June 8, 2010
GreenHomeNYC board member Alison Novak
reflects on behavior and green buildings.
Recently I’ve been hearing too much of the same depressing argument: we can’t solve climate change through technology alone but the masses of consumers won’t alter their behavior until there is a direct economic cost to them, such as vastly higher fuel costs. Then I was fortunate enough to attend the latest of the Garrison Institute’s “Climate, Buildings and Behavior” conferences (a GreenHomeNYC Partner-in-Practice was also in attendance, Miquela Craytor, representing Sustainable South Bronx). Re-examining the tenets of neoclassical economics in light of data provided to us by behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, gave me a glimpse of an alternate way of looking at the problem of getting people to change how they live without waiting for dire circumstances.