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How to encourage people to conserve energy?



By 2020, global population will reach 8 billion and GDP will rise to $80 Trillion. Along with this, there will be surge on internet user reaching half of humanity. Energy demand and consumption synergies with this trend. However, Fossil fuels shall still remain most favorite source of energy for most of the mankind activities and with fossil fuels comes repugnant gift i.e. Climate Change. This is where dire need of conserving energy and change in its usages pattern comes into force and our effort to motivate single individual will have butterfly effect. In a very (un)surprising, dealing with climate change is not really what motivates people, something else is.

Human being have tendency to not to act when they feel like they are being enforced or when things do not reach their sentiment and touch bottom of their heart. If we continue to talk about climate change and global warming, there will barely touch emotion and create connection which are critical for people to act. Only when emotion are touched, close connections are made, people will start connecting dots. A very good news is many multinational companies are using this technique of reaching out people’s emotion to sale their products globally. This similar tactic is what we need to adapt if we really want people to stand up for conservation of energy. Emotional drives can be showing interconnection of our complex relation of climate change and its effect through our energy consumption habit in more simplified manner. Like how load shedding on developing countries for children preparing their future while we leave our internet-connected gadget on sleep mode or computer on even for useless time. Such emotional stories hit inner core of heart and compel people to act.

Another more effective way is related to habit and general human temperament this largely encompasses “impression and showing of how good we are” to promote energy saving behavior. In today’s time, where no one wants to remain anonymous smarten, it’s time we create visible incentives and start providing credit to those who are actually saving energy or minimizing their usages. This could be simple initiation by municipality or Energy Distribution Authority to provide “star card” as reward for conservation or lesser conservation of energy. Higher the stars, better the household’s effort on conservation of energy. Such star card could be used for varieties of purposes like getting discount on state-produced products, organic food, etc. Another method could be hanging around shiny metals of different color with unique representation hanging on gateway.

In similar manner to impression, another tactic to change paradigm of consuming energy and shift it more towards conserving is to play with “Social Status” concept of people. People often consider certain trade as symbol of status and certain as not. This is perfectly depicted by smart phone phenomena of recent time. What was considered ‘status symbol’ half a decade back has now become part of everyday life and they are being available at very reasonable prices as well. It might take some time, but making Solar Roof a status symbol at beginning and then ‘part of life’ could tremendously help us in farming our own energy. “Solar Roof” can be gifted for those who conserve energy well above their targeted goal as a part of this initiatives and start creating wave of campaign on ‘Solar Roof’ as higher status symbol.

“Carbon Trade scheme” like concept can also be adopted to encourage people to conserve energy. People can be provided with goal to minimize their consumption of energy based on their past energy consuming habits. The difference between their past and current consumption can be used as ‘energy stock’. Like Carbon stock, such energy stock could be sold to those who are unable to change their consumption habit. This will in one hand reward those with interest in saving energy and encouraging their conservation habit meanwhile make “unnecessary energy consumption” a luxury to those who are not able to change their habits. It will create win-win situation to both team and latter being highly encouraged to conserve energy to shed off the ever increasing price.

In addition, we can often find how deeply religion is rooted to billions of people irrespective of religion they follow. Such strong belief and faith on religion could be smartly used to change habits of followers and drive them into conserving energy if Leaders like Pope Francis from other religion preaching for energy conservation are also highlighted by mainstream Medias.

While selling facts might seem tangible to encourage people to save energy. Such counts for really far lesser population. With human psychology strongly effecting individual’s action, if we emphasize on reaching out emotions, hitting temperament and what they actually believe in, we can ease our way to encourage people to conserve energy.

-Rahul Acharya
Agriculture and Forestry University

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An Open Letter to World Leaders on COP22



Dear World Leaders
Warm Greetings

Hope you are doing great there and maybe quite busy as biggest environment and climate change conference is at the door. For me, what do I say. I am fine and I am not.

I probably understand you have been flooded with tons of request and expectation. But hey you ought to be as well for You are World Leader, and your every minute action have butterfly effect at every nook and corner of the world.

