of behaviour change. It incorporates the external factors from the list generated from the literature. It also incorporates the idea of predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors from the Precede-Proceed Model . The Precede-Proceed Model , a model of behaviour change often used in health promotion, provides an organizing heuristic for the rest of the thesis. A rationale for this choice and an explication of the model are found in Chapter 3. The last model in this thesis is the Change Strategies Logic Mode l in Chapter 5. This model is a close-up of the Proceed section of the Precede-Proceed Model that incorporates the findings from Chapter 4. As such it provides general guidelines for behaviour change strategies. In that chapter some strategies for bringing about behaviour change from the literature discussed above are discussed. The final chapter summarizes the others and outlines a new strategy based on the findings. 81 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 3 T H E PRECEDE/PROCEED M O D E L The Precede/Proceed Model (Green and Kreuter, 1999) is a model from the field of health promotion that can facilitate the systematic planning, implementation and evaluation of potential programs and policies for. changing behaviour. It can be used to look at relations between behavioural, lifestyle and environmental elements and the factors that influence them. It can also be used to explain causal pathways between interventions and outcomes. Since its debut in a simpler form in 1973 (and its naming in 1980), the Precede/Proceed Model has seen over 700 published uses (and an estimated equal number of unpublished uses), from clinical field trials to federal health planning, and in as diverse areas such as A I D S , children's bicycle helmet usage, smoking, cancer, active l iving, female genital mutilation, asthma, and arthritis. 2 7 While there is no shortage of planning models in the field of planning, I chose to use the Precede/Proceed Model because it deals directly with behaviour change and can be easily adapted from health promotion to sustainability promotion. Indeed, health promotion is very similar to sustainable behaviour promotion. According to Green and Kreuter, (1999, p. 14), "Health promotion is the combination of educational and environmental supports for actions and conditions o f l iv ing conducive to health." Simply replacing the word 'health' with 'sustainability' gives a handy definition of what we can hope to achieve. The name of model comes from a rather complex acronym. P R E C E D E stands for "predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling constructs in educational diagnosis and evaluation." P R O C E D E stands for "pol icy, regulatory, and organizational constructs in educational/ecological development." The first part stresses that predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors (defined in Phase 4 below) all influence behaviour. The second part stresses that policy, regulatory and organizational strategies are also an integral part of behaviour change. 2 7 For a comprehensive list of uses of the Precede/Proceed model until 1999 see http://www.ihpr.ubc.ca/ProcedeRefsLinks.htrnl. See also Green, L. W. and M. W. Kreuter (1999). Health Promotion Planning: An Educational and Ecological Approach. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company.. 82 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Below is the Precede/Proceed Model as it is used in Health Promotion. To read it, start on the upper right, with Phase 1 and read right to left along the top. A t Phase 5, move to the bottom left (Phase 6) and read left to right along the bottom. PRECEDE PHASE 5 Administrative and policy assessment PHASE 4 Educational and ecological assessment PHASE 3 Behavioural and environmental assessment PHASE 2 Epidemiological assessment PHASE 1 Social assessment HEALTH PROMOTION Health Education Policy Regulation Organization Predisposing factors t Reinforcing factors Behaviour and lifestyle 1 i r Environment PHASE 6 Implementation PHASE 7 Process evaluation PHASE 8 Impact evaluation PHASE 9 Outcome evaluation PROCEED Figure 14: Precede/Proceed Model Green & Kreuter 1999 83 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Following is the model as I w i l l use it. Some of the wording has been changed from the original to make the model more applicable to sustainability issues, but there have been no other changes. PRECEDE PHASE 5 Administrative and policy assessment SUSTAINABILITY PROMOTION Education Information Training Social Change Policy Regulation Organization PHASE 6 Implementation . PROCEED , PHASE 4 Educational and ecological assessment Predisposing factors Reinforcing factors Enabling factors PHASE 7 Process evaluation PHASE 3 Behavioural and environmental assessment Behaviour and lifestyle Environment I PHASE 8 Impact evaluation PHASE 2 Causal assessment Human/ ecosystem health PHASE 1 Social assessment PHASE 9 Outcome evaluation after Green & Kreuter 1999 Figure 15: Precede/Proceed Model adapted for Sustainability The model is based on the principle that most enduring health behaviour change is voluntary in nature. In order to encourage behaviour change successfully, a systematic planning process is used that seeks to empower individuals with understanding, motivation and skil ls and active engagement in community affairs to improve quality of life. L i ke many planning models, it is an iterative model, although it seems quite linear. The process does not necessarily have to begin at Phase 1 - it can actually be started anywhere. 84 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION There are two stages to the model. The first stage is Precede, which has five component phases. Phase 1, social assessment, begins with an assessment of quality o f life and some of the hopes and problems of the people concerned. These people look at their current quality of life and the quality of life they would like to attain and describe the fundamental differences between these two states. This phase is "the application, through broad participation, o f multiple sources of information designed to expand the understanding of people regarding their own quality of life and aspirations for the common good" (Green and Kreuter, 1999, p. 50). Mult ip le sources of information refers to the need to gather indicators and data from several sources; expanded understanding "refers to a heightened awareness of the community's social, economic, cultural, and environmental concerns and goals" (Green and Kreuter, 1991, p. 45). For sustainability promotion this could refer to a heightened awareness of the interconnectedness of environmental problems, social problems and individual behaviours. This stage has three steps: 1. Self-study by the community (with or without technical assistance) of its problems, needs, aspirations, resources or assets 2. Documentation of the presumed causes of the needs, or determinants of the desired goals 3. Decision on the priorities to be assigned among the problems, needs, or goals, based on perceived importance and presumed changeability and formulation of quantified goals and objectives (Green and Kreuter, 1999, pp. 61-2) Community participation, ensuring the active participation of those who w i l l be affected, is the most important part of this step. For planners, this is no surprise, as true community participation has been found to be a major factor in the success of any kind of planning exercise. In Phase 2, causal assessment, the problems in human and ecosystem health that affect the problems in current quality of life (as elucidated in Phase 1) are determined as wel l as possible. In the original model, the "primary task of this phase is to determine for a given target population which health problems, measured objectively, pose the greatest threat to health and quality of l i fe" (Green and Kreuter, 1999, p. 84). When looking at sustainability behaviour, the focus shifts, but the underlying methodology does not. Therefore, this phase becomes concerned with determining which problems cause the most damage. Priorities should be set based on the problem's impact, susceptibility to intervention, lack of other attention being paid to it, and potential for greatest improvement. After the 85 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION problems have been defined, program objectives should be developed based on finding solutions to those problems. Objectives should answer the questions about desired changes, such as who changes, what changes, how much change, by when/how long w i l l changes occur. Objectives should be set up so progress can be measured, so they are based on relevant, reasonably accurate data, and so they are consistent and coherent. It is also important that all participants understand the problem definition, objectives and sub-objectives (Green and Kreuter, 1999). Phase 3, behavioural and environmental assessment, looks at behaviour and lifestyle and the greater environment (here meaning structural environment as wel l as the natural environmental) seeking the cause of these problems. The phase "calls for an analysis o f those personal and collective actions most pertinent to controlling the determinants of health or quality-of-life issues selected in the preceding phases" (Green and Kreuter, 1999, p. 112). However, care must be taken to identify and take into consideration factors which are not amenable to behaviour change, while acknowledging that behaviour can influence structural and environmental factors, especially collective action (Green and Kreuter, 1999). In choosing behaviours to change, it should be born in mind that it has been found to be more effective to induce positive change and reinforce it, and that negative reinforcement has been found to be very inefficient. There are several steps in both behavioural and environmental assessments: Behavioural Assessments Environmental Assessments 1. Delineating the behavioural and 1. Identifying which environmental causes nonbehavioural causes of the problem of the problem are changeable 2. Developing a classification of behaviours 2. Rating environmental factors on relative importance 3. Rating behaviours in order of importance 3. Rating environmental factors on changeability 4. Rating behaviours' changeability 4. Choosing the environmental targets 5. Choosing behavioural targets Next, Phase 4, educational and organizational assessment, looks at what factors influence behaviour and the environment. These are divided into three categories, all o f which have been found necessary for a program to effectively change behaviours (Nutbeam and Harris, 1998). The three categories are Predisposing Factors, the antecedents to behaviour (such as knowledge, 86 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION attitudes, beliefs and values) that provide the rationale or motivation for the behaviour; Enabling Factors, which provide the necessary resources (such as skil ls, availability and accessibility of resources) needed for a motivated behaviour to be realized; and Reinforcing Factors, which provide tangible or social incentives or disincentives for doing or not doing certain things - they provide the necessary social and material support for the persistence or repetition of the behaviour. Single behaviours or actions are rarely caused by only one o f these; rather, the factors act in concert, with each factor potentially affecting the others (Green and Kreuter, 1999). Selecting the predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors that, i f modif ied, w i l l bring about change is the core of this phase. To do this one first identifies and sorts a comprehensive list of causal factors for each behaviour and environmental target. Then, one sets priorities among the categories, deciding which factors should face intervention, and in what order. Final ly, one establishes priorities within categories, based on importance (prevalence, immediacy and necessity) and changeability (Green and Kreuter, 1991). The next phase is Phase 5, administrative and policy assessment, where the preceding assessments are converted into interventions, policies, organizational changes and regulations. In this phase, the budgetary and staff resources needed are assessed, as are barriers to be overcome and possible policies to be implemented or changed. Administrative and policy assessments each have several steps. Administrative assessment starts with an assessment of the resources needed, moves to an assessment o f available resources, and finishes with an assessment of barriers to implementation. Pol icy assessment starts with an assessment of polices, regulations, and organization, and finishes with an assessment of political forces. After these assessments comes the second stage of the model, Proceed. The first phase of this stage, Phase 6, implementation, is the putting into practice the strategies we have devised in Phase 5. "In the final analysis, textbooks can offer little on implementation that w i l l improve on a well-thought-out plan, an adequate budget, solid organizational and pol icy support, constructive training and supervision of staff, and careful monitoring in the process evaluation stage" (Green and Kreuter, 1999, p. 213). Further, the "key to success in implementation beyond these five ingredients is experience, sensitivity to people's needs, flexibil ity in the face of changing circumstances, keeping an eye on long-tem goals, and a sense of humor" (Green and Kreuter, 1999, p. 213). 87 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION However, implementation is not the final step, as evaluation is a crucial part o f the model. Evaluation is "the comparison of an object of interest against a standard of acceptability" (Green and Kreuter, 1999, p. 220). It is necessary to determine i f the programs, strategies and policies of the implementation phase are actually working, and to inform both continued work on the same program and the design and implementation of future programs. It is often the part of plans that is left out or starved of resources, and it can cause great anxiety to those involved, but it is nonetheless necessary. There are several phases of evaluation in the Precede/Proceed Model . Phase 7, process evaluation, is the first evaluation phase. In this phase, the implementation of the new strategies is assessed and adjusted i f necessary, and implementation in general is monitored and any problems with it fixed. In Phase 8, impact evaluation, the effects o f the program on behaviours, on predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors leading to those behaviours, and on the environment are assessed. Finally, in Phase 9, outcome evaluation, the strategies are assessed as to how they have affected health, ecosystem health and quality o f life. It could take as long as several decades to assess quality of life outcomes fully. From the assessments it is determined how many and what kind of iterations are necessary - i f we find there to be a problem we can go back and adjust either our understanding or our strategies. This model is valuable for designing behaviour change strategies for several reasons. First of all, it points out the need to consider both internal and external factors on behaviour and address them both. Second, it advises a comprehensive strategy that addresses predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors. Third, it shows that a comprehensive social change strategy should be comprised of diverse tactics, simultaneously applied, to build pressure for change in the desired direction. HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 4 FACTORS IN BEHAVIOUR CHANGE Available literature and theory from fields including environmental psychology, social psychology and health promotion each point to a set of personal factors that are l ikely to influence (and explain) individual behaviours related to environmental sustainability. These factors vary by field and theoretical outlook, but do overlap. Figure 16 provides a pictorial display of a categorization of some of the key factors found in the literature. Figure 16: Personal Influences on Behaviour 89 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Each of these categories is made up of several individual factors. Most theories and models only concern themselves with a limited number of these factors, and the factors used vary widely. Rather than follow one theory or model I have stripped each of their factors, listed these factors, and researched each one separately for its effect on behaviour change. In doing so, I have tried to bear in mind that Studies that examine only attitudinal factors are likely to find effects only inconsistently, because the effects are contingent on capabilities and context. Similarly, studies that examine only contextual variables, such as material incentives, social norms, or the introduction of new technology, may find effects but fail to reveal their dependence on individuals' attitudes or beliefs (Stern, 2000b, p. 418). Using the framework of the Precede/Proceed Model I have grouped these factors into those which are predisposing, those which are enabling and those which are reinforcing, according to their primary function. Factors can sometimes act in multiple ways; for example, skills are primarily en enabling factor, but having a skill can predispose someone to want to use it. Also, the factors are neither independent nor mutually exclusive. Indeed, they overlap and influence each other and the formation of intentions to act. With that in mind, here are the factors: > Predisposing Factors • Biology • Demographics: location, age, gender, race and education • Personal Factors: values, political ideology, religion, personality, emotions, and self-determination • What's "known": knowledge and beliefs • Attitudes: to the behaviour in question and to the bigger picture • Self Image: self-concept, personal norms, self-efficacy and locus of control > Enabling Factors • Skills • Resources, Availability and Accessibility • Life So Far: habits and experience • Evaluations: situation-specific evaluations of the need for the behaviour, its consequences and one's personal responsibility for the behaviour • Time and Space: geographic location, surroundings and historical moment 2 8 While I have used the Precede/Proceed framework in grouping the factors, not all of them are discussed in the Precede/Proceed literature. 90 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > Reinforcing Factors • Reactions: cognitive dissonance, reactance and satisfaction • Tangible Considerations • Social Pressures: social milieu, social norms, social diffusion, social commitment, social capital, social identity The sections that follow briefly examine each of the above factors, their relationships to one another, and their potential effect on behaviour. 4.1 P R E D I S P O S I N G F A C T O R S 4.1.1 Biology and Culture Biology and culture have an important, if relatively immutable, effect on behaviour. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the effect biological and cultural factors have in order to mitigate it. The nature/nurture debate is as old as psychology. There are extremists on both sides, with those who argue that humans are born as blank slates ready to be molded by society facing off against those who argue that biology determines the behaviour of both individuals and societies. However, most have carved out various positions in the middle, admitting that both experience and biology have an effect. For example, IQ has been found to be determined in equal parts by genetics, culture and random factors in a person's life (Cavall i-Sforza, 1993). Values have also been found to be some degree hard-wired, to some degree determined by ecological and institutional factors, and to some degree influenced by the idiosyncrasies o f personal biography (Hechter, 1993). It seems reasonable to assume that most human characteristics can be broken down this way, the exact dimensions of the breakdown depending on the characteristic under question. It has also been argued that humans have " a genetic predisposition for unsustainability ... encoded in certain ... psychological, social and behavioral traits that once conferred survival value but are now maladaptive" (Rees, 2002b, p. 249). This argument looks at history and concludes that "what is perhaps the most intriguing in the evolution o f human societies is the regularity with which the pattern of increasing complexity is interrupted by collapse" (Tainter, 1995, in Rees, 2002b, p. 250). It then looks at biology for an explanation, which is that humans, like other large mammals, are a patch disturbing species, i.e. an organism that "usually by central place foraging, degrades a small "central place" greatly and disturbs a much larger area away 91 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION from the central core to a lesser extent " (Rees, 2002b, p. 261) before moving on. A lso, like all species, humans have a natural predisposition to expand into all the ecologically productive space available to them. Humans have historically expanded more widely than other mammals because we have omnivorous diets, and i f we cannot consume a food resource we domesticate something that can and than eat that animal. Most importantly, we are creatures of language, culture and cumulative learning and our continuous technical advances have enabled us to increase the intensity o f exploitation (Rees, 2002b). Currently, these biological predispositions are exacerbated by the myth that perpetual growth is possible, as discussed in Chapter 1. Indeed, the making of myths, which could also be called the telling o f stories or the search for cultural frames of reference or the creation of paradigms, is itself a fundamental human characteristic (Howard, 1997; Maiteny, 2000; Rees, 2002b). Other fundamental characteristics are both the search to fulf i l l both biological needs and needs for meaningfulness and fullness (such as affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom) (Maiteny, 2000; Vlek, 2000). Trying to fulf i l l these various needs is the motivation for much of our behaviour (Vlek, 2000). However, the striving to do so is a fundamental part of our current unsustainability because currently the desire for fulfillment is projected to the outside world and takes a tangible form in objects. Unfortunately, satisfaction is forever elusive because once the object is attained it becomes an ordinary thing and loses its appeal and desire shifts to a new object in attempt to find fulfillment (Douglas et al., 1998; Maiteny, 2000). Biology has another influence on culture in that many cultural traits seem to be acquired at a young age. Humans learn through communication but there are sensitive periods for learning certain attitudes or activities, after which point those attitudes or activities become essentially irreversible. These include the incest taboo (there is no sexual attraction to those people who are familiar before puberty), language (almost never perfectly acquired after puberty), preference for a certain type of physical environment (based on early exposure), the imprinting of a nomadic way of life, politics (a person's family type influences preferred type of government), family and kinship traits and l ikely many more (Cavalli-Sforza, 1993). Barring radical gene therapy (which is not a desirable or possible option at this time), the only way to counter these biological influences on behaviour is to become aware of them and do as much as possible to overcome or shape them by maximizing the other forces which act on our 92 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION behaviour (for example, concentrating on the social determinants o f values). We can also mitigate the effect o f our biology by changing which biological traits to emphasize. For example, we could shift our myth away from its current emphasis on "darker" human qualities like selfish individualism and competitiveness to an emphasis on our "brighter" generously social and cooperative natures (Rees, 2002b), and realize that fulfillment can better be found through inner psychological, emotional and spiritual development than by material acquisition (Maiteny, 2000) (see Chapter 1). However, there is at least one biological mechanism that could have an influence on behaviour change, i f it could be used in such a way as not to be morally questionable. This is using the brain's rapid synthesis and turnover of norepinephrine/noradrenaline in response to physical stress to produce changes in the brain. Religious figures, politicians, fundamentalists of every stripe and armies use this response when they whip people up to a fever-pitch o f anger, fear, excitement and nervous tension and then expose them to new ideas and beliefs. Other groups use various forms of forced stress or extreme discomfort to do the same thing (Bateson, 2000). However, while the first approach could be used through methods of building up fear and excitement about environmental issues and then presenting solutions, the dangers of the first approach are self-evident, and it should be used with extreme caution, i f at all. The second approach obviously has no place in the quest for sustainability. 