Faculty Publications

Title

The human dimensions of climate change: A micro-level assessment of views from the ecological modernization, political economy and human ecology perspectives

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Climate change, CO emissions 2, Ecological modernization, Environmental Kuznets curve, Human ecology, I=PAT, Political economy

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Social Science Research

Volume

56

First Page

26

Last Page

43

Abstract

Understanding the manifold human and physical dimensions of climate change has become an area of great interest to researchers in recent decades. Using a U.S. nationally-representative data set and drawing on the ecological modernization, political economy, and human ecology perspectives, this study examines the impacts of energy efficiency technologies, affluence, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics on residential CO2 emissions. Overall, the study provides mixed support for the ecological modernization perspective. While several findings are consistent with the theory's expectation that modern societies can harness technology to mitigate human impacts on the environment, others directly contradict it. Also, the theory's prediction of an inverted U-shaped relationship between affluence and environmental impacts is contradicted. The evidence is somewhat more supportive of the political economy and human ecology perspectives, with affluence, some indicators of technology, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics emerging as important drivers of residential CO2 emissions.

Original Publication Date

3-1-2016

DOI of published version

10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.10.003

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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