Cycles in environmental policy

2020-03-12

in Economics, Politics, Psychology, The environment

Scientists alert people to the problem. Environmentalists are the first to believe them. Corporations that are implicated as contributing to the problem either deny the threat or balk at the cost of addressing it, fearful of government red tape and loss of profits. Eventually, enough public concern prompts politicians to act. They respond with tougher standards, and on rare occasions with policies that change prices. The standards force technological change. The threat is diminished. Afterwards, almost no one can say what technologies and what policies were involved. But if asked, they admit they didn’t change their behaviour.

Jaccard, Mark. The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress. Cambridge University Press, 2000. p. 155

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