According to the Michigan State University, research indicates that environmental activism influences GHG emissions, suggesting that, at state level, environmental efforts and better environmental policy correlate with lower levels of emissions.
Thomas Dietz, a social scientist and author of the mentioned study, claims that environmentalism seems to influence, on a practical level, the degree of emissions, at state level.
Moreover, he believes that such environmental activity also has impact on individual behavior and on the personal choices people make.
The study analyzed and compared data regarding greenhouse gas emissions from all 50 states of U.S., for a period of time starting with the 1990s, aiming to discern how certain factors influence each other.
The factors taken into consideration included: environmental activism, rates of employment, gross state product per capita, population.
Environmental activism was quantified by means of measuring the environmental voting record of a state’s congressional delegation, as rated by the League of Conservation Voters.
The techniques employed in the research were designed by Kenneth Frank, a professor of sociometrics at the the Michigan State University Foundation, in conjunction with other various methods developed throughout the years.
The analysis revealed that a growth in environmental activism, even in a small percentage, tends to determine a reduction of emissions.
For instance, an increase of the level of environmentalism with 1 percent reduces emissions and compensates for the yearly growth of GHG (greenhouse gas emissions).
Another important aspect revealed by the research is the fact that environmental efforts, although developed in different forms, at local level, appear to have considerable impact, even they are not part of a uniform national policy.
Other researchers that contributed to the study are: Cameron Whitley, Rachel Kelly and Jennifer Kelly. Together with Thomas Dietz, they are part of the Department of Sociology at the Michigan State University’s Environmental Science and Policy Program.
The detailed findings of their study were published in the journal ”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.
The encouraging conclusion of the research argues that those U.S. states where individuals prove to be more active environmentally and more conscious about environmental issues, practically enjoy a better living place.