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Environment, economics, and consumption : conflicting cultural models Simpson, Beth Michaela 2000

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ENVIRONMENT, ECONOMICS, A N D CONSUMPTION: CONFLICTING C U L T U R A L MODELS by B E T H M I C H A E L A SIMPSON B.A., The University College of the Cariboo, 1992 M.A. The University of British Columbia, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the requested standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 2000 © Beth Michaela Simpson, 2000 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of Anthropology and Sociology The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ABSTRACT Rising evidence of environmental degradation led to rising levels of public as well as scientific concern about environmental issues in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Part of the Prospect for Sustainability in the Lower Fraser Basin project, this sociological study uses Cultural Modelling theory to explain why, when so many people express concern for the environment, so few people are actively involved in forms of environmental activism, especially those that call for real commitment. Two main questions were investigated: First, are dominant economic and consumption cultural models more salient to most respondents than cultural models ofthe environment? Second, is it the case that individuals who are seriously committed to and actively participate in behaviours targeted at the protection ofthe environment, are less likely to hold the dominant cultural models ofthe economy and of consumption? Data from three samples were compared. One sample consisted of responses from 107 purposefully sampled community leaders from Abbotsford, B C , a community known to have environmental problems. The other two samples come from a randomly sampled survey. One sample was based on the population of British Columbia (N=1533), the other is an oversample of Abbotsford (N= 100) from the same study. Respondents from all data sets were asked a series of questions regarding which sorts of behaviours supporting environmental issues they participated in, and which forms environmentally friendly consumption they engage in. Other i i questions measured opinion regarding the environment and economics. Statistical analyses reveal widespread concern for the environment but very little in the way of committed behaviour regarding the protection ofthe environment. The findings also show a very widespread acceptance of economic cultural models supporting economic growth and strong economies. The research concludes that those individuals who embrace an ecological stance, while rejecting dominant cultural models of economic growth and consumption, are more likely to behave in ways that minimize their impact on the environment. The study also calls for a different environmental discourse that confronts and insistently attacks dominant cultural models and the taken-for-granted assumptions we live with iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Figures vii List of Tables vii i Acknowledgement xi i Chapter One Introduction 1 Paridiso 1 Paradise Spoiled 3 The City of Abbotsford 12 Delimitations and Limitations of the Study 14 Conclusion 15 Chapter Two Explaining Human Motivation 18 The Need for the Study 18 Statement of the Problem to Be Investigated 21 Theoretical Framework for the Study 21 Cultural Models 36 Conclusion 45 Chapter Three Cultural Models of the Economy 47 The Social Causes of Environmental Degradation 47 Economics 54 Economic Sociology versus Economics 57 Economics and Values 60 Politics and Economic Growth 65 Economic Growth as a Source of Environmental Degradation 66 Economic Growth as the Solution 70 Cultural Models of the Economy 73 Conclusion 78 Chapter Four Cultural Models of Consumption 79 Sociology of Consumption 79 Consumption and the Consumer Society 85 Consumption and Self-Identity 90 iv Consumption and the Economy 91 Green Consumers 92 Cultural Models of Consumption 94 Conclusion 95 Chapter Five Cultural Models of the Environment 97 Introduction 97 Environmental Concern 98 Structural and Cultural Basis of Environmental Concern 101 Social Psychological Basis of Environmental Concern 112 Summary 118 Environmental Behaviour 118 General Environmental Behaviour 119 Specific Environmental Behaviour 123 Summary 127 Conclusion 128 Chapter Six Research Design 131 Introduction 131 Hypotheses to be Investi gated 133 Genera] Method 138 Sped fic Procedures 140 Ethical Review 141 Research Sample 141 Instrumentation 145 Data Collection 146 Treatment of Data 147 Key Variables Used in the Analysis 148 Methods of Analysis 157 Summary 159 Chapter Seven The People of Paradise 160 Cluster Analysis 160 Checking the Results of Cluster Analysis 172 Summary 180 Demographic and Socio-Economic Differences 181 Chapter Eight Environmental Concern 188 Awareness of Local Environmental Issues 188 Concern for the Environment is Widespread 190 Levels of Concern 199 Leaders Sample 199 Abbotsford Oversample 201 v Province Sample 203 Conclusions 207 Chapter Nine Economics and Consumption Versus the Environment 212 Factor Analysis 212 Factor Analysis of Economy, Political Culture, and 213 Environment Variables Factor Analysis of Consumption Variables 215 Support for Cultural Models 219 Summary 237 Logistic Regressions 239 Province Sample 239 Comparing Across Clusters 241 Leaders Sample 245 Comparing Across Clusters 246 The Main Hypotheses 249 Conclusion 264 Chapter Ten Economic Versus Environmental Sustainability? 268 Introduction 268 Competing Cultural Models 269 Does Social Class Make a Difference? 279 The Culture of Contentment 280 Ignoring the Problem 282 Possible Solutions 284 The Implications ofthe Study 286 Possible Future Research 289 Conclusions 291 References Cited 295 Appendices Appendix A Additional Tables 317 Appendix B Details of Variables 356 Appendix C Methods of Analysis 373 Appendix D Request for Ethical Review 384 Appendix E Letter of Introduction 390 Appendix F Consent Form 392 vi LIST OF FIGURES Figure Figure 7.1 Level of Participation in Activities Supporting Environmental Causes, by Cluster Membership — Leaders Sample. 173 Figure 7.2 Level of Participation in Activities Supporting Environmental Causes, by Cluster Membership — Province Sample. 178 Figure 8.1 Percent Indicating Concern for Local Environment, Province Sample and Abbotsford Oversample. 191 Figure 8.2 Percent Indicating Local Environmental Concern, Various Types Leaders Sample. 