July 5, 2011 | 2
Greetings! Thank you for visiting the new Guilty Planet (may the old Guilty Planet rest in peace). Before you go thinking that I aim to channel your mother after you walked in the house with dirty shoes, I would like to note that the title ‘Guilty Planet’ is meant to be descriptive, rather than prescriptive. While guilt about the state of the planet is prevalent, I am not advocating that it alone is particularly effective. Consider, for instance, the guilty language of carbon offsets, or the phenomenon of bluewashing. Sometimes, an emoticon can do more than guilt when it comes to making a difference.
As for me, I am an American post-doc based at the University of British Columbia, where I also completed my Ph.D. (more about me here). This blog will explore my main interests: environmental sustainability, technology, and cooperation (specifically the roles of guilt, honor, and shame). Most of the time, these three topics will appear on the scene individually, but the interface is really intriguing, such as this neighborhood association in Leicester, England, which posts videos of litterbugs. If you’re interested, you could also check out some of our recent scientific work on honor and shame in the journal Biology Letters. Also, if you ever need to contact me, my email is guiltyplanet[at]gmail.com.