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Changes in iceberg calving fluxes and oceanographic conditions around Antarctica have likely influenced the spatial and temporal distribution of iceberg fresh water fluxes to the surrounding ocean basins. However, Antarctic iceberg melt rate estimates have been limited to very large icebergs in the open ocean. Here we use a remote-sensing approach to estimate iceberg melt rates from 2011 to 2022 for 15 study sites around Antarctica. Melt rates generally increase with iceberg draft and follow large-scale variations in ocean temperature: maximum melt rates for the western peninsula, western ice sheet, eastern ice sheet and eastern peninsula are ~50, ~40, ~5 and ~5 m a−1, respectively. Iceberg melt sensitivity to thermal forcing varies widely, with a best-estimate increase in melting of ~24 m a−1°C−1 and range from near-zero to ~100 m a−1°C−1. Variations in water shear likely contribute to the apparent spread in thermal forcing sensitivity across sites. Although the sensitivity of iceberg melt rates to water shear prevents the use of melt rates as a proxy to infer coastal water mass temperature variability, additional coastal iceberg melt observations will likely improve models of Southern Ocean fresh water fluxes and have potential for subglacial discharge plume mapping.
Simulation is fundamental to many engineering design processes and powers the field of computational design. Simulation inherently consumes energy resulting in CO2 emissions that impact our environment. While one can source energy from renewable sources and use energy efficient hardware, efforts need to also be made in how we can use simulation in a sustainable manner.
This paper presents a sustainable simulation framework that borrows concepts from web services. The framework makes it easy for engineering firms to adopt and embed sustainable simulation practices thereby removing the burden from the designer tin thinking about how to design sustainably. An illustrative example reveals a 25% reduction in computational effort can be achieved by adopting the framework.
In this article, the confidence that has been placed in hard and, in particular, soft paternalistic measures in the field of behavioural public policy is questioned. The four purported limitations of human reasoning – i.e. limited imagination, willpower, objectivity and technical ability – are considered, but ultimately it is concluded that these are insufficient justifications for paternalistic intervention, for two principal-related reasons. First, it is impossible for a policy maker to discern what people desire for their own lives, and second, so long as they are not harming others, people ought to be free to pursue their own desires. The vision for the future of behavioural public policy proposed here is thus consistent with classical liberal, and in particular, Millian thought: i.e. aim to educate people on the pros and cons of their actions and inactions so that they are better equipped to live the lives they wish to lead but do not interfere directly in guiding them towards any particular end.
A concern that people ought to be given what they deserve, in both positive and negative senses, lies deep within the human psyche and strongly influences our sense of reciprocity. Views on the level of reward or punishment that a person deserves for their actions will differ across persons, places and time, but, I argue in this chapter, depend substantively upon some combination of intentions and outcomes. Using these characteristics, I propose a taxonomy of actions, ordered from most to least blameworthy, with, for example, it being suggested that for any particular level of harm an intentional yet unrealised harm is more blameworthy than an unintentional yet realised harm (a similar taxonomy can be developed for the positive domain of praiseworthy actions). The taxonomy is focused upon people’s actions towards others, but I finish the chapter with a discussion of desert in relation to people’s intentions towards themselves. Ultimately, I contend that the strength and sustainability of public sector services and welfare systems, not to mention our private relationships, rely upon the recognition that desert underpins our notion of justice.
I argue that one of the basic tenets of classical liberalism is that, if left free, people will cooperate and reciprocate with others as a means to pursue their own individual desires. Yet, if one is not careful, the rules and institutions that evolve within society over time may crowd out the motivation for people to reciprocate, and may instead crowd in their tendency towards selfish egoism. Policy makers therefore have a role to play in nurturing the conditions that, ideally, protect and foster the intrinsic human tendency to reciprocate. However, one should not try to force people to be cooperative; the tendency to reciprocate ought to be autonomously driven, and the extent to which people are driven to reciprocate – both positively and negatively – will often be influenced heavily by perceptions of desert. I finish by proposing a few ways for reciprocity to be nurtured: namely, for policy makers to emphasise the importance of this basic human tendency in their rhetoric; to address the extreme concentrations in income and wealth that have been allowed to accumulate in many countries over recent decades; and to decentralise, as far as possible, public policy decision making.