192 Figure 9.1 Patterns of Consumption — Leaders Sample. 216 Figure 9.2 Patterns of Consumption — Province Sample. 217 Figure 9.3 Economic Concerns — Leaders Sample. 221 Figure 9.4 Economic Concerns — Province Sample. 222 Figure 9.5 Regular Participation in the Highest Levels of Ecological Consumption — Leaders Sample. 230 Figure 9.6 Regularly Buy Organic Produce — Province Sample and Abbotsford Oversample. 231 Figure C . l Schematic Diagram for the Method of Analysis 374 vii LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1.1 Population Size and Growth of Matsqui, Abbotsford, Lower Fraser Valley. 5 1.2 Summary of Environmental Damage by Traffic. 9 3.1 Comparison of Different Schools of Economic Thought. 56 3.2 Economic Sociology and Mainstream Economics — A Comparison. 5 8 3.3 Support for Economic Development Models. 76 4.1 Examples of Different Forms of Risk. 83 4.2 O'Shaunessy's Goals of Human Existence. 88 6.1 Type of Respondent by Sex— Leaders Sample. 143 7.1 Principle Components Analysis of Environmental Activism. 162 7.2 Results of Nonhierarchical Cluster Analysis — Leaders Sample. 166 7.3 Results of Nonhierarchical Cluster Analysis — Abbotsford Oversample. 167 7.4 Results of Nonhierarchical Cluster Analysis — Province Sample. 168 7.5 Environmental Activism by Cluster Membership. 171 7.6 Demographic Variables (percentage). 182 7.7 Cluster Membership by Demographic Variables (percentages). 184 8.1 Awareness of Environmental Concerns — Leaders Sample. 189 8.2 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Demographic and Socio-economic 194 Variables on Level of Environmental Concern — Leaders Sample. 8.3 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Demographic and Socio-economic 195 Variables on Concern. Local Air Quality — Leaders Sample. viii 8.4 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Demographic and Socio-economic 198 Variables on Level of Environmental Concern — Province Sample and Abbotsford Oversample. 8.5 Environmental Concern and Related Variables — Leaders Sample. 200 8.6 Environmental Concern and Related Variables — Province Sample and 204 Abbotsford Oversample. 9.1 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Support for Growth — Leaders 223 Sample. 9.2 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Support for Growth — Province 225 Sample and Abbotsford Oversample. 9.3 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, "Ecological Consumption" -— 233 Leaders Sample. 9.4 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, "Ecological Consumption" — 234 Province Sample and Abbotsford Oversample. 9.5 Logistic Regression Coefficients, Various Cultural Models, Cluster 242 Membership — Province Sample. 9.6 Logistic Regression Coefficients, Various Cultural Models, Cluster 247 Membership — Leaders Sample. 9.7 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Egotistic, Altruistic, and Biospheric 254 Values on Level of Participation in Behaviours which Support Environmental Issues — Province Sample. 9.8 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Egotistic, Altruistic, and Biospheric 255 Values on Level of Participation in Behaviours which Support Environmental Issues: Passives and Total Sample — Province Sample. 9.9 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Egotistic, Altruistic, and Biospheric 259 Values on Level of Participation in Behaviours which Support Environmental Issues: Passives and Total Sample — Leaders Sample. 9.10 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Ecological Consumption, Support 262 For Growth, and Environmental Concern on Level of Participation in Behaviours which Support Environmental Issues — Leaders Sample. ix 9.11 Multiple Regression Beta Coefficients, Various Variables on Level of 263 Participation in Behaviours with Support for Environmental Issues — Province Sample. A. 1 Common Factor Analysis of Environmental, Economic, and Political 317 Culture Variables — Province Sample. A.2 Common Factor Analysis of Political And Economic Variables— 320 Leaders Sample. A. 3 Common Factor Analysis of Environmental Variables — Leaders Sample. 321 A.4 Common Factor Analysis of Security Variables — Abbotsford Over- 322 sample. A. 5 Common Factor Analysis of Consumption Variables — Province Sample. 323 A.6 Common Factor Analysis of Consumption Variables — Leaders Sample. 324 A. 7 Common Factor Analysis of Consumption Variables — Abbotsford 326 Oversarnple. A. 8 Leaders: Economic Variables by Cluster Membership. 327 A.9 Leaders: Quality of Life and Security Variables by Cluster Membership. 328 A. 10 Quality of Life Variables by Cluster Membership — Province and 330 Abbotsford Oversarnple. A. 11 Economic Variables by Cluster Membership — Province and Abbotsford 332 Oversarnple. A. 12 Security Variables by Cluster Membership — Province and Abbotsford 334 Oversarnple. A. 13 Leaders: Consumption Variables by Cluster Membership. 336 A.. 14 Consumer Variables by Cluster Membership — Province and Abbotsford 339 Oversarnple. A. 15 Logistic Regression Coefficients: Demographic Variables, Activists vs. 342 Other — Province Sample. x A. 16 Logistic Regression Coefficients for Environment, Quality of Life, and 345 Security Cultural Models, Activists vs. Other — Province Sample. A. 17 Logistic Regression Coefficients for Consumption Cultural Models, 346 Activists vs. Other — Province Sample. A. 18 Logistic Regression Coefficients, Demographic Variables, Activists 349 vs. Other — Leaders Sample. A. 19 Logistic Regression Coefficients, Consumption Cultural Models, 350 Activists vs. Other — Leaders Sample. A.20 Logistic Regression Coefficients for Various Models, Activist 351 vs. Other — Leaders Sample A.21 Leaders: New Ecological Paradigm Variables by Cluster Membership. 