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Social and cultural drivers of meat consumption among mexican-american millennials in Tempe, AZ

Description

The rise of meat consumption in the United States has been dramatic over

the past half century due to demographic changes. The increase in meat is visible in Mexico as well due to expanding economic interest in cattle production plus increased

The rise of meat consumption in the United States has been dramatic over

the past half century due to demographic changes. The increase in meat is visible in Mexico as well due to expanding economic interest in cattle production plus increased population and rising incomes. The worst consequences of our modern food system are in factory farming of animals, which requires a greater amount of resources than for producing grains, fruits, and vegetables. The specific effects of meat consumption highlight the importance of understanding humans as actors in the food system. In order to explore the drivers of consumer food and meat choice, my research answered the two questions: What factors influence meat consumption? and How do cultural and social norms influence decisions to consume certain types and amounts of meat?

Qualitative interviews were conducted with Mexican-American respondents between age 20 and 29 as the population of interest because of their regional dominance in the study area of Tempe, AZ and because of the high prevalence of meat in their cultural diets. Looking at millennials in particular is crucial because as the first generation born with technology and Internet as constants, they have formed unique characteristics like openness to change and new perspectives. My sample population communicated motivations and constraints to their overall consumption patterns and the frequency and types of meat consumed.

This study found that cost and convenience were the driving factors behind food choice, given the hectic schedules of the sample population, who were mostly students at Arizona State University. Culture played an important role in respondents' heavy meat consumption given their exposure to meat's centrality in traditional Mexican meals. Acculturation did not play an extensive role because prominent Mexican culture in the Southwest U.S. allowed respondents' families access to traditional food while living in the US. The lack of sustainability knowledge and its connection to food choice indicates the importance of marketing that contextualizes decreased meat consumption. Rather than focusing solely on environmental outcomes, marketing tools highlighting health, financial, and economic benefits of eating less meat would encourage more consumers to decrease consumption.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Examining a sustainable approach to global climate change policy

Description

The United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes development as a priority for carbon dioxide (CO2) allocation, under its principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". This was codified in the Kyoto Protocol, which exempt developing nations from binding

The United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes development as a priority for carbon dioxide (CO2) allocation, under its principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". This was codified in the Kyoto Protocol, which exempt developing nations from binding emission reduction targets. Additionally, they could be the recipients of financed sustainable development projects in exchange for emission reduction credits that the developed nations could use to comply with emission targets. Due to ineffective results, post-Kyoto policy discussions indicate a transition towards mitigation commitments from major developed and developing emitters, likely supplemented by market-based mechanisms to reduce mitigation costs. Although the likelihood of achieving substantial emission reductions is increased by the new plan, there is a paucity of consideration to how an ethic of development might be advanced. Therefore, this research empirically investigates the role that CO2 plays in advancing human development (in terms of the Human Development Index or HDI) over the 1990 to 2010 time period. Based on empirical evidence, a theoretical CO2-development framework is established, which provides a basis for designing a novel policy proposal that integrates mitigation efforts with human development objectives. Empirical evidence confirms that CO2 and HDI are highly correlated, but that there are diminishing returns to HDI as per capita CO2 emissions increase. An examination of development pathways reveals that as nations develop, their trajectories generally become less coupled with CO2. Moreover, the developing countries with the greatest gains in HDI are also nations that have, or are in the process of moving toward, outward-oriented trade policies that involve increased domestic capabilities for product manufacture and export. With these findings in mind, future emission targets should reduce current emissions in developed nations and allow room for HDI growth in developing countries as well as in the least developed nations of the world. Emission trading should also be limited to nations with similar HDI levels to protect less-developed nations from unfair competition for capacity building resources. Lastly, developed countries should be incentivized to invest in joint production ventures within the LDCs to build capacity for self-reliant and sustainable development over the long-term.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Challenge of advocacy for sustainability scientists

Description

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and the social norms of science that call for objectivity and

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and the social norms of science that call for objectivity and neutrality. Policy established in 2011 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) required their communication to be objective and neutral and this research comprised a qualitative analysis of IPCC reports to consider how much of their communication is strictly factual (Objective), and value-free (Neutral), and to consider how their communication had changed from 1990 to 2013. Further research comprised a qualitative analysis of structured interviews with scientists and non-scientists who were professionally engaged in climate science communication, to consider practitioner views on advocacy. The literature and the structured interviews revealed a conflicting range of definitions for advocacy versus objectivity and neutrality. The practitioners that were interviewed struggled to separate objective and neutral science from attempts to persuade, and the IPCC reports contained a substantial amount of communication that was not strictly factual and value-free. This research found that science communication often blurred the distinction between facts and values, imbuing the subjective with the authority and credibility of science, and thereby damaging the foundation for scientific credibility. This research proposes a strict definition for factual and value-free as a means to separate science from advocacy, to better protect the credibility of science, and better prepare scientists to negotiate contentious science-based policy issues. The normative dimension of sustainability will likely entangle scientists in advocacy or the appearance of it, and this research may be generalizable to sustainability.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Young people and climate change: beliefs and behavioral choices among high school students from Phoenix, AZ and Plainfield, IL

