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This paper presents the theory of the global environmental system to explain the different climate change regimes emerging from advanced industrialized nations. Using data…
This paper presents the theory of the global environmental system to explain the different climate change regimes emerging from advanced industrialized nations. Using data collected regarding the formation of domestic climate change regimes in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands, the specifics of the theory are outlined. I begin by analyzing the expectations of some of the more prominent sociological theories about the society‐environment relationship in the advanced world finding that they do not explain the disparate responses to the regulation of greenhouse gases in these countries. The theory of the global environmental system is proposed as an alternative to the rather extreme expectations of the sociological literature on society/environment relationships. Through this proposed theory, we can better understand successful cases of global climate change regimes within the context of the interrelations among domestic and international actors.
Ascientific consensus has emerged indicating that the global climate is changing due to anthropogenic (i.e., human induced) driving forces. Our previous research…
Ascientific consensus has emerged indicating that the global climate is changing due to anthropogenic (i.e., human induced) driving forces. Our previous research reformulated the well‐known I=PAT (environmental Impacts equal the multiplicative product of Population, Affluence, and Technology) model into stochastic form, named it the STIRPAT model, and used it to assess the effects of population and affluence on carbon dioxide loads. Here we extend those findings by examining the impacts of population, affluence and other factors on the emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as the combined global warming potential of these two gases. We also assess the potential for “ecological modernization” or an “environmental Kuznets curve” (EKC) effect to curb GHG emissions. Our findings suggest that population is a consistent force behind GHG emissions, that affluence also drives emissions, that urbanization and industrialization increase emissions, and that tropical nations have lower emissions than non‐tropical nations, controlling for other factors. Contrary to what ecological modernization and EKC theorists predict, we find that to date there is no compelling evidence of a decline in emissions with modernization. These results support both the “treadmill of production” thesis and the “metabolic rift” thesis.