We Must Use Incentives to Encourage Environmentally Friendly Behavior Essay

We Must Use Incentives to Encourage Environmentally Friendly Behavior Essay

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Remediating the environment has been a struggle for our nation and our planet for quite some time. For all the effort and expense on the part of governments and citizens to improve the environment, many environmentalists still do not see much benefit, and believe that environmental problems may soon become a crisis. “Most ecologists would agree that humans are plowing through the Earth’s natural resources at an unsustainable rate — and pushing up against some worrisome thresholds in the biosphere.” (Raudsepp-Hearne)
Perhaps the problem is that humanity has not figured out the correct incentives to solve our substantial ecological dilemma. According to Steven D. Levitt and Stephan J. Dubner, co-authors of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, “Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. And understanding them, or, often ferreting them out—is the key to solving just about any riddle from violent crime to sports cheating to online dating” (11). If mankind, led by environmental experts could develop stronger and smarter incentives, for example, ones that effectively motivate people with money, then the ecological damage and harm that is still being done to the Earth’s environment could decrease significantly and faster.
According to a study by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), humanity is at risk in terms of the extinction of species, climate change, and a too rapid growing world population. The 1,400 scientists that took part in this study found that people simply consume more resources than the earth is currently able to provide. (United Nations Environment Programme) The report continues that the damage humans create in the environment is threatening the extinction of many mamma...


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...at. N.p., 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.

"Go Green & Get Green: Tax Rebates and Incentives for Green Home Improvements."Redfin Real Estate Blog. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

Grant, Kelli B. "Incentives to Go 'Green'" The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 15 Jan. 2006. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

Levitt, Steven D., and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. New York: William Morrow, 2005. Print.

Levitt, Steven D., and Stephen J. Dubner. SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. Good Reads. 10 Mar. 2014.

Raudsepp-Hearne, Ciara. "Untangling the Environmentalist's Paradox: Why Is Human Well-Being Increasing as Ecosystem Services Degrade?" Bio One 8 (2010): 576. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.

"United Nations Environment Programme." (UNEP). Web. 8 Mar. 2014.

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