Description

As climate change becomes a greater challenge in today's society, it is critical to understand young people's perceptions of the phenomenon because they will become the next generation of decision-makers. This study examines knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors among high school

As climate change becomes a greater challenge in today's society, it is critical to understand young people's perceptions of the phenomenon because they will become the next generation of decision-makers. This study examines knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors among high school students. The subjects of this study include students from high school science classes in Phoenix, Arizona, and Plainfield, Illinois. Using surveys and small group interviews to engage students in two climatically different locations, three questions were answered:

1) What do American students know and believe about climate change? How is knowledge related to beliefs?

2) What types of behaviors are students exhibiting that may affect climate change? How do beliefs relate to behavioral choices?

3) Do climate change knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors vary between geographic locations in the United States?

The results of this study begin to highlight the differences between knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors around the United States. First, results showed that students have heard of climate change but often confused aspects of the problem, and they tended to focus on causes and impacts, as opposed to solutions. Related to beliefs, students tended to believe that climate change is caused by both humans and natural trends, and would affect plant and animal species more than themselves and their families. Second, students were most likely to participate in individual behaviors such as turning off lights and electronics, and least likely to take public transportation and eat a vegetarian meal. Individual behaviors seem to be most relevant to this age group, in contrast to policy solutions. Third, students in Illinois felt they would be more likely to experience colder temperatures and more precipitation than those in Arizona, where students were more concerned about rising temperatures.

Understanding behaviors, motivations behind beliefs and choices, and barriers to actions can support pro-environmental behavior change. Educational strategies can be employed to more effectively account for the influences on a young person's belief formation and behavior choices. Providing engagement opportunities with location-specific solutions that are more feasible for youth to participate in on their own could also support efforts for behavior change.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Fisheries in the news: how the media sets the agenda for seafood sustainability in the United States

Description

The media is a powerful force in shaping public discussions about marine issues. Many people lack first-hand experiences and direct sources of information about fisheries topics, so they rely heavily on the information presented to them in the news. Thus,

The media is a powerful force in shaping public discussions about marine issues. Many people lack first-hand experiences and direct sources of information about fisheries topics, so they rely heavily on the information presented to them in the news. Thus, the media has the potential to influence public agendas based on their selective coverage of topics, which primes people to take certain information into account when making decisions. This study examines the contents of 412 newspaper articles from five national newspapers to determine which topics are receiving the most coverage and how they are being communicated to the public. The analysis considers fisheries and seafood discussions overall, as well as focusing on the three most commonly consumed seafood items in the United States: salmon, shrimp, and tuna. Systematic coding of newspaper articles shows that economic and social fisheries concerns are emphasized more than environmental concerns. Additionally, fisheries articles tend to be emphasize the importance of fishermen’s livelihoods, the dangers of international seafood trade, the economic utility of fish, and a consumer’s right to make informed decisions about seafood. Overall, there are a number of conflicts and weaknesses in the media’s coverage of fisheries, which would likely make it challenging for Americans to make informed, sustainability-minded decisions about seafood purchases and fisheries policies.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Climate change induced migration: loss and damage as a tool to address future challenges

Description

Human migration is not a new phenomenon but present and future human-induced environmental changes pose new questions and challenges. In the coming years, both rapid and slow onset environmental changes will drive many people to migrate in search of

Human migration is not a new phenomenon but present and future human-induced environmental changes pose new questions and challenges. In the coming years, both rapid and slow onset environmental changes will drive many people to migrate in search of improved security and livelihoods. Anthropogenic climate change in particular requires international institutions to determine how to best meet the needs of present and future migrants. I analyzed interviews with experts to identify institutional gaps for managing environmental migration and what potential, if any, the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM) might contribute to filling these gaps. Using these interviews and literature, I propose a framework to assess the capacity of existing institutions to address the breadth of migrant needs. Then, I identify gaps and challenges in order to illuminate strategies for future solutions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Rethinking Sustainability Through Environmental Justice Discourse & Knowledge Production: Institutional Environmental Violence Through the Lens of the Flint Water Crisis

Description

Sustainability and environmental justice, two fields that developed parallel to each other, are both insufficient to deal with the challenges posed by institutional environmental violence (IEV). This thesis examines the discursive history of sustainability and critiques its focus on science-based

