Research links environmental activism with lower greenhouse gas emissions

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Thomas Dietz, MSU AgBioResearch social scientist. (view larger image)

A new study, published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesshows a state-level win for environmental activism that hasn’t been apparent on a national scale.

MSU AgBioResearch social scientist Thomas Dietz and Kenneth Frank, MSU Foundation professor of sociometrics, teamed up to find a way to tell if a state with a strong environmental activism movement can mitigate other human factors – population growth and economic affluence – known to hurt the environment.

“We’ve used new methods developed over the years and new innovations Ken has developed to add in the politics – and find that politics and environmentalism can mediate some environmental impact,” Dietz said. “Environmentalism seems to influence policies and how well policies that are in place are actually implemented, and it also influences individual behavior and the choices people make.”

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