The effects of economic development on the proximate causes of global change appear to be contingent, among other things, on. Aggregate studies at the global level have limited value because the small number of data points make it impossible to identify the contingent relationships that shape the proximate human causes of global change. An example is shifting cultivation, the predominant indigenous strategy of land use. Linking time scales is also critical to the global change agenda. It is not clear how much of the unaccounted releases is anthropogenic. (1990:Table 2.7), assuming a "business-as-usual" scenario with a coal-intensive energy supply, continued deforestation and associated emissions, and partial control of CO and CFC emissions. For example, an examination of the actors and decisions with the greatest impact on energy use, air pollution, and solid waste generation showed that, by an impact criterion, studies of the determinants of daily behavior had much less potential to yield useful knowledge than studies of household and corporate investment decisions or of organizational routines in the context of energy use and waste management (Stem and Gardner, 1981a,b). Better studies focused on the driving forces and their connections to the proximate causes are necessary for effective integrative modeling of the human causes of global change. That is why Thomas Midgely Jr.'s 1931 invention of Freon 12 represented a revolution for the refrigeration industry. Relationships among the driving forces depend on place, time, and level of analysis. The argument is sometimes illustrated with the case of development in the Amazon. Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name. The environmental effect of economic growth may also depend on forms of political organization. the structure of consumer demand, the population and resource base for agricultural development, forms of national political organization, and development policies. The third argument is that technological change is a net benefit to the environment because it can ameliorate environmental damage through more efficient resource use and the lessening of waste emissions (e.g., Simon and Kahn, 1984; also Ausubel et al., 1989; Gray, 1989; Ruttan, 1971). Paleoclimatology can answer the question of anthropogenic climate change by using fossils to show links between global temperatures and CO2 levels, Seeing evidence of man-made climate change is difficult ‘when the details are buried under thousands of lines of computer code which implement algorithms of mind-numbing complexity'. Questions have been raised regarding the theoretical assumption that a dollar has the same value regardless of a party's wealth and the morality of treating polluters and pollution recipients as symmetric and reciprocal sources of harm to one another (Kelman, 1987; Mishan, 1971). b U.S. dollars of GNP per barrel of oil equivalent (1 barrel = 137.2 kg). Different methods may prove useful for different purposes. Other greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide, stay in the atmosphere for a long time. 7 days ago. Many of the Amazonian species are closely tied to particular forest ecosystems and tree species, so that they are very narrowly. Neoclassical economic theory argues that free markets efficiently allocate goods and services to the most valued ends. Although the principle of mechanical refrigeration, in which compressed gas was made to expand rapidly and so lower temperatures, had been known since the middle of the eighteenth century, its first application on a large commercial scale was not found until the second half of the nineteenth century (Anderson, 1953). In general, the species hardest hit are likely to be the ones with large area requirements, narrow ranges, or value to humans for food, medicine, or timber, yet the entire taxonomic spectrum may suffer major losses.3 Some threatened species may be important to the region's economy and culture, some are used far beyond the Amazon Basin, and some have potential value to humans that is not yet known. It is important to have both pictures because aggregate data can obscure the variety of causal processes that can produce the same outcome. Some technologies have surprising and serious secondary impacts, as the history of refrigeration illustrates (see also Brooks, 1986). The introduction of Freon meant that air conditioning suddenly became much cheaper and safer in a way that allowed it to. A number of important issues lend themselves to comparative and longitudinal approaches, including: the causes of deforestation (studies can compare deforestation rates in countries that vary in their land tenure systems, development policies, and governmental structures); the effects of imperfect markets on release of greenhouse gases and air pollutants (studies can compare the emissions of countries or industries with different regulatory or pricing regimes); the sustainability of different agricultural management systems (studies might compare nearby localities in the same country); the effects of different industrial development paths on fossil fuel demand (studies might compare time-series data for different countries); the determinants of adoption of environmentally benign technologies or practices (for example, studies might compare industries or firms that do and do not recycle waste products); the relationship of attitudes about environmental quality and materialism to environmental policies in different countries. ables, some of which might have to be constructed for the purpose. Table 3-4 illustrates one way to allocate the carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel consumption to the major purposes (end uses) of those fuels. Burning coal, oil and gas produces carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Speculation Land holding has been a useful hedge against Brazil's galloping inflation and an excellent speculative investment. Observational and experimental studies of these relationships have been done, although almost always with relatively small numbers of individuals in culturally and temporally restricted settings (see, e.g., Stern and Oskamp, 1987, for a review). Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features? More complex mutual causal links also exist among several driving forces. For social scientific work to begin, it will be sufficient to know whether a particular human activity contributes on the order of 20 percent, 2 percent, or 0.2 percent of humanity's total contribution to a global change. Greenhouse gas emission is a major human causes of climate change, and their sources include transportation, electricity production, burning fossil fuel in industries, commercial and re… Freon soon came to dominate the market for refrigeration and opened up new retail markets because of its diminished capital requirements. Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Deforestation reduces biological diversity in several ways. Damming rivers to generate electricity for aluminum refining and for urban power inundates huge areas because of the low relief of the land. With rural poverty increasing and a political choice between dividing up large landholdings and encouraging the landless to colonize unclaimed or "unused" frontier lands, migration and resettlement policies are much the more palatable alternative (Macdonald, 1981). ticular variable causes global environmental change or is more important than some other variable. Evapotranspiration in the Amazon forest appears to cause a regional climatic increase in precipitation. Because the connections between global environmental change and the concepts of social science are rarely obvious, social scientists who begin with important concepts in their fields have often directed their attention to low-impact human activities (see Stern and Oskamp, 1987, for elaboration). Widely shared cultural beliefs and attitudes can also function as root causes of global environmental change. Quantitative models will be of limited predictive value, especially for the decades-to-centuries time frame, without better knowledge of the processes. One strand of criticism argues that technological and socioeconomic factors are primary (e.g., Coale, 1970; Commoner, 1972; Harvey, 1974; Ridker, 1972a; Schnaiberg, 1980). However, the social and economic changes brought about by Amazonian development have created barriers to making and implementing such policies. This pattern may be traceable to a Stalinist development policy that. To estimate the size of any such effect, it is necessary to have studies at the national level. That the Montreal Protocol and the later, even stronger London amendments to it could be signed even in the absence of environmentally benign alternatives to the CFCs suggests people's perception of how serious and urgent the problem had become, but also their faith—encouraged by DuPont's actions—that alternatives would in fact be available by the time the agreement's deadline fell due. A simple way to analyze energy use in China is to use the accounting equation: where E is energy consumption, P is population, and GNP is gross national product. A net 5 billion metric tons of human-produced carbon remain in the atmosphere each year, raising the global average carbon dioxide concentrations by about 2.3 parts per million per year. For each important environmental change, there are several possible accounting trees, each consistent with the data but highlighting different aspects of the human contribution. The largest speculative gains accrue to large investors with good connections in government and the courts because the value of land is greatly influenced by "institutional factors such as validity of title, [and] access to credits" (Hecht, 1989b:229). Systemic approaches have greater value in principle, but few human activities have the kind of systemic character that makes general circulation models of atmospheric processes valuable. It is reasonable to expect that in an ecosystem characterized by many smaller species, such as insects dependent on a single species for food, that the selective cutting of one tree species will cause multiple extinctions. If this hypothesis is correct, then political trends toward democracy, such as in Eastern Europe, will tend to reduce the amount of degradation resulting from economic growth there. Humans cause climate change by releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. These often meant monocropping, relatively low labor inputs, mechanization, and the maximization of short-term financial returns. Source: Shine et al. Human activities in distant areas of the planet had brought a sudden and potentially devastating change to the Antarctic and its ecosystems, a change that did not bode well for the ozone layer in other parts of the planet (Stolarski, 1988). Comparisons between countries or localities or of the same place at different time periods can show why some social systems produce as much human welfare as others with less adverse impact on the global environment. Comparative analysis at the global scale can take various forms. Analyses of such relationships may use globally aggregate data or local and regional data linked to the phenomena of interest. The government, which determines production by directive rather than allowing it to respond to demand, is said to continue to command steel production, despite huge surpluses (Smil, 1988, and personal communication). Forest appears to cause climate change nature of the human causes of major environmental changes both globally at! Should be able to demonstrate the significance of their preferences or economic growth give... Adoption are provides a useful model for advancing interdisciplinary social science implications for setting priorities. Of any such effect, it is critical to 3 human causes of climate change earth 's past climates – has used to. Also critical to develop reasonably accurate assessments of the land also interacts 3 human causes of climate change the case summaries in chapter. 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