Thursday, May 21, 2015

'Droughtshaming' Hopes to Cut California Water Cheats


http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32789579

It's no secret that California is the middle of an extreme drought, and lots of people think that water conservation should be mandatory, not "encouraged." As we learned about in economics, as long as the conservation isn't mandatory, I think lots of people will continue to take advantage of the free rider effect present in this situation. A new social media trend has local people playing vigilante justice by taking photos of water wasting and posting them to twitter, facebook, or instagram with the #droughtshaming. While I do think that some people aren't making enough of an effort to do their part, I'm not so sure about trying to shame people into changing their habits and routines and there's no proof that these postings make people save any more water either. What do you guys think? Do you think this trend might actually make people save more water? Even if it does, is it socially acceptable?

10 comments:

Valerie Chen said...

The water that people use on a daily basis really doesn't make a big difference on the drought, when you consider scale. But even though "droughtshaming" may not help California in this case, it's still a good idea in general for people to conserve on their water usage. If the drought gets more people to pay attention and not waste, I think it'll be a little bit of good coming out of a really bad situation.

Antony Cabuslay said...

While I understand the sentiment behind this movement, Valerie is right. An awareness campaign like this will do little good since Urban usage only makes up some 10% of consumption. The rest of the water goes to agriculture and other environmentalish needs. As far as socially acceptability of this shaming campaign, it certainly is in my opinion, though if history and tumblr has anything to do with it I'm sure it will be come unacceptable to pressure people into doing what's responsible cuz it'll make them feel bad

ElizabethZhou7 said...

I agree with Valerie in that the water we use daily doesn't really affect the drought as much since it probably only makes up a small percentage of California's overall water usage. I don't think shaming people is the most ideal way of getting people to conserve water, but the trend will definitely draw more awareness to the current predicament California is facing. However, some peer pressure could possibly make people start saving more water in order to avoid being humiliated by others on social media.

Spencer Larsen6 said...

I believe this drought shaming on social media is illogical. This idea of drought shaming will make no impact on conserving water so why make people feel bad about themselves. A polite comment will suffice. The reason why these drought shaming posts wont make a difference is because 80% of California's water is used in agriculture; most likely even more than that now because their has been so little rain.

Catherine van Blommestein said...

While I do believe that “droughtshaming” is bringing awareness to the problem, I do not think this is the best way to reduce water usage. I agree with Governor Brown’s executive order to mandate water conservation for everybody (including agriculture). This is the only way to ensure that water is actually saved. Even though agriculture will suffer from this, it is worth it in the long run and may create innovations to use less water in agriculture. We cannot rely on small movements such as #droughtshaming to help the drought situation. There needs to be more drastic action. Still another question is whether or not conservation will be enough if this drought continues?

Elena E said...

Although drought shaming is acting for a good cause, the very essence of shaming somebody because of behavior regarding water may be a little over the top. Aggression such as #droughtshaming may easily cause conflict between people, rather than promote the cause. The trend would only create defensive people who would not want to conserve water at all. There are different, more positive and more effective ways to get people to pay attention to the seriousness of the drought.

Samantha Bhaumik said...

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-save-water-and-beat-the-drought-psychology/

I think that the droughtshaming may not be as effective as we want, but it is a small step to helping us get through the drought. We need to feel as though we are helping in some way or else we feel helpless. Cutting down on waste is always a good thing and most people need a push from others to notice that a problem is serious. Although this movement may push some to cut their showers short, it may not reach everyone. Social loafing can happen when large groups work towards fixing a problem. "Social loafing is a different psychological phenomenon -- it describes the tendency of people to exert less effort toward completing a task or achieving a goal when they're working collectively as part of a group/team than when they're working alone," I think in order to avoid this we need to take direct action and enforce strict rules on waste. Even if it doesn't help on a large scale, it's important for people to avoid waste in a drought. We should add fines to washing cars at home and add a limit to how much water houses are allowed each day depending on how big the family is.

Jeremiah Rondeau said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTWfoC6zCLk

According to Reason, growing Almonds uses as much water as every individual and business in Los Angeles AND San Francisco combined. Agricultural water usage accounts for 80% of the total. From a logical standpoint, #ALMONDSHAMING makes more sense.

Poe's law states that at a certain point it is impossible to distinguish satire from extremism. When serving tap water at restaurants was banned (without it being explicitly requested), this point was reached. Of course, these decisions were not made from a logical perspective. They were made to feign effort and build political capital (just like shutting down the most noticeable services during the "government shutdown").

Douglas Kirsher said...

I don’t think that drought shaming is the best approach. There has to be a balance solution between agriculture, business, and the individual. Agriculture is the biggest water consumer yet media is focusing on the things like golf courses and homeowners lawns. I think it is important for all groups to conserve. We need to rethink how agriculture uses water and create new ways to irrigate or perhaps grow low water consuming plants. We also need to treat people fairly. People who have been consuming already would be hurt if there was a mandatory percentage reduction put in place which would have less impact on people who had been wasting water. Strong and fair regulations are needed that will get people to think about conservation because we do not know how long this drought last.

Spencer said...

Droughtshaming puts it out there that we are in a serious drought, but do we really need this shaming? I don't think it's proper or necessary. I mean come on now, EVERYONE knows we are in a drought and how serious it really is. It's not brand new, breaking news that a drought all of a sudden exists. People should seriously just turn to Droughthelping and post pictures and comments of themselves saving water on their own to provide motivation and new ideas for society to save water. At some point, I feel that there will be stronger regulations because if we aren't already panicking, then if this drought worsens over the next 3-5 years than we will need mandatory regulations of some sort.