ANN ARBOR, Mich. –ANN ARBOR, Mich. – If good intentions made for a smaller carbon footprint, humans would leave tracks like a sparrow.
Yet green behavior is neither intuitive nor easy – a crucial acknowledgement as the global demand for energy is forecasted to double by 2030. That, combined with stark constraints of technology to push alternative energy sources to the forefront by then leaves is a gap. A big one.
Three University of Michigan experts in social sciences will explore the role of social innovations in filling that gap between energy technologies and the demand for clean energy at a panel discussion 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 15, in the fourth floor amphitheater of the Rackham Graduate School. The discussion is sponsored by the Center for Advancing Research and Solutions for Society (CARSS) and the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute.
“Reaching a sustainable energy future may not be possible without new fuels and green technologies; but realizing that future will most certainly require new ways of getting our work done and redefining ‘the good life for all,’” said David Featherman, CARSS director. “Social science as well as technological science are tools to getting there from here.”
- Irv Salmeen of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems will explore the struggle between physical laws which tell how much work can be done with a pile of coal, and human choices which dictate how fast to burn it.
- Stephanie Preston of psychology will focus on how the evolution and structure of the brain limit our ability to be green and how interventions can work with (rather than against) these preexisting biases.
- Ryan Kellogg of economics will discuss individual economic choices as cheap fossil fuels face off against clean energy innovations.
The discussion is part of the Consumption Fair, the last event of the Michigan Meeting of the Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption. Consumption produces environmental waste, unfair labor practices and damages human health. Local and federal governments struggle to encourage monetary saving, reduce waste, increase recycling and deal with compulsive hoarding. The conference will focus on how decisions are made to allocate resources.
The panel discussion is free and open to the public.
For information on the Consumption Fair, see here.
For information on the Michigan Meeting, see here.
Sue Nichols, Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, (734) 615-5678, email@example.com