Willingness to Pay in Different Countries

by Patrick Quarberg

In an attempt to determine the consumer’s willingness to pay for climate change mitigation, Carlson et al.(2012) conducted a survey in three countries in 2010; China, Sweden, and the United States. In general, they observed that the Swedes tended to be most informed and concerned about the effects of climate change, and thus had a higher willingness to pay (WTP). WTP values were found by asking respondents to pick a number from a matrix that identified the most they would be willing to pay to mitigate climate change. The survey asked respondents how much they would pay for different levels of CO2 reduction, specifically 30%, 60%, and 85% reduction in CO2 emissions. Additionally, if respondents stated that their WTP was higher than $220, they were asked to fill in their actual WTP in an open-ended question. Even if respondents had a zero response at the 30% or 60% level, they were still asked about the next level of reduction. The survey also asked several questions about attitudes toward climate change, including whether climate change could be stopped, or just mitigated. Continue reading

Climate Change Effects More Visible in Women and the Poverty-stricken

by Patrick Quarberg

Writing about the societal effects of climate change in 2002, Fatma Denton posited that women are more likely to be exposed to poverty in developing countries than men are, climate change will affect men and women differently. This is based on the idea that people in poverty do not have the willingness or means to address or cope with climate change. Denton thinks that social changes brought by climate change will increase gender welfare disparities, introducing a swath of new social issues. Therefore, it is wise to prepare to preemptively counteract these changes, so that a larger section of the population is able to deal with climate change. Continue reading

How Belief in Climate Change Affects Legislation and Personal Sacrifice

by Patrick Quarberg

Surveys from New Zealand have indicated that climate change skepticism is on the rise. Comparing surveys from the early 2000s and the 2010s. Chris G. Sibley and Tim Kurz (2013) have found that there is an increasing proportion of people attributing climate change to natural causes, or denying its existence altogether. This information alone is surprising and alarming, as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident and the need to address climate change is growing. This is why Sibley and Kurz investigated the effect of increasing skepticism on voting habits and willingness to reduce personal consumption. Climate change deniers were identified through a forced-question survey and defined as people who attributed climate change to natural causes or who refused to accept its existence. Then, they tried to establish a correlation between these traits and support for climate-related legislation as well as personal efforts to reduce impact on the environment. Continue reading

Socio-Economic Status and Climate Change

by Patrick Quarberg

The agricultural response to climate change will greatly affect how the world adapts to different environmental conditions. Given that crops respond differently to differently levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is important that agricultural developments are made to be able to cope with changing crop yields. A less thought of effect of climate change is how socio-economic factors influence how food is grown and distributed, as well as how different areas are able to respond to a shifting global climate. Studies on how crops respond to increased CO in the atmosphere have revealed some positive effects on growth and water retention. Using this information, Parry et al. set out to investigate how these changes affected places of different socio-economic status. Continue reading

Climate Change Brings About Activist Culture

by Patrick Quarberg

Climate produces a culture of environmental activism, a study by Linda H. Connor of the University of Sydney finds. Climate change gives way to a culture in which active citizen participation in protecting the environment is the norm. Arising initially out of necessity, the culture of protecting the environment could likely thrive until it is no longer required to exist. Environmentalism as we know it now will die out soon, and is different from the culture that Connor claims will develop. Continue reading

How Climate Change Is Causing Global Conflict

by Patrick Quarberg

People in lesser developed countries are more likely to move out of climate change-affected areas and cause conflict, a study by Rafael Reuveny (2007) finds. Developing countries face serious threats due to climate change, such as severe scarcity in the food and water supply. These fundamental issues cause larger numbers of people to leave the country. Reuveny analyzes this from an economic perspective. That is, when the net benefit of staying in a place is overshadowed by the net cost, people—especially in developing countries—are inclined to leave that area or country. The displacement of many people leads to greater conflicts in a few ways. Increased competition for resources in the receiving country lead to increased tension and conflict. If displaced people are of a different ethnicity than the people of the receiving country, this effect is amplified. If the trend of migration continues for long enough, the host country’s citizens develop a tradition of distrust for anyone from that country, prolonging the struggle of the migrants and providing an opportunity for conflicts in the future. A final contributing agent to conflict is when migrants move on so-called “fault lines”, which can be any sort of large change in way life. For example, migrants who move to an urban area from a rural area experience greater tension and conflict due to the transition. Continue reading