Under the motto ‘every little bit helps’, we are working towards big results. But does that work? Not always, according to various studies. Taking a small positive action for the climate can actually have a net negative effect on how sustainable we live. Cause? So-called ‘moral self-licensing’. The government’s ‘everyone is doing something’ campaign. compensating for good behavior with bad behavior Moral self-licensing involves the following:
We can use this in campaigns such
you use the fact that you have done something good before as an excuse to. Behave less ethically or less well later on. Examples of moral self-licensing are: You have installed solar panels and then worry less about your power consumption (which ultimately means you use a lot more). You do not Chile B2B List drive a car and therefore think it is fine that you regularly make air travel. In a sustainable clothing store you buy extra T-shirts that you don’t actually need, because you feel so good about buying things in a sustainable store.
First of all, we can make use
You might recognize yourself in these examples (I certainly do!). You can probably now imagine that moral self-licensing can be problematic for making our society more sustainable. Moral self-licensing is especially a problem if we are going to use a very small positive action to justify a much larger negative action. Is it wrong to ask for small actions? If you’re reading this, it sounds like we’re not getting along very well with asking for small actions for the climate.