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Purpose of ReviewThis review explores the complex climate change-violence relationship through an anthropological lens, focusing on the interacting social and environmental conditions that constrain individual choices for violence. Evidence and methods used by anthropologists to identify violent events, as well as anthropological theories regarding why individuals choose violence, are discussed. A general social-environmental model is presented and explored through four case studies, two archaeological and two ethnographic.
Recent FindingsRecent research with historic and contemporary case studies suggests that resource uncertainty interacts with a complex array of pre-existing social and environmental conditions, including environmental degradation, poor governance, and social inequality, to promote violent responses both before and following climatic changes. Individuals may choose to avoid violence where supporting, cooperative mechanisms exist.
SummaryGiven that individuals make choices to respond violently or not based on their perceptions of these complex, interacting social and environmental conditions, violence in response to global climate change is not inevitable.
[en] Under the pressure of environmental degradation and resource depletion, Chinese companies are confronted with the need for transformation and upgrading promoted by technological innovation. However, environmental regulation can help to promote technological innovation. Based on the panel data of China’s 30 provincial levels during 2009–2016, firstly, this paper describes the connotation of environmental regulation and measurement intensity of the regulation. Then, the anti-driving effect of environmental regulation on enterprise technology innovation is analyzed. Finally, this paper analyzes the spatial heterogeneity of environmental regulation on enterprise technology innovation. The empirical results are as follows: (1) formal environmental regulation has effectively enhanced technological innovation of enterprises. However, informal environmental regulation generally can positively drive enterprise technology innovation. (2) The impact of environmental regulation on technological innovation of enterprises is spatially heterogeneous. On the one hand, the impact of formal environmental regulation on technological innovation has significant regional differences. The Eastern China generally supports the “Porter hypothesis,” while the Middle of China and Western China have the opposite performance. On the other hand, there is a threshold effect between environmental regulation and technological innovation. When the economic development level of the first lagging period is used as the threshold variable, with the gradual improvement of the economic development level, the technological innovation of the enterprise has the effect of first suppressing and promoting, and then verifying the threshold characteristics of environmental regulation on technology innovation.
[en] Freshwater lakes provide critical ecological services to the local ecosystem. However, many of them are facing serious challenges, such as ecosystem degradation and water contamination, due to irrational water utilization and a lack of effective management. Under such a circumstance, it is crucial to examine the ecosystem services of freshwater lakes and uncover the driving forces so that appropriate protection policies can be raised. This study aims to fill such a research gap by employing an emergy accounting method. A case study of Erhai Lake (the second largest freshwater lake in Yunnan province, southwest China) was conducted for the period of 2001–2015. Driving forces that affect ecosystem services were analyzed by using Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI). Results show that the total ecosystem services of Erhai Lake were reduced from 334.03E + 18 sej in 2001 to 274.37E + 18 sej in 2015. This was caused by the obvious decline of regulating services and supporting services, far exceeding the increase of provisioning services and cultural services. In 2015, two types of increased services that benefit human life in the market became the primary services of Erhai Lake. And their proportions were far beyond the two reduced ones that were overlooked due to their public and free attributes. The key driving forces include economic scale factor (∆EES), the fast and intensive economic activities. This development was at the cost of environmental degradation based upon the analysis of emergy benefit factor (∆EEB). Finally, several suggestions are presented. This study provides valuable insights to understand ecosystem services of freshwater lakes so that a sustainable development pathway can be found to protect such freshwater lakes.
[en] Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) refers to the incorporation of environmental concerns into sectoral policies in order to reduce policy incoherence and achieve synergies to more effectively address environmental problems such as environmental degradation. Landscape governance can be considered as a specific, spatial manifestation of EPI: it aims to balance agricultural production, nature conservation and livelihood needs at the landscape level through multi-stakeholder decision making. Despite their common focus on policy conflicts, both concepts have been elaborated in largely isolated bodies of literature, while little is known about their common concern of how actors at the landscape level deal with these policy conflicts. This paper addresses this under-explored theme, by drawing from both EPI and landscape governance theories, and adding new insights from institutional and innovation literature. We develop a framework specifying how actors at local, district and national levels deal with policy conflicts and employ strategies to overcome them. We illustrate the analytical framework with a case from Rwanda, where landscape restoration has become a new policy area which has brought sectoral policy conflicts to the fore. We characterise these policy conflicts, and analyse the ways in which local, district and national actors manage to overcome them, by using the landscape as a functional regulatory space for policy integration. What we learn from this case is that EPI is not just designed at national levels by formally assigned policy makers, but it happens in landscapes where landscape actors define their priorities and set hierarchically defined policy objectives to their hand. They flexibly fit in and conform to existing rules yet informally combining these to suit their spatial context; or they entrepreneurially stretch and transform the rules, while seeking alliances with policy makers to have the outcomes institutionalised. In both cases they contribute to solving policy conflicts in both the horizontal and the vertical sense. By doing so, we show the usefulness of the framework for identifying policy conflicts and contributing to policy integration at the landscape level.