Giving people a great deal of freedom over how they live their lives, in and of itself, lends much scope for the egoistically inclined to act upon their instincts and to seek advantage at the expense of others. One way in which they might do this is by using the findings of behavioural science in order to manipulate others in an exchange relationship. In such circumstances, harms – or negative externalities – will be imposed upon the manipulated. I argue in this chapter that where people or organisations use the behavioural influences to further their aims, or indeed where the behavioural influences cause others to forgo what could be easily won benefits, there exists an intellectual justification for behavioural-informed regulation – or, in other words, for budge interventions. In this chapter, I further discuss some of the relevant trade-offs that must be considered when deciding whether or not to regulate, and outline the parameters of the budge framework with a few illustrative examples.
While recognising that the private domain of individual decision-making is driven by multifarious desires that ought to be respected, I argue in this chapter that public sectors are each driven by a limited number of collectively agreed-upon objectives, with these objectives – e.g. health, literacy – being in some sense primary (i.e. foundational, if people are to have a reasonable opportunity of fulfilling their private desires). Given that public sector objectives are collectively agreed upon a priori, respect for autonomy can be to some extent relaxed in this domain. With this, and given that the complexity of many public sector services lends scope for egoistically inclined suppliers to exploit market failures and the behavioural influences for their own interests, I contend that demand-led competitive markets in the public sector ought to be disallowed. Instead, I propose that providers and users be given direct incentives to reciprocate, by, for example, instituting reputational competition between service suppliers.
I begin with the origins of reciprocity, since this motivational force takes a central position in my political economy of behavioural public policy. The behavioural influences that tend to be labelled as errors by most behavioural economists, and as such have served as the justification for a paternalistic direction in behavioural public policy, in an ecological sense may not be errors at all. We thus cannot conclude that attempts to modify people’s choices in accordance with these so-called errors will improve the lives of those targeted for behaviour change. Where people are imposing no substantive harms on others, policy makers should restrict themselves to protecting and fostering reciprocity, which benefits the group and most of the people who comprise it, irrespective of their own personal desires in life. However, when one party to an exchange uses the behavioural affects to benefit themselves but imposes harms on the other party, the concept of a free and fair reciprocal exchange has been violated. I thus argue that there is an intellectual justification to introduce behavioural-informed regulations against activities that impose unacceptable harms on others.
Academics and policy makers in several countries have been advocating for measures of utility and happiness to replace income as indicators of development, and the paternalism that has dominated behavioural public policy to date is justified in that people often fail to choose in accordance with their own well-being. Yet the notion of utility has a somewhat confused history, meaning different things to different people at different times. Hume, for instance, aligned utility with public usefulness, Bentham with pleasure and pain, and Mill and modern welfare economists with pretty much anything. A possible reason why there are many different meanings attached to the concept of utility is because many people, much of the time, are not driven to maximise utility at all. That is, the pursuit of utility does not drive desires, but rather desires are antecedent. Moreover, desires are multifarious and vary across people. The policy maker’s role over the private realm of individual decision-making should not therefore be to strive to maximise utility, but rather to put in place conditions that facilitate people in the pursuit of their own conception of a desired life.
This book is the third of a trilogy of books that I wrote on the past, present and my preferred conception of the future of the field of behavioural public policy. The first book was titled ’The Origins of Behavioural Public Policy’, and the second ’Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy’. This Introduction summarises the content of those two books to remind the reader where I have got to in the trilogy, and then briefly details some of the main arguments in the current book, to signpost to the reader where I am about to go.
This chapter concludes the book. In it, I summarise the principal arguments I made in all of the other chapters, before offering some final words as food for thought. Ultimately, I conclude that there are two arms to my political economy of behavioural public policy. The first arm is for policy makers to allow people a great deal of individual autonomy, while at the same time shaping the general institutional environment so as to nurture people’s almost intrinsic desire to cooperate and reciprocate with others. The second arm recognises that some people will act on their selfish, egoistic inclinitations when afforded a great deal of freedom, and thus in those circumstances where people implicitly or explicitly use the behavioural influences to serve themselves and to harm others, the policy maker has an intellectual justification to intervene in their actions and behaviours.