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Virtual Issue for Earth Day : Human Impact on Climate Change

climate change human impact

Image : Tim J Keegan / Flickr

That Earth Day is celebrated speaks to people’s recognition of the intrinsic value of the natural world. In recognition of Earth Day, therefore, we have compiled four articles that help us understand why people are or are not good stewards of the planet. These works explore the psychological processes that affect environmental intentions and behaviors, spanning from beliefs, and motivations to evolutionarily adaptive biases.





Country Contexts and Individuals’ Climate Change Mitigating Behaviors: A Comparison of U.S. Versus German Individuals’ Efforts to Reduce Energy Use
Journal of Social Issues

With the purpose to examine the energy reduction behaviors between German and U.S residents, this research elaborates how “countries can set the stage for residents’ behaviors via government and business policies and the values held within countries.”

The Emergency of Climate Change: Why Are We Failing to Take Action?
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy

Some people take action against climate change while others do not. To “explore barriers to taking responsibility for action”, researchers extend a five-stage model developed earlier by Latane and Darley. This research also discusses “the issues of efficacy and costs versus benefits that make action unlikely.”

Hope for the Future in Mitigating Climate Change? On Statistically Modeling Self-Sacrifice in the Face of Global Warming
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy

The researchers address two concerns to understand “self-sacrifice in the face of global warming” – the ones concerning statistical analyses and conceptual issues.

Naturally Green: Harnessing Stone Age Psychological Biases to Foster Environmental Behavior
Social Issues and Policy Review

As in-depth understanding of human nature can help to reduce their environmental impact, this study explains “five evolutionarily adaptive psychological biases” that caused or exacerbated environmental problems.
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