[en] In recent years, as environmental degradation has become more and more serious, the Chinese government has formulated a series of environmental policies and regulations aimed at improving environmental quality. Does environmental regulation significantly inhibit environmental pollution? Environmental regulation will not only directly affect environmental pollution but also have an indirect impact on environmental pollution. This paper uses Bayesian posterior probability, the optimal model structure selection method, based on join 112 kinds of spatial econometric model structure, and the panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2003 to 2016 to study the effects of environmental regulation on environmental pollution base on the industrial agglomeration mechanism of synergy effect. The research covers the national level and four regions, including the eastern, central, western, and northeastern regions of China. The research shows that: (1) environmental regulation at the national level and in the eastern, central and northeastern regions can significantly curb environmental pollution, but the environmental pollution in the western region shows a significant trend of enhancement. (2) Increased industrial agglomeration across China has significantly worsened environmental pollution. (3) Environmental regulation and industrial agglomeration form a significant synergy effect, which has a significant positive impact on environmental pollution in regions other than northeast China, and a significant negative impact on environmental pollution intensity in northeast China.
[en] Photovoltaic plants developed on rural land are becoming a common infrastructure in the Mediterranean region and may contribute, at least indirectly, to various forms of environmental degradation including landscape deterioration, land take, soil degradation and loss in traditional cropland and biodiversity. Our study illustrates a procedure estimating (i) the extension of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields at the municipal scale in Italy and (ii) inferring the socioeconomic profile of the Italian municipalities experiencing different expansion rates of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields over the last years (2007-2014). The procedure was based on diachronic information derived from official data sources integrated into a geographical decision support system. Our results indicate that the surface area of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields into rural land grew continuously in Italy between 2007 and 2014 with positive and increasing growth rates observed during 2007-2011 and positive but slightly decreasing growth rates over 2012-2014, as a result of market saturation and policies containing the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields. We found important differences in the density of ground-mounted solar plants between northern and southern Italian municipalities. We identified accessible rural municipalities in southern Italy with intermediate population density and large availability of non-urban land as the most exposed to the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields in the last decade. Our approach is a promising tool to estimate changes in the use of land driven by the expansion of photovoltaic fields into rural land.
[en] Highlights: • Landfill modernization project in Nicaragua yields unintended consequences. • Enclosure of garbage site displaces hundreds of impoverished waste pickers. • Persistent social marginalization contributes to environmental degradation. • Sustainable development must incorporate concerns of informal waste pickers. - Abstract: The modernization (i.e. mechanization, formalization, and capital intensification) and enclosure of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) systems threaten waste picker livelihoods. From 2009 to 2013, a major development project, embodying traditional neoliberal policies with inclusive social policies, transformed the Managua, Nicaragua, municipal solid waste site from an open-air dump where as many as 2,000 informal waste pickers toiled to a sanitary landfill. To investigate waste pickers’ social and economic condition, including labor characteristics, household income, and poverty incidence, after the project’s completion, 146 semi-structured survey questionnaires were administered to four communities adjacent to the landfill and 45 semi-structured interviews were completed with key stakeholders. Findings indicate that hundreds of waste pickers were displaced by the project, employment benefits from the project were unevenly distributed by neighborhood, and informal waste picking endures due to persistent impoverishment, thereby contributing to continued social and economic marginalization and environmental degradation. The findings highlight the limitations of inclusive neoliberal development efforts to transform MSWM in a low-income country.
[en] Highlights: • The use of Best Expert Judgement to assess marine environmental status • A means to reconcile challenges in marine environmental status and spatial planning • Best Expert Judgement can aid management in the absence of actual data. • Consistent interpretation can be achieved through recognised expert interpretation. • A methodology which is transferable to other, developed marine areas. - Abstract: All maritime states have the challenge of maintaining the environmental quality of their seas while at the same time maximising their economic potential thus requiring appropriate science, governance and management measures. In Europe, directives and regulations are used to address the pressures affecting the health and sustainability of marine resources, and to promote Good Environmental Status (GES) (e.g. the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, MSFD), while having a coherent and integrated pattern of sea use (e.g. the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, MSPD). Therefore, an approach is required to meet these challenges for all maritime states including, for Europe, the joint adoption of these two directives. As such an approach does not yet exist, one is proposed here based on a hypothetical example and a Best Expert Judgement (BEJ) methodology. Forty-two marine science, management and impact assessment specialists provided views on a hypothetical marine scenario to derive and interrogate a framework applicable to marine areas with multiple uses and users. The scenario allowed the severity of the activity effects-footprints to be determined on the 11 MSFD Descriptors of GES with that severity being weighted according to the area of each activity effect-footprint. In turn, this allowed the calculation of marine regional environmental status thereby indicating whether the adoption of quality assessment and spatial planning can be mutually beneficial, or are antagonistic in meeting environmental targets. This paper uses the proposed approach to discuss maximising the assimilative capacity of a marine area and minimising the environmental degradation due to new activities. It especially shows the role of BEJ in cases where marine adaptive management is still required despite their being an often paucity of information or data on which to base management decisions.
[en] The international community is more than ever before worrying about the unremitting global warming and climate change and the responsibility of extensive energy use for that situation. This article contributes to the existing literature by examining whether energy consumption predicts CO2 emissions during the past 50 years in the five most polluting nations in the world. To do this, we have been using the recently developed predictability test of Westerlund and Narayan (Journal of Banking and Finance, 36, 2632–2640, 2012, Journal of Financial Econometrics, 13, 342–375, 2015). We take thereby into account the problem of endogeneity and persistence in the explanatory variable. Likewise, this test has the advantage of treating the problem of heteroscedasticity. Using several predictive evaluation measures and assuming the historical average as a benchmark, we find that the basic model of the predictability test of Westerlund and Narayan (2012, 2015) surpasses the benchmark model. These findings reveal that primary energy consumption predicts CO2 emissions in the world and all countries, for different forecast horizons. Further, the in-sample evidence of predictability has been supported by the out-of-sample analysis.