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Current and future friends of the earth: assessing cross-national theories of environmental attitudes

Stenner, Karen and Nwokora, Zim 2015, Current and future friends of the earth: assessing cross-national theories of environmental attitudes, Energies, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 4899-4919, doi: 10.3390/en8064899.

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Title Current and future friends of the earth: assessing cross-national theories of environmental attitudes
Author(s) Stenner, Karen
Nwokora, Zim
Journal name Energies
Volume number 8
Issue number 6
Start page 4899
End page 4919
Total pages 21
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2015-05-27
ISSN 1996-1073
Keyword(s) Public opinion
Climate change
Summary Empirical studies of public opinion on environmental protection have typically been grounded in Inglehart’s post-materialism thesis, proposing that societal affluence encourages materially-sated publics to look beyond their interests and value the environment. These studies are generally conducted within, or at best across, Western, democratic, industrialized countries. Absence of truly cross-cultural research means the theory’s limitations have gone undetected. This article draws on an exceptionally broad dataset—pooling cross-sectional survey data from 80 countries, each sampled at up to three different points over 15 years—to investigate environmental attitudes. We find that post-materialism provides little account of pro-environment attitudes across diverse cultures, and a far from adequate explanation even in the affluent West. We suggest that unique domestic interests, more than broad value systems, are driving emerging global trends in environmental attitudes. The environment’s future champions may be the far from ‘post-material’ citizens of those developing nations most at risk of real material harm from climate change and environmental degradation.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/en8064899
Field of Research 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, MDPI
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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