So the post on incentives was probably an economics post disguised as a sustainability post. But honestly, it is difficult to get economics out of our daily lives. Even when I talk about career choices, I inadvertently try to perform some kind of cost-benefit analysis on it.
What is bad about economics as it is applied, is that a lot of intangibles or non-measurables get ignored. Yet that is just improper application of economics. The principles behind economics still allows us to make evaluations (in our very subjective human way) on the intangibles and urges us to account for all that.
For example, we can value the environment more than convenience when we bring our own bags, take the trouble to recycle stuff. The action reflects our subjective valuation even if we cannot put a price on it. And precisely because our valuation can change due to specific context, circumstances, psychological priming, that it is going to require a lot of that to make sure we tip the balance in favour of environment and align all the incentives. Not just monetary, but social, and psychological.
In other words, we focus more on our goals of achieving sustainability, having established at a higher level that it is worthwhile. Then we generate the incentive structures for every individual so that habits, actions and all gear towards that goal. Easier said than done.
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