Matching Items (143)

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Comparing the Influence of True Information and False Information on Climate Change Policy Preferences

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This past summer, Pew Research Center conducted a ten-question survey to test Americans' knowledge on current events. Questions ranged from how Zika virus is transmitted, to the name of the current president of France. A majority of the participants were

This past summer, Pew Research Center conducted a ten-question survey to test Americans' knowledge on current events. Questions ranged from how Zika virus is transmitted, to the name of the current president of France. A majority of the participants were unable to answer half of the questions correctly (Pew Research Center, 2017). While previous Pew knowledge surveys saw a majority of Americans answer only one quarter of the questions correctly (2014), it is clear that Americans today are still not completely up-to-date on current affairs. Along with Americans lacking knowledge of current affairs, the recent election saw the rise in accusations of "fake news." These calls inspired me to undertake my thesis project to try to answer the question: "does fake news actually impact the public's policy preferences, and if so, by how much?" While studies have been conducted to test the relationship between policy misperceptions and policy preferences, there have not been many studies released to directly test the impact of incorrect information on policy preferences. The underlying purpose of this study is to test how introduction of new information, particularly falsehoods, influences policy preferences. Specifically, I focus on policy preferences related to anthropogenic climate change . Any valid research that seeks to analyze the effect of political information on policy preferences needs to starts by discovering how much the public knows about the particular policy issue that the researcher is focusing on. Without explicitly saying as much, all of the research on the subject that I have read has come to the same conclusion: American's are indeed politically unaware on a wide array of issues. The areas of policy that Americans lack knowledge on are widespread: education (Howell and West, 2009), welfare (Gilens, 2001), the war in Iraq (Berinsky, 2007; Kull, 2003), and facts about political candidates (Nyhan and Reifler, 2012) are just some of the issues that Americans seem to know little about. Literature discussed in the following section shows how researchers have tried to understand how policy knowledge impacts policy opinions. Researchers primarily collected their data either one of two ways: by analyzing existing survey data or by conducting their own survey.

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2018-05

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Climate Change and Migration in Papua New Guinea

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Climate change is a global phenomenon that is disproportionately impacting people in developing countries. One coping mechanism that has been observed in response to climate change is migration. This paper attempts to understand the role of climate change as a

Climate change is a global phenomenon that is disproportionately impacting people in developing countries. One coping mechanism that has been observed in response to climate change is migration. This paper attempts to understand the role of climate change as a driver of migration in Papua New Guinea, a complex and under-researched country in Oceania. Past research suggests a complicated story, and that migration in response to climate change is not a simple concept. In order add to the existing literature, a variety of individual, household, and community-level variables are analyzed from a survey of households in rural Papua New Guinea. These variables are analyzed in conjunction with self-reported environmental shocks to determine the impact on migration across time. The results suggest that environmental shocks increase the probability of an individual migrating, with various socioeconomic factors acting as push and pull factors.

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2020-05

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Blank National Park

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Our thesis project, blanknationalpark.com, asked one question : how is climate change impacting National Parks in America? We decided to travel to three different areas: Joshua Tree, Glacier and Everglades National Park. It didn’t take long to discover that there

Our thesis project, blanknationalpark.com, asked one question : how is climate change impacting National Parks in America? We decided to travel to three different areas: Joshua Tree, Glacier and Everglades National Park. It didn’t take long to discover that there was never a definitive answer. The effects of climate change looked different in every park we visited. Joshua Tree was struggling with changes in temperature, climate regime and an increase in fires. The U.S Geological Survey predicted that all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park could be gone by 2030. Everglades National Park was facing the constant threat of sea-level rise, invasive species and stronger hurricanes. However, in every park, one thing was certain - they all would not have their iconic features in the future due to climate change. For our thesis, we created blanknationalpark.com to emphasize the fact that Joshua Tree National Park won’t have Joshua Trees in the coming centuries, glaciers would cease to exist in Glacier National Park and the entire Everglades ecosystem itself will be underwater in the next century and a half. Thus, our project name, “Blank National Park”, pays tribute to the uncertainty of what these famous landscapes could look like in the future. Our main goal was to provide the public with a visual experience that is not only informative but engaging so that we could provide an educational experience about a critical situation without appearing too dismal. We chose to include our last page, ‘Solutions’, to establish hope for the future, and encourage people to take action to help preserve National Parks and the world we live in.

