Academic research into social relations and the environment

Nov 06, 2020

There is no lack of academic research into the affect social relations can have on environmental behaviour. The link to one paper is attached that has 85 references to reflect the attention being given to this aspect of behavioural change or inertia.file:///Users/danielscharf/Downloads/Hargreaves%20(2020)%20Social%20Relations%20&%20Energy%20Demand.pdf

Clearly the family climate and ecological emergency declaration was intended to encourage us to all behave in more responsible ways but it also possible that the lowest common denominator applies and, instead of our social connections raising standards, our loyalties to family, community or identity result in a race to the bottom? or at least a state of inertia?

The paper relied on a couple of vignettes to illustrate the entangled relations and constraints on our freedom to act. One of the actions/behaviours not covered are travel choices. Where to take 'family' holidays and whether to fly, train or drive are some of the big impact choices where those wanting to reduce their environmental footprint could be dragged along for the sake of family harmony. The question of technology is covered by the paper but not the acquisition of a car; diesel, petrol, EV or none, that could amount to a large part of the overall footprint. But these choices are also opportunities to raise the game for the family and all its connectors.