353 A. 22 New Ecological Paradigm Variables by Cluster Membership — Province 354 and Abbotsford Oversample. xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank Brian Elliott, my thesis supervisor, for his patient and gentle mentoring. I would also like to thank the other members of my thesis committee, Dr. Neil Guppy and Dr. David Tindall, whose insightful comments greatly improved the final version. The university examiners Dr. Don Fisher (Educational Studies, UBC), Dr Gillian Creese (Anthropology and Sociology, UBC), the external examiner, Dr. John Hannigan (Department of Sociology, University of Toronto), and the chair, Dr. R. Kenneth Carty (Political Science, UBC) were gracious in their comments, and gave me many good ideas for further research, for which I am grateful. Nobody gets this far without a lot of help along the way, and I would like to acknowledge this here. First, I would like to thank Dr. Clayton Mosher, who first advised me to apply to graduate school and then guided me through the application process. I would also like to thank the many professors 1 met at UBC: Dr. David Schweitzer, Dr. Martin Meissner, Dr. Martha Fosci, Dr. Richard Ericson, Dr. S-S Lee, and Dr. Kishor. A l l these people contributed greatly to my education. In particular I would like to acknowledge my indebtedness to Dr. Fiona Kay, who was always supportive, not just in word, but in deed, steering me towards experiences that would enhance my professional life(despite being very busy herself). I must also acknowledge the continuing support offered by my husband David, and my two children, Alicea, and M i k i . Finally, this research would not have been possible without the financial support of the Canadian Tri-Council, which funded the multidisciplinary eco-research project on the Prospects for Sustainability in the Lower Fraser Basin. xii 1 C H A P T E R 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N Paradiso Imagine an Earthly Paradise. It is a long, broad, fertile valley, verdant and lush with the gifts of nature. On three sides, snow-capped mountains surround the valley. From one end, a slow-moving brown river enters. It flows through the heart of the valley, melting into a wide fertile delta at the edge of the sea. The valley has four distinct seasons, but none is so harsh as to create real hardship. In winter, eagles gather to roost along the edge of tall coniferous forests that grow on the side of the mountains, sustained by the abundance of fish in the streams, rivers, and lakes throughout the valley and surrounding hills. Occasionally snow falls in the valley, but it rarely lasts longer than a week before it starts to melt. In early spring, groves of deciduous trees take on a mulberry haze, as buds swell in anticipation of the ripeness of summer. Song birds warble as they compete for nesting sites and mates. Everywhere, new life is emerging from the slumber of winter. By May Day, deciduous trees are in full leaf. Flowers are blooming in meadows and on cliff sides. With the warm days comes the drone of busy insects. In the hills and mountains, fawns and bear cubs, cougar kittens and goslings, cygnets and fox kits explore Paradise for the first time. 2 Down in the valley's human settlements, new life is emerging in the barns and poultry houses, as calves and chicks, lambs and ducklings, piglets and poults are born. Narrow roads connect each tidy farm to its neighbour and to the tiny communities that provide local services, and the many churches that are the centres of religious and secular life. Harvesting begins early, with the first crops of daffodils grown for the florists' Easter markets. A few months later, in fields of strawberries, young children scamper, laughing, occasionally stopping to eat another luscious berry. A short distance away, older siblings and parents continue their daylong labour picking enough fruit to ensure a year-long supply of homemade jam — and a few feeds of strawberry shortcake, strawberries and cream, and strawberry pancakes. Shortly after, the scene will be replayed in the "U-Pick" raspberry fields, and still later among the wild blackberries that ripen in mid-August along the sides of roads and ditches. By late summer, millions of salmon leave the Pacific Ocean, returning up the valley's rivers, streams, and brooks — an odyssey dedicated to the preservation of life. In autumn, farmers harvest the remaining bounty of their labours. The last of the summer vegetables crops, corn and carrots are gathered in, then the fall crops of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and of course hops for beer! As aspen and maples set the hillsides ablaze in reds and gold, migratory birds pass over the valley seeking warmer climes to the south. When snow covers the peaks of the surrounding mountains, the valley can finally rest. But not for long. By early spring, the runoff from winter's snow packs increases the size and beauty of several waterfalls. The numerous streams and brooks link together in ever larger bodies of water until all merge into the big brown river at the heart of the valley. Even those 3 farms that do not have their own brook, or border upon a pond, are assured good, clean water from an abundant ancient aquifer — an underground lake. A l l the while, westerly breezes flowing off the Pacific Ocean pump in clean, fresh air, reliable rain, and frequent rainbows. Paradise Spoiled. The preceding, of course, is a fictitious account, and very flowery interpretation of one vision of paradise. However, in 1950, Bruce Hutchinson described the Fraser Valley in British Columbia Canada, in a similar manner: In the valley the rain clouds, moving from the Pacific, deposit enough moisture as they strike the mountains to keep the land green all year, green even in winter, for snow seldom falls. This idyllic pastoral country resembles the valley of the Hudson or the Susquehanna with one striking difference — here every field and farmhouse is set against a backdrop of high and snowy mountains. On every side, except the west, the lush fields run up to the mountain rim and end there suddenly (Hutchinson 1950: 187) At the time of his observations, much of the old-growth forest that had once covered the Fraser Valley had been cleared, the shallow Sumas Lake, once a nursery for developing salmon fry, had been drained to get at the fertile soils of the newly created Sumas Prairie. Settlers essentially transformed the landscape to replicate the English countryside. In places where farms had been abandoned or sides of mountains had been logged, second growth forests were reestablishing themselves. Hutchinson describes the people of the valley as: These are peasants in the old-fashioned and best sense of the term people who love and cling to the soil, and maintain its virtue, asking no more than the fruits of their labour, but people who enjoy a standard of living high among the farmers of America. They have cleared, fertilized and befriended the river soil, the soil has responded, the milk and farm stuffs have flowed into Vancouver, and a species of permanent farm folk - steady, educated and co-operative in the joint life of the community - has joined in permanent marriage with the river (Hutchinson 1950:191). 