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2020-05

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An Exploration of Climate Change's Impact on The Coffee Industry

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Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, with a staggering 1.4 billion cups of coffee poured a day (Coffee Consumption around the World). One-point six percent of total US GDP is made up by coffee

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, with a staggering 1.4 billion cups of coffee poured a day (Coffee Consumption around the World). One-point six percent of total US GDP is made up by coffee operations and fuels 1.6 million jobs in the United States (The Global Coffee Industry). However, with an increasingly complex political and economic world, along with the threat of climate change, the world’s coffee supply is at risk of total collapse. There are two primary varieties of coffee consumed in the world, Arabica and Robusta coffee. Most coffee producing countries run along the equator and are generally classified as developing economies. The global south is relied upon for coffee production. “Across Mexico and Central America, over 4 million people depend directly on coffee production for their livelihoods” (An Integrated Framework). Coffee production helps boost these economies and support families financially, with many workers having to support dependent individuals.

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2020-05

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A Cross-cultural Analysis of the Emotional Effects of Climate Change

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Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social

Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social and physical factors affects mental health. However, many people fail to realize that these increases global temperatures also have a significant impact on mental health as a result of increased vulnerability that is often manifested through one's emotions. By analyzing perceptions of people across the globe, in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Fiji, we were able to pinpoint these emotions and trace them individual's feelings of worry, distress, and hope that resulted from their perceived impacts on climate change. Overall, we found that people tend to have overall more negative emotional reaction when it comes to the perceived effects of climate change. Of the respondents, more men than women expressed concern regarding the various negative implications. Finally, those in the United Kingdom exhibited a stronger emotional response, followed by those in New Zealand and Fiji, respectively.

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2017-05

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Spatial Climate Justice and Green Infrastructure Assessment: A Case Study for the Huron River Watershed, Michigan, USA

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Green infrastructure serves as a critical no-regret strategy to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in climate action plans. Climate justice refers to the distribution of climate change-induced environmental hazards (e.g., increased frequency and intensity of floods) among socially vulnerable

Green infrastructure serves as a critical no-regret strategy to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in climate action plans. Climate justice refers to the distribution of climate change-induced environmental hazards (e.g., increased frequency and intensity of floods) among socially vulnerable groups. Yet no index has addressed both climate justice and green infrastructure planning jointly in the USA. This paper proposes a spatial climate justice and green infrastructure assessment framework to understand social-ecological vulnerability under the impacts of climate change. The Climate Justice Index ranks places based on their exposure to climate change-induced flooding, and water contamination aggravated by floods, through hydrological modelling, GIS spatial analysis and statistical methodologies. The Green Infrastructure Index ranks access to biophysical adaptive capacity for climate change. A case study for the Huron River watershed in Michigan, USA, illustrates that climate justice hotspots are concentrated in large cities; yet these communities have the least access to green infrastructure. This study demonstrates the value of using GIS to assess the spatial distribution of climate justice in green infrastructure planning and thereby to prioritize infrastructure investment while addressing equity in climate change adaptation.

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2016-06-29

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Risk Communication and Climate Justice Planning: A Case of Michigan’s Huron River Watershed

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Communicating climate risks is crucial when engaging the public to support climate action planning and addressing climate justice. How does evidence-based communication influence local residents’ risk perception and potential behavior change in support of climate planning? Built upon our previous

Communicating climate risks is crucial when engaging the public to support climate action planning and addressing climate justice. How does evidence-based communication influence local residents’ risk perception and potential behavior change in support of climate planning? Built upon our previous study of Climate Justice maps illustrating high scores of both social and ecological vulnerability in Michigan’s Huron River watershed, USA, a quasi-experiment was conducted to examine the effects of Climate Justice mapping intervention on residents’ perceptions and preparedness for climate change associated hazards in Michigan. Two groups were compared: residents in Climate Justice areas with high social and ecological vulnerability scores in the watershed (n=76) and residents in comparison areas in Michigan (n=69). Measurements for risk perception include perceived exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability to hazards. Results indicate that risk information has a significant effect on perceived sensitivity and level of preparedness for future climate extremes among participants living in Climate Justice areas. Findings highlight the value of integrating scientific risk assessment information in risk communication to align calculated and perceived risks. This study suggests effective risk communication can influence local support of climate action plans and implementation of strategies that address climate justice and achieve social sustainability in local communities.

