Contradictions in life are one of the most amazing things. Seems like that applies here as well. Would you ever imagine, the whole thing that led to the climate crisis we are in, also seems to be the only legit way to get out of it? Didn't quite understand? Let's dive in.
Well, we all know about the climate crisis and what a big threat it is. The rapid warming of the planet is causing results that were never even imagined. And this phenomenon is just getting started. So, what lead to the whole situation?
"Come on man, all of us know this. All the carbon dioxide and other gases that these factories released is the problem.
Yes, You are right. Absolutely.
But here comes the contradiction. The climate crisis is a big problem now. And no individual can solve it all alone. This would need mass level changes. And most important, changes in consumer behavior. There are two types of changes that we actually need. One is at the Industrial Level and the other is at the consumer level (or the common man's level).
To make changes at the consumer level (or the individual level) is no easy task. On the other hand, the changes at the Industrial Level will happen rather easily. Now, this might seem in stark contradiction to what goes around in the public. The Industries would have to change anyway. Considering only an economic point of view, anything that has less supply has more price (if the demand is more, of course). So, as the world's non-renewable sources are getting depleted, their prices are rising. Eventually, these companies would then prefer renewable tech because it would profit them. That is merely from an economic and business point of view. Putting the social concern of the organizations (for those who have) in the picture would only improve the chances of their transition.
The main problem.
Now, Let's get to the main problem. The changes required at the consumer level. Here, the common is stuck in the vicious circle of our interdependent system. As these companies produced carbon-emitting goods, the consumer got habitual in using them. Also, the assisting infrastructure for these goods eventually made it convenient for the common man to use all these products. Most of the products or lifestyle practices in today's world are carbon emitting in one form or the other. And we have got used to this lifestyle. This is where the entrepreneurial angle helps.
Let's see why it is so difficult to cause change at the individual man's level.
The habit of living this way has been developed over a number of years. It is difficult to make them change it. Let's take the example of Electric Vehicles. To charge an electric vehicle requires time. But the common man is used to getting the car running in less than a minute at the petrol station. To ask him to wait longer for car refueling is something he would resist.
Most people do not make efforts to change their habits consciously. So, asking them to change the way they do almost everything is a very difficult task. And that is where I feel activism fails (kind of). Activism is great for raising awareness. But it cannot make people change their habits at a mass level. Yes, people who have a real concern about the issue, will certainly change their ways. But that quantity would be 30 % people at the very best.
The Doomsday Method which is prevalent to raise awareness about climate change creates a sense of fear inside people. And, In this world ruled by the urge for constant dopamine kicks (through short-form content like reels), giving them a fear dose gives the opposite result.
People care more about their careers, their families, their status, and their relationships than they do about climate change. This is the reality. Keep in mind, that all these points discussed here are from a mass perspective. If given a choice between two products - one that increases their social status and the other that is beneficial for the environment, a majority of people would choose the one that increases their status.
Considering all the above points, it seems extremely hard to change consumer behavior. The solution has two angles to it - Consumer Behaviour and Innovation.
What is the solution? - Entrepreneurship.
Now, we all know entrepreneurship is nothing but creating businesses. And as discussed at the start, businesses are what caused the whole problem. But one aspect of entrepreneurship is what brings out a great possibility to cause mass-level change. That aspect is - the ability of entrepreneurs and startups to change consumer behavior. The ones who create or run successful startups understand human psychology and behavioral patterns. And they know how to change consumer behavior in a way that even the consumer does not realize about it. This aspect means that entrepreneurs with a serious motive to solve the climate change problem can use entrepreneurship to create impact and change consumer behavior. Also, it is the startups and businesses that create the circle of interdependence in the first place. So creating an interdependent ecosystem that favors the environment is the best thing possible.
The second thing - Innovation. The problem requires us to create innovative solutions to solve climate change. New technologies need to be developed. And startups and large organizations are the hubs of breakthrough innovation.
To conclude things, a person with a will to solve the climate change problem can use entrepreneurship to create impact.
An entrepreneur, with a serious motive to solve the problem of climate change, can take this great opportunity and create a great impact that causes some much-needed change.