4 The valley these people cleared and farmed (and the main setting for the research for this thesis) is approximately 150 kilometres long. It starts at the town of Hope, British Columbia, in the east, where the Fraser River emerges from the Fraser Canyon. There the Fraser is transformed from a rushing torrent into a wide, brown river, finally flowing into Georgia Straight, creating a huge fertile delta as it meets the Pacific Ocean. Its broad flood plain is surrounded by the Coastal Mountain Range on the north and east, and to the south, by the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Dominating the landscape to the south, is an extinct volcano, Mount Baker, towering over the Pacific northwest, its peak covered by glistening snow year round. Early History For more than eight thousand years, before contact with Europeans, First Nations Peoples inhabited the Fraser Valley exclusively, relying upon the abundant natural resources to sustain themselves. Seeing the value of such abundance and the advantages of location, the Hudson Bay Company in 1827 erected Fort Langley, a trading post, east of where the Pitt River empties into the Fraser River. Originally Fort Langley was intended to be the HBC's principal depot in New Caledonia (as British Columbia was called then), using the Fraser River as a trade link with the B C Interior. But the Fraser Canyon proved to be unnavigable. Fort Vancouver became the principal depot on the Pacific. Nevertheless, Fort Langley and the Fraser River remained important, especially when exports of fish and lumber began to augment the HBC's harvest of pelts. By 1831, the Fort was exporting almost 300 barrels of salmon, as well as cedar shingles to Honolulu (Akrigg and Akrigg, 1975: 264). That same year, plans were drawn up for starting a farm close to the Fort. Fifty years later, the population ofthe lower Fraser Basin was around O ON C M rf It 8 o o 43 ' i l l I 43 O e o 3 & a, 60 43 o a o 3 &, o PH CO 60 o rt O o, o PH in C N «N ON cn * -T cn rt O N " i - H o r-l - H o —< •*t cn cn © 00 - H . 1 - 1 O — H CO i - H CN l - H r j -CN cn rt cn CN CN oo i — i cn O CN ON cn IO CN ©" — " rt NO f - H NO" NO VN. "A cn" CN 00 r-l ON r- O rt i - ^ rt — R CN <-T C O rt I T ) t NO i - H </") V ) VO ON ON ON NO i - H NO r-ON ON NO •—I NO t-- oo oo ON ON ON 00 C-4 ON . r- </-) o o r- o rt ON rt rt </-> NO °°„ r-" ON" CN" rt l - H oo" i - H CN cn o ON 00 NO ON ON O CJ 43 cn •43 m V H o I? •a I 1 ed l H © t 3 13 O I eg 1 O o — ^ t a, I Q rt ON ON <L> 43 CJ o "S 3 o C/3 Q . '3 O I H 2 eg J3 « O l H "o >> '3 "3 o o 13 § r-&a -2 2 <+H (fl o -03 3 >H cn cu 8 § If i t l l <L> • rt & PH ? ' * o „ t-J g ^ .3 O <u 3 I a 3 S-eg I <U 60 6 7,000. Settlers—mainly from Britain, Scandinavia and northern Europe — began to push back the virgin forests in earnest, opening land for agriculture (Galois and Cale, 1994). Over the years, different groups have migrated into the area. Mennonites arrived in the 1920s, later Dutch farmers moved to the area after WWII, followed by Indo-Canadians and other Asians; each group entering the local economy primarily through agriculture. Recent Changes Of course, such an idyllic valley, blessed with fertile soils, beautiful vistas — and a large urban centre (Greater Vancouver) downstream to ensure a market — was bound to attract people. In the forty years between 1951 and 1991, Mastqui's population grew 658.6 percent. Its most rapid growth occurred between 1966 and 1971 when the population increased 45.7 percent. The population of Abbotsford grew 251.9% in twenty years, between 1971 and 1991 (see Table 1:1). Such an explosion of population was bound to have negative consequences. Urban sprawl threatened productive agricultural land, and in 1971 the provincial governing New Democratic Party introduced legislation known as the Agricultural Land Reserve as a way to ensure that fertile agricultural land remained exactly that — not flat tracts for the development of suburban housing. The A L R , however, did not solve all problems. Housing developments may be steered onto high land to preserve fertile bottomland, but rainwater runs off buildings, roads and lawns much faster than from the original wooded slopes, carrying chemicals, oil and sediment from destablilized slopes and construction sites. The fast runoff may flood and pollute farmlands, the sediment may clog farm drainage ditches. A paved urban landscape doesn't allow rainwater to sink into the underground aquifers upon which the majority of Fraser Valley residents depend. The slopes onto which urban development is diverted in order to spare valley farmland may be the last natural or semi-natural landscape in the region, their woodlands and small streams the last precious scraps of wildlife habitat. Green hills above Abbotsford, 40 kilometres west of Chilliwack, have been scraped to bare rock 7 and soil as houses push to higher and higher elevations. Throughout the Fraser Valley it is becoming obvious that while diverting urban development off farmland may be a positive step, it poses a whole new set of problems. No matter how well managed, excessive growth will degrade the environment and quality of life in the Fraser Valley (Bocking 1997: 198) Evidence of Environmental Distress Syndrome In the mid-1990s, a major research project investigated the sustainability of the Lower Fraser Basin.1 Researchers found there were "signs of trouble in paradise" (Healey 1997). The valley was exhibiting signs of Ecosystem Distress Syndrome — that is, the Lower Fraser Basin showed symptoms that the ecosystem was being pushed to its limits. Michael Healey (1997), project director for the Lower Fraser Basin Eco-Research Project, listed four signs of EDS in the Fraser Valley. One of the symptoms of distress is "overloaded air." Western breezes move air from the port city of Vancouver, across the Lower Mainland and up the Fraser Valley, where the flow temporarily stalls as it pushes up against the mountains that hem in the eastern limits of the Valley. As this air moves slowly eastward, it collects ozone and other chemicals along the way. Frequently during the summer, temperature inversions in the atmosphere trap the contaminated air in the valley. The biggest thing that I've noticed in the past ten years is the increase in the air pollution in this valley. There are days in the summer time when I can't see Mount Baker from my front window. And that's just incredible. Fifteen years ago it wasn't an issue. Coming from Vancouver on some days, driving out into the air pollution, into the haze - where Vancouver is clear. 