4.1.2 Demographics There is little evidence for any demographic influence on proenvironmental behaviour. Demographic information refers to the external characteristics of a person, such as age, sex and education level. Demographics are studied because it is assumed that segments of the population most amenable to change w i l l have similar groupings of characteristics (McKenz ie-Mohr et al., 1995). Indeed, some research suggests that the ideal proenvironmental target should be a wel l-educated, religious, young, female, black urban dweller (Van Liere and Dunlop, 1980; Woodrum and Hoban, 1994; Dietz et al., 1998; Fransson and Garl ing, 1999; Zelezny, 1999). However, the predictive ability of most of these factors has been challenged and the findings that have emerged have been complex and difficult to apply. Age is often thought to be a strong predictor of environmental behaviour. Several researchers have found a strong negative relationship between age and environmental concern; that is, 93 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION younger people tend to be more pro-environment (Van Liere and Dunlop, 1980; Arcury, 1990; Stern, 2000b; Dietz et al., 1998; Fransson and Garling, 1999). However, Dietz et al (1998) also found that the relationship depends on the indicator used to assess environmentalism; with some indicators young people emerged as the least proenvironmental. Addit ional ly, Putnam (2000) found that civic involvement usually blooms in middle age, and civic involvement w i l l be necessary for any comprehensive environmental solution. Level of education has been found to be predictive of willingness to sacrifice, petition signing, environmental group membership and attitude to government spending, but has no significant effect on consumer behaviour (Van Liere and Dunlop, 1980; Schwepker Jr. and Cornwell , 1991; Dietz et al., 1998; Fransson and Garling, 1999). Additionally, Dietz (1998) found that education is negatively related to the environmental belief in the fragility o f nature. However, early adoption of new technologies and ideas is correlated with more education, literacy, higher social status and more upward mobil ity (Rogers, 1983). There is limited evidence supporting an association between social class and environmental concern (Schwepker Jr. and Cornwell , 1991; Stern, 2000b; Fransson and Garling, 1999). However, it has been found that residents of low-income urban areas generally have attitudes favourable to the environment, but do not participate in proenvironmental behaviour due to systemic barriers which they are less able to overcome (Margai, 1997). The majority of studies looking at gender and environmentalism in the last decade have found that, compared to men, women report more stewardship behaviour (Ray and Anderson, 2000; Zelezny, 2000). However, reports by both Van Liere and Dunlap (1980) and Dietz et al (1998) indicate that this association is not straightforward. According to Dietz et al (1998), women have stronger proenvironmental consumer behaviour than men, but they are less wi l l ing to make sacrifices to protect the environment. Looking at racial indicators, there are no clear findings. Dietz et al (1998) found that Blacks are more proenvironmental than Whites in behaviour, but only on some indicators including willingness to engage in proenvironmental consumer behaviour and environmental spending (Dietz et al., 1998). However, Schwepker Jr. and Cornwell (1991) found that ecologically concerned consumers are more l ikely to be white (also Stern, 2000b). A s for environmental beliefs, sometimes Blacks are more proenvironmental and sometimes less (Dietz et al., 1998). 94 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION These findings are based on American studies and it is unclear how applicable they would be to other multi-cultural countries given the unique American experience. Location has been found to be significant: urban dwellers have been found to be more likely to be environmentally concerned than rural residents (Van Liere and Dunlop, 1980; Arcury, 1990; Fransson and Garl ing, 1999). Closer examination of these demographic factors suggests that the most successful target for engendering sustainable behaviour is an urban dweller who is somewhat more l ikely to be young and female. However, relationships between socio-demographic factors and environmental concerns are generally weak (Derksen and Gartrell, 1993; Fransson and Garl ing, 1999). Perhaps it is not surprising that some researchers have gone so far as to say that demographic variables have almost no predictive power (McKenzie-Mohr et al., 1995; Ray and Anderson, 2000), or indeed that "the inability o f a wide range of demographic and psychosocial variables to explain general consumer activity brings into question the legitimacy of a generalized conservation behavioral construct" (Pickett et al., 1993, p. 240). 4.1.3 Personal Factors There are several personal factors that are thought to have an effect on proenvironmental behaviour. They include values, political ideology, religion, personality, emotions and self-determination. 188.8.131.52 Values Values have an influence on behaviour, though they do not determine it. However, they are deeply held and difficult to change. Values explain and justify intention, agency, and actions. A value may be a guide, but a value may follow rather than precede intention or action, and any value may mislead. Values may be for self and/or for others - be those others peers or agents or onlookers. A value can be explicit, say in a parental scolding on honesty, but in the hurried negotiation of daily l iving values are implicit, as in prudence accompanying honesty in delivering action (White, 1993, p. 63). Values are the "cognitive patterns by which individuals orientate themselves in their environment" (Grunert and Juhl, 1995 p. 39). They represent preferences that can be shared or transmitted within a community (Green and Kreuter, 1999). They can be widely shared, local, or highly contentious (White, 1993). They represent our principles and standards. Values are "(1) 95 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION concepts or beliefs (2) about desirable end states or behaviours (3) that transcend specific situations, (4) guide the selection or evaluation of behaviour and events, and (5) are ordered by relative importance" (Grunert and Juhl, 1995, p. 40). They are important life goals or standards which serve as guiding principles in a person's life (Eagly and Kulesa, 1997; Schultz and Zelezny, 1999). Values are "relatively general and durable internal criteria for evaluation" (Hechter, 1993, p. 3). In their primordial form they are without language (White, 1993). Values are distinct from attitudes and beliefs because they function as an organized system (Schultz and Zelezny, 1999) and because they are durable and general rather than changeable and particular (Dunlap et al., 1983; Hechter, 1993). Values are typically viewed as determinants of attitudes and behaviours (Dunlap et al., 1983; Schultz and Zelezny, 1999) as "once a value is internalized it becomes, consciously or unconsciously, a standard or criterion for guiding action (and) for developing and maintaining attitudes toward relevant objects and situations" (Rokeach, 1968, p. 160, in Dunlap et al., 1983, p. 146). Values can inform several attitudes; someone with anthropocentric values wi l l think differently on many issues than someone with ecocentric values (Werner, 1999). A person "may have thousands of attitudes towards specific objects and situations, but relatively few values" (Ball-Rokeach, 1973 p. 737, in Dunlap et al., 1983). Values are also separate from norms in that values are internal whereas norms are external and require sanctioning (Hechter, 1993). Values are very difficult to measure (Hechter, 1993). However, where values can be measured, environmentalists do differ from others in values (Rankin, 1980). Iwata (1995; 1999; 2001), has found that several values are correlated with environmentally responsible behaviour. These are valuing a voluntary simplicity lifestyle, hedonism, anti-materialism, and a negative attitude towards money. However, the link between values and behaviour is complex - both biocentric and anthropocentric values can affect behaviour in many settings (Dunlap et al., 1983; Clark, 1989; Grunert and Juhl, 1995; Karp, 1996; Thogersen, 1999; Joireman et al., 2001). Values' effect on behaviour can be situational but values can also be a guide for behaviour (Karp, 1996) and those without strong standards or values are more l ikely to be swayed by circumstances (Bandura, 1986). However, "behaviors that harm the environment do not mainly flow from antienvironmental values and attitudes, and proenvironmental values do not guarantee environmental protection," (Stern, 2000a, p. 525). This complexity is due to the effect of values being mitigated by what people perceive their options for actions to be (Clark, 1989). 96 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Changing values is very difficult because they form one of the bases o f identity, and may in some cases be hardwired and or arise from ecological and institutional determinants as well as the idiosyncrasies o f life experience, including individual patterns of group affiliation (Dunlap et al., 1983; Hechter, 1993; White, 1993); thus, "changes in value systems are l ikely to stem from changes in socialization experiences and economic conditions, rather than from policies designed to produce such change" (Dunlap et al., 1983, p. 160). 184.108.40.206 Political Ideology A very liberal political ideology is predictive ofproenvironmental behaviour. Political ideology is a particular value set which has been codified by outside sources and which becomes part o f the social identity of adherents. It provides an organizing heuristic which guides attitudes, beliefs and values. Once set, it is even harder to change than internally negotiated values. In North America, we generally refer to people as being conservative or liberal. In very broad terms, conservatives are in favour of neo-liberal economic policies and "traditional" family values where liberals lean more towards socialism and have a live and let live attitude towards family relationships. A liberal political ideology is similar to education in that it has been found to be predictive of concern about environmental quality, willingness to sacrifice, petition signing, environmental group membership and attitude to government spending, but also has no significant effect on consumer behaviour (Van Liere and Dunlop, 1980; Dietz et al., 1998; Fransson and Garling, 1999). However, much increased political liberalism positively affects all o f the aforementioned behaviours, including consumer behaviour (Dietz et al., 1998). 220.127.116.11 Religion Religion can have an effect on proenvironmental behaviour, chiefly that proenvironmental religious people tend to be non-sectarian, and religion could play a strong role in a new environmental ethic. Evidence is mixed as to whether Christian fundamentalists are antienvironmental or simply apathetic. Religion here refers to being part of an organized religious group. One's religious affiliation has the same characteristics as one's political ideology. According to Dietz et al (1998) religious affiliation is related to willingness to sacrifice, consumer behaviour and will ingness to sign a petition and that fundamentalists are sometimes less proenvironmental than other denominations 97 (also Eckberg and Blocker, 1996). There may also be meaningful links between religion and environmentalist!! that are not tied to denomination or religiosity (Dietz et a l , 1998). Further, religious people who work to protect nature tend to be religiously active and non-sectarian - that is, religious liberals (Eckberg and Blocker, 1996). Only a minority fol low Eastern religions or would label themselves as New Age (Ray and Anderson, 2000). In the environmental movement, many follow the Lynn White thesis (1994 (originally published 1967)) that the dominion beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition are often seen as a barrier to sustainability. They urge that the stewardship ethic be fostered instead. There has been some research that supports the idea that a literal belief in the Bible is negatively related to environmental concern and positively related to anthropocentric concerns (Schultz, 2000). However, Woodrum and Hoban (1994) refute the idea that dominion beliefs in particular interfere with environmental concern, though such beliefs may be correlated with environmental apathy. They also find many that even conservative churches do not espouse dominion beliefs and that many mainline religious institutions are embracing the stewardship interpretation. They conclude by saying that this last development has positive potential for both the institutions and the environment. The importance of religion in general to environmentalism is argued by Dwivedi (1996), who says that "any attempt to foster an appropriate relationship with nature ought to include religions and cultural imperatives for environmental protection" (p. 222) because the goal of humanity should be to conserve and protect the environment and religion. He further argues that any religion can evoke an awareness of our moral responsibilities and change our attitudes and values and so all religions should "be brought together to protect and care for God 's creation" (Dwivedi, 1996, p. 224). 18.104.22.168 Personality There are differences in personality that influence proenvironmental behaviour. Personality has been characterized as "one of the oldest, most familiar, and at the same time most difficult concepts in psychology (Rubenstein, 1975, in Borden, 1985, p. 88). It is so difficult because it lends itself to many interpretations based on the school o f thought o f the interpreter (Borden, 1985). It is also a very broad term. The Encarta Wor ld dictionary, for example, defines personality as "the totality of somebody's attitudes, interests, behavioral patterns, emotional 98 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION responses, social roles, and other individual traits that endure over long periods of time." Nevertheless, Borden and his associates, among others, have looked for correlations between personality and environmentally responsible belief and behaviour. Borden and his associates have found that environmentally concerned people are well-adjusted and/or socially mature, feel more responsible, are less self-involved, and "may be more advanced in moral development, humanistic perspective, social initiative, cooperativeness, and independent thinking" (1985, p. 114) than others. They give more thought to values and are more committed to actions that affirm their values (Borden, 1985). Similarly, early adopters of innovations tend to be more empathetic, less dogmatic, more able to think in the abstract, more rational, more intelligent, more predisposed to change, more able to deal with risk and uncertainty, less fatalistic, more in favour of science and education, and more motivated and driven than those who adopt later (Rogers, 1983). Interestingly, it has also been found that people are more easily influenced when their self-esteem is low (Zimbardo and Ebbesen, 1970). There are also some gender-based personality differences in that "environmentally concerned females tend to be more extroverted than either environmentally indifferent females or environmentally concerned males" (Borden, 1985, p. 114). However, it seems that those who identify least with their sex role are most l ikely to be environmentally concerned; those of either sex who score highly on a measure of androgyny (combining male and female psychological traits] have more ecological concern, knowledge and commitment than either "traditional" females, who have more concern than males but less knowledge or commitment, or "traditional" males, who have more knowledge than "traditional" females but less concern or commitment (Borden, 1985; Hungerford and Volk , 1990). 22.214.171.124 Emotions Emotions have an influence on proenvironmental behaviour. Emotions are spontaneously arising mental states often accompanied by physiological changes; for example, joy, sorrow, reverence, hate and love. There are two aspects of emotions that are relevant to proenvironmental behaviour. The first aspect is the type of transient emotions associated with certain behaviours. When a person either acts in accordance with his or her social norms, personal norms, values and/or beliefs or does not do so, powerful emotions arise. If the person does so, he or she experiences pride, self-esteem, arrogance, haughtiness and/or 99 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION disdainfulness and expects others to view him or her with admiration, appreciation, awe and/or esteem. If not, he or she experiences embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, mortification, self-blame, self-condemnation, self-reproach, shame, remorse and expects others to view him or her with dismay, contempt, despising, indignation, reproach and/or resentment (Bagozzi , 1992). Therefore, "[njature-protective behavior, like reduced energy consumption, is not purely based on rational decisions, but is flanked and motivated by emotions such as feelings of self-blame because one has contributed to wasting energy and its detrimental effects" (Kals et al., 1999, p. 179). More permanent emotions, such as love, are also relevant to proenvironmental behaviour. People can develop an "emotional affinity towards nature, which is a concept embracing various inclinations toward nature such as the love of nature. Intuitively, this construct seems to be apt for explaining nature-protective behavior" (Kals et al., 1999, p. 180). 126.96.36.199 Self-determination Self-determination has not been researched extensively, but there have been some findings which point to it having a significant effect on behaviour. Self-determination can also be called agency; it is the idea that humans can choose how they act and react, and do not always do so for reasons that are attributable to other psychological constructs. It also reflects the fact that humans can manipulate the environment to change their own behaviour (for example, choosing to write in a place with few distractions or playing a certain kind of music to either psych oneself up or calm oneself down). A n explicit reference to self-determination is often left out of psychological models, explanations and research because it is a teleological explanation for human behaviour and most psychology has a mechanistic bias (Howard, 1996). However, as Howard (1996) points out, psychological research can at most predict 25-33% of behavioural variance and "al l the existing models of experimentation [are] inadequate to the task o f assessing the portion of variance in human behaviour that could logically be attributed to personal agency" (p. 55). However, there are a few aspects self-determination that have been researched. Desire (or want) is one. It has been found to have an effect on behaviour, at least in the presence of self-efficacy; "the existence of desire, in the presence of a belief that one can act, is a sufficient motivator to activate an intention" to act (Bagozzi, 1992, p. 184). Desire is different than intention because ioo HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION having a desire does not mean that there wi l l be action and it is different than attitudes because desire has a motivational piece (Bagozzi, 1992). Desires have been found to predict both intentions and behaviour better than attitudes (Bagozzi, 1992). Another aspect for self-determination is intention. Intentions indicate how hard people are wi l l ing to try, how much effort they wi l l exert to do the behaviour (Pieters, 1991). Intentions are also influenced by attitudes and social norms, and the situation (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975), as well as desire and the self-regulation of emotions and the environment (Bagozzi, 1992). There are three kinds of intentions: present-oriented (a personal decision to perform an action immediately), future-oriented (an intention to perform an action in the future - it can either be non-contingent (set for a specific time, which could change) or contingent (based on other events)) and goal-directed (based on achieving a certain outcome, rather than performing a certain action) (Bagozzi, 1992). 4.1.4 What is "known" 188.8.131.52 Knowledge Knowledge is a necessary precondition for behaviour change, but is far from sufficient to bring it about. Knowledge concerns one's being acquainted with facts and comes from what we learn explicitly. Knowledge can affect beliefs (De Young, 1993; Green and Kreuter, 1999), can change attitudes (Arcury, 1990; De Young, 1993) and is a prerequisite for environmental action (Ungar, 1994; McKenz ie-Mohr et al., 1995; Bandura, 2000). It also increases the ability to receive and critically evaluate new information (Eagly and Kulesa, 1997). Knowledge o f environmental actions increases their use (Ramsey, 1993; Gamba and Oskamp, 1994). In general, people have an innate drive to know and to understand what is going on and they hate being confused or disoriented. They also l ike to learn, discover and explore but prefer acquiring information at their own pace and in answer to their own questions (Kaplan, 2000). However, the "central theoretical problem in the field of purposive communication is explaining the gap between knowledge and behavior" (Hornik, 1989, p. 113). Research has clearly shown that general environmental knowledge by itself w i l l not lead to behaviour change - even i f people know more about the issue they are unlikely to do anything differently without other spurs being applied (Hungerford and Volk , 1990; Newhouse, 1990; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; 101 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Dwyer et al., 1993; Thogersen, 1999; McKenzie-Mohr, 2000a, b). In fact, while information can lead to concern about an issue, it can also lead to a greater sense o f helplessness. This can cause people to distance themselves from an issue to avoid pain; indeed, few people "favor sprawl, few prefer polluted air, or unsafe water, or decline in fish stocks, or news of people starving because of population explosion and environmental disaster" (Kaplan, 2000, p. 498), but knowing about these things does not lead to action. 184.108.40.206 Beliefs Beliefs, especially those of a New Environmental Paradigm, have been linked to proenvironmental behaviour. Specific beliefs about behaviours also have an effect. Beliefs are intellectual (cognitive) or emotional (affective) notions held by an individual or group (Green and Kreuter, 1999). They represent what we regard as "true." Beliefs can vary in strength and can be defined as "information that a person has about a person, object or opinion" (Newhouse, 1990, p. 26) (also Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). Primit ive beliefs are those which form the inner core of a person's belief system and represent basic truths about physical reality, social reality and the nature of self (Dunlap et al., 2000). They influence other beliefs and attitudes (Dunlap et al., 2000). In general, beliefs strongly influence attitudes, intentions and behaviours (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). Beliefs can be formed based on direct observation (descriptive beliefs) or by inference (inferential beliefs). Descriptive beliefs tend to be fairly veridical and independent of other factors whereas inferential beliefs are influenced by both personal factors and probabilistic relations between the beliefs, and their formation involves revision of a person's subjective probabilities (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). Links form between separate cognitive beliefs and between separate affective beliefs, but not between cognitive and affective beliefs (Trafimow, 2000). Abelson and Prentice (1989) argue that beliefs are like possessions. Beliefs express a person's identity and are often displayed to sympathetic audiences. They are often inherited or adopted from others and only surrendered under duress. A lso, like possessions, beliefs can serve both instrumental purposes and symbolic functions. They serve instrumental purposes when they concern consequences of action, policies or states of affair and symbolic functions when they arc used for social identification and self-expression. They further argue that people adopt new 102 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION beliefs cautiously, and after adoption, are loath to abandon them due to cognitive dissonance and the fear of appearing foolish. Abandonment is thought to be more aversive than adoption. A lso, they propose that there are opportunity costs in accepting certain beliefs in that holding one belief precludes holding other, conflicting, beliefs. There may also be costs in social acceptance for holding beliefs that are deviant, unacceptable, or extreme. Beliefs have been identified as one o f the variables linked to proenvironmental behaviours (Ramsey, 1993). For example, post-materialism, belief in the fragility o f nature, and the importance given to consequences and trade-offs have all been linked to proenvironmental behaviour (Dietz et al., 1998). There is a scale, called the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP), which measures certain core beliefs: beliefs in limits to growth, antianthropocentrism, fragility o f nature's balance, rejection of exemptionalism (humans and their technology are exempt from natural law) and the possibil ity of an ecocrisis. The N E P has been found to have predictive validity for proenvironmental behaviour (Dunlap et al., 2000). Pieters et al (1998) explored some beliefs that have interesting implications for environmental behaviour. They found that most people believe themselves to be superior to others in performing proenvironmental behaviours and that they are both more motivated than others and less able to actually do it. People also believe that others' behaviour is more determined by motivation than ability, but that their behaviour is more motivated by ability than their motivation. In short, they believe that they do not perform environmental behaviours because they are not able whereas others do not perform them because they lack motivation. Beliefs about a specific activity can change as a result of doing that activity (Olander and Th0gersen, 1995). Specific beliefs influence behaviour because people l ike to believe they are consistent, even when they are not, so i f it is pointed out that behaviour and beliefs are inconsistent, one of the two needs to change in order to reduce cognitive dissonance (Winter, 2000). Unfortunately beliefs are often easier to change than behaviours. However, i f a person has committed to a behaviour discrepant with original beliefs, the beliefs w i l l l ikely change (Zimbardo and Ebbesen, 1970). 4.1.5 Attitudes Changing general attitudes does not lead to behaviour change, although there is some effect. Attitudes can have an effect on policy. Specific attitudes about behaviours can have an effect. 