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The judges suggest that the strength of this proposal has been in the technical aspects, and that it remains that way in the revised version. For resubmission, the judges suggest addressing the shortcomings of the individual approach to collective action. The authors are familiar with the literature on social learning and on influencing others, but they do not explicitly discuss the problem of individual action in their revised proposal. We suggest venturing somewhat deeper into the literature on collective action and individual lock-in. In addition, the size of the likely impact could have been larger.
This is a very well done and sophisticated proposal. It represents a major step forward in the area of personal carbon calculators because it relies on actual spending data rather than retrospective answers to questions.
However, we do wonder about how accurate the translation from bank statements to carbon foot-printing data will be. Data on bank statements is often hard to connect with actual products or services, so this proposal could be improved by addressing this question.
We encourage you to look at the literature on consumer lock in as well as current research that argues that individual action discourages collective action. Individuals are limited in the extent to which they can feasibly reduce their emissions within the normative social standards.
We also have some concerns over the effectiveness of carbon calculators. The assumption seems to be that with better information, people will make better decisions for the climate. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. There is a lot of evidence in published literature that providing people with information about impacts of their activities has relatively minor impacts on their behavior. Perhaps this advanced method for informing people will be more successful, but the proposal does not at the moment mention why that would be the case.
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