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Environmental Problems Globally

From Perception to Reaction

Daniel Lachmann

Human behavior causes environmental problems which, in turn, affect people and whole societies. The author elaborates the role of the public in the discourse about environmental protection. As the public consists of socio-economic, legal and political actors, the behavior of those actors is of significance. With a thorough analysis of the International Social Survey Programme, this book illustrates the rocky road from the perception of environmental threats to the reaction toward them. Combining a constructivist and rational choice perspective, the author points out that there are distinctive differences between individual countries in the perception, evaluation as well as in the reaction toward environmental issues. Neither is there a uniform path from perception to reaction, nor exists a one-size-fits-all-solution.
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5. A global environmental profile


Before going into a detailed investigation of environmentalism on the micro level, a global profile will be created. Global, in this case, is of course restricted to nations with sufficiently high and comparable data quality. The countries are spread around the world but most of them are European countries. Even though there is a substantial amount of variation in the GDP per capita, all of them would qualify as high-income countries (see Descriptive statistics will provide a comparative insight into the status quo. Response ratios are calculated and presented for the descriptive statistics. For each dimension of environmental concern and action, it is counted how often environmentally friendly, neutral and environmentally unfriendly answers are provided, each then divided by the total number of responses given in the respective set of variables (see Chapter 4.2.3 for individual variables). The ratio of environmentally friendly answers will be the country value for the macro analysis.

Table 5.1: Descriptive statistics on the macro level

Notes: a current US$; b country mean; c ratio of environmental friendly answers. Source: ISSP 2010, own calculations. ← 91 | 92 →

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