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- Mar 2023
Sustainable consumption scholars offer several explanations forwhy earth-friendly, justice-supporting consumers falter when itcomes to translating their values into meaningful impact.
- earth-friendly, justice-supporting consumers cannot translate their values into meaningful impact.
- “the shading and distancing of commerce” Princen (1997) is an effect of information assymetry.
- producers up and down a supply chain can hide the negative social and environmental impacts of their operations, putting conscientious consumers at a disadvantage. //
- this is a result of the evolution of alienation accelerated by the industrial revolution that created the dualistic abstractions of producers and consumers.
- Before that, producers and consumers lived often one and the same in small village settings
- After the Industrial Revolution, producers became manufacturers with imposing factories that were cutoff from the general population
This set the conditions for opaqueness that have plagued us ever since. //
time constraints, competing values, and everyday routines together thwart the rational intentions of well-meaning consumers (Røpke 1999)
- assigning primary responsibility for system change to individual consumers is anathema to transformative change (Maniates 2001, 2019)
This can be broken down into three broad categories of reasons:
- Rebound effects
- increases in consumption consistently thwart
effciency-driven resource savings across a wide variety of sectors (Stern 2020).
-sustainability scholars increasingly critique “effciency” both as:
- a concept (Shove 2018)
- as a form of“weak sustainable consumption governance” (Fuchs and Lorek 2005).
- Many argue that, to be successful, effciency measures must be accompanied by initiatives that limit overall levels of consumption, that is, “strong sustainable consumption governance.
- Rebound effects
- Industrial Revolution and alienation
- myth of technology as savior
- rebound effects
- behavior-impact gap
- myth of sustainable consumption
- myth of consumer sovereignty
- attitude-behavior gap
- Jevon's paradox