'Cause the wind just pushes it up the valley here. Respondent 11 But the issue is more than blighted views. According to the Greater Vancouver Regional 8 District: In 1990, in Greater Vancouver we pumped more than 600,000 tonnes of pollutants into the air (enough to fill BC. Place Stadium 390 times). This pollution included 385,000 tonnes of carbon monoxide (CO), 85,000 tonnes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs are gases such as various solvent and fuel vapours), 53,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx), almost 8,000 tonnes of sulphur oxides (SOx), 19,000 tonnes of particulate matter (soot, fly ash and dust), as well as a host of hazardous air pollutants such as benzene. The result is a brown haze that can stretch from Vancouver out to the Central Fraser Valley and beyond, especially when winds fail to disperse the pollutants. Most of this pollution was produced by motor vehicles (GVRD, Every Breath). Table T.2 summarizes some ofthe pollutants associated with motor vehicle traffic. The concentration of these chemicals in the air over the Central Fraser Valley has led to complaints of eye, skin, and nose irritation. Components of this smog can damage the lungs of young and old alike. Smog has potentially serious consequences for asthmatics and others suffering from respiratory ailments. According to the G V R D (Every Breath) even those without any history of respiratory disease are at risk of getting such illnesses as bronchitis and certain types of cancer. This chemical soup damages crops and natural vegetation, and affects the health of wildlife and livestock. It even destroys the materials of which buildings are made. A second symptom of ecological distress is overloaded soils. The soils ofthe Fraser Valley are among the most fertile in Canada. Periodic deposits of silt by floodwaters, which ensured the soils continued viability, ended with the creation of the dykes and canals. Farmers in the valley now apply chemical fertilizers at higher rates than anywhere else in Canada (about 625 kilograms per hectare) in an attempt to maintain former levels of soil productivity (Booking 1997). The application of chemical fertilizers is amply supplemented with manure from the •a g> "Sis £ 6 OJ s E <u C CA o o Ss ° w '§ 53 an <u > so C N "3, o <t> 3 O S O o f 1 a •§ § § a o C L 2 jo u o § I i o .S '5 P O - 2 G § . S § 1 IS §"1 o t i •S fe 'C D S p i ra •a ^ '3)2 a" .2 0 3 • S J 3 C L I S*8 £ s .s 6 oo o 6b I a O | g s -J PC P H O a 1 •a 3 8 re 11 a s rs «.a C L 3 •a 3 £ g 8 c o •a T3 1 I re is S o .b g o a § g> j> o a a l - s if a i3 % 3 J O •g i s C L ^, en 1 1 1 00 o .3 3 •§ "3 I-8 2 fe CO ~5 •^ 8 II -o o ••B I 2 o PH' 00 - O 3 OH 00 s 1 4 a* cn 10 concentrations of livestock, which is sprayed onto fallow fields. As urban sprawl spreads out across the valley, there is increasing intensification of farming. The present density of grazing animalsfcows, horses, and sheep) is about 2.6 per hectare. In the Sumas River shed the density is even higher — four livestock units per hectare and "in localized areas the number may be orders of magnitude higher" (Berka, McCallum, and Wernick 1995). Farm animals produce waste, virtually all of which is spread back onto the land as fertilizer. Unfortunately "the soil is only capable of absorbing, transforming, and recycling the waste from about 2.0 animals per hectare" (Healey 1997). The result is, that there are about 30 per cent more grazing animals that the soil can withstand — and in the Sumas region that number jumps to 100 percent. As well, there are about nine million chickens and 155,000 hogs, which also produce manure that is spread on the land (Healey 1997). Since the soils cannot cope with this level of waste, the excess and other chemicals applied to the fields run or leach into streams and underground aquifers, polluting them. Particularly in the winter, after the fall application of manure (when crops have a lower need for nutrients), local streams, rivers, and aquifers are contaminated with nitrates, faecal choliform, and orthophosphates. The Sumas River also has asbestos fibres with high concentrations of trace metals (a result of a natural landslide) (Berka, McCallum, and Wernick 1995). The third and fourth symptoms of Environmental Distress Syndrome are overloaded and straight-jacketed rivers. Before European colonization of the valley, marshes and bogs were a prominent feature of the landscape. Rivers and streams routinely flooded "like a great annual indrawing and exhaling of breath that nourished the river and the land" (Healey 1997:3). Nevertheless, waters were diked and dammed and the rivers turned into a waste dump. Dykes 11 were built as early as the 1870s to control flooding, and in 1921 construction began to dyke the Fraser and drain Sumas Lake, thus adding 30,000 acres of farm land on the Canadian side of the Canada/US border and 3000 acres in Washington State. Historically the lower Fraser was muddy but clean. Now it is muddy and dirty. Tributaries also carry significant loads of contaminants. Everything ultimately finds its way into the river. Contaminants in the air come down in the rain. Contaminants on the land are washed directly into the rivers or seep in through the soil. The consequences are seen in the signs that say "Don't swim here" "Don't Drink This Water." They are also seen in the abnormal livers, kidneys, spleens, intestines, skin, gills and fins of fishes that live in the river. More than 80 percent of the fish that live in the Fraser River have abnormal livers (Healey 1997). Health Concerns During the early 1990s, both local and regional media reported stories regarding concerns that the local environment was affecting the health of people in the Abbotsford-Matsqui area. On August 21,1991, local newspapers in the central Fraser Valley (Abbotsford'Matsqui News and the Abbotsford Clear brook Times) published stories that linked a "mysterious ailment" to some as yet undetermined toxin. A local orthopaedic surgeon had diagnosed approximately seventy teenagers over a six-year period with what he termed "cybernetic paresis." He suspected that the underlying cause of what he later called SCIDS (Somatic Chemically Induced Dysfunction Syndrome) was the leaching of toxic chemicals used as pesticides and fertilisers into the aquifer. Concerns about the quality ofthe aquifer had been questioned as early as 1985. That year, The BC Professional Engineer published a policy statement submitted to the British Columbia 12 Ministry of the Environment which expressed concern about the excessive levels of nitrates found in