103 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Attitude refers to a relatively constant feeling, predisposition or set o f beliefs directed toward an object, person or situation (Zimbardo and Ebbesen, 1970; Newhouse, 1990; Green and Kreuter, 1999) or to "a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor" (Eagly, 1992, p. 693). Attitudes reflect a person's more general set of beliefs and values but do not exist until the entity in question has been through an evaluative process, which can vary based on the specific situation (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Eagly and Kulesa, 1997; Schultz and Zelezny, 1999). They are learned and enduring, but they can change (Zimbardo and Ebbesen, 1970). Attitudes "can be supported by many associations arising from direct and indirect experience ... [and can] be inferentially l inked to other attitudes and values" (Eagly and Kulesa, 1997, p. 129) (see also Lavine, 1996). Attitudes exist in an organized knowledge structure (Lavine, 1996). There are two kinds of attitudes: those regarding general factors such as the environment in general, and those regarding specific behaviours that a person could undertake. Historically, many have thought that attitude change is the key to bringing about other change: Wi l l iam James wrote in, 1902 that "the greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can change their lives by altering attitudes of mind" (Bateson, 2000, p. 88) (see also Er l ich and Erl ich, 1970; Zimbardo and Ebbesen, 1970). Many laypeople still have the assumption that attitudes predict behaviour; however, little correlation has been found between general attitudes and specific environmental behaviours (Cone and Hayes, 1980; Cook and Barrenberg, 1981, 207; Weyant, 1986; Hungerford and Volk , 1990, 192; Newhouse, 1990; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Ungar, 1994; Olander and Th0gersen, 1995; Jones, 1996, 194; Thogersen, 1999; Falomir et a l , 2000; McKenz ie-Mohr , 2000b, a; Winter, 2000). For example, a 1991 pol l found that 87% of Canadians were concerned about the environment, but only 20% were committed to making lifestyle changes (Ungar, 1994). This may be because " a lack o f awareness about the risks and ramifications of various actions also means that behaviour may not be a good indication of attitudes. Many people do not know or think about what their actions imply for resource use or conservation" (Al len, 1980). Despite this, attitudes can be thought of as enabling factors, proxy indicators or predictors for behaviour, mediated by more specific attitudinal, normative and behavioural intention variables (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Weigel, 1985; G i l l et a l , 1986; Bandura, 2000). For example, those who watch their own behaviour closely in hopes of always creating a good impression have less 104 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION behaviour-attitude consistency than those who are less self-monitoring; low self-monitoring individuals also accept behaviour discrepancies as reflecting their true attitudes while high self-monitors are unaffected by discrepancies (Weigel, 1985; Trafimow, 2000). A lso , opinion leaders are more controlled by attitudes, while others are more controlled by norms, and action-oriented people, those who decide what to do and then do it, have higher attitude-intention correspondence than state-oriented people, those who follow along with others (Trafimow, 2000). Attitudes can also have some effect on policy, in that many decision makers rely on opinion polls to govern their pol icy choices and polls more often reflect attitudes than behaviours, at least when there is not a strong norm about the issue (Arcury, 1990, 200; Newhouse, 1990; Ungar, 1994; Olander and Th0gersen, 1995). Attitudes also have some value for group level (rather than individual level) analysis (Gi l l et al., 1986). However, care must be used because "neutral polling procedures produce such a vague barometer of public opinion that virtually any group on the 'proenvironmental' side can claim to represent it" (Ungar, 1994, p. 298). A l so , attitudes and preferences are often constructed during their elicitation (Sparks, 2000) as "members of the public who are not in a position to take the time to study complex issues and policies so intensely often do not have clearly considered positions on them. Often this does not prevent people from having opinions when asked, but it makes their responses more dependent on the way the issue is explained to them" (Al len, 1980). There is evidence for a stronger correlation between attitudes toward specific behaviours a n d the behaviour itself, that is attitudes predict behaviour when they are measured at the same level of specificity as the behaviour (Weigel, 1985; G i l l et al., 1986; Weyant, 1986; Eagly, 1992; McKenz ie-Mohr et al., 1995; Olander and Th0gersen, 1995; Iwata, 2001) and i f there is not a strong norm regarding that behaviour (Newhouse, 1990). So i f a person has a positive attitude towards recycling, he or she is more likely to recycle. However, since studies have looked only for correlation, not causation, it is possible that doing the behaviour creates the attitude, and "even when behaviors lead to attitudes, the resultant attitudes w i l l influence the form and substance of subsequent behavior" (Weigel, 1985) (see also Weyant, 1986; Ronis et al., 1989). A lso, strongly held attitudes and those based on direct experience are more predictive than others (Devine and Hirt, 1989; Blake, 1999). 105 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION It has not been demonstrated that changing attitudes leads to behaviour change (Cone and Hayes, 1980) and doing so can be difficult because attitudes are embedded in a knowledge structure -the more knowledge a person has around an issue the harder his or her attitudes wi l l be to change (Eagly and Kulesa, 1997). A t the same time, change is possible because the attitudes of most are not so strongly held as to resist all influence (Eagly and Kulesa, 1997). To this end, using strong, cogent arguments with a lot o f new information and repeating key points can effect attitude change (Eagly and Kulesa, 1997). Social marketing can also be very effective at changing specific attitudes (Werner, 1999), as can issue specific education. However, care must be taken with attitude change since it can lead to "learners who may act in an environmentally positive manner with relation to one issue [or set of issues], but who do not have the knowledge, skills, and willingness to assume environmental responsibility in their day-to-day l ives" (Hungerford and Volk , 1990, 192, p. 17). 4.1.6 Self Image Self image reflects both our concept of who we are, our self-concept, and what we believe is right or wrong for us to do, our personal norms. It also reflects our feelings o f self-efficacy and our locus of control. 220.127.116.11 Self-concept Self-concept has a strong influence on behaviour. Self-concept, or self-identity, "refers to the relatively enduring characteristics that people ascribe to themselves which take the form of (or incorporate) socially given linguistic categorizations" (Sparks, 2000). It is expressed through the idea " I 'm this kind o f person so I do this" (Sparks and Shepherd, 1992). It is a "composite view of oneself that is formed through direct experience and evaluations adopted from significant others (Bandura, 1986, p. 409). It has effects on cognitions, emotions, motivations and behaviour (Bragg, 1996). We try to behave and think about ourselves in ways that accent the positive by maintaining consistency between our words and actions and by following through on promises, especially those that result in behaviours that are active, public, effortful and freely chosen (Bator and Cialdini , 2000). Addressing these needs, such as through social marketing, leads to the most sustained individual behaviour changes (Werner, 1999). 106 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Self-identity is a generative force behind behaviour and has a role in determining it independent of attitudes and past behaviour (Sparks and Shepherd, 1992; Bragg, 1996). This may reflect moral concerns or ethical orientation, and it may be that "facets of people's self-identities which evoke some moral imperative or consideration wi l l influence intentions and behaviour independently i f those influences are not revealed in expressed attitudes" (Sparks and Shepherd, 1992, p. 397). When people are committed to a behaviour, they often adopt an identity consistent with that behaviour, which often results in long-lasting attitude and behaviour change (Bator and Cialdini , 2000). A lso , undertaking repeated behaviours, such as donating blood, influences a person's self-concept (Sparks and Shepherd, 1992). In addition, telling people they are a certain way works better than persuading them to become that way (Weyant, 1986). One specific aspect of self-concept that has a correlation to environmental concern is the degree to which people think they are either independent, interdependent with other people or interdependent with all l iv ing things (Schultz, 2000). The latter, " a wide, expansive or field-like sense of self, which ultimately includes all life-forms, ecosystems and the Earth i t se l f (Bragg, 1996, p. 95) has been called the ecological self. The ecological self involves dissolving boundaries between oneself and other creatures and using empathy to identify with others and see the world through their eyes; it has been found that taking the perspective o f an animal harmed by pollution leads to higher concern than being objective (Schultz, 2000). It is possible to move from a personal (independent) sense of self to an ecological one, and doing so could lead to changes in cognition, emotion and motivation (Bragg, 1996). 18.104.22.168 Personal Norm People are strongly motivated to act in accordance with their personal norms; therefore, a personal norm which favours proenvironmental behaviour will have a significant effect. A personal norm is "the self-expectations for behavior backed by anticipation o f self-enhancement or deprecation. Personal norms are built up from a person's general value system and are experienced as feelings of obligation to act in a particular manner in particular situations" (Schwartz and Fleishman, 1978, p. 307) and "to violate a personal norm engenders guilt, and to uphold a personal norm engenders pride," (Schwartz, 1977, in Werner, 1999, p. 232). Personal norms could be seen as the enforcement arm of values as they are deeply rooted in generalized values (Thagersen, 1999). Though they are based on values, they arise or are learned from social interaction and are modified based on a person's experience (Schwartz, 1977). Personal norms 107 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION are different from social norms in that they refer to internalized self-expectations and the sanctions associated with them are tied to one's self-concept (Schwartz, 1977; Schwartz and Fleishman, 1978). They are different from "general attitudes towards an object in their focus on specific action and on feelings of obligation" (Schwartz and Fleishman, 1978, p. 307). Norms result in feelings of moral obligation rather than intellectual judgments o f right and wrong because they are the result o f ideal patterns being transmitted to us by social interactions with significant and/or powerful others (Schwartz, 1977). Personal norms have a far stronger relationship to self-reported proenvironmental behaviour than awareness of the consequences of the behaviour (Widegren, 1998) and have been found to be "the best predictor of behaviour among the attitudinal constructs (Tluagersen, 1999). People are strongly motivated to live up to their own self-expectations since doing so leads to pride, enhanced self-esteem, security and other favourable self-evaluations. Violat ion or anticipation of it results in guilt, self-depreciation, loss of self esteem and other negative self-evaluations (Widegren, 1998). People "have personal standards and regulate their behaviour by their self-sanctions. They do things that give them self-satisfaction and refrain from behaving in ways that breed self-dissatisfaction" (Bandura, 2000, p. 306). Additionally, personal norms can cause a spillover effect between similar behaviours; for example, i f a person recycles, they are more l ikely to be open to choosing products with little associated waste (Th0gersen, 1999). However, i f a personal norm is too difficult to follow, in a given situation, most people w i l l activate mental defense strategies such as denial in order to feel better about not doing what their personal norm says they ought to do (Olander and Th0gersen, 1995). People are also more l ikely to follow a norm i f they are aware that there are negative consequences for others that they feel responsible for (Weyant, 1986). 22.214.171.124 Self-efficacy Feelings of self-efficacy are important to undertaking new behaviours; therefore, they have strong links to proenvironmental behaviour. People who see themselves as efficacious set themselves challenges that enlist their interest and involvement in activities; they intensify their efforts when their performances fall sort of their goals, make causal ascriptions for failures that support a success orientation, approach potentially threatening tasks nonanxiously, and experience little in the way of stress reaction in taxing situation. Such self-assured endeavor produces accomplishments. In marked contrast, those who regard themselves as inefficacious shy away from difficult 108 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION tasks, slacken their efforts and give up readily in the face of difficulties, dwell on their personal deficiencies, which detracts attention from task demands, lower their aspirations, and suffer much anxiety and stress. Such self-misgivings undermine performance and generate a good deal of distress (Bandura, 1986, p. 395). Self-efficacy refers to the belief an individual holds regarding his or her capability to perform a specific behaviour. If a person believes that his or her actions wi l l be effective in bringing about a result, they are more l ikely to act (Geller, 1995b; McKenz ie-Mohr et al., 1995; Olander and Thogersen, 1995; Bandura, 2000; Trafimow, 2000). Perceived self-efficacy also affects the adoption of new behaviour, as well as choices of which tasks and situations a person attempts (Bandura, 1986; Gamba and Oskamp, 1994). It also affects how long someone w i l l persist in trying. The best situation is a person whose self-appraisal slightly exceeds what they can do, and whose sense of self-efficacy is strong enough to withstand failure, but seasoned with some uncertainty regarding the challenge of the task, because this spurs the acquisition o f knowledge and skills (Bandura, 1986). However, not even a strong sense of self-efficacy can overcome disincentives, performance constraints or a lack o f equipment or resources (Bandura, 1986). Eff icacy also acts on other determinants of behaviour: it enhances the acquisition of knowledge and skills, regulates motivation through goal-setting and strength o f commitment and the expected outcome, and determines how long one perseveres in the face o f obstacles and failures, one's resilience to adversity, whether thought patterns hinder or aid reaching one's goals and how much stress and depression are experienced in coping with situations (Bandura, 2000). There are four main sources of a sense of personal efficacy (Bandura, 1986, 2000): • Mastery experiences: success helps develop personal efficacy, and failure undermines it. Experiencing early success helps one to ascribe failure to forces other than self-efficacy such as the situation, not enough effort or poor strategies. However, experiencing only easy success leads people to expect quick results and to be discouraged by failure; a "resilient sense of efficacy requires experience in overcoming obstacles through perseverant effort" (Bandura, 2000, p. 302). 4. Vicarious experiences of social models: this is seeing people similar to oneself (in sex, age, education, socioeconomic level and race) succeeding by sustained effort. It works because, through "their behaviour and expressed ways of thinking, competent models transmit knowledge and teach observers effective skills and strategies for 109 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION managing environmental demands" (Bandura, 2000, p. 302). Model l ing a behaviour with many types of people is more effective than using only one. 5. Social persuasion: people verbally persuaded that they are capable of mastering given activities are more effective than those who harbour self-doubt. However, unrealistic expectations can discredit the persuaders and reduce perceived self-efficacy. Situations should be structured such that they bring success rather than too much failure too early. Persuasion should be aimed just above what someone can do in order to inspire effort. 6. Reduced stress reactions, altered negative emotional proclivities and corrected misinformation of physical states: people interpret stress reactions and tension as inefficacy, and fatigue, aches and pain as debility. M o o d also affects one's judgment of efficacy. However, arousal is read differently depending on the sense of self-efficacy; those with high self-efficacy see it as a facilitator and those with low self-efficacy see it as a debilitator. 126.96.36.199 Locus of Control The location of a person's locus of control is an important predictor ofproenvironmental behaviour. Locus of control is related to self-efficacy and refers to an " individual 's perception of his or her ability to bring about change through his or her behaviour" (Newhouse, 1990, p. 26) People can believe it to be external, or controlled from the outside (fate or luck), which makes them less likely to make personal changes, or internal, where one's own actions bring about change (Newhouse, 1990; Schwepker Jr. and Cornwell , 1991; Geller, 1995b). Someone with an external locus of control may experience learned helplessness, so may be less l ikely to see how a proenvironmental behaviour could actually help (Schwepker Jr. and Cornwel l , 1991). If someone believes he or she has control over events he or she is more l ikely to act (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Hungerford and Vo lk , 1990; Schwepker Jr. and Cornwell , 1991; Ramsey, 1993; Geller, 1995b; Smith-Sebasto, 1995; A l len, 1999; Iwata, 1996; Fransson and Garl ing, 1999). However, someone with an external locus of control is only l ikely to engage in proenvironmental behaviour i f he or she is optimistic about the future (Borden, 1985). 4.2 E N A B L I N G F A C T O R S 4.2.1 Skills Having skills to do something is one of the most important predictors of doing it. Skil ls refer to practical abilities that a person has for performing a specific behaviour, such as recycling or composting. In order for action to take place, a person has to know how to do it. 110 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION They also have to know that the possibility for a certain action exists and to have knowledge of strategies that they can undertake. They must also be aware o f available opportunities and resources (Pieters et al., 1998) as well as the constraints they face. Addit ionally they must believe that the behaviour has tactical efficacy - that is, it w i l l have an effect (McKenzie-Mohr et al., 1995). Ski l ls also have a social aspect, both in that interpersonal skil ls are needed to form associations and in that skills and interests often determine social circles (Bandura, 1986). Knowledge guides ski l l acquisition but once skills are developed they are usually used automatically, without conscious thought (Bandura, 1986). Ski l ls are strong predictors of behaviour (Hungerford and Volk , 1990; Ramsey, 1993; McKenz ie-Mohr et al., 1995), as are most enabling factors. A lso, as De Young (1996; 2000) points out, feeling competence is a prime motivator and is self-initiating and self-rewarding. At the same time: People find unpleasant and thus avoid situations in which they cannot advance or utilize their competence. When people are not sure how to proceed with a new behaviour they are easily overwhelmed. What seems to others a simple action may become for them a major challenge. The issue here goes well beyond a lack of procedural knowledge. It can involve not even knowing what the right questions to ask are (De Young, 2000, p. 521). B y ignoring this and forgetting their own initial stumbles, program planners can induce feelings of helplessness and create a situation where it is most rational for people to do nothing rather than feel incompetent. 4.2.2 Resources, Availability and Accessibility All three are necessary for behaviour change. Resources refers to having the wherewithal to perform a certain behaviour, including things such as availability o f time, literacy, money, social status and power (Stern, 2000b). Availabi l i ty is whether the means for the behaviour exists. Accessibil i ty means being able to use available resources. Without these things, the chances of a behaviour taking place diminish (Bandura, 1986; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Maibach, 1992; Margai, 1997; Th0gersen, 1999; Vlek, 2000). However, how to use available money and time is a choice (Weyant, 1986). People can also make efforts to change their status as regards these areas. This topic is further discussed in Chapter 5. i l l HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 4.2.3 Life So Far 188.8.131.52 Habits Habits make existing behaviours hard to change, but if they can be shifted, can make new behaviours just as difficult to shift. Any sequence of mental action which has been frequently repeated tends to perpetuate itself; so that we find ourselves automatically prompted to think, feel, or do what we have been before accustomed to think, feel, or do, under like circumstances, without any consciously-formed purpose, or anticipation of results.... Habit simplifies the movements required to achieve a given result, makes them more accurate and diminishes fatigue (Wi l l iam James, 1890, in Ronis et al., 1989, p. 218-9). Habits, the actions that have been done many times and become automatic, influence our daily behaviour to a large degree - where habits are strong the attitude-behaviour link is weak, and where habits are weak, the attitude-behaviour link is strong (Ronis et al., 1989; Olander and Thogersen, 1995). Thus, attitudes can change without a concurrent change in behaviour (Ronis et al., 1989). Having a habit can preclude the formation of intention as "only when people are not in the habit of performing a behavior is there reason to devote cognitive resources to the decision" (Trafimow, 2000, p. 59). Habits are the result of automatic cognitive processes which are unintentional and set in motion by stimulus cues; they can occur at the same time as other cognitive processes. Controlled processes, on the other hand, require conscious effort, are intentional, and cannot overlap one another (Ronis et al., 1989). Evolutionarily, habits arise from the assumption that i f something works a few times it is l ikely to continue to do so. Therefore, it makes sense to stop using conscious effort where possible. However, this can mean continuing in habits that no longer make sense. Much of our consumption of resources is habitual - as Jean-Jacques Rousseau said in 1775, "What was once luxury becomes habit, and then need" (in Michaelis, 2000, p. 80). Habits are usually formed and supported in a social context (Weyant, 1986). Habit formation is the automatization of skills, which happens in three parts: mergerization (combining elements of the task), routinized linkage of situations and required actions, and a shift in attention from the execution of the task to its results (Bandura, 1986). It "generally requires conscious decision-making, guided by attitudes and beliefs. After the decision and action are repeated many times, the action becomes habitual and repeated decision-making becomes unnecessary (Ronis et al., 1989, p. 220). Routinization has costs, especially when habitualizing deficiencies since people 112 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION then rarely pay attention to the informative aspects of the environment which call for discernment in response and "psychosocial functioning can be seriously impaired when stereotyped reaction based on superficial similarities of events replaces thoughtful actions" (Bandura, 1986, p. 461). However, there is also evidence that doing something repeatedly wi l l improve attitudes toward the action even i f the action is not perceived as voluntary, due to the "mere exposure" effect (Ronis et al., 1989). Accordingly, habits are an important barrier to overcome. It is much easier to do what we have always done than it is to do something new that requires thought and learning (Stern, 2000a). "Habit, in the form of standard operating procedure, is also a key factor in environmentally significant organizational behavior" (Stern, 2000b, p.417). In order to change habits, people need to develop self-regulatory skills to influence their own motivation and behaviour. They need to pay attention to their own performance, its conditions and its effects, so they need self-monitoring with fidelity, consistency and temporal proximity. Social comparison and personal standards also play a major role, as does valuing the activity and ascribing success to themselves (Bandura, 2000). 184.108.40.206 Experience Experience, or life history, can have a large positive or negative effect on proenvironmental behaviour. Experience informs most of our patterns of behaviour, as well as informing our attitudes, beliefs, values, skills and a host of other factors (Bandura, 1986; McKenz ie -Mohr et al., 1995; Stern et al., 1995). Ear ly experience influences many traits, and then people create and select environments and associates that reinforce them (Bandura, 1986). Experiences with a given behaviour in the past can also influence its performance (De Young, 2000). Many environmental attitudes and values are formed due to life experiences, such as childhood hiking trips or positive experience with animals. Others are formed through the experience of "insights that result in instantaneous and irreversible shifts in values and lifestyle orientations" (Borden, 1985, p. 120). Biological, social, physical and life events can also change the direction of life, depending on the event, when in life it happens, where it happens and the personal characteristics, preconceptions and competing interests of the person it happens to (Bandura, 1986). Experience can also be a 113 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION negative factor in beginning a more sustainable action because quite often it represents a break from what our experience has told us is the "right" way to live. It has been suggested that a major influence for people involved in conservation movements is the sense o f loss experienced from watching the destruction o f a cherished wi ld land or having been harmed by an environmental problem (Newhouse, 1990; McKenz ie -Mohr et al., 1995). It has also been found that experiences with nature lead to both the willingness to act to protect nature and actual behaviours to do so (Kals et al., 1999) 4.2.4 Situation-Specific Evaluations In situations where people consciously assess the need for a behaviour, factors such as norms may become especially salient. Situation-specific evaluations are those calculations done when a person faces the possibility of doing something out o f the ordinary, for example engaging in a novel sustainable behaviour. He or she calculates the need for the behaviour and his or her responsibility for the outcome and its consequences (Schwartz, 1977; Widegren, 1998). He or she also assesses opportunities for action and his or her ability to act (Vlek, 2000). In many cases, only i f the action is seen as justified or i f a personal norm is activated is the motivation to act formed (Blarney, 1998; Widegren, 1998). If there are significant costs to acting a person may attempt to avoid action through a reassessment or redefinition of the situation by denial of need, personal responsibility or the applicability of norms; however, i f a high seriousness of need is pushed on people already highly aware of consequences they may feel reactance and not want to act (Schwartz, 1977). Situation-specific evaluations are also influenced by time and space factors and the person's interpretation of them (Stern, 2000b). 