Why does a political figure shout foul every time he uses a private jet?

The day after the first round of the presidential election on April 10, 2022, the media Green Pinin chose Prime Minister Jean Castex to use a private jet to go and vote in Prades, in the Pyrénées-Orientales.

A petition was even raised to encourage him to make a power of attorney in the second round.

This is not the first time someone has been politically criticized for using the plane deemed unreasonable.

This new controversy has emerged in a context where there are growing calls to reduce household energy consumption, while the European Union must free itself from its dependence on energy vis-à-vis Russia and that the publication of last part of the IPCC report on April 4, 2022 again warns about the urgency of violent action to curb climate change.

In addition to the financial impact for taxpayers of excessive use of private jets, what could be the impact of such behavior on the part of political figures on consumers in terms of energy options?

In a study published in the summer of 2020 at Responsible Organization AnalysisI tried to explore the main reasons why people don’t reduce their household energy consumption, despite urges to do so.

In this work, I established a typology of consumers according to their relationship to energy conservation. If on the side of the “resistors”, the motivations are different, the conflicting speeches and attitudes of the leaders appear as a salient factor.

These 1001 reasons are resistant to change

First, there are those who believe that energy conservation is just a fad that will pass, that they are tired of hearing about it and making the effort. Others are explicitly skeptical of climate: they simply do not believe in environmental issues, or therefore in the need to reduce their residential energy consumption.

The theory of nudge suggests that individuals ’choices may be influenced by non-financial and non-binding incentives.
Surav Raina

Others demand protection of their individual freedom: they deny that public action interferes with their daily lives and prevents them from getting what they want, when they want and how they want.

Another fringe shows a general reluctance to change, which is more than “habits” and can reflect 4 dimensions: the search for the habitual, the emotional reaction, the focus on the short-term and the hardness of the habit. thought.

A sense of injustice

But there is another side to these “resistors” of energy conservation: those who revolt against injustice realize about the real polluters, through the inconsistency of public action and its lack of transparency.

They believe public authorities are chasing households while becoming loose vis-à-vis major polluting groups. Our qualitative research, through interviews and netnography, shows that these respondents, because they judge that the State’s action is contradictory, to the extent that they refuse to adopt energy-saving behavior.

For them, on the one hand, the state encourages the population to adopt economic behaviors, while on the other hand does not inform them of the energy-intensive nature of modern technologies and new appliances.

The schizophrenia of public authorities

Public action may actually appear schizophrenic on this topic, caught between the challenges of economic growth and market dynamics and those that regulate consumer behavior.

The left bar represents the average for the mode, the middle bar is hatched only for short-distance motions, and the right long-distance motions are more directly comparable to aerial in terms of patterns.
Aurélien Bigo/Data Ademe at ENTD, CC BY-NC-ND

For the rebellious respondents, resistance to consumption thus emerges as a means of expressing their point of view and disclosing their opposition to this double discourse.

“No, not at all. I’m not going to play dumb while the others are spending money on the princess’s expense.” “,” Let them start at the top “, announcing an interviewee.” Why don’t people tighten their belts at the top. “.

“At night, on national roads, there are shopping complexes… that leave all the lights on in deserted car parks. Las Vegas energy consumption, Politicians traveling using Private Jet… ”, emphasizes another anonymous contributor to the forum sur-la-toile.com.

“Calculating the ecological footprint: examining the footprint left in the pathway on this Earth (in terms of resource depletion and pollution) and above all, for the can (i.e. societies), the income taken from these charges (gratos), and point the finger at the culprits, the real ones. (Anonymized, forum: sur-la-toile.com)

If they want to convince this group of dissidents to act in favor of energy management, public actors need to refine their communication and try to correct the perceived injustice.

In this regard, political figures will benefit from verifying their consistency and ensuring that the message they are broadcasting is reflected in their behavior.

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