the Abbotsford Aquifer (along with other water sources in the province). The policy statement recommended that the role of the hydrogeologist or ground water engineer be expanded to enable them to collect regional background data for assessing cumulative effects, in addition to the evaluation of permits for specific waste water discharges to the ground. It also warned that "contaminated aquifers may not be capable of producing safe drinking water for decades, and possibly centuries" (p. 14). In December 1991, it was revealed that the test used by the doctor to diagnose SCIDS was discredited by independent researchers from the University of British Columbia (Kossman, 1992). But although the diagnostic test was proven unreliable, the epidemiologist responsible for evaluating the test was reported as having acknowledged that people were suffering from some form of illness (Abbotsford Matsqui & Mission News, [Abbotsford, B C ] , 26, Feb., 1992.) The City of Abbotsford In the centre ofthe Lower Fraser Basin lies Abbotsford (amalgamated with neighbouring Matsqui since 1995), a city of 106,000 inhabitants, and the hub of a prosperous region that still derives the greatest part of its wealth from agriculture — from dairy and poultry and hog farming, from fruit farming and the food-processing industry. As the largest settlement in the central part of the Lower Fraser Valley, Abbotsford presents a natural focus for sociological enquires about the impact of rapid demographic and economic growth on the health of the natural environment. Abbotsford's environmental problems are the subject of radio talk shows and journalistic enquiries in local and regional newspapers. Under certain atmospheric 13 conditions throughout the year, Abbotsford can experience serious air pollution. Water supplies too have been contaminated. In recent years there have been several public health "advisories," warning residents to boil their water. The water supply is drawn from lakes and from a very large aquifer. There have been problems with both sources. There are particular features which shape a community's responses to environmental issues. Historically, Abbotsford and Matsqui stood out for having remarkably low educational levels. This has been changing in recent years, as the local occupational structure has shifted towards less dependence on agriculture. Ironically, education is frequently found to be positively associated with levels of environmental concern. Abbotsford also stands at the centre of British Columbia's "bible-belt," with 83 churches and very large congregations of Mennonites, Dutch Reform, Alliance and diverse evangelical Christians (Riggins and Walker 1991; Klassen 1992). The average size of a congregation is over 500, when the North American average is little more than 100. However, Simpson and Elliott (1999) found little evidence in this community of the thesis by Lynn White (1967) that conservative Christianity was necessary linked to a "dominion over nature" doctrine. Other research by Blake, Guppy, and Urmetzer (1997) on environmental concern in British Columbia, however, found that persons reporting no religious affiliation were more sympathetic for the environment based on their responses to Dunlap and Van Liere's (1978) statements representing their "New Ecological Paradigm." Both the Simpson and Elliott (1999) study and research by Blake et al. (1997,1996-97) focussed on the influence of political culture on environmental concern and pro-environmental behaviour. Blake et al. concluded that those having a neo-liberal political perspective were 14 significantly less concerned about the environment than those located more to the left of the ideological spectrum. In a similar vein, community leaders from Abbotsford holding a pro-business orientation were less likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviours (Simpson and Elliott 1999). My research extends these previous studies by examining the responses of groups of people categorized by their level of participation in behaviours supportive of environmental issues. I shall be using a different theoretical approach, one that seeks to predict how underlying factors motivate (or fail to motivate) people to make the kind of substantial change in their lifestyle required to minimize their impact on the environment. Delimitations and Limitations of the Study Delimitations Although a great deal of information was collected by the survey of Abbotsford Leaders and the province-wide Eco-Research Survey conducted by Blake and Guppy, my research focuses on the relationship between environmental activism, environmental concern, support for economic growth, and patterns of green consumption. Other related topics not discussed, such as the role of social networks, remain questions for other lines of research in the future. Limitations The dependent variables are measures of self-reported behaviour and not actual behaviour. We need to be cautious in our interpretations because previous studies have shown that what people report on a survey is often inconsistent with their real actions (Bickman 1972; Heverlien 15 1981; Warriner, McDougall, and Claxton, 1984; Weiglel 1983). However, because many environmental behaviours, such as those involving past actions cannot be directly observed, surveys may be the most effective way of gathering certain kinds of data, which would be unaccessible otherwise. The cost and time involved in conducting structured interviews of Abbotsford leaders necessarily limited the number of respondents. The small sample sizes for the Abbotsford leaders (N=107) and the Abbotsford Over-sample (N=T01) limits certain statistical procedures, but when 1 felt the need for more reliable information I used only the larger province-wide data. Finally, it should be noted that purposeful sampling of the Abbotsford leaders decreases the generalizability of the findings from that survey. Conclusion Clearly, there is trouble in Paradise. By the early 1990s, evidence was mounting that the environmental integrity of the Fraser Valley was threatened. Popular media was discussing issues of environmental degradation, and the possibility of serious health consequences, ranging from increased incidences of asthma and respiratory problems, and to risks of cancer, to the possible onset of previously unknown environmentally induced illnesses. Surely one would expect a groundswell of environmental activism, in particular, a concerted effort by individuals to engage in those pro-environmental behaviours that would alleviate the problems facing the Central Fraser Valley. Other sociologists involved with Lower Fraser Basin Eco-Research Project, pursued different lines of inquiry in an attempt to understand and explain the human cause of 16 environmental degradation. Some documented demographic changes, others examined shifts in the economy and social structure, tracing possible perceptions of environmental risks, and describing and analysing the responses. Still others focussed on the relationship between political culture and environmental concern. My research seeks a new direction by attempting to discover underlying factors that influence the relationship between people's expressed concern for the environment and their behaviour. In other words, to find out what would motivate people to regain Paradise. 