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      Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce US carbon emissions.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
      Behavior, Carbon, analysis, Household Articles, Humans, United States

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          Abstract

          Most climate change policy attention has been addressed to long-term options, such as inducing new, low-carbon energy technologies and creating cap-and-trade regimes for emissions. We use a behavioral approach to examine the reasonably achievable potential for near-term reductions by altered adoption and use of available technologies in US homes and nonbusiness travel. We estimate the plasticity of 17 household action types in 5 behaviorally distinct categories by use of data on the most effective documented interventions that do not involve new regulatory measures. These interventions vary by type of action and typically combine several policy tools and strong social marketing. National implementation could save an estimated 123 million metric tons of carbon per year in year 10, which is 20% of household direct emissions or 7.4% of US national emissions, with little or no reduction in household well-being. The potential of household action deserves increased policy attention. Future analyses of this potential should incorporate behavioral as well as economic and engineering elements.

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          Most cited references8

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          Effecting Durable Change

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            The effectiveness of mass communication to change public behavior.

            This article provides an overview of the ways in which mass communication has been used -- or can be used -- to promote beneficial changes in behavior among members of populations. We use an ecological perspective to examine the ways in which mass media interventions can be used to influence public behavior both directly and indirectly. Mass media interventions that seek to influence people directly -- by directly targeting the people burdened by the public health problem of concern and/or the people who influence them -- have a long basis in public health history, and recent reviews have clarified our expectations about what can be expected from such approaches. Mass media interventions that seek to influence people indirectly -- by creating beneficial changes in the places (or environments) in which people live and work -- have equal if not greater potential to promote beneficial changes in population health behaviors, but these are currently less explored options. To have the greatest possible beneficial influence on public behavior with the public health resources available, we recommend that public health program planners assess their opportunities to use media to target both people and places in a manner that complements and extends other investments being made in population health enhancement.
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              Blind Spots in Policy Analysis: What Economics Doesn't Say about Energy Use

              Paul Stern (1987)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                19858494
                2767367
                10.1073/pnas.0908738106

                Chemistry
                Behavior,Carbon,analysis,Household Articles,Humans,United States
                Chemistry
                Behavior, Carbon, analysis, Household Articles, Humans, United States

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