Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

 

Science and Sustainability

This page aims to bring science and sustainability together.  Our earth is changing.  We are impacting our environment.  The idea is that if we can make our world a worse place to live, we should also be able to make it a better place to be. 

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."  --Evolutionary Theory 

Behavior Change for a Sustainable World

The Behavior Change for a Sustainable World Conference program featured a roster of invited speakers in a single-track format. Dr. Lonnie Thompson, one of the world’s most renowned climate scientists, provided the opening address. Like nearly all climate scientists, he is convinced that human activity is the primary cause of global climate change. Dr. Thompson’s message was that the major challenge of climate change is getting people to change their behavior.


Another keynote speaker was Dr. Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Dr. Kareiva raised a stir within and outside of TNC when he argued that environmentalists should shift their focus from the benefits conservation provides wildlife to the benefits it provides people.


Dr. Fred Provenza will describe the work of Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation, and Ecosystem Management (BEHAVE), an international network of scientists and land managers from five continents that integrates behavioral principles and processes with local knowledge to enhance ecological, economic, and social values of rural and urban communities. 

Special Interest Groups

Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies (BASS) is a special interest group (SIG) of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABA:I).  BASS is dedicated to discovering behavioral solutions to the problems concerning reducing pollution, promoting sustainable environments, and conserving resources.  BASS Website/Blog provides a wealth of information related to initiatives that others are undertaking as well as information about what you can do.  The BASS-SIG Facebook page provides readers with frequent discussion on hot issues.

What Others are Doing...and What YOU Can Do too!

Looking to the Literature

When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine by Jay Warmke - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harvey-wasserman/when-the-biomass-hits-the_b_1704642.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

 
Lehman, P.K., & Geller, E.S. (2004). Behavior analysis and environmental protection: accomplishments and potential for moreBehavior and Social Issues, 13 (1), 13-32.

- Earth Day Initiatives (1970) 
- Behavioral protection is far from reaching its potential.
- Humans impact behavior
- Population increased from 1.5 billion in 1900 to 6.3 billion in 2003
- Technology has changes the lives of many
- Air Pollution: 90% of energy comes from burning of fossil fuels, harmful byproducts, respiratory problems, ozone depletion, 800,000 deaths worldwide each year from ambient air pollution
- Climate Change: Global warming, fossil fuels have formed a blanket around the earth that allows light to penetrate without allowing heat to escape
- Earth heating up, worst case scenario melts polar icecaps and flooding of coastal areas, extreme changes in weather; droughts and desertification in some areas and floods in others. Responsible for 154,000 deaths worldwide (more favorable for spread of disease such as malaria, dengue fever and diarrhea).

Water Pollution and Depletion
- Polluted water supply from industrial chemicals, fossil fuel emissions, and residential runoff
- 33% of lake acreage & 15% of the total river miles within the US are so contaminated with mercy and other chemicals that the US EPA has issued fish advisories warning that some or all species are unsafe to eat.

Soil Erosion and Contamination
- Extensive loss of topsoil: associated with mining, farming techniques and overgrazing.

Loss of Green Space and Species Diversity
- Only about 50% of the earth's original forest cover remains.
- Habitat destruction, introduction of exotic species, over harvesting
- Increased extinction rate

Past Behavior Analytic Contributions
- Keep America Beautiful campaign (litter)
- Recycling
- Decreasing energy used in buildings (heating, cooling and lighting)
- Reduce pollution

Further Areas for Intervention
- Reduce energy consumption
- Changing transportation behaviors
- Purchasing behaviors, more environmentally friendly products

ABC's
- prompting
- modeling
- commitment
- environmental design
 
Consequences
- Rewards
- Feedback

Choosing Behavioral Targets
- increasing recycling-related behavior, 
- decreasing residential energy use,
- reducing environmental litter

Maintaining Pro-Enviornmental Behavior Solutions
- focus on behaviors that do not need to be maintained
- implement intervention evaluations of appropriate length and design factors which increase response maintenance that can continue indefinitely.
- design interventions that can continue indefinitely 

Curtailing Behaviors vs Efficient Behaviors
- cost
- immediacy

Research response maintenance
- recycling (long periods of time)
- studying the phenomena can allow for indefinite/long-term treatment which made lead to higher degree of maintenance 

Permanent Interventions

Challenge of Dissemination
- Imbed research interventions within environmental organizations from the outset.

Conclusion
- Environmental preservation may be one of the most important social issues of our time
- Publications on behavior change sustainability have declined 
- Benefit to expanding the scope of behavioral targets, addressing the problem of long-term maintenance