4.2.5 Time and Space Location in time and space is very important. However, people can chose to alter both, as well as their reactions to them. A person's location at a given time and place affects almost everything that he or she does through economic, polit ical, historical, geographical, cultural and ecological influences. These can be factors such as interpersonal influences, community expectations, advertising, government regulations, legal and institutional factors, monetary incentives and costs, physical 114 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION difficulties of specific actions, capabilities and constraints of technology and built environment, and public policies (Stern, 2000b). A lso, though these things may seem immutable, people "create, alter and destroy environments. The changes they produce in environmental conditions, in turn, affect their behaviour and the nature o f human l i fe" (Bandura, 1986, p. 23). Bandura, (1986) proposes an interactive triangle with behaviour, environmental influences and cognitive and other personal factors at its points, with interactions between all three (not necessarily symmetrical ones). He also points out that people can affect their environment simply by existing, as others react to them based on their physically apparent attributes. However, a "contextual factor may have different meanings to people with different attitudes or beliefs. For example, the higher price of 'organic' produce may be an economic barrier to purchase for some people, whereas for others it is a marker o f a superior product" (Stern, 2000b, p. 417). The interpretation of the forces themselves can change and exert a different influence upon the person. Thus our interpretation, or story of these influences, can be very important since "our actions are largely constituted by the stories that we tell ourselves about what is real, true, and important in our lives. Each of us literally stakes his or her life on a small set of core stories about what is true and important in l i fe" (Howard, 1997, p. 3). 4.3 R E I N F O R C I N G F A C T O R S 4.3.1 Reactions Reactions to either a person's own actions or those of surrounding people can have at times a reinforcing effect on future actions. Some of these reactions are reactance, cognitive dissonance and satisfaction. 220.127.116.11 Reactance Overcoming or not inducing reactance is an important consideration when designing behaviour change strategies. Reactance is the reaction people have when free choice is limited or threatened; they perversely come to desire whatever is being taken away significantly more than previously or even reverse their opinion (Brehm and Brehm, 1981; Cialdini , 1985; Wiener and Doescher, 1991). It is especially salient with threats and commands rather than pleas and demands and with hard sell 115 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION rather than soft sell tactics (Brehm and Brehm, 1981; Weyant, 1986). Reactance can manifest in obvious ways like the increase in littering in response to demands to stop or in indirect ways such as hiring equal numbers of men and women but giving men more money when faced with a strong fair practices doctrine (Brehm and Brehm, 1981). However, i f no chance for renewed freedom is perceived, then there is no reactance (Brehm and Brehm, 1981). Some strategies to minimize reactance are to ensure buy-in and to use soft-sell strategies (Brehm and Brehm, 1981). In addition, telling people that they are a certain way works better than telling them that they should be that way (Weyant, 1986). 18.104.22.168 Cognitive Dissonance Inducing cognitive dissonance is an effective means of changing either attitudes or behaviours. Cognitive dissonance is what happens when people do things that are incompatible with their beliefs and attitudes or hold cognitions about the environment, other people, or their own attitudes which are inconsistent. However, only i f a person's self-concept is involved or i f he or she feels responsibility is there dissonance; i f he or she was forced to do something or could not know the outcome there is no dissonance (Cooper and Stone, 2000). Because people like to be consistent, they usually feel bad when they do this. To minimize this feeling and restore consistency they need to change the belief/attitude or stop doing the action that causes the dissonance (Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Eagly, 1992; Monroe, 1993; Cooper and Stone, 2000; Winter, 2000). Usually it is easiest to change the attitude, however, i f the attitude is part of a person's social identity it might be easier to either feel hostility to the outgroup or to repress the feeling (Cooper and Stone, 2000). Cognitive dissonance means that i f behaviour change can be induced, attitude change wi l l l ikely follow. A lso, after people make a decision, they are aware that they have made a commitment and are looking for reassurance that they made the right one, so this assurance can be provided (Andreasen, 1995) 116 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 22.214.171.124 Intrinsic Satisfaction The search for intrinsic satisfaction, especially that derived from competence, frugality and participation, is a large factor in behaviour choice. Emphasizing the satisfaction of proenvironmental behaviour can be effective in driving behaviour change. Intrinsic satisfaction is a form of self-interest. It happens when people get satisfaction from doing things outside of themselves. It is not traditional altruism, though altruism could lead to satisfaction as people take pleasure in performing helping behaviour. There are three intrinsic satisfactions relevant to environmental sustainability: "(1) satisfaction derived from striving for behavioral competence, (2) frugal, thoughtful consumption, and (3) participation in maintaining a community" (De Young, 2000, p. 516). Competence is generally the most highly endorsed o f all the satisfactions and frugality is satisfying in its own right and was a distinguishing trait of early American society (De Young, 1996). As for participation, people consistently derive satisfaction from it and value opportunities for taking action that makes a difference. People have a prosocial inclination, which includes caring, but is not altruism; it includes "an eagerness to share news, finding pleasure from working with others toward a common goal, and, given the right conditions, a willingness to expend considerable effort in developing positive relations with others and in sharing skills and knowledge. The inclination is as much about interacting with other people as it is about helping them" (De Young, 2000, p. 520). Recognizing that people derive satisfaction from these types of activity, proenvironmental behaviour can be framed in such a way to emphasize them, rather than emphasizing that the behaviours might be onerous or difficult. Indeed, behaviours that "focus on being frugal, active, creative and working to maintain social harmony all seem to contain their own reward" (De Young, 1996, p. 399). 4.3.2 Tangible Considerations Tangible considerations are important, but are far from the only determinant of behaviour. Tangible considerations refers to factors such as prices, taxes, rewards, etc. These considerations are important and do guide behaviour choices, although generally they only have an effect for as long as they are in place, and can in some cases lead to decreased natural interest in a behaviour. See Chapter 5 for a more complete discussion of these considerations. 117 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 4.3.3 Social Pressures Social factors are shown as the sun in Figure 16 because all "individuals are embedded in a social structure that has substantial influence on all psychological variables" (Stern et al., 1995). Further, much environmentally related behaviour takes place in a social context (Hormuth, 1999). Social pressures, including social mil ieu, social norms, social diffusion, social commitment, social capital and social identity, heavily influence our motivation to act. 126.96.36.199 Social Milieu It is important to assess the social milieu when designing behaviour change strategies. Social mil ieu refers to general awareness toward a problem or need for collective action and is strongly influenced by historically based differences in values and ways of thinking (Werner, 1999). It comes from cognitive and social processes, which "rather than operating independently, constitute a highly interactive and complex dynamical system out of which public opinion may emerge and become organized" (Lavine, 1996, p. 53). Awareness by itself does not lead to people being persuaded to change, but sets the stage for it. Making problems visible and convincing seems the best way to make people aware (Werner, 1999). 188.8.131.52 Social Norms Social norms are an extremely powerful force in determining behaviour, especially for new behaviours or situations. Therefore, changing social norms can be very effective. Norms are cultural phenomena that prescribe and proscribe behaviour in specific circumstances. As such, they have long been considered to be at least partly responsible for regulating social behaviour. Without norms, it is hard to imagine how interaction and exchange between strangers could take place at all (Hechter and Opp, 2001). Social norms affect almost everything. Two telling examples are suicides and murders and food choices. Both suicides and single vehicle accident rates rise after a famous or well-publicized suicide, and deaths with passengers in cars and airplanes increase after a well-publicized murder-suicide. Innovative crimes and acts of violence are also spread by modeling. These effects co-vary with publicity, the geographic area the event is most publicized in, age similarities and the form of the fatality, and they tend to be seen a few days after the publicity, suggesting people ruminate about it and vary to fit their own circumstances (Bandura, 1986). As for food, much more is edible than what we eat and edibility " is an objective, consequential reality, but food 118 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION acceptability depends upon the boundaries of the concept of food, based upon a cognitive sociology. Even those aspects o f our existence that we think of as being most "natural" are, in fact, normative constructions to which we have been social ized" (Fine, 2001, p. 141). Social norms regulate behaviour; they are what people think is socially appropriate and lead to behaviours designed to win social approval (Werner, 1999; Home, 2001; Opp, 2001). They are spontaneous, unwritten and informally and diffusely enforced, but generally complied with by individuals within a social system (Ullman-Margalit, 1977; El l ickson, 2001; Fine, 2001; Hechter and Opp, 2001). They have a rule-like quality and are tied to values (Fine, 2001). People follow them out of a sense of moral obligation rather than through intellectual judgment and they often feel obligatory (Schwartz, 1977). They reflect beliefs about the doings of others and their l ikely approval of what is done or not done (Schultz, 1998). They work because people have a desire to be thought of as responsible citizens, to be accepted and respected by others, to conform to group/societal norms and to receive praise from their group or society (El l ickson, 2001). When people follow social norms they receive praise or acceptance, but when they do not they are censured by the group (Zimbardo and Ebbesen, 1970; Jones, 1996; Bandura, 2000; El l ickson, 2001). The same person can at different times follow social norms, enforce them, or act as an audience for the first two roles (Ell ickson, 2001). Although social norms can be complied with even i f they are not internalized (Ell ickson, 2001), they are often adopted and internalized to create a self-regulatory system that operates through self-sanctions and which "involves integrating them into one's value set as well as learning which decision situations they are relevant for" (Olander and Th0gersen, 1995, p. 353) (also Hoffman, 1977; Schwartz, 1977; Bratt, 1999; Bandura, 2000, p. 306; Home, 2001). Internalization can happen because people think they are always being watched, through the integration of empathy and awareness of others into consciousness and/or through cognitive processing. These processes are not stages, but depend on the person and group, although they can overlap and support each other (Hoffman, 1977). Norms can be rational, arational, irrational or anywhere in between, and it should be noted that rational norms can lead to bad choices and arational norms can lead to good outcomes (Fukuyama, 1999). There are two classes of social norms: descriptive norms "specify what most people do in a particular situation, and they motivate action by informing people of what is generally seen as effective or adaptive behaviour there" and injunctive norms "specify what people approve and disapprove within the culture and motivate people by promising social 119 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION sanctions for normative or counternormative conduct" (Reno et al., 1993, p. 104) (also Schultz, 1998). Injunctive norms have been found to be more powerful in influencing behaviour (Reno et al., 1993; Schultz, 1998). There is disagreement as how norms are generated: whether they are given (top-down) or constructed (bottom up) (Hechter and Opp, 2001), whether they fill roles, evolve, are the result of an invisible hand, or evolve and are then selected (Ullman-Margalit, 1977; Bendor and Swistak, 2001; Home, 2001). It is hard to escape circular argument when trying to determine where they come from; they come from one's culture and surrounding people, yet they also influence that culture and those people (Ullman-Margalit, 1977; Fine, 2001). Indeed, norms "do not as a rule come into existence at a definite point in time, nor are they the result of a manageable number o f identifiable acts. They are, rather, the resultant o f complex patterns of behaviour o f a large number of people over a protracted period of t ime" (Ullman-Margalit, 1977, p. 8). However, as Fukuyama (1999) points out, the "analysis of where norms come from is colored by the strong ideological preferences people have as to where they ought to come from" (p. 189). In his view, they can be hierarchically generated (based on explicit negotiation and bargaining) or spontaneously generated (emerging from self-organization), or anywhere in between. He describes one situation that illustrates how social norms can emerge. In Washington, D C , the combination of a new H O V 3 lane with the fact that most government employees work in the same area led to a practice called slugging. Riders and drivers started meeting at a certain place to carpool, and, without any formal organization, rules came into being about l ining up, number of people in cars, protection of single women, etc. This was not terribly unusual or strange; in fact, once you start looking, it is quite interesting to observe how social norms are spontaneously formed in all sorts of situations, how public behaviour " is part of a delicate negotiation in which participants converge on a joint definition of the situation and their respective roles in it" (Mil ler et al., 2000, p. 97). Norms need a social network to emerge, and they are affected by culture and history, as well as by different social, economic, demographic and political contexts (Blake, 1999; Hechter and Opp, 2001; Opp, 2001). Norms can emerge spontaneously, through negotiation or by lawmaking by collective actors (Opp, 2001). They can also change based on societal changes, and they vary 120 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION based on the group and its location (Hormuth, 1999). Norms often change in response to an exogenous shock to the group or when membership changes, but changes in norms are the result of individuals changing and then spreading in the manner of the diffusion of innovation curve discussed in Chapter 1 (Ell ickson, 2001; Home, 2001). Social norms are very powerful. They can be much more effective than financial rewards or regulation (Werner, 1999). The emergence of norms can dampen reactance (Stern and Kirkpatrick, 1977). Social norms are a strong predictor of behaviour (Hormuth, 1999), outweighing personal attitudes; Ajzen and Fishbein (1977, in Newhouse, 1990) found that attitudes only predict behaviour when there are no strong norms about it. Because norms "develop through processes that have only an indirect and partial connection to the characteristics and views of those who are influenced by them" (Mi l ler et al., 2000, p. 97), it is not surprising that they are often counter-attitudinal for some or most of the people who are influenced by them. One interesting finding is that people often act counter-attitudinally based on their idea of what "everyone" believes, based on their observation of the acts of their peers, who are also acting counter-attitudinally. This can lead to a situation where virtually all members o f a group privately reject the group norms but publicly act on them, and express the views they think others hold rather than their own views (Mil ler et al., 2000). Much of our current over-consumption behaviour is based on social norms (Hormuth, 1999; Michaelis, 2000), as "human needs and wants are generated, articulated, and satisfied in an institutionalized feedback system. They do not appear from thin air but are created by the social interactions that comprise the civic community" (Douglas et al., 1998). Therefore, changed norms would have wide-ranging effects. Staats et al (1996, in Bratt, 1999) argue that because expectations regarding the behaviour of others are often self-fulfi l l ing, it would be best to focus on influencing beliefs about what others to, that is, to concentrate on social uncertainty rather than environmental certainty. According to Hormuth (1999, p. 285) "our research has frequently shown that the establishment, communication, and acceptance of social norms within a stable social structure is one of the main factors in maintaining behavioural changes." A s above, social norms that lead to behavioural change become internalized as personal norms as the behaviour continues. 121 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Social norms are especially important when people try new behaviours since they often feel uncertainty or ambiguity about how and whether to do the behaviour and so compare their performance to others and previous experience (Hormuth, 1999; Fine, 2001). A t the same time their behaviour provides a base of comparison for others. A good example o f how social norms can work is recycling - there are many reasons that recycling has caught on, including technology, policy and the ease with which it can be done - but one major reason people started and continued to do it due to internalized social norms (Derksen and Gartrell, 1993; Bratt, 1999). Polls can also be influenced by perceived norms; respondents often respond how they believe they ought to think, whether or not they do think that way (Weyant, 1986; Newhouse, 1990). Spontaneous norm formation is the least costly and most effective method of changing norms (Opp, 2001), but norms can be influenced by feedback, which gives a person information about aspect(s) o f his or her behaviour (Schultz, 1998). If there is a discrepancy between his or her existing performance on a given task and an abstract standard, the person can either change his or her behaviour to match expectations, abandon or change the standard, or disregard the feedback as spurious (Schultz, 1998). A lso , norms can be created by making statements as to what should or must be done and rewarding those who reward others and punishing those who do not punish others (Opp, 2001). In addition, repeated interaction and closeness of group members promotes the emergence of norms (Opp, 2001). 184.108.40.206 Social Diffusion Behaviours diffuse among and between groups. Understanding how they do so is important in designing behaviour change strategies. Social diffusion is the way in which traits such as ideas, values and behaviours are transmitted from one person or group to another. These characteristics can be transmitted between individuals in four ways: parent to child transmission; transmission from the trait-carrier (teacher) to one who does not initially carry the trait; transmission from one trait carrier (teacher, leader) to many individuals; and social group pressure, in which many individuals influence one (and usually each other) (Cavall i-Sforza, 1993). Diffusion tends to happen from the group outwards, or among people in similar structural positions; it increases with physical proximity, has direction and is facilitated by the media (Home, 2001). Transmission is not necessarily unidirectional, and can depend on the ability, persuasion, prestige or authority o f the transmitter as well as the acceptability of the information, teaching or suggestion (Bandura, 1986; Caval l i -122 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Sforza, 1993; Geller et al, 1982). A lso, while there tends to be more spread of innovation through weak ties, the determination of what gets adopted is usually by close-knit groups (Bandura, 1986). People with more ties contribute more to the diffusion of innovations (Bandura, 1986). There are two components to diffusion: the acquisition of knowledge of the innovation and its adoption; knowing about something is necessary before being able to adopt it (Bandura, 1986). However, people are loath to abandon things that work for new things, as learning new ways requires time and effort and disrupts routines; those of limited means especially cannot afford risk or failure (Bandura, 1986). Increasing complexity of the innovation and the skills required to use it slows the rate of adoption, as does a delay between the behaviour and any benefit (Bandura, 1986). A lso, environmental and incentive factors influence the adoption of a new idea, as do self-evaluative reactions; "people espouse what they value and regard as praiseworthy, but they resist accepting innovations that violate their social and moral standards or conflict with their f irmly held beliefs" or that clash with their self-conceptions (Bandura, 1986, p. 150). Generally, greater compatibility with prevailing social norms and values means greater adoptability (Bandura, 1986). Finally, there are great obstacles to an innovation being adopted when privileged groups benefit from the status quo (Bandura, 1986). I C D ; TO:* am 50% Taking a more macro view, although there is no single pattern of social diffusion and different innovations spread through different networks (Bandura, 1986), traits do tend to spread in a pattern known as the diffusion of innovation (as discussed in Chapter 1). In this process only a few people usually adopt a new way of doing things at first. They are called innovators and make up only 2.5% of a given population (Rogers, 1983). They are followed in the process by early adopters, who tend to be cosmopolitan 70% / / / _ / / ' S-.vrutp-JCi curve / / / / / / ^-^r-""\ ' | 1 1 1 1 1 I 1 J 1 Figure 17: The Diffusion of Innovation Curve 123 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION opinion leaders, and who make up about 13.5% of the population (Rogers, 1983). They also tend to have greater access to media (Bandura, 1986). As the next group of individuals, the early majority, starts to adopt the innovation, it "takes off," the time period shown by the shaded area on the diagram. This early majority, making up about 34% of the population, tends to be very deliberate and is wi l l ing to follow, but not to lead - their adoption of the innovation signals that it is moving into the mainstream (Rogers, 1983). The next group to adopt is termed the late majority, also about 34% of the population. They are more skeptical and cautious and like to be with the majority of their peers (Rogers, 1983). The last 16% to adopt are called laggards - they tend to be the most traditional and isolated o f anyone, and suspicious o f change (Rogers, 1983). 220.127.116.11 Social Commitment Making a social commitment to do something is a strong predictor of actually doing it. Social commitment is when a person says to another person that he or she w i l l do something. Pledging to do something creates anticipated consequences and social pressure and failing to meet a commitment can bring penalties, social disapproval and loss o f reputation (Bandura, 1986). Explicit social commitment increases the attitude-behaviour link and has worked in recycling, bus ridership and residential energy conservation (Weyant, 1986; DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995). 18.104.22.168 Social Capital Building social capital can contribute to encouraging proenvironmental behaviour. Social capital is "not embodied in individuals, but a property of relationships among individuals, agents or groups - a network property reflecting shared values, a convergence of beliefs and a degree o f mutual confidence in generalized reciprocity that facilitates collective action" (Dobell, 2001, p. 356). It "refers to connections among individuals - social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them" (Putnam, 2000, p. 19). It is "created all the time by people going about their daily lives. It was created in traditional societies, and it is generated on a daily basis by individuals and organizations in a modern capitalist society" (Fukuyama, 1999, p. 145) and "becomes more rather than less important as the complexity and technological intensity of an economy increases" (Fukuyama, 1999, p. 145). It can be bonding (within groups - sociological superglue), or bridging (among groups - sociological WD40) (Putnam, 2000). 