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2017-10-12

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Climate Change Vulnerability in the Food, Energy, and Water Nexus: Concerns for Agricultural Production in Arizona and Its Urban Export Supply

Description

Interdependent systems providing water and energy services are necessary for agriculture. Climate change and increased resource demands are expected to cause frequent and severe strains on these systems. Arizona is especially vulnerable to such strains due to its hot and

Interdependent systems providing water and energy services are necessary for agriculture. Climate change and increased resource demands are expected to cause frequent and severe strains on these systems. Arizona is especially vulnerable to such strains due to its hot and arid climate. However, its climate enables year-round agricultural production, allowing Arizona to supply most of the country's winter lettuce and vegetables. In addition to Phoenix and Tucson, cities including El Paso, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego rely on Arizona for several types of agricultural products such as animal feed and livestock, meaning that disruptions to Arizona's agriculture also disrupt food supply chains to at least six major cities.

Arizona's predominately irrigated agriculture relies on water imported through an energy intensive process from water-stressed regions. Most irrigation in Arizona is electricity powered, so failures in energy or water systems can cascade to the food system, creating a food-energy-water (FEW) nexus of vulnerability. We construct a dynamic simulation model of the FEW nexus in Arizona to assess the potential impacts of increasing temperatures and disruptions to energy and water supplies on crop irrigation requirements, on-farm energy use, and yield.

We use this model to identify critical points of intersection between energy, water, and agricultural systems and quantify expected increases in resource use and yield loss. Our model is based on threshold temperatures of crops, USDA and US Geological Survey data, Arizona crop budgets, and region-specific literature. We predict that temperature increase above the baseline could decrease yields by up to 12.2% per 1 °C for major Arizona crops and require increased irrigation of about 2.6% per 1 °C. Response to drought varies widely based on crop and phenophase, so we estimate irrigation interruption effects through scenario analysis. We provide an overview of potential adaptation measures farmers can take, and barriers to implementation.

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2017-02-28

Biochar Briquettes: Alternative to Firewood and Charcoal Fuel

Description

Domestic energy is an important component of our day to day lives and is something we cannot live without. Imagine how life would be without a means to cook our food, to warm our house, life would be unbearable. As

Domestic energy is an important component of our day to day lives and is something we cannot live without. Imagine how life would be without a means to cook our food, to warm our house, life would be unbearable. As we enjoy these comforts rarely do we stop to think what the opportunity cost is. For those using renewable sources, it is not a big issue, but for those who rely on wood fuel, they have to strike a delicate balance between need for fuel and the need to conserve the greatest support systems of their livelihoods, the forests. The main source of energy for households in many developing countries is biomass, mainly from forests and woodlands. The continued use of firewood and charcoal fuel puts a strain on forests, resulting in adverse effects on the environment such as prolonged droughts, loss of biodiversity, dwindling water resources, changing weather patterns among other sustainability challenges. An alternative to firewood to charcoal lies in biochar briquettes. This paper discusses the role of biochar briquettes in mitigating climate change and serves as a step by step guide on how biochar briquettes may be produced.

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2018

The Sustainability Fair: Building a Grassroots Movement Around Community

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People everywhere should be doing everything they can to be more sustainable so that climate change can begin to be mitigated. We are already feeling the negative effects of climate change, and they are thoroughly documented. Despite this people are

People everywhere should be doing everything they can to be more sustainable so that climate change can begin to be mitigated. We are already feeling the negative effects of climate change, and they are thoroughly documented. Despite this people are not changing to be more sustainable fast enough. Many either reject the idea of climate change, do not know what they could do, or are unaware of how climate change affects them. Sustainability also impacts more than just climate change. Living more sustainably can have positive impacts economically as well as positive impacts on human health. In a world that is so connected and with such a wealth of information, we can no longer afford to have communities in the dark. Leaders need to rise on a community level to make a difference. Leadership is an aspect of an organization or a project that can elevate it to new heights. A leader is not everything, but the difference a good leader makes is universal. In this paper I will teach you about organizing a sustainability fair that educates and engages marginalized communities that typically are not included in the conversation on how to save our world.

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2018-11-10