17 Notes: In March of 1993 the Tri-Council Secretariat (National Science and Engineering Research Council, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Medical Research Council) awarded the University of British Columbia an Eco-Research Grant of $2.4 million The Eco-Research Program was established with funds from the Canadian Federal Government's Green Plan. The general objective of the Lower Fraser Basin Eco-Research Project was to integrate institutional, scientific and technological solutions to sustaining the ecosystem of the Lower Fraser Basin. Twenty-three faculty members from twenty different departments, schools, institutions, and centres at U B C and more than forty graduate students participated in the four-year study of prospects for sustainability in the Lower Fraser Basin. Four fundamental and policy related questions provided the framework for this study: 1. What kind of ecosystem structure and function existed in at the present; what forces and processes shaped it historically; how is it affected by policy and institutional arrangements? 2. What kind of ecosystem structure and function do we want to have in thirty years? 3 What is feasible? We can accomplish what in the context of social, biophysical, and economic constraints? 4. How do we get there? What policy instruments and processes will help us towards a more sustainable future? 18 CHAPTER TWO EXPLAINING HUMAN MOTIVATION The Need for the Study As David Suzuki (geneticist, broadcaster, and environmental activist), notes, scholars and environmentalists agree that in recent years environmental issues have taken a back seat to economic concerns, despite warnings by Nobel Prize winning scientists that "technology and consumption are corroding the life-support system of the planet" (Suzuki 1999: 44). The problem is simply this: How does society cope with the conflict between the need for economic growth and the ecological damage that inevitably results from it? This is an issue of global proportions. In the Central Fraser Valley, we find condensed many of the most important social, environmental and economic problems facing modern industrial nations. As increasing numbers of the world's population leaves a subsistence economy in favour of waged labour, the necessity of job creation — and consumption generation — necessarily increases. Jobs, for instance, must be found to allow individuals to provide for themselves and their families. For the consumer economy to work, levels of consumption must increase to create growing markets for the increased goods and services being generated. Globalization hastens this process, as multinational corporations relocate to developing "third world" nations to take advantage of low wages and minimal environmental regulation (Marchak 1991) thus providing even more affordable consumer goods to be purchased in the more developed nations of the world. 19 But this globalization ofthe consumer economy is a concern not limited to the individual citizen. Politicians and community leaders must carefully design a balance between a desire by the public for economic security and the desire for a healthy environment. After the catastrophes in Bohpal, India, Chernobyl, in the Ukraine, and Love Canal, in the United States, environmental issues became (temporarily) a mainstream concern in the psyche of most Canadians. In the early 1990s in Canada, the Conservative government of the day gave money for eco-research. For a time, polls indicated that environmental issues were very high on the list of concerns held by the general public. In 1990, for instance, 73 percent of Canadians reported being very concerned about environmental problems and 58 percent stated that protecting the environment was more important than creating jobs (Bozinoff and Macintosh 1991). But, as a "slow-on set" story, environmental issues had a declining novelty (Stallings 1990; Ungar 1992). From the mid-1990s, as the economy worsened, the media turned to other more "relevant" stories, while at the same time, governments cut back support for programs and research on environmental issues to reduce spending and taxation. By the late 1990s, "the bottom line" remained the bottom line — only 2 percent of Canadians believe that the environment is the most important problem facing the country, compared with 47 percent who chose economic issues (The State ofthe Nation - '98 1998).1 Clearly, this kind of popular concern and support for economic issues is more likely to garner the attention of elected officials who must return periodically to the electorate to continue their mandate. Although environmental concerns continue to be covered in the popular media, particularly dramatic, quick onset stories, such as "wild weather," (Nova-Frontline 2000; Stallings 1990; Wood 1999), economic issues are far more likely to receive coverage. Television networks and speciality 20 cable channels frequently have one or more programs dedicated to economic and "business" issues. Daily newspapers feature a "business" section and the national public radio in Canada reports several times a day on the economic well-being of stock exchanges and bond and money markets at home and abroad. Seldom do environmental issues receive the same sustained coverage. This is primarily because environmental issues fail to meet the criteria of a "good news story" (Salomonee^/. 