124 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Social capital can aid social diffusion. It also has some other effects on proenvironmental behaviour. Social ly responsible consumers are less alienated from their community and more involved in community activities; at the same time, those who are highly involved in community activities are higher in socially responsible, and thus more influenced by accepted social values (Schwepker Jr. and Cornwell , 1991). Social networks such as schools, youth programs, tenants associations, etc. are integral to the success of behaviour change programs (Margai, 1997). 22.214.171.124 Social Identity A person's social identity has strong influences on how they behave and what they believe. People act in accordance with their social identity even when it does not exactly match their beliefs. Social identity can also influence how people respond to persuasion and experiences. Social identity is "an existing group membership that becomes part of the self-concept through categorization of the self as a member of the group" (Fleming and Petty, 2000, p. 172). The group creates its identity through categorization (accentuating differences between ingroup and outgroup members and similarities between group members) and through self-enhancement (favouring ingroup ideas and practices) (Terry et al., 2000). "When social identity is salient, depersonalization occurs such that a person's feelings and actions are guided more by group prototypes and norms than by personal factors" (Terry and Hogg, 1996, in Mi l le r et al., 2000, p. 109). Beliefs which are perceived to be central and agreed upon become a social identity badge (Abelson and Prentice, 1989) and "once individuals become attached to a primary group, they are socialized into its ideology and life style through a vast network of proximal rewards and social sanctions that members provide for each other in their daily transactions" (Bandura, 1986, p. 35). Having a social identity means that people may publicly espouse a radical belief that identifies them as a member of the group, even when their own view is more moderate because they believe that the other members of the group all hold the extreme view, usually the one expressed by a very vocal minority (Abelson and Prentice, 1989; Mi l le r et al., 2000). It also may mean that they w i l l strongly resist changing the belief (or action) on which the social identity is based (Bandura, 1986). For example, smokers may resist changing their behaviour because they have developed a social identity as smokers and have become part of a distinct and persecuted minority (Falomir et al., 2000). 125 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Having a social identity can affect how people respond to persuasion. In cases where a person is highly motivated and able to think about the information he or she is being provided with, his or her social identity can bias the decision. In cases where a person is not motivated or able to think about the persuasive argument, he or she is likely to use social identity as a behaviour cue, that is, determining his or her response based on the group membership of the persuader. He or she is also more likely to carefully evaluate messages from ingroup members (Fleming and Petty, 2000; Mackie and Queller, 2000; van Knippenberg, 2000). Identifying with a group can also distort how experience is viewed because people see what they want to see, reinterpret incongruities to their own liking and even rewrite memories; "by influencing actions anticipatorily, beliefs channel social interactions in ways that create their own self-validating realities" (Bandura, 1986, p. 36). 4.4 B E H A V I N G S U S T A I N A B L Y Many of the sources that I consulted for the section above included models of behaviour. Most of these elaborated how the preceding factors of behaviour interact and how they influence each other. However, there is no real consensus. It is safe to say that many of the above factors interact and influence each other, but no one or two of them solely determine behaviour. Therefore, I have included all the internal factors in the happy face, and all the social factors in Social Pressures in the diagram below. Social Pressures are situated between the individual and Economic Political Historical Ecological Cultural Geographical Surroundings Contains: biology; location, age, gender, race, education, values, political ideology, religion, self-efficacy, locus of control, skills, resources, habits, experience, evaluations, reactions. Figure 18: Influences on Behaviour 126 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION the surroundings because they are experienced within ourselves but are a reflection of our perception of our surroundings. In the next section I use aspects of a number of the models in the sources as well as the findings above to elaborate on how behaviour actually happens. I also draw from the Precede/Proceed Model in the use of predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors and strategies. 4.4.1 The Act ion Process When faced with the possibility of doing something, a person usually chooses to do nothing or to do what is comfortable and easiest. Doing something new requires first forming the motivation to do it. This in itself does not automatically lead to action because it is easy to go from motivation into denial i f the person decides that it is not his or her responsibility or it 's too hard; this can lead back to no action or habitual action. However, denial can also lead back to motivation i f the reasons for denial do not seem strong enough. Contains: biology, location, age, gender, race education, values, political ideology, religion, skills, resources, habits, experience, evaluations, reactions. Figure 19: The Behaviour Process 127 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION From motivation the intention to act can also be formed, which again is not enough to ensure action because it can lead back to denial and either no action or a reformulation of motivation and intention. We have all had intentions to do things that we have not actually done. Surroundings and social pressures strongly influence this cycle. 4.4.2 Effects of Actions As Figure 20 depicts, a person's own actions and the actions of others have a reinforcing effect on him or herself, an effect on the surroundings, and an effect on social norms. Therefore, a proenvironmental behaviour can have many effects simultaneously, and can contribute to more proenvironmental behaviours being performed through the spillover effect, the diffusion of innovation, social norms and cognitive dissonance (as discussed in Chapter 1). Contains: biology, location, age, gender, race, education, values, political ideology, religion, personality, emotions, self-determination, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, self-concept, personal norms, self-efficacy, locus of control, skills, resources, habits, experience, evaluations, reactions. Figure 20: Effects of Behaviour 128 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION With enough stewardship actions we can achieve the goals of increased social capital, a decreased ecological footprint, a green economy and the formation of a stewardship ethic - all of which wi l l help us reach a sustainable society. 129 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5 EXISTING BEHAVIOUR CHANGE STRATEGIES Appropriate behaviour change strategies can be designed and implemented to target the factors that form our behaviours (Howard, 2000; McKenzie-Mohr , 2000a; Oskamp, 2000a). The model of behaviour at the end of the previous chapter points to where these behaviour change strategies might be most fruitfully applied in order to have an effect on behaviour. These insights are made explicit in the final stage of that model, shown below in Figure 21. The arrows from change strategies show that strategies can be aimed at the individual as well as influencing the action Contains: biology, location, age, gender, race, education, values, political ideology, religion, personality, emotions, self-determination, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, self-concept, personal norms, self-efficacy, locus of control, skills, resources, habits, experience, evaluations, reactions. Figure 21: Effects of Change Strategies 130 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION process itself. It also shows that changes can be made to the surroundings and the social pressures a person faces, and that these factors wi l l then influence the person. This diagram can be restated, with reference to the Precede/Proceed Mode l , to place the emphasis on the types of change strategy and their effects rather than the actor. This is shown below in Figure 22. The purpose of this model is to provide a framework for looking at behaviour change strategies. Inputs Exposure to Effect Change Strategies Context Intermediate Impact Long-Term Outcomes Individual* & Collective Factors Social, Economic & Environmental Context Predisposing Strategies • School Curricula • Information Strategies • Persuasion • Simulations • Modelling k i Enabling Strategies • Skills Training • Access • Structural Changes • Technology • Urban Planning Reinforcing Strategies • Feedback & Indicators • Tangible Incentives & Disincentives • Social Incentives & Disincentives Predisposing Factors • Knowledge and awareness of possibilities increased • Positive changes in attitudes and values Enabling Factors • Skills improve • Increased availability of options • Sense of self-efficacy improves I Reinforcing Factors • Evaluations re best action change • Social pressures change Process Evaluation I Positive Changes in Participants' Behaviours Positive Changes in Community/ Environment > Improved Community & Ecosystem Health > Enhanced Quality of Life > Decreased Ecological Footprint > Green Economy > Stewardship Ethic Impact Evaluation Outcome Evaluation "Individual Factors Include: biology, location, age, gender, race, education, values, political ideology, religion, personality, emotions, self-determination, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, self-concept, personal norms, self-efficacy, locus of control, skills, resources, habits, experience, evaluations, reactions. Figure 22: Change Strategies Logic Model The first stage of the logic model describes a set of inputs. These include the individual and collective factors and the broader socio-economic and environmental context that was described in the Chapter 4. Here all the complexity has been reduced to a single bi-directional arrow. The second and third stages are exposure to one or more change strategies and the effect of these change strategies on the individual. Again following the Precede/Proceed Model , I have broken 131 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION these down into predisposing, enabling and reinforcing strategies and effects. Individually, a type of strategy can have an effect on the corresponding factor, but that effect is limited, and, as was shown in the previous chapter, a change in one kind of factor alone rarely leads to behaviour change. However, each o f these strategies and factors influence each other - strategies that work in concert with each other achieve a synergy because they activate different things in people, each of which reinforces the others. It is through this synergy that the strategies then influence people through changing the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors that they operate under. The U K Counci l on Environmental Education recognized why behaviour change strategies that use only one approach are often unsuccessful at producing significant positive behaviour effects. They wrote that environmental policy and environmental education must be seen as mutually dependent and supportive. Hence environmental change wi l l not work without an informed population, while environmental education w i l l not be effective i f it is contradicted in wider society through environmental policy being weak or absent (in Roseland, 1992). Dunlop (1992) adds that it would be best to coordinate environmental education in all levels of schooling with initiatives involving the community, non-governmental organizations, the media and all levels of government in order to avoid "awareness frustration," when people want to do something but lack the means. A n extant example of coordination comes from the Netherlands, which has one of the most comprehensive environmental plans of any nation (Corson, 1995). The comprehensive plan of that nation includes environmentally quality indicators and explicit targets for reducing solid waste generation and chemical emissions. It has wide public support, and programs have been put into practice for improving the efficiency of resource use and environmentally benign technologies. It works because the public has become predisposed to it, and policies and programs have been put in place which enable and reinforce it These examples point to what is essential in bringing about behaviour change: comprehensive programs and policies that make use of multiple behaviour change approaches in order to both produce and maintain desired behaviours. These can be made up on a program by program basis from the individual strategies discussed below or taken whole from preexisting combination 132 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION strategies, some of which are also discussed below. In addition, a new combined strategy could be used, such as the one found in the following chapter. Returning to the model, the penultimate stage suggests that the application of these combined strategies wi l l have a short-term impact in terms of changes in behaviour and the physical and socio-cultural environment. The final stage shows how these short-term changes would ideally manifest in more long-term outcomes of improved ecosystem and human health and quality of life. The lower portion of the logic model (process, impact, outcome evaluation) follows the Precede/Proceed Model in pointing out the importance of evaluating the change strategies and their effect on people, as well as the impact of those changes on behaviour and the community and environment and to keep an ongoing evaluation of how close the desired outcomes are. Overall, the logic model establishes broad categories o f strategies that al low program planners to organize potential strategies and provides insight into how the strategies can be integrated and interconnected. There are definite overlapping aspects of the broad categories. For example, some types o f knowledge and skills may serve both predisposing and enabling functions. Similarly, some reinforcing strategies, like social incentives, become predisposing as they act on one's self-concept. However, this only emphasizes how each type of strategy is neither mutually exclusive nor independent and therefore strengthens the argument that it is necessary to have multiple strategies to successfully encourage behaviour change. The following four sections discuss some commonly used and/or called for behaviour change strategies. They are broken down into predisposing, reinforcing, enabling and combination strategies. The final section examines some other research findings relevant to designing behaviour change strategies. Where possible, discussion is based on experimental or observational findings; however, some areas have not been extensively researched as there has not been enough implementation to evaluate. Therefore, I have included recommendations from the literature as to how strategies could best be implemented. In general, predisposing and reinforcing strategies have been both implemented and evaluated the most. 133 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5.1 P R E D I S P O S I N G S T R A T E G I E S Most predisposing strategies focus on being educational and informative, with the idea that people wi l l act once they know something is wrong. The goal of these strategies is to help people understand the nature of the problem and why they should act, the behaviour needed to resolve the problem, and the steps required to carrying out this behaviour (De Young, 1993; Green and Kreuter, 1999). These strategies are the most commonly used and advocated, and often few attempts are made to move beyond the core assumption that the main barrier between environmental concern and action is lack of appropriate information. However, as already discussed, knowledge about the issue and a positive attitude towards it are necessary but usually far from sufficient factors in changing behaviour. Predisposing strategies alone w i l l accomplish very little, though as Monroe (1993, p. 28) writes, " W e l l designed and informative messages can assist an overall effort by helping people to focus on the issue, reminding them of the problem, and prompting them to make change." 5.1.1 Education There is an assumption in the environmental education literature that education leads to greater awareness and attitude change, which ultimately improves environmental behaviour (Zelezny, 1999). Many advocate teaching sustainability in schools as a primary means of effecting widespread change in society. And indeed, according to Zelezny's (1999) meta-analysis of environmental education programs in schools, these programs can be effective in changing proenvironmental behaviour. She conducted a meta-analysis of 18 educational interventions, 9 classroom and 9 "non-traditional", for their effect on proenvironmental behaviour. She found that all o f the classroom studies reported higher levels of proenvironmental behaviour, as did 4 out of 9 of the "non-traditional" studies. She found that interventions that more actively involved the participants, lasted longer and were with younger students had a greater effect. She hypothesized younger participants are (a) more influenced by interventions because they learn new proenvironmental behaviours more easily, (b) more interested in environmental issues and improving the environment, or (c) more eager to present themselves as proenvironmental i f that is interpreted to be more socially desirable (Zelezny, 1999, p. 12). However, the studies varied widely, and all relied on self-reported behaviour change. 134 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION One successful longer lasting, participative strategy is Issue Investigation and Act ion Training (Hungerford and Volk , 1990; Ramsey, 1993). This is a school-based strategy in which students first learn to discriminate between events, problems and issues and the impact of beliefs and values and how to do research about them. They then choose an issue and investigate it, preparing a report for the teacher and a presentation for the class. After this they learn about action strategies and make a plan to deal with their issue. Finally, they decide whether to implement their plan (the teacher helps i f they choose to do so). This strategy has been found to foster independent overt environmental behaviour, and compared to controls, " H A T subjects demonstrated (a) significantly greater knowledge about environmental issue resolution (b) significantly stronger beliefs about their control of the outcome of attempted environmental issue resolution, and (c) significantly stronger beliefs about their knowledge of and ski l l in using issue resolution strategies" (Ramsey, 1992, p. 35-6). Other studies have been less clear-cut. Legault and Pelletier (2000), for example, studied the impact of the Brundtland Green School Project on Grade 6 students and their parents. In order to be part of this project, schools need to meet three out of the four criteria: "(a) the school's administration must reduce, reuse or recycle rubbish by visible and measurable means; (b) ecological issues are taught in all subjects; (c) the school assumes the costs related to securing ecological services (e. g., battery recycling) or implementing ecological actions (e. g., composting); and (d) implement an ecological club headed by children, the mandate of which is to inform the school population on environmental issues and encourage the use of ecological strategies (e. g . , recycling or composting lunch leftovers)" (Legault and Pelletier, 2000, p. 243). They found that it had a fairly limited impact on both parents and children, changing some attitudes and children's motivation, but not affecting behaviour. And in general, environmental education programs have had little effect (Hungerford and Volk , 1992; Legault and Pelletier, 2000). This may be because educators are focused on the wrong strategies: most provide information, but do not try to develop ownership and empowerment and so do not lead to participation (Hungerford and Vo lk , 1992). A lso , issue-specific education leads to "learners who may act in an environmentally positive manner with relation to one issue (or set of issues), but who do not have the knowledge, skills, and willingness to assume environmental responsibility in their day-to-day l ives" (Hungerford and Volk , 1992 p. 17). 135 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION The studies mentioned above concentrate on small scale additions to the regular curriculum, for good reason, since these are the ones thathave been implemented and so can be evaluated. This may be because "there appear to be few concerned, nationally focused efforts that prepare future citizens to make environmentally sound decisions or to participate responsibly in environmental maintenance and remediation. As a result, only a fraction of our young learners are being exposed to logically developed, well-articulated E E programs" (Hungerford and Vo lk , 1992, p. 16). Unfortunately, there have not yet been any widespread school changes to evaluate, despite many calls for such changes. Orr (1991), for example, calls for education that follows the following principles: 1. A l l education is environmental education. 2. The goal of education is not the mastery of the subject, but the mastery of one person. 3. Knowledge carries with it the responsibility to see that it is well used in the world. 4. We cannot say that we know something until we understand the effects of this knowledge on real people and their communities. 5. Education should recognize the importance of "minute peculiarities" and the power of example over words. 6. The way learning occurs is as important as the content o f a particular course. Gray (1985) adds that environmental education should start with the person and his or her central ties with reality, rather than the science of ecology. Students should be led to examine their erroneous and socially destructive primary beliefs (such as limitless nature) and then look at derived beliefs and technical concepts. Borden (1985) urges that education incorporate deep feelings on life and death, rather than leaving them as abstract concepts. Iwata (1999) calls for the teaching of the value of a voluntarily simple life. Dunlop (1992) also calls for a sincere, unequivocal realignment of educational philosophy and a making of environmental studies into a multidisciplinary field. He also points out that environmental education should be seen as a long-term strategy and its cost-effectiveness measured by that criterion. Corson (1994) also advocates making ecology an integral part o f educational curricula, and advises the use of role-playing and visioning. Beatley and Manning (1997) call for experiential learning, taking learning outside and learning by doing (as do Legault and Pelletier (2000) and Schultz (2000)). Similarly, Weigel (1985) advises that education should focus on local issues and what the individual and community can do. Beatley and Manning also call for teaching citizenship and social responsibility and using service based learning (as does Putnam (2000)). Smith and Shapson 136 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION (1999) point to substantial changes to teacher education programs as one way these changes might come about, while also acknowledging that without changes in the school structure and culture, new teachers are unlikely to be able to put into practice any truly new way of teaching. These widespread changes would l ikely be effective i f they ever came to be employed (though, as they have not been, it is impossible to know for sure). However, the reason for their probable effectiveness lies less with new knowledge being promulgated than with the concurrent change in socialization and social norms that these innovations would engender. Schools are much more than places to learn facts; in them we learn what behaviours, thinking patterns and social interactions are acceptable. Therefore a widespread change to the school culture has the potential to do much to bring about a sustainable culture, i f it could ever be implemented. O f course, the problem of getting these changes implemented remains, which is why education is no panacea. Rea (1995) found that political difficulties within the education system loomed the largest, and advised that educating for sustainability needs to start with those who make decisions. Further, in order for education in schools to be effective, both teachers and parents need to believe in the message being taught. If parents are not in accord with the message, they can undermine what their children are learning, or even fight the schools over the curriculum. As Milbrath (1995) concluded, environmental education "cannot adequately be implemented until the public, especially parents, demand that it be given priority. In the meantime, we wi l l encounter frequent pious admonitions to implement E E and little wi l l happen" (p. 105). 