Consumer Choice, Market Forces and the Economy

It is really convenient as a society to assume that no action is required on the part of individuals to change their habits outside of market driven forces, but the economy (and associated markets) as we know it is a recent invention that has been fuelled by the very energy it seeks to control the sale of. Relying on consumer preferences in the markets to change energy consumption behaviour is like trying to steer an oil tanker by sticking your iPod into the wake as a rudder – the impetus is slow to react, and driven by selfish assumptions that believe that someone else is working to solve the problems. Is anyone actually working to solve problems, or are the agendas of each group getting in the way?