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Scientists: Big city life may alter green attitudes
Date:1/18/2011

or on the paper. "As China is the world's fastest growing economy and cities are the economic engines with severe environmental challenges, understanding environmental behavior of urban residents in China is particularly important."

Thomas Baerwald, a Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF) agreed. "Because China's rapid economic growth is likely to continue, China will provide a setting where U.S. researchers and decision makers can learn much about the ways to sustain both environmental quality and economic prosperity," he said.

NSF's Program on Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems partially funded the study.

"By monitoring attitudes and behavior through the use of instruments like general social surveys, scientists and decision makers can better understand the ways people respond as economic and environmental conditions change," said Baerwald.

China's General Social Survey asked if people sorted their garbage to separate recyclables, recycled plastic bags, talked about environmental issues with family or friends, participated in environmental education programs, volunteered in environmental organizations or took part in environmental litigation. People who live in large cities showed significantly more green behavior than people in smaller cities.

"In our models, we included a variable for 'employment status' and 'employment rank,' in addition to a separate variable for 'income,'" said Chen.

Employment status indicated whether an individual had a job. Employment rank indicated whether the individual had a leadership position in his or her workplace. Income was a monetary representation of the person's salary regardless of his or her role in the workplace.

"We found that employment status and rank of respondents mattered for five out of the six pro-environmental behaviors we studied, while income only mattered for one pro-environme
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Contact: Bobbie Mixon
bmixon@nsf.gov
703-292-8485
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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