Sustainability and environmental justice, two fields that developed parallel to each other, are both insufficient to deal with the challenges posed by institutional environmental violence (IEV). This thesis examines the discursive history of sustainability and critiques its focus on science-based technical solutions to large-scale global problems. It further analyzes the gaps in sustainability discourse that can be filled by environmental justice, such as the challenges posed by environmental racism. Despite this, neither field is able to contend with IEV in a meaningful way, which this thesis argues using the case study of the Flint Water Crisis (FWC). The FWC has been addressed as both an issue of sustainability and of environmental justice, yet IEV persists in the community. This is due in part to the narrative of crisis reflected by the FWC and the role that knowledge production plays in that narrative. To fill the gap left by both sustainability and environmental justice, this thesis emphasizes the need for a transformational methodology incorporating knowledge produced by communities and individuals directly impacted by sustainability problems.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019

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A comparison of Los Angeles and Phoenix homeowners' attitudes and behaviors towards outdoor water conservation

Description

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought that has negatively affected their local water supply. Populations in

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought that has negatively affected their local water supply. Populations in both cities continue to grow, increasing overall demand for water as the supply decreases. Water conservation is important for the sustainability of each town. However, the methods utilized to conserve residential water in the two areas differ drastically; Los Angeles has implemented involuntary water rationing and Phoenix has not.

The widespread effectiveness of involuntary restrictions makes them a popular management scheme. Despite their immediate effectiveness, little is known about how involuntary restrictions affect attitudinal precursors towards the behavior in question and thus, whether or not the restrictions are potentially helpful or harmful to lasting behavior change. This study adapted the Theory of Planned Behavior to survey 361 homeowners in Los Angeles and Phoenix to examine how involuntary water restrictions shape attitudinal precursors to outdoor water conservation.

This study found that when involuntary water restrictions are present, residents feel less in control of their outdoor water use. However, in the presence of involuntary water restrictions, stronger social norms and stronger support for policy prescriptions over outdoor water use were found. The favorable societal support towards water conservation, conceptualized as social norms and policy attitudes, in the presence of involuntary water restrictions is potentially promising for lasting behavior change.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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In-Sync, Out-of-Sync Cities and their States: An Examination of Subnational Climate Change Policy in the Northwest States of Washington and Idaho

Description

Despite the urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), there has been a lack of national climate action leadership in the United States. In this vacuum, the need for subnational action, particularly at the local level, has become

Despite the urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), there has been a lack of national climate action leadership in the United States. In this vacuum, the need for subnational action, particularly at the local level, has become essential. But cities only have the authority granted them by their state. Thus, many cities thus take climate action consistent, or in-sync, with their state. However, other cities take climate action inconsistent, or out-of-sync, with their state. This study examines this in-sync, out-of-sync phenomenon using a multilevel, multiple case study approach to determine the multilevel dynamics influencing whether a city is taking climate action. The study compares two states at opposite ends of the climate mitigation spectrum—Idaho, a state not taking any mitigation action, and Washington, a state taking aggressive mitigation action—and two cities within each of these states, with one city in-sync and the other out-of-sync with its state on climate action. The results show ideology/political affiliation as the most significant factor influencing state and city climate policy: progressive leaning cities/state are engaging in climate mitigation action; conservative leaning cities/state are not. This result was expected, but the study revealed many nuances that were not. For example, the strength of a city’s ideological leaning can overcome disabling state authority. Ideological leaning impacts whether non-state actors are a driver or barrier to climate action. Policy experimentation is found only in progressive cities. Co-benefits manifest in different ways, depending on ideological leaning and whether a city is in- or out-of-sync. And policy champion influence can be fully realized only with supportive elected leadership.
This study highlights important interplays between drivers and barriers cities face in addressing climate change in a multilevel setting; how those interplays can help or hinder municipal climate action; and strategies cities employ to address challenges they face. The study findings thus contribute to the understanding of why and how cities take climate action, and how barriers to action can be overcome. This understanding is essential for providing a path forward on municipal climate action and accelerating the reduction of municipal GHG emissions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Dependence of toxicity test results on sample removal methods of PV modules

Description

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in place, there would be 60 million tons of end-of-life PV modules lying in the landfills by 2050, that may not become a not-so-sustainable way of sourcing energy since all PV modules could contain certain amount of toxic substances. Currently in the United States, PV modules are categorized as general waste and can be disposed in landfills. However, potential leaching of toxic chemicals and materials, if any, from broken end-of-life modules may pose health or environmental risks. There is no standard procedure to remove samples from PV modules for chemical toxicity testing in the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratories as per EPA 1311 standard. The main objective of this thesis is to develop an unbiased sampling approach for the TCLP testing of PV modules. The TCLP testing was concentrated only for the laminate part of the modules, as they are already existing recycling technologies for the frame and junction box components of PV modules. Four different sample removal methods have been applied to the laminates of five different module manufacturers: coring approach, cell-cut approach, strip-cut approach, and hybrid approach. These removed samples were sent to two different TCLP laboratories, and TCLP results were tested for repeatability within a lab and reproducibility between the labs. The pros and cons of each sample removal method have been explored and the influence of sample removal methods on the variability of TCLP results has been discussed. To reduce the variability of TCLP results to an acceptable level, additional improvements in the coring approach, the best of the four tested options, are still needed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018