Yesterday, I happened to read an article where it wrote “We will loose one fourth of all plants and animals within 100 years if global temperature keeps rising this level.” Tears rolled automatically while reading this. Do you want to know why? Because I have memories with one horned Rhino, elephants. I want same memory with my children, grandchildren and many generation to come. I want to see my great grand children cherish Rhododendron on Himalaya, enjoy the blossoms of Bottle Brush, see the dancing of Peacock and still be scared when they see crocodile and hear roar of Lions and Tigers. However, latest scientific claims frighten me if my such nostalgic wish will even last for few more years.

Dear world leaders, while you are enjoying your quality hamburger and freshly grown organic foods, cattle of my region is severely suffering from low yield and heat stress. My family at rural part of South Asia buy packaged milk while still rearing cows. My own pocket got empty when I went to shop for organic spinach. My North American and Australian friends also  keep complaining how unhealthy their food system has become.Every thing is wrapped up in plastic. Why is this healthy food so expensive? Is my health a luxury? I am afraid my life will soon become not so affordable.

Few weeks back, I read about Obituary of The Great Barrier Reef. I was horrified. All those marine life who depend on coral reef and beautiful art of nature dying by our selfish greed and considering of ocean as sink of all our sins. The pain is really unendurable. It got me thinking while we are having trouble managing political refugees, how on earth are we planning to manage and accommodate millions of Climate Refugee? Oh wait! How selfish I became, we are obliged to manage all those species whose habitat we have ceased forcefully.

Recent Flood hit at Madi while I was on my survey related to Climate Change Adptation
Flood affected area at bank of Rewa River, Madi Chitwan, Nepal. Life of those living near the bank and with low income are left in ashtray when diaster like flood becomes a common part of their life.

One friend from South East Asia messaged me describing her nightmare about coastal flooding and land loss near her home. I cried with her, because I cannot imagine pain of loosing home where we have all our memories encrypted. I have seen a beautiful lake dried permanently. The lake where we had beautiful bio diversity and was an arsenal of all my childhood memories and fun.  Dear World Leader, if you understand what its like to taste sometime defeat, I would like to remind you that such pain is nothing, not even a tip of ice berg of what its really like to loose our home, our neighbor all at once and forever.

While you are ‘busy’ and ‘occupied’ intellectually debating on carbon trade and its harmful impact on world economy, giving grandiose speech for the people of world, my fellow South Asian friends are wrestling with floods and erratic rainfall. Meanwhile you are enjoying your early morning coffee on the lawn, my African friends are getting scare of desertification that has already knocked their home and my Costa Rica and Ethiopia friends getting worried about rapidly declining coffee yield. My fellow Latin American friends called me and said about his probable experience of increased evapotrasnpiration and erratic precipitation which will severely effect his livestock business. My European friends are expressing their concern how climate change is affecting vine phenology and grape composition which are hitting wine industry hard.  For a while, you can still enjoy your sip of  early morning coffee or afternoon wine with beef though. Ouch! Those Amazing and vast carbon-sink Amazon Rainforest. Do I even have to yield a word?

To be very frank, I am naive. I am gullible to science facts and have fervent belief on those scientific claims than on media or political propaganda. I know it sometime makes me vulnerable, I am aware I will be coined ‘irrational human being’  speaking economically, but it doesn’t bother me. What trouble me is all those failed International Conventions and Treaties and Promises made in front of whole world. I am not used to  of all the existing Climate/Environment rules, rational lies on adapting such treaties, but I am well aware of how much you have been enjoying the loopholes your created yourself, your trick to divert from following what is right and fooling us for all these years and disobeying simple scientific facts supported and claimed by millions of research and 97 percent of Scientist.

Dear World Leader, there are many things to complain about. But I do not want to waste your time. All that I am saying is to manage just an ounce of your time for our tiny planet. Its not that I am pushing you to send me to Mars with million dollars. I am not requesting you to provide me personal privileges . I am demanding you to listen us. Listen closely to voice of ours, listen to us who have head the outcry of our mother nature. I am just encouraging you to save the planet you rule.

This time in COP while you enjoy beautiful city of Morocco and work out on intense negotiation, I hope you will keep up the promises made in Paris, France. Ease adaptation of all those treaties, influence all other friends to ratify it and stop making COP a ‘mocking’ object. We have seen Montreal Protocol, cherished and danced on its success. I believe history will be repeated. I do hope you will keep us our faith alive in you.

Hoping to getting to see promises made as promises kept.

Yours Global Citizen
Rahul Acharya
On the Behalf of whole world
“Revolution blooms in extreme crisis”

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