The Selfish Ape
How much is the future worth to us? Our behaviour would suggest not much.
Stand on a beach – virtually any will do – and you don’t need to look hard to find a load of plastic rubbish. This is a simple illustration of the huge barrier that exists in tackling climate change: we like to enjoy consumption with little regard for longer term impacts, especially if the consequences end up on someone else’s beach.
The key to changing our behaviour with regards to climate change is, say economists, for humans to start valuing the future as much as the present.
One of the most ingrained behaviours affecting carbon emissions is car use. Government efforts to persuade people to shift from cars to public transport tend to be preachy and heavy handed. But in Sweden, economists believe using nudge theory can create real change.
Presenter Claudia Hammond heads to Stockholm to learn how economics can be used to change consumer behaviour.
We also hear from Irene Caselli who is in Ecuador's Yasuni forest to report on plans to leave vast reserves of oil untouched underneath the forest - as long as international governments pay Ecuador half the market price of the rich resource.
Would the promise of a free sauna help us to be more energy efficient? Claudia Hammond is in Stockholm to find out.Can "nudge" theory work?