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Are We Wired For Pursuit? Is That Bad?

Post Carbon Institute board member Nate Hagens discusses conspicuous consumption as a natural behavior--one that can be changed, one that must be changed quickly if we are to create stable, resilient societies. Evolutionary psychology teaches us that the PURSUIT of resources and status is what drives us- that is what gets the "reward" chemicals flowing. What if we could redirect this urge, so as to work with our natural inclinations instead of against them? For example, if we pursued bigger and better food producing gardens instead of manicured lawns for show? If we pursued the best passive solar system instead of new cars?

It is in us to strive and compete and to WANT things. But we have to start wanting things that are in line with our survival, and not an obstacle to it!

"Without behavioral change, without changing the carrot that the United States and the countries that follow us compete for, away from conspicuous consumption... its only going to be fingers in the dyke, temporary fixes."

 Nate Hagens

Nate is a well know authority on the overall resource depletion picture. He was, until recently, the editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and highly-respected websites in the world for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and their implications for the future.

This is a refreshing look at an important aspect of the shift we are hoping to affect in our world. We have to remember to account for our psychological hard wiring- not our idealized projections.

--Bibi Farber