February 26, 2019No Comments

Evidence-based Utilitarianism in Action is Hard to Argue Against

“If the only way to save another person’s life during an emergency is to sacrifice one’s own leg, then one is morally required to make this sacrifice.”
…I had stumbled upon the online Oxford Utilitarianism Scale test in one of the Effective Altruism Facebook groups. Effective Altruism, or EA, is a global movement that tries to find out, using evidence, reason and careful analysis, how to improve the world as much as possible. And then actually doing it. Many, if not most of those that consider themselves an EA (EA can mean both the movement Effective Altruism but can also refer to a person that is an Effective Altruist) also consider themselves utilitarian. I consider myself both an EA and a utilitarian, at least until I came across this test.

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June 4, 2018No Comments

The next big change in environmental campaigning – the opportunity of our shared ‘compassionate’ values.

Our work on Common Cause grew, at outset, from conversations among people working in the environment movement. These conversations shaped my report Weathercocks and Signposts, which was published by WWF-UK in 2008. And that report, in turn, led to wider conversations and collaborations.

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March 22, 2018No Comments

“Rather than an argument, we can have a conversation”: how food draws us together in the vision for a healthy society

When the idea of a food manifesto for Wales was first mooted some years ago, I was sceptical. With so many factions in the food world, it was hard to see how there could be any meaningful alliance that didn’t simply add to the confusion.

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April 11, 20121 Comment

Are the values we instill in our children leading us towards a sustainable future?

This is a guest post by Tim Burns, Head of Waste Watch.

In 2009, the children’s marketing sector was worth £100bn - and it's still growing. A significant portion of this total is spent on food marketing, predominantly promoting energy dense, low-nutrient food and beverages - typically unhealthy for children, but marketed to exaggerate health claims - and messaging (often with the help of celebrities) to suggest popularity, performance and mood.

There is worrying evidence of the impact advertising can have on children's dietary behaviours. One study, for example, showed that children exposed to junk food advertising ate 45% more junk food than children not exposed during the trial[i]. Furthermore, the Hastings Review found evidence that advertising can have an effect upon the nutritional knowledge, food preferences, purchasing behaviour and diet of children.

But can marketing influence beyond behaviours to our values and identity? Read more

December 12, 2011Comments are off for this post.

The High Price of Materialism

Tim Kasser is professor of psychology at Knox College, Illinois, and author of The High Price of Materialism. He has been of great help in developing the Common Cause work.

In this animation, produced for The Center for a New American Dream, Tim discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good life" is "the goods life," they not only use up Earth's limited resources, but they are less happy and less inclined toward helping others. The animation both lays out the problems of excess materialism and points toward solutions that promise a healthier, more just, and more sustainable life.


©2018 - 2019 Common Cause Foundation

©2018 - 2019 Common Cause Foundation

©2018 - 2019 Common Cause Foundation

©2018 - 2019 Common Cause Foundation

©2018 - 2019 Common Cause Foundation

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