Building Blocks

David Roberts vents about the challenges involved in energy conservation:

The most puzzling behavioral phenomenon to understand when it comes to building efficiency is that Most People Won’t Do Sh*t (MPWDS). “Most people” includes people who could make money by doing sh*t, people who say they will do sh*t, even people who have promised to do sh*t. I’ve heard from people who write about energy efficiency for a living, know exactly what to do to make their homes more efficient, and still don’t do sh*t. It’s hard to disentangle the reasons whysome mix of status quo bias, hyperbolic discounting, and loss aversion to begin withbut it’s clear that public surveys and polls about this tend to be misleading. What people say they’re willing to do and what they demonstrate they’re willing to do are very different things. Attitudes don’t translate into actions.