1990; Schoenfeld al. 1979; Stallings 1990; Ungar 1992). There is often no simple explanation, no obvious institution or person to blame, and environmental problems are typically "slow onset" stories — unfolding over a period of time (Ungar 1992). As such, they are not conducive to the ubiquitous thirty-second sound bite required by television news (where more than 60 percent of the public actually receives their information on risks). (McCallum et al. 1991). Still, much of the public is concerned about the environment. Yet, few make any real changes in their life style that might actually lessen their impact on the local and global environment. Research by Andrew McKinnon (1997) compared the number of organized environmental groups found in each of four cities in the Fraser Valley-Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. His findings clearly show that, in spite of acknowledged environmental problems in the Central Fraser Valley, Abbotsford was the least likely of four cities studied to have established organized environmental groups. In this chapter a variety of sociological explanations of human motivation are examined, specifically contrasting structural explanations and cultural ones. M y study fills a research gap in environmental sociology, by specifically examining a cognitive explanation for human 21 behaviour regarding environmental concern, economics, and patterns of consumption. By treating environmental concerns, economic concerns, and patterns of consumption as cultural models, I propose that (1) generalizations to broader principles of social interaction or general theory will emerge, and (2) that a sharper definition of the important relationship between these cultural models will have implications for a wide range of practical problems. Statement of the Problem to be Investigated Essentially, the problem to be investigated is: What, i f anything, motivates people to continue to act in ways that are demonstrably harmful to the environment, despite expressing concern, even alarm for environmental degradation? What motivates others to make lifestyle changes that minimize their impact on the environment? Theoretical Framework for the Study My query leads to an exploration of a number of sociological approaches in which researchers have tried to offer various theories why some sets of ideas and concerns are acted upon while others are not. Marxist Explanations for Human Motivation There is a powerful, multifaceted Marxist tradition in social science, and sociology in particular. Underlying all forms of Marxist theory is a belief in the primacy of economic relations and a perspective that privileges analysis of economically defined groups—rather than individuals. Thus, Marxism typically assumes a close fit between interest and action; motivation is simply "read o f f of structural position. Structural Marxism represents the most extreme case. Individuals are almost absent — and so too, individual motivation. Instead, the emphasis 22 is on social reproduction to account for the "more routine and stable features of capitalism" (Layder 1994). In the 1970s, structuralist scholars, like Poulahtzas (1975) and Althusser (1969) developed a critique of the reductionist economic determinism associated with earlier Marxian theories. In their view, the focus of research should be on the objective structures of society. While recognizing the final determining factor of the economy, the primary focus of Structural Marxism was on polity and ideology. Human actors simply filled "positions." Real people were of secondary consideration to the functions they serve in society. From this perspective, motivations and actions of people are restrained by power structures, social and economic inequality, and ideologies. Free will is considered a bourgeois myth. Individuals are significant only in that they act as the "bearers and supporters" of the needs and demands of capitalism -the reason d'etre of modern state apparatus and ideology. The structuralist version appears, without thoughtful examination, to take us furthest away from anything that might help use make sense of the tensions between consumerist and green concerns. But, by steering us to examine polity and ideology, we cannot declare it to be totally irrelevant. We must remember that the role of government at all levels is to emphasize the value of production and growth, and it does this through policies and structures, and through ideological work. Some Marxists (outside the Althusser camp) have done good work examining the connections between capitalist economy and the shaping of values and preferences. Writing on education, Sam Bowles and Herbert Gintis (1976) showed how public schools operate in accordance with the demands of capital. Others, like Peter Leonard (1984), have explored the shaping of personality. Leonard argues that an individual's personality is affected by three 23 social determinants coming together: the economy, the family and the state. The oppression of wage labour and domestic labour, low pay and pay inequity, and poor working conditions leave little time for individuals to develop skills, particularly those related to written communication and public speaking. Also, the new heightened level of consumerism diverts both time and wages from other potential goals. The family affects the personality by preparing children for gender roles and the status hierarchy that exist in society. The gist ofthe argument is that the personality of an individual is formed around a person's structural location within various hierarchies: class, gender, ethnic, etc. Consequently, individual action and motivation are both shaped and limited by social structure. This suggests that the everyday workings of capitalism do not equip citizens well. Indeed, it serves to inhibit the development of the kind of critical reflection and specific skills citizens need to challenge the direction consumerism is taking society. But the Marxian approach that has had the most powerful connection with environmental sociology is that exemplified by Allan Schnaiberg — political economy. He argues that the primary restriction on human action and motivation — at least as it affects environmental issues — is the "treadmill of production," the need to generate ever more goods and services to sustain a capitalist economy (Schnaiberg 1994; Schnaiberg and Gould 1994). According to Schnaiberg, recent regulatory requirements for social impact assessments and environmental impact statements before a development precedes, represent a "successful effort by the dominant capitalist class to reinstate the hegemony of the treadmill into the very heart of legislation naively perceived as anti-treadmill" (Schnaiberg, 1994:49). Individuals are so busy trying to hold on to what they have (made available in an ultimate sense by wage labour — 24 theirs or someone else's) that they may appear to