5.1.2 Information Examples of informational techniques include knowledge tools such as media campaigns, publications and pamphlets. Because they are relatively easy to use, these kinds of strategies are often the only ones undertaken. They are widely believed to be effective. For example, those behind the U K ' s Going for Green program believed that: Any behaviour change can best be achieved by offering easily understood information and appropriate support to generate and turn interest into action. Raising awareness of the issues of sustainable development w i l l require a sustained public relations and mass media advertising campaign making use of T V as wel l as local press and radio (Going for Green, 1998, in Blake, 1999). Blake (1999) termed this belief as the information deficit model of environmental participation. Unfortunately, simply providing information has not been found to lead to behaviour change 137 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Gray, 1985; Katsev and Johnson, 1987; De Young, 1993; Ungar, 1994; Corson, 1995; Hodgson and Tight, 1999; Stern, 1999; McKenz ie -Mohr , 2000b). One reason for the general supposition that information works may be the third person effect, or the overestimation of the effect of media messages et cetera on the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of others not like oneself (them) than on those like oneself (you and me). Most people believe that they are uniquely invulnerable to influence (Duck et al., 2000). However, although information by itself effects little change, it is a necessary component of any behaviour change strategy, to motivate people to act and give them reasons to do so (Gray, 1985; Bandura, 1986; Pieters, 1991; Howard, 1997; Stern, 1999). One form of information that has been found to be somewhat effective is the use of prompts, or reminders for people to perform a certain behaviour. Reminders to recycle or turn off computer monitors and lights are examples of commonly used prompts. Prompts have increased the purchase of returnable bottles, discouraged people from walking across lawns, increased the amount of litter and recycling placed in receptacles, reduced littering, increased the recycling of paper and encouraged people to drop and tilt their blinds at night (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). Prompts are most effective when they remind people of new behaviours that they are already predisposed towards (Kassirer and McKenzie-Mohr , 1998). Prompts can also inform or remind people of a social norm, for example the reminder to give up the front seats on the bus to the elderly and disabled. They are effective at the place and time o f behaviour, when they are noticeable and self-explanatory and when they specify who should do what when (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; McKenz ie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). They work best when it the behaviour is not complicated (DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995) and it is best i f they are not phrased as demands, otherwise reactance results (Geller et al., 1982). It is also better to encourage positive behaviours (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). B y themselves prompts do not bring about behaviour change (Katsev and Johnson, 1987). Information can also have an effect through mere exposure, in that repeated exposure to something w i l l lead to l iking, no matter what the context is or how it is presented, though the complexity, sequence and timing of the exposure do have an effect (Harrison, 1977). Advertisements thus have an effect through the "frequent repetition of symbols and value statements so they gradually become integral parts of mainstream culture and thought" 138 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION (Michaelis, 2000). Using repetition and a written version can also help people to pay attention (Bator and Cialdini , 2000). The mass media are a primary source of new information, and people's concerns tend to use and reflect media coverage (Olien et al., 1989; Iorio and Huxman, 1996). However, changes in the media would be difficult to implement because the media have generally been found to support the status quo and powerful organizations (Olien et al., 1989). Though, as Michael Moore points out in The Corporation, networks w i l l show almost anything i f it is profitable, even i f its message is antithetical to the networks themselves. Therefore, i f a show with a sustainability theme proved profitable, the networks would l ikely be most wi l l ing to show it. The effect of information can vary depending on how it is processed by the recipient; careful consideration o f the message leads to more attitude change than otherwise. A recipient is more l ikely to consider the message when he or she is motivated and has time and when the message is considered relevant (Devine and Hirt, 1989; Bator and Cialdini , 2000). Messages from ingroup members, credible sources and familiar sources (especially family members or close friends) are most influential (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Mackie and Queller, 2000; Michaelis, 2000). These information-processing strategies l ikely help people sort through the glut of information produced by our society, a glut which can drown out time for reflection (Milbrath, 1995). Who makes the most effective communicator of information depends on the information itself. For example, an expert is best when the area is within his or her realm of expertise, when the audience feels incompetent and lacks confidence, when the expert puts on the trappings of the role and when he or she develops trust. A n attractive/prestigious person, on the other hand, is best when the opinion is social rather than technical, when the opinion does not violate the expectation of social confidence, when the audience is not motivated or able to think for themselves and when the person does not betray his or her identity base (Pratkanis, 2000). At the same time "different people wi l l interpret and respond to the same environmental information in unpredictable and often highly variable ways, at times producing a quite opposite interpretation to one expected by those (often in the pol icy community) who promulgate the information" (Blake, 1999, p. 265). 139 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5.1.3 Persuasion Persuasion is different from information strategies in that information strategies are thought to be bias free, leaving a person to draw his or her own conclusions, though this is often an il lusion (Salmon, 1989). Persuasion, on the other hand, is an outright attempt to get people to agree to believe or do something. Persuasion is needed when consent is important (Bandura, 1 9 8 6 ) . It works well when resources are limited and when it is necessary to create needs and motivation or when resistance is anticipated. For it to work wel l , information structure and delivery are key (Salmon, 1989). L ike information, persuasion can work by either the peripheral or central processing routes. The peripheral route uses minimum processing and depends more on who is doing the persuasion and what rewards are offered than the content of the message. It works best for messages such as switching brands. Therefore, persuasion can work to change behaviour i f it gets people to try something and they find they like it (Bator and Cialdini , 2000). Central processing takes place when people are motivated and have the time to consider the message. People are more l ikely to be motivated when they feel the message is relevant to themselves. Since environmental issues are complicated and involve lifestyle changes, it is better to try to get people to use central processing; this is easier said than done (Bator and Cialdini , 2000). But using cogent and well-reasoned argument is helpful, as is repetition (Devine and Hirt, 1989; Eagly and Kulesa, 1997). Social identity can impact which route people use to deal with persuasion: it has been demonstrated experimentally that it acts as a cue in peripheral processing conditions and as a bias in central processing conditions (Fleming and Petty, 2000; Mackie and Queller, 2000; van Knippenberg, 2000). People are also more l ikely to say yes to people they know and like. They tend to like people who are physically attractive, similar to themselves, those who praise them, those who are familiar to them and those associated with positive things or people (the last two also work for objects and are widely used in advertising) (Cialdini, 1985). Persuasion works best in changing behaviour when it is realistic and people are persuaded that they can do it. It is also most effective when it is pitched just above what a person believes they 140 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION can do (Bandura, 1986). People change the most when they are persuaded that they are able to do something (Bandura, 2000). For persuasion to be useful, it should "provide both information about environmental consequences of human behaviour, specific how-to-do-it information, and information showing the positive effects of changing behaviour (e.g., feedback)" (Thizfgersen, 1999, p. 73). However, when persuading someone to do something it is better to emphasize the losses that occur from inaction, rather than the savings of taking action (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). That is it is best to stress the potential losses before the action but provide positive feedback afterwards. It should be borne in mind that the further actions are from current practices the less l ikely they are to be adopted and that invoking fear only works when people can work to avoid a personally-threatening noxious event (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; McKenz ie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). Further, a persuasion message should use a highly credible source and rely on a single, wel l -placed, very positive message that includes how to do the behaviour and why it w i l l be beneficial. The information also needs to be provided in a way that wi l l be stored, with a retrieval cue in the environment to make it salient. V i v i d and easy to remember messages work best. Further, people should be reminded of social norms surrounding the behaviour and problems with the behaviour or that few people are doing it should not be emphasized. Final ly, when people are committed to a behaviour they often adopt an identity consistent with that behaviour, which often results in long-lasting attitude and behaviour change. To encourage this people could be encouraged to ask for a bumper sticker, magnet or something similar to publ icly demonstrate their new identity (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999; Bator and Cialdin i , 2000). 5.1.4 Simulations Simulations are generally computer programs that can extrapolate from several sets of trends to analyze what the future might look like given certain choices in the present. One of these is the Georgia Basin Q U E S T program 2 9 , which is an interactive modelling tool that allows users to create and compare scenarios about the future development of the Georgia Basin. Theoretically, those who go through this simulation wi l l come to realize that the choices they make as to how to live now wi l l affect the sustainability o f this region, which should cause them to become predisposed towards changing the choices they make in day-to-day life. 2 9 See http://www.basinfutures.net. QUEST stands for Quite Useful Ecosystem Scenario Tool. 141 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Georgia Basin Q U E S T is being used in several community outreach programs, including community case studies, strategy workshops, and cognition impact studies and in school curricula (university and high school). Community case studies involve using Q U E S T in local community settings ranging from communities to a regional government to create a scenario that reflects the values of the participants, and then working through the Precede/Proceed Model to create effective implementation strategies. Strategy workshops are similar, but are meant for community groups, N G O s , business associations and government agencies. They do not use the Precede/Proceed model and the strategies they devise are for research purposes. Cognition impact studies look at the effect of using Q U E S T on players' mental maps of sustainability. Other research around the model is also taking place. Fu l l results from the various research projects are not yet available; however, early results indicate that Q U E S T workshops have some effect on participants' attitudes and beliefs. 5.1.5 Mode l l ing Model l ing here refers to circumstances in which people mimic the behaviour of those around them, especially admired or significant others (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Andreasen, 1995). It is a direct appeal to social norms (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). People l ikely ape celebrities because of the implicit promise of their approval whereas opinion leaders create norms that people fall in with (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981). A lso , people who are uncertain of how to act or who face ambiguous situations often look to other people to decide what to believe or how to act; in this case they usually look at the behaviour of those similar to themselves (Cialdini, 1985). For those reasons, modelling a new behaviour using celebrities, opinion leaders or those similar to the target population can be an effective way to encourage its use (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Geller et al., 1982; Weyant, 1986; Ungar, 1994; V lek, 2000). For modelling to be effective, it should be visible (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). Televised modelling also has an effect and shows such as soap operas can be used to model new practices (Bandura, 1986; Dwyer et al., 1993). Television programs could be used for sustainable purposes (Weyant, 1986; Corson, 1994). They have worked to stop reported drug use, increase recycling and for personal health, family planning and literacy campaigns (Corson, 1995). Model l ing was used to introduce farming innovations in the Dust Bow l era and was found to be far superior to the provision of information. It has also been used in conjunction with prompts to 142 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION encourage water conservation in showers. A sign with a new shower procedure (turning off the shower while soaping up) was placed in the shower. B y itself, it elicited no behaviour change. However, when an accomplice modelled the technique 49% of others followed suit, even though the accomplice did not look at or talk to them or in any way indicate that he was other than a regular showerer. When two accomplices demonstrated the technique, 67% followed. Model l ing is effective even when nobody is around: people make a decision about how to discard o f flyers placed on car windshields based on how many other flyers litter the parking lot (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). 5.2 E N A B L I N G S T R A T E G I E S These strategies facilitate the performance of an action by providing the necessary conditions needed for people to act on their motivations. Enabling strategies are those that focus on availability and accessibility o f resources and new skills necessary to perform sustainability action. A l l enabling strategies have the potential to be very effective i f implemented; however, getting them implemented is the hard part mainly due to lack of political and economic wi l l , as discussed in Chapter 1. Further, strategies need to reflect public interest, otherwise there w i l l be reactance (see Chapter 4) (Cialdini, 1985; Wiener and Doescher, 1991). The other option, enforced change, is difficult to maintain without continued social surveillance and/or draconian enforcement (Bandura, 1986, p. 161). 5.2.1 Ski l ls T ra in ing The effect of skil ls on behaviour was discussed in Chapter 4. Being able to do something, having competency, is crucial to doing it (Bandura, 1986; Ramsey, 1993; Smith-Sebasto, 1995; De Young, 2000). Having a ski l l leads a person's locus of control to move inwards and his or her sense of self-efficacy to increase (Bandura, 1986; Ramsey, 1993). It is best to use a three-facet approach to teaching skil ls, using first modelling, then guided enactment and finally self-directed application of skills (Bandura, 1986). Skil ls training is probably the easiest of the enabling strategies for smaller actors to work on. It can be done on a small scale or individual basis, and is very effective at bringing about behaviour change. However, skills training is relatively useless i f it is not possible for a person to use that ski l l because of a lack of access to resources or other barriers. 143 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5.2.2 Avai lab i l i ty and Accessibi l i ty Availabi l i ty refers to the existence of opportunity for proenvironmental behaviour. Accessibil i ty refers to how easy it is to actually do it. For example, the existence of a recycling depot means that recycling is available. However, i f the depot is located in a difficult to reach location, it may not be accessible. Often, opportunity for sustainability action is limited or access is difficult. A s a personal example, when I bought my condominium, I wanted all renovations to be as "green" as possible, in a conscious effort to "walk my talk." I was even wi l l ing to spend somewhat more to go green, even though I had limited funds. The first renovation, painting, proved how difficult this could be. I found that none of the "natural" products I found online were readily available in Vancouver and that trying to determine which of the available products was "greenest" was extremely frustrating. The last straw came when the paint store told me that the "normal" paint was actually less noxious than the "green" variety they sold. I ended up going with the normal paint, despite my strong desire to be "green." This is why it is crucial to increase the availability and accessibility of green products and other environmentally friendly choice options so that those who wish to engage in proenvironmental behaviour may do so (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Th0gersen, 1999; Vlek, 2000). Increasing access can be extremely effective in changing behaviour, even among those who do not hold proenvironmental attitudes. For example, blue-box recycling programs have been found to be very effective at increasing recycling rates, even among those who show no environmental concern (Derksen and Gartrell, 1993). It is then possible that those people w i l l come to show more concern because they are recycling (Bratt, 1999). In general, increasing the convenience of proper disposal is a very effective strategy (Gray, 1985). In a pilot study of community composting, containers and curbside collection were provided. Ful ly 99% of the households participated, and the one which did not wanted to, but had not received a cart (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). On the consumption side, green products are often more expensive and not as easily available as other products, and "consumers make constrained choices in markets where greater power is exercised by producers and government agencies. Effectively, consumers hold some power to reject proffered goods, but are constrained by past (historical) choices and largely lack the power 144 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION to command new products" (Ungar, 1994, p. 296). However, while people decide what they want in reaction to what is available, new options do come into being based on previously unattainable desires (Clark, 1989). A lso, buying decisions are often context-dependant, as supermarket operators know very well (Michaelis, 2000). Another consumption access strategy is environmental labelling, which has been found to be effective, and could be used for information relevant to both purchase and disposal (Pieters, 1991). For labelling to be effective, consumers have to be predisposed to buy "green" products and to produce less waste. The media can also be useful in changing access in some circumstances, as those behind boycott campaigns have demonstrated in areas such as making canned tuna "dolphin-safe" and in reducing the use of animal testing. These campaigns are generally media-oriented and success tends to come through attacking the image of the target rather than sales, in response to which firms change their practices, often coopting the message by adopting it as Heinz (tuna) and Benneton (animal testing) both did. They work best when they are cognitively simple and emotionally appealing (Friedman, 1995). 5.2.3 Structura l Changes It is "clear that to make sustainable development operable wi l l require structural interventions in the economy and the global political system, without which global trends in population and consumption w i l l prove irreversible" (Redclift, 1997, p. 266). Structural changes here refer to changes in policies and institutions at a governmental or institutional level; achieving these is crucial i f sustainability is to be reached (Rayner and Malone, 1998). Institutions embody rules and the values norms and views of the world. They evolve slowly and have an element of permanence, but they are constantly renegotiated (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998). There have been few major instances o f true structural change; .therefore, the fol lowing suggestions are not based on experiential evidence. In designing policies, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Policies should be designed for real world conditions rather than trying to make the world conform to a particular policy model (Rayner and Malone, 1998). Policies should devise ways to meet needs, develop consumption goals and services that are less harmful, reduce wasteful forms of consumption and encourage more selective and discriminatory consumption (Myers, 2000). Institutional 145 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION adaptation must be responsive to visions of ecological protection and fairness, and must be created by negotiated consent, or at least understanding and tolerance; it must be measurable and follow agreed rules and norms (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998). Pol icy makers should focus on changing social arrangements and tailoring policy interventions to work in different areas (Shove et al., 1998). Subsidiarity (decisions being made at the lowest possible level) should be implemented where possible (Blowers, 1992). Finally, using the Precautionary Principle (see Section 1.3) as a policy guide would l ikely be very effective (O'Riordan, 1995, Santillo et al, 1999; Tickner, 1999). Tax reform and new tax policies are critical (Gray, 1985; Corson, 1994). Some suggest the institution of a carbon tax, collected on producers and importers, and varying by fuel (Common, 1995). Others call for full ecological taxation, which would tax the depletion of all natural resources and any usurpation of the global commons. They believe that it would lead to material and energy flows paralleling conventional economic analysis and more emphasis on dematerialization and decarbonation. Taxes would go to the disadvantaged and those who have not used their commons life support reservoirs and to socially sustainable investments such as job creation and directional spending would become more legitimate (O'Riordan, 1995). Other pol icy reforms that are often called for are: > policy integration and interdepartmental coordination, > full-cost (green) accounting, tax reform, > business innovations, > new energy policies, > lowering or eliminating the debts of less developed countries through strategies such as debt-for nature, > using incentives and public-private partnerships for the development of sustainable technology, > using government purchases to commercialize new technology, > shifting from military expenditures to sustainable enterprise investments, > establishing certification standards, > promoting environmentally responsible advertising, > changing the incentive structure, > curtailing federal subsidies, > making infrastructure and other investments and doing demonstration projects, 146 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > using different indicators to measure progress, > placing sustainability conditions on federal funding, > reforming policies, > implementing a betterment tax (a tax on the increase in value of land), > encouraging car-sharing, > bringing in anti-packaging and take-back laws, > enabling industrial ecology, > mandating organic agriculture and green energy (Blowers, 1992; Corson, 1994, 1995; Beatley and Manning, 1997; O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998; Michael is, 2000; Myers, 2000). While structural changes have perhaps the greatest potential to effect widespread change, the major problem is that high level politicians have to make them, based on a social process between policymakers, industries, technologies and consumers (Shove et al., 1998). Unfortunately, the politicians currently in power depend excessively on the status quo for their power and campaign funding and so are unlikely to make drastic changes without either an evident and dangerous threat or widespread public discontent, and perhaps not even then (Corson, 1994). A lso, alliances between powerful groups can have a dominant role in determining societal norms through both narrative and symbol. Governments, transnational companies, financial institutions, the press and the media represented the main power alliance in the late twentieth century. One example o f the alliance supporting a specific interest is the 'road lobby'. This coalition of business interests, professions, government departments and citizens' groups played a strong role in the early development of roads and road-based transport. In recent years, the strength of the coalition has made it difficult for alternatives to the car to flourish (Michaelis, 2000, p. 82). Other factors inhibiting change are institutional rigidity, bureaucratic momentum and unwillingness to change long-standing policies or practices and the division of responsibility and resources (Corson, 1994; Konvitz, 1996; Shove et al., 1998). Fatigue, resignation, and. contrarians also help the status quo (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998) and it is easy to let a sense of powerless grow because of dependence on complex technologies, the frustrations engendered by bureaucracies, disagreements among factions seeking change, countermeasures by the institutions themselves and transnational dependencies (Bandura, 1986). Ultimately, a change in government might be effective, but this would also be extremely difficult to bring about, and also 147 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION might not be effective after all i f it was not a true change, but a different shade of the same old structure. For these reasons a transition to sustainability w i l l l ikely take place more by stealth than design (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998). To this end policies can be implemented slowly, without encouraging the opposition that a frontal effort might engender; for example, the elimination of chemical fertilizer use could be done in steps: first reduce their allowed strength, then ban home use and then ban agricultural use. In this way reactance is lessened and people and businesses are given time to adjust (Gray, 1985). O f course, this assumes that there are those with some power who desire change. However, this stealth principle should also apply to those outside an institution seeking to change it. 5.2.4 Technology Innovative and sustainable technologies are certainly necessary, and can solve some problems, i f they are used. The innovations that are possible are almost limitless, and what may arise in the future can certainly not be imagined now. It is possible that there wi l l be technological improvements that w i l l make sustainability much easier to reach. However, many technological improvements have replaced labour with capital, and their increased efficiency can encourage increased consumption. Therefore, " i f new technology is to reduce our Ecological Footprint, it must be accompanied by policy measures to ensure that efficiency gains are not redirected to alternative forms of consumption" (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, p. 25). A lso , technology involves choice, and technologies have meanings that have little to do with their actual function. For example: The shared meanings of energy and energy-using technologies have changed through time, as have the sorts o f activities and identities appropriate to the use of those technologies. Take, for example, the meaning and use of the refrigerator, the automobile, the clothesline, or the air conditioner in various historical periods. In each case, the device and the activities that surround it are laden with social and cultural significance, all of which have implications for the way such technologies are used and so for associated energy use. This is so, despite the fact that energy consumption is largely invisible to users and generally much less important than other factors of function, convenience and style (Shove et al., 1998, p. 306). There are many green products and processes available today which are not being used, although manufacturers do listen to choices (Spiegel and Meadows, 1999). 