Reputation and climate change: Could labels help? – Slate Magazine

Reputation and climate change: Could labels help? – Slate Magazine.

“Warning: This Car Is Inefficient”

Could having better labels help out the environment?

Posted Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, at 2:41 AM ET

Have you ever noticed a friend or neighbor driving a new hybrid car and felt pressure to trade in your gas guzzler? Or worried about what people might think when you drive up to the office in an SUV? If so, then you have experienced the power of reputation for encouraging good public behavior. In fact, reputation is such an effective motivator that it could help us solve the most pressing issue we face—protecting our planet.

Environmental problems are difficult to solve because Earth is a “public good.” Even though we would all be better off if everyone reduced their environmental impact, it is not in anyone’s individual interest to do so. This leads to the famous “tragedy of the commons,” in which public resources are overexploited and everyone suffers.

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Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

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