148 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Technology is also shaped by social, economic and political forces, and technologies and technology systems shape human relations and societies (Rip and Kemp, 1998). For example, the car is not isolated, but is a part of the socio-technical landscape. It is made of steel and plastic, concrete (roads) law (traffic rules), culture (value and meaning of personal mobility) (Rip and Kemp, 1998). Technology is associated with modernity, progress and rationality, but consideration o f what technology to use has been mostly ad hoc, which raises the question of "whether people have the technology, and the sociotechnical worlds, that they really want. This is a complex question, because people may not know what they really want before they actually experience what they have got" (Rip and Kemp, 1998, p. 345). Finally, technology development is not linear, but grows like yeast cells, and many new technologies survive in niches before going expanding and reproducing. Technology adoption is likewise an active process, with elements of innovation in itself. It is connected with the availability of new technologies, with expectations, new skil ls, management systems, new supplier-user relationships, changes in the regulatory framework, and new ideas. Behaviors, organization, and society have to rearrange themselves to adopt and adapt to the novelty. Both the technology and social context change in a process that can be seen as coevolution ... [and] the eventual shape of a technology, the purposes for which it is used, and the way in which it is embedded in society, may be different in five or ten years' time. How it w i l l look is difficult to predict (Rip and Kemp, 1998, p. 389). 5.2.5 U rban P lann ing We all react, consciously and unconsciously, to the places where we live and work, in ways we scarcely notice or that are now becoming known to use. Ever-accelerating changes in most people's day-to-day circumstances are helping us and prodding us, sometimes forcing us, to learn that our ordinary surroundings, built and natural alike, have an immediate and a continuing affect on the way that we feel and act, and our health and intelligence. These places have an impact on our sense of self, our sense of safety, the kind of work we get done, the ways we interact with other people, even our ability to function as citizens in a democracy. In short, the places where we spend our time affect the people we are and can become (Tony Hiss, 1990, in Chapman, 1994, p. 26). Urban planning could bring about a different kind of structural change, one that works on the physical structure of our habitats rather than on the ephemeral structure of our laws and policies. As such, it can lead to more inherently permanent change as habitations can be very difficult to shift. Although cities are currently part of the problem, it is possible for them to become part of 149 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION the solution as the form of the city can encourage substantial behaviour change by constraining . choices. A lso, cities use new technologies and bring about lifestyle changes; thus, any successful strategy must include cities as a key element (De Young, 1993; Beatley and Manning, 1997; Vlek, 2000). Denser habitation makes the provision of public transit and local shops economically feasible while simultaneously obviating the need to drive and making it more difficult and stressful; further, having integrated and pedestrian-oriented cities means that inhabitants need to travel less and so interact more, which in turn builds social capital (Putnam, 2000). Physical layout and design can shape ethics and public spaces can instil l a broader public ethic and a feeling o f being part o f a greater whole (Beatley and Manning, 1997). Improvements in the city bring the quality of life up for everybody (Konvitz, 1996). However, achieving a sustainable urban form wi l l not be easy. It w i l l mean using comprehensive land-use and transport planning involving all the political institutions and communities of an urban region (Konvitz, 1996, p. 20), and wi l l require fundamentally modifying the ways in which local governments function by reforming the methods by which they purchase and procure, deliver services, manage their building stock, and budget their resources. It means reconceptualizing the local economy so that it is restorative and sustainable. It means understanding in a comprehensive way the resource needs and flows of the community - where its energy, water and food come from, and how its wastes are dealt with. It emphasizes a host of actions and programs that support and enhance the social life and vitality of the community (Beatley and Manning, 1997, p. 21-2). Policies should be guided by the principles of urban management, policy integration, ecosystems thinking, cooperation and partnership (Beatley, 2000). There have been some moves to a more sustainable city form, especially in Europe (see Beatley, 2000); however, most of the following suggestions have either been implemented on a small scale or not at all. Nonetheless, the following list is a sampling of tools that could be used: > Ecocity Zoning: Planning for walkable distances and inspiring pedestrian environments, thinking in three dimensions, looking at whole system patterns and long term results - can do this by drawing maps and involving the community (Register, 2001). > Transfer of development rights: buying development rights to an area, not building there but adding to allowance elsewhere; also restoration credits and double TDRs for getting rid of structures on protected land (Register, 2001). 150 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION > Ecological General Plan. Ro l l back sprawl by shifting development (Register, 2001). > International Ecological Rebuilding program to stabilize population, develop and share appropriate technology, use ecological-economics on a global scale, make a new generation of treaties and agreements and forge a new global environmental consensus (Register, 2001). > Drainage treatment, refuse treatment, energy conservation, traffic planning, localization (Scheele, 1995). > Reformed pricing and taxing, and through the setting o f standards (Konvitz, 1996). > Removal o f regulatory barriers and subsidies that are disincentives to change (Konvitz, 1996). > Central governments giving regional and local governments means to meet and exceed standards and goals (Konvitz, 1996). > Higher taxes and prices for cars combined with land-use planning and improvements to public transport (Konvitz, 1996). > Monitoring and evaluating environmental conditions and rewarding those who use integrative strategies (Konvitz, 1996). > Changing zoning bylaws, codes and engineering strategies to allow for innovative and sustainable practices. > Changing expectations of design and construction industry, as they currently tend to limit choices to current standard (Spiegel and Meadows, 1999). > Looking to successful sustainable practices in other places, especially Europe (Beatley, 2000). Other than altering the urban form, planners point out the unsustainability o f current practices and put forth alternatives, develop indices and encourage the formation and growth of community groups. Planning academics can look at the costs o f sprawl, show new examples and give future practitioners theory, tools, methods and process skil ls, and a better appreciation/use of visual skills (Beatley and Manning, 1997). 5.3 REINFORCING STRATEGIES These strategies provide necessary supportive feedback and rewards for proenvironmental behaviours. Programs need such feedback in order to sustain momentum and eventually succeed because people need feedback to know that their behaviours were correct and helpful (Green and Kreuter, 1999; Monroe, 1993). Reinforcing strategies can either provide rewards or incentives that support and encourage the adoption and maintenance of the proenvironmental behaviours or disincentives that are aimed at decreasing other behaviours. Punishment (a negative consequence or removal of a positive consequence to the behaviour) and extinction (withdrawal of a positive 151 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION consequence) strategies are used to decrease a harmful behaviour (Cone and Hayes, 1980). In general, reinforcing strategies are effective while they exist, however, none o f these reinforcing strategies have been proven to wholly maintain targeted behaviours, and changes tend to dissipate after the consequence is removed (Bandura, 2000; De Young, 2000). I have broken reinforcing strategies into feedback, tangible incentives and disincentives and social incentives and disincentives to highlight the different strategies from a program planner's point o f view. However, there are other ways these reinforcing strategies could be divided, such as by whether the reinforcement was intrinsic or extrinsic, or by whether it was internal or external. 5.3.1 Feedback Feedback interventions are defined as "actions taken by (an) external agent(s) to provide information regarding some aspect(s) of one's task performance" (Kluger and DeNis i , 1996, in Schultz, 1998, p. 26). While tangible and social incentives and disincentives could also be considered feedback, I am using the word here to describe specific information provided to people regarding how their actions met a standard. Feedback activates behaviour change as it points to " a discrepancy between existing performance on a task and an abstract standard" (Schultz, 1998, p. 26). Feedback helps people learn and make improvement and see how they are making a difference and helps to develop community norms (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Schultz, 1998). It is information on the impact of actions to individuals and communities. Feedback procedures are done in order to help actions persist, and is critical for controlling learning and performance. Its effect varies based on the perceived veridicality o f feedback, the interaction of feedback with attitude and the novelty effect (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981). Performance feedback works, especially when people are highly motivated to conserve, or have positive attitudes to the behaviour, even i f it is provided infrequently (Weigel, 1985; Katsev and Johnson, 1987; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Dwyer et al., 1993; DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995; Kassirer and McKenz ie-Mohr , 1998). DeLeon and Fuqua (1995) found that group feedback and group feedback combined with commitment significantly increased recycling. However, the change in behaviour only lasts as long feedback is provided (Katsev and Johnson, 1987; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Dwyer et al., 1993). Group feedback has also had some success (DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995) and can last longer than the intervention (Schultz, 1990). This was demonstrated by 152 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Schultz (1990). He looked at household recycling in five experimental conditions: control, plea, individual feedback, group feedback and information. Information and pleas did not have any effect, individual feedback produced rapid behaviour change but leveled off after the feedback stopped, and group feedback led to a slower rise in participation, but the level continued to rise after the intervention stopped. Indicators are a form of group feedback. They allow people to monitor ecological and socio-economic conditions. They are generally numeric and are calculated by collecting and analyzing data from several different areas in order to make a meaningful composite. Indicators can provide feedback needed for behaviours to continue and progress (Corson, 1995). New indicators, including ones measuring natural and social capital, could be effective in changing consumption patterns (Michaelis, 2000). These new indicators should be measured and publicized regularly as part of news reporting (Corson, 1994). In using feedback logistical and cost considerations are paramount (Kassirer and McKenz ie-Mohr, 1998). If the process for provision of feedback is not automated or i f devices are needed for everyone it can be costly, (DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995; Geller, 1995b). However, program designers should use individual feedback where practical, and always use group feedback once there are positive results. Feedback can also be done via self-monitoring, and the use of various meters has been found to be successful (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981). 5.3.2 Tangible Incentives and Disincentives Tangible incentives, like rebates for reduced consumption of energy and water or bottle deposits or non-financial incentives such as H O V lanes and special parking spaces, make a behaviour more appealing by providing something palpable for doing the behaviour. Tangible disincentives, like consumption-based taxes and fees, change behaviour by constraining choices. 3 0 Disincentives are as reliable and as quick to change behaviour as material incentives (De Young, 1993) but they are not as well received and require a lot of work (Monroe, 1993). A lso, when faced with constraint people often have more desire for the constrained alternative or a decreased desire for what they feel forced to do (reactance) (De Young, 1993). Positive 3 01 include society wide taxation and other financial incentives and disincentives under Structural Changes (Section 5.2.3). In this section I discuss immediate material incentives and disincentives, ones that are directly linked to individual behaviour. 153 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION reinforcement can also come to be seen as negative i f too much pressure is applied, which can also lead to reactance (Geller et al., 1982). Tangible incentives and disincentives initiate rapid changes although change generally only lasts as long as the reinforcement does. It can be extended with intermittent reinforcement, but it does eventually die off (Cone and Hayes, 1980; Katsev and Johnson, 1987; Gudgion and Thomas, 1991; Pieters, 1991; De Young, 1993; Monroe, 1993; Gamba and Oskamp, 1994; Geller, 1995a). Dwyer et al. (1993) confirmed these findings in their meta-analysis of 27 consequence interventions; the only exceptions they found were in three studies where the behaviour was maintained by people finding they liked the behaviour. Further, using tangible incentives can inhibit generalized change (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981) and can actually lead to reduced natural interest; for example, i f a person is composting and then gets offered money to do it, he or she wi l l come to associate composting with being paid. If funding is then cut, the person wi l l most l ikely stop composting, even though they had done it before they got paid (Stern and Kirkpatrick, 1977; Pieters, 1991; Werner, 1999). Incentives give the idea that one is doing the action for money, not because of the type of person he or she is, and lead him or her to discount the intrinsic satisfaction they derive from an activity (Weyant, 1986; Katsev and Johnson, 1987). However, in some cases incentives can be appropriate, especially when there are profits or cost-reductions to be realized from introducing them. One such situation is waste disposal. Several jurisdictions have found that charging people for the garbage they generate (through selling bags, tags, charging for extra bags or charging by size of container) means less waste sent to the landfil l and more recycling and composting. Incentives have also been used to reduce energy use and decrease the use of single occupancy vehicles (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). Incentives should also be used when people are unlikely to do it without an incentive, when one is trying to stimulate a trial of something that wi l l probably be continued after the incentive ends, when the incentive can be continued indefinitely, or when the anticipated benefit justifies investment. Before they are used, it should be determined how motivated the target community is, and the incentive should be large enough to be taken seriously (but not too large), be noticeable, and be designed to discourage evasion. Cost versus expected benefit should also be evaluated carefully (DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995; Kassirer and McKenz ie-Mohr , 1998). 154 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Incentives should be closely paired with the behaviour and should reward positive behaviour. They should also be visible (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). It is most effective to combine incentives and disincentives or to use a lottery approach (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981). Small incentives work better; when people are pressured by material incentives their commitment to the action wi l l be low unless the new experiences are very rewarding. This is because people ascribe more intrinsic interest to activities that they have fewer external reasons to do due to cognitive dissonance (Bandura, 1986; Pieters, 1991; Monroe, 1993). Care should be taken when removing incentives and people's attempts to avoid the incentive should be anticipated (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). 5.3.3 Social Incentives and Disincentives Providing social recognition and approval is widely held to be effective as social reactions modify behaviour (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Reser and Scherl, 1988). Social incentives and disincentives employ social pressures to nudge people to behave in a particular way (Reser and Scherl, 1988; De Young, 1993). Social pressures can either be overt (like recognition for reaching a certain level o f energy use) or unspoken, like a person's perception of social norms. Overt negative social pressure has similar effect to material disincentives while overt social incentives are more successful than material incentive techniques at providing durable behaviour change, though these results are not always consistent (Dwyer et al., 1993). A lso , too much social pressure can lead to reduced commitment (Bandura, 1986). However, in general, social incentives and disincentives are very powerful (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Monroe, 1993). They have a stronger effect and last longer than tangible incentives and disincentives. Social incentives and disincentives are basically about creating norms or making existing norms salient. Many non-profits are devoted to norm change. For-profits often affect them as well, though it is not often a conscious effort. Laws and regulations can indicate norms, as can the provision o f information (Ell ickson, 2001). Norms can be appealed to by making it more l ikely that people w i l l observe others doing the target action. So activity should be as visible as possible, there should be other markers of participation, people should be provided with opportunities to share experiences and there should be word-of-mouth promotion (Kassirer and McKenzie-Mohr , 1998). 155 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5.4 COMBINED STRATEGIES Some strategies are inherently combined and address predisposing, enabling and reinforcing strategies simultaneously. These tend to be the most effective and show the most promise for effecting change. Three o f these are discussed below, each o f which has significant value, though each has at least one major drawback as well. 5.4.1 Social Marketing Social marketing is " a social change management technology involving the design, implementation, and control of programs aimed at increasing the acceptability of a social idea or practice in one or more groups of target adopters" (Kotler and Roberto, 1989, p. 24). It is different from conventional marketing in that the goal is to benefit society and/or the target rather than the sponsor of the advertising (Andreasen, 1995). A product can be tangible or intangible, and a social marketing campaign can involve introducing a new product, modifying behaviour, reducing consumption and/or the promotion of structural change (Quraishi, 1996). The target behaviour and message should be chosen so that people wi l l say, "This is something important for me to do. I can do it. I w i l l get something I care about i f I do this. The people I admire want me to do this" (Monroe, 1993, p. 29). Social marketers generally target behaviours that involve high involvement decisions, i.e. complex and important decisions involving much information, thought and emotion. Their tasks are to create awareness and interest, change values, persuade, create action and maintain change (Andreasen, 1995). Social marketing involves having appropriate and realistic objectives, analyzing the environment, researching, selecting and segmenting the target adopter population (which requires an understanding of consumer behaviour), designing strategies to meet needs and wants, forming a social marketing plan (including consideration of communication, channel analysis, opinion leaders, exchange theory (costs vs. benefits) and accessibility), organizing, implementing, controlling and evaluating the process and impact of the program (Kotler and Roberto, 1989; Maibach, 1993; Monroe, 1993; Andreasen, 1995; Quraishi, 1996). Successful social marketing campaigns have monopolization of message, canalization (reinforcing existing attitudes) and are supplemented with face-to-face communication. From the perspective of the target adopters, successful campaigns have force, direction (how to), mechanism (where to), adequacy and compatibility and distance (benefit more than cost). Core elements of a social 156 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION marketing campaign are a cause, change agents, target adopters, channels and a change strategy (Kotler and Roberto, 1989). There are several social marketing techniques which can be used to overcome specific barriers. To overcome reactance, the starving baby appeal, which stresses the negative consequences of not reaching the goal, is effective. To overcome the feeling of being a sucker for making a sacrifice for something that is going to be destroyed anyway, or situations where there is no reinforcement or a disconnect between attitudes and behaviour, the well baby appeal, which stresses that the goal is being reached, is effective. To overcome the feeling of going against self-interest, it is useful to reduce the scope of the campaign, highlight civic pride, use phased segmentations (train opinion leaders first), emphasize ease o f cooperation or use an ethical appeal. To overcome mistrust or situations o f no reinforcement, use survey results, positive feedback, appeals to civic pride or an appeal to our common fate (Wiener and Doescher, 1991). Social marketing has worked in areas such as family planning, literacy, reducing reported drug use, recycling and personal health (exercise, blood pressure, heart disease and smoking, among others) (Andreasen, 1995; Corson, 1995; Quraishi, 1996). It is effective because marketers are good at figuring out what motivates people and how to package a message to get a response and because it works on the principle of exchange and looks at the cost of the behaviour (Monroe, 1993). However, it would l ikely be best to apply it to a specific target behaviour, as one problem with applying social marketing techniques to wide-spread behaviour change is the need to segment the population. As discussed in Chapter 4, there does not seem to be a general conserving consumer, so segmentation would be next to impossible. 5.4.2 Communi ty Based Social Marke t ing Community based social marketing 3 1 is probably the most comprehensive of any of the behaviour change strategies discussed so far. It is primarily the brainchild of Doug McKenz ie-Mohr, a psychologist in New Brunswick. Using community based social marketing involves: identifying barriers and benefits to change, selecting behaviours to change, designing a strategy based on behaviour change tools (ensuring that it is financially feasible), piloting the strategy, and evaluating it (Kassirer and McKenz ie-3 1 See http://www.cbsm.com 157 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION Mohr, 1998; McKenz ie-Mohr and Smith, 1999; McKenzie-Mohr , 2000b, a). Barriers may be internal (psychological) or external (structural), there may be many that influence a particular behaviour, and each behaviour has a different constellation of barriers and benefits. Barriers can be identified using literature reviews, focus groups, observational studies and surveys, and statistical techniques (Kassirer and McKenzie-Mohr , 1998; McKenz ie -Mohr and Smith, 1999). In all cases, research should be done into barriers rather than relying solely on the program designer's theories or hunches (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). Behaviour change tools include building motivation, providing feedback, using financial incentives and disincentives, using home visits, providing information via mass media, using neighbourhood coaches and block leaders, appealing to norms, obtaining commitment, using peer support groups, prompts, school programs (especially involving the family), using v iv id, personalized communication, encouraging word-of-mouth communication, and workplace programs (Kassirer and McKenzie-Mohr, 1998; McKenz ie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). Because of the comprehensive and focused nature of community-based social marketing, it is a very effective behaviour change tool which has seen a lot of success, as can be seen on the website below. In one example, a combination o f a water gauge, a prompt, signing a pledge (commitment) and information reduced watering by 54% for one group and 15% for another, whereas the control groups, who only received information, increased their watering by 66% and 96% respectively (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000b). However, the major drawback of community-based social marketing is that it is top-down; "we" try to change "them". A group decides which behaviours they would like to see changed, and then sets out to do so. This seems less than efficient because it necessitates a lot o f time to get buy-in for each behaviour that needs to be changed. It tends to see each behaviour separately, and treats them that way and does not have a general goal of changing paradigms. 5.4.3 Global Action Plan In Portland, Oregon, last year, a group of citizens stood before the Ci ty Counci l and reported on a neighborhood environmental program that had brought about remarkable changes in their lives. Motivated by concern about their environment and a commitment to making sure there would be enough resources available for their children to live decent lives, they had set about reducing their resource use and making more "eco-wise' purchases. They came with impressive statistics: 50 percent less garbage sent to the landfil l, 26 percent less water used, auto emissions 158 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION reduced by 18 percent and eight percent less energy used, as well as an average household savings of $227 per year. They had made these lifestyle changes in cooperation with their neighbors, whom they had gotten to know and like in the process. They came forward to encourage the city to sponsor, on a community-wide scale, the program that had made these changes possible, the Household EcoTeam Program (Goldstein, 1998, p. 28). Global Act ion Plan for the Earth 3 2 is an international organization that loosely coordinates several national affiliates that carry out behaviour change programs. The program is contained in the Household EcoTeam Workbook (Gershon et al., 1991), a Canadian adaptation of the U S program guide (though there is now no Canadian affiliate). The workbook is a "six-month program to help you bring your household into environmental balance. It simplifies the overload of environmental information into six sets of actions to be implemented, one set a month, with the support of a small group of friends, family members, or neighbors" (Gershon et al., 1991, rear cover). According to the program, an originator gathers a group of 4 to 8 households together from his or her community and facilitates the first session. The group meets monthly and facilitation of the meetings rotates. The first five months deal with reducing waste, improving home water efficiency, improving home energy efficiency, improving transportation efficiency and being an eco-wise consumer. At each meeting, the group determines how each member can change the behaviour of his or her household using suggested actions and the members make a commitment to change. In between meetings, group members phone in a weekly report to the EcoTeam coach, a position that rotates by topic area. A t the next meeting they report on their progress and determine their objectives for the next month. Results are also to be sent to the national Global Act ion Plan office. The last month of the program is devoted to empowering others. This is done through three strategies: encouraging the formation of other Household EcoTeams by speaking to other individuals or groups, creating Workplace EcoTeams and initiating/assisting community environmental changes. The program can be very successful; it has been done by 12,000 households in the Netherlands (where the program originated) and by sizeable numbers from other places, with members realizing substantial savings in energy, waste, water, and transport, and the induced behaviour See http://www.globalactionplan.com 159 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION change has been maintained for more than two years (van Luttervelt, 1998)". It also has secondary effects: According to one team-member ' . . . Generally this is about rearranging the habits o f everyday life. It is also about the social elements. The important thing is that more people are trying to do the same thing. We meet and get inspiration from each other' (Irwin et al., 1995). Thus, being a team allows for some synergy. Their interaction and discussions have, as another team-member notes 'helped them think differently, so that they—in the long run—may become more environmentally critical consumers' (Irwin et al., 1995). Viewed from this perspective, eco-teams can do more than minimise household metabolism. The participatory and engaging nature of these activities, based on an exchange of information and experience, allows for reflexivity or a critical review and adjustment of the participants' preferences (Georg, 1999, p. 458). However, in my mind the G A P program, while evidently successful, does not provide enough scope for change and suffers from being a top-down program that is attempting to be bottom up. The areas of change are constrained and limited by the program guide, which would seem to lead participants to the conclusion that only these areas are in need, no others, and that i f they change these areas, they wi l l have achieved a sustainable lifestyle. They w i l l have checked sustainability off their to-do list, never to think of what else they can do. A lso, since the program is already laid out in full detail, there is little scope for individual problem-solving. 5.5 ADDITIONAL ISSUES AND CONSIDERATIONS This last category is made up of a smattering other findings which do not fit neatly into the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing boxes but which researchers and program designers have found useful when designing and applying behaviour change strategies. There is some overlap between some of these findings and some of the strategies discussed earlier. 5.5.1 Reciprocity Reciprocity refers to the seemingly natural tendency of people to return favours to avoid being in debt. It is a basic norm of human society and makes possible various relationships, exchanges and transactions that are beneficial to society (Cialdini, 1985). Mak ing use of reciprocity, by tactics such as giving a small gift or pointing out others' sacrifices for society, is a very effective way to affect people's behaviour, especially for donations, as the Hare Krishnas and numerous other charitable organizations have demonstrated (Cialdini, 1985; Pieters et al., 1998). It works 3 3 See also the Dutch GAP website (http://www.global-action-plan.nl) and the British GAP website (http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk) 160 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION because the norm is very strong and applies even to uninvited first favours. It can also lead to unequal exchanges because people wi l l often do more than the initial favour in order to avoid lingering feelings of indebtedness (Cialdini, 1985). One interesting application of reciprocity is the "door-in-the-face" technique. Wi th this technique, a person asks for a large commitment that is almost certain to be rejected. After rejecting the request the target feels badly and is l ikely to agree to a smaller, more reasonable request, even one they probably would have rejected in the first place (Cialdini, 1985; Weyant, 1986). This technique may have contributed to the Watergate fiasco: before Gordon Liddy asked for $250,000 to bug the Democrats' office, he had made two larger and wilder requests, starting at $1,000,000 for a plan also including a chase plane, break-ins, kidnapping and mugging squads and a yacht with high-paid call girls with which to blackmail Democrats. H is last request seemed quite reasonable in contrast, whereas by itself it might have been rejected (Cialdini , 1985). 5.5.2 Commitment Commitment, or stating one's intention to do something, has been shown to be very effective in bringing about behaviour change in areas such as recycling, bus ridership and residential energy conservation (De Young, 1993; Ungar, 1994; DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995; Kassirer and McKenz ie-Mohr, 1998). In their review of behaviour change studies, Dwyer et al (1993) found that commitment measures led to longer lasting effects than rewards and that the highest follow-up performance came from a combination o f commitment and reward. Commitment works because people want to be thought of as consistent, because consistency is highly valued by others and is beneficial to the self because it eases behaviour choice. Commitments are most effective when they are "active, public, effortful, and viewed as internally motivated (uncoerced)" (Cialdini, 1985, p. 94). Commitment decisions tend to be self-perpetuating because people often add new reasons and justifications to support commitments they have already made (Cialdini, 1985). Making a commitment, by pledging for example, creates anticipated social consequences and social pressure. Making a public commitment is more effective than a commitment to oneself (Stern and Kirkpatrick, 1977; Bandura, 1986), and combining public commitment with mass media feedback has been found to have a larger effect than either individually (DeLeon and Fuqua, 1995). Fai l ing to meet a commitment can bring penalties, social disapproval and a loss of reputation. For these reasons, people do not like to commit until they are pressured to do so, or 161 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION even to make a tentative decision, however, with too much pressure, people wi l l feel less commitment to follow through. Unless the experiences are inherently rewarding commitments work best without social or material incentives since without an external reason to do something people wi l l ascribe more intrinsic interest to it (Bandura, 1986). A commonly used commitment technique is known as the foot-in-the-door technique. This is the practice of asking people for a small commitment such as displaying a small sign, answering a hypothetical question or signing a petition. Later, the same person is asked for a bigger, seemingly unrelated commitment, such as volunteering, giving money or acting as a block leader. It is an effective tactic (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981; Ciald in i , 1985; Gray, 1985; Weyant, 1986; Katsev and Johnson, 1987; Kassirer and McKenz ie-Mohr , 1998). One very famous demonstration of this was an experiment in which people were asked to place a large, ugly, obtrusive billboard saying "Dr ive Careful ly" in front of their house. When people were just asked to do this, almost everyone said no. However, o f a different group who had been asked by an apparently unrelated volunteer a few weeks prior to place a small sign in their car or home window saying "Be a Safe Dr iver" (which almost everyone agreed to), 76% agreed to the billboard. Even when the first request was to sign a petition that favoured "keeping California beautiful," an apparently separate idea by an apparently separate group, about half of the group agreed to the billboard (Cialdini, 1985; McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999) 5.5.3 Scarcity People value things more when they are less available. This happens because it is assumed that scarcity equals quality, and also because of reactance due to the loss of freedom of choice. This also applies to information: the more limited access is to information, the more people want to see it. The impact of scarcity holds true especially when items are recently scarce and when we have to compete for them with others (Cialdini, 1985). 5.5.4 Altercasting Altercasting is placing another person in a role that carries with it the expectation for a certain kind of action. A role is what a person is "expected to do" in a given situation because of his or her status. Each role engenders social pressures based on the expectation o f others, selective exposure to information consistent with the role and the social identity of the role. Altercasting is an effective influence tactic (Pratkanis, 2000). 162 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION There are two kinds of altercasting: "mand" and "tact". The first, mand, works through a verbal expression that specifies the role, that is, by telling someone how he or she is. This can work through bringing to the forefront one of a person's roles, such as their role as a religious person or as a smoker. It can also work through placing a person in a pre-existing role as was done in the Stanford Prison experiment (where students were placed randomly in the roles of guards and prisoners and within a short time came to inhabit those roles thoroughly). Another method is co-optation, which is placing a powerful opponent in a position that appears to supports the target's cause. A leader can also co-opt a subordinate by offering a symbolic position or through a pay bonus. Labell ing, or telling people how they are, is another effective way to altercast by mand: telling elementary school students that they are neat and tidy has been found to be more effective than telling them that they ought to be and telling people that they are charitable makes them so (Weyant, 1986, Pratkanis, 2000). Another method is asking people to play a role and consider opinions from another point of view. The other form of altercasting, tact, works through either placing a person in a role by taking a complementary role or by invoking a certain role-set, again by the intervener's actions. Some complementary roles are: authority-agent, charismatic-devotee, expert-unknowing public, fool-normal, helper-dependent, intimates, intimidator-coward, just plain folks, opinion deviant-majority, and socially prestigious-admirer (Pratkanis, 2000). Altercasting works because it is relatively easy to present oneself in a role that casts or even traps someone in a corresponding role; also people often accept roles easily as the use of roles is a basic part of everyday social cognition. Whether it is ethical to use in behaviour change depends on how it is used. If the ends and means for which it is used are ethical, or i f it is used to encourage deeper thought around an issue, altercasting could be a useful tool (Pratkanis, 2000). 5.5.5 Communi ty Part ic ipat ion Participation is necessary in bringing about sustainability (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998), especially as the bulk of needed changes are local (Rayner and Malone, 1998). In order for change to take place in a democracy, it is necessary for different perspectives to be heard in the decision making process, and for individuals and groups to be wi l l ing to take action and commit time and energy to change (Moore, 1994). C iv ic involvement helps to overcome a lack of cooperation and feelings of disempowerment, so it is helpful to improve the civicness of a 163 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION community, especially as it is self-perpetuating and aids in government effectiveness (Moore, 1994). It is important to encourage local, community and public participation in environmental initiatives (Blake, 1999) as the U K ' s Going for Green project found out. After beginning implementation in a rather top-down fashion, organizers "clearly found that imposing a predetermined agenda on a community and expecting to be able to measure changes in lifestyle using predetermined targets is not the best way of engaging with people at the grass roots level" (Smith et al., 1999, p. 198). They found that the real task was to "discover, and act on, what is of local relevance to people in their pilot communities" (Smith et al., 1999, p. 198). Presumably they took up the task, although Smith et al. did not say. It is much easier for the community to participate in decisions made by lower levels of government than federal levels. In the day-to-day lives of most people in the world, local government is the more salient actor. It delivers or withholds essential services; it mediates between the citizen and the nation state through local officials, such as police officers, who may have to monitor vehicle emissions, or building inspectors, responsible for seeing that new construction meets energy efficient standards (Rayner and Malone, 1998, p. 131). For these reasons, there are many calls for implementing subsidiarity, which means that decisions get made at the lowest possible level o f government (Blowers, 1992). Whether this needs to go as far as the form of government that Bookchin (1989) calls for, an "anarchic vision of decentralized communities, united in free confederations or networks for coordinating the communities of a region" (p. 181), remains to be seen. Certainly, some move to subsidiarity would heighten community participation. Useful tools for encouraging community participation include conferences, dialogues, electronic town meetings, visioning, charettes, simulation games, guided tours, visual preference surveys and geographic information systems (GIS) (Corson, 1994; Beatley and Manning, 1997). It is also important to include all stakeholders and build coalitions among them to build consensus and a sense o f community (Corson, 1994). It is also important to think about questions such as who is local, who is the better expert for the situation (public or expert), is it a community or individual issue, and is participation or representation being sought (Blake, 1999). However, it is important to realize that public participation in the planning process is not very helpful i f the public does not know about city functioning, environmental implications or have an 164 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION overall vision (Register, 2001). A lso, people prefer to work with experts rather than on their own when making decisions (Kaplan, 2000). A lso, whether effective democracy or participation come first seems to be rather a chicken and egg question: "when participation is on a low level, we should expect people to be more apt to feel that the regulations are imposed on them from above .... such attitudes w i l l , in their turn, inhibit the intensification of participation, the lack of which was among their causes. Viewed the other way, feelings of solidarity and identification wi l l lead to participation, while it is only participation that can inspire such feelings" (Myrdal, 1960, p. 87-8). 5.5.6 Use of Groups In general, " individual issue remediation is not as effective as group-based issue remediation and ... social contexts enhance the likelihood of environmental problem solving" (Ramsey, 1993, p. 34).There are two group formats that have been found to be effective in changing behaviour. One is the workshop, led by a facilitator. Lewin (1947) found that attitudes could best be changed as part of a small group through a process of 'unfreezing' old attitudes and 'movement' of the whole group to a new attitudinal position, followed by the freezing of the group at its new position. This process was most effective when the group dynamics allowed change to occur 'from within' (Weyant, 1986; Bragg, 1996). "That is, a democratic or laissez-faire facilitation style was more effective than authoritarian leadership and the provision o f ' information'" (Bragg, 1996, p. 102). Lewin 's theories have been used effectively during experiential workshops "designed and facilitated by deep ecologists to enhance participants' experiences o f ecological self and thereby increase their environmentally responsible behavior" (Bragg, 1996, p. 102). These workshops also made use of Ke l l y ' s (1991) findings that there were three conditions favourable to the formation of new constructs. These were trying on or experimenting with new constructs in an atmosphere of make-believe, the provision of new elements, unbound by the old constructs, introduced in a safe environment, and validating new constructs and invalidating the old ones (Bragg, 1996). These workshops provided participants with powerful experiences and heightened the ecological content of their self-construal (though participants tended to have a higher than average ecological self-construal already); however, levels returned to base after six months as 165 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION participants found it hard to integrate experiences into daily life and explain them to friends and family, though those with support maintained the high level (Bragg, 1996). The other group format, the support group or action group, refers to innovations that are brought about by members of the public without prompting from local officials or other groups. Global Act ion Plan is one sort of these groups. These groups have been effective in building ecological villages in Denmark and Sweden, villages which minimized resource use and waste in house building and household activity, built healthy housing, established, maintained and protected the natural surroundings and limited agricultural damage (Georg, 1999). Groups are effective when barriers are particularly high or when the target actions are numerous or complex (Kassirer and McKenzie-Mohr , 1998). Their success comes about because once the citizens become involved in the initiative, environmentally informed behaviour is also expected of them. It is the norm within the group; a norm which begins as a loosely defined common interest in minimising household wastes and resource use, but evolves as the citizens meet, exchange information and opinions and debate which line of action to take. This allows for a gradual adjustment of differences in opinion, and gives way to new everyday practices. It is a learning process which is carried by the consciousness-raising effect of experimentation and the development of their own knowledge networks (Georg, 1999, p. 462). These groups work in part because they are small and lend themselves to social control. If they were to get big, expectations would l ikely diverge and some people would become free riders (Georg, 1999). These groups could also be formed through local government action, but they would then use the citizen involvement that makes the programs effective. The question of how to plan the spontaneous arises, as well as the need to ensure participation, co-operation and collaboration and minimize free-riding (Georg, 1999). In forming groups there are several considerations to keep in mind. Support groups should be made up of people who share a common relationship to the system which is being discussed. Groups should be both small enough for individual attention and large enough for a variety of perspectives. Group meetings should be designed so that all participants can apply what is being discussed to their own households. Members should commit to a number and frequency of meetings, at least six, no more than two or three weeks apart, and discuss in the middle of the last of the series whether there are to be more. There should not be leaders but members should rotate roles of coordination, moderation and recording. Group members should be provided with 166 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION ongoing feedback and encouragement. Finally, a sustainable process for recruiting new groups should be built in (Culbert, 1976; Kassirer and McKenzie-Mohr , 1998). 5.5.7 Part ic ipatory Prob lem Solving Participatory problem solving is giving people a focused task that needs solving, and asking them to find a solution that is both satisfying and responsible. It is the difference between telling people what to do, asking them what they would like to do and helping them understand issues and inviting them to explore possible solutions. It has been successfully used in the Dutch Green Plan, in which the government sets targets and then tasks consumers or businesses with finding the solutions (Kaplan, 2000). It works because people like being involved and making a difference and they enjoy feeling needed and doing things that wi l l outlast them. They also get satisfaction from feeling competence and problem-solving is a highly endorsed competence category (De Young, 1996). Personal control has been found to be one of the strongest predictors of proenvironmental behaviour, so "helping individuals feel more personal control in terms of solving environmental problems may also encourage a stronger environmental ethic" (Al len and Ferrand, 1999, p. 351). Tell ing people what to do ignores the possibility for local variants and the possibility o f a "diversity o f solutions, providing a basis for a culture of exploration, innovation, and involvement that w i l l be both satisfying and responsible" (Kaplan, 2000, p. 505). It is better to recognize and work with human motivations and inclinations, treat the human cognitive capacity as a resource and engage the powerful motivation for competence, being needed, making a difference, and forging a better life. It is also important to find ways to motivate people that reduce personal helplessness (Kaplan, 2000). Involvement in group conservation decisions is potentially the most powerful group strategy but the least used. The group influences its members through (1) a change in the group norm during discussion, (2) public commitment to the norm and (3) acceptance of responsibility for behaviour congruent with the norm. It could be done through a group planning a conservation program, deciding on actions, allocating responsibility for actions and developing monitoring procedures (Cook and Barrenberg, 1981). 167 HARMONY FOLZ TREATING CONSUMPTION 5.5.8 Consensus conferences Consensus conf
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Treating consumption : strategies for promoting a sustainable lifestyle Folz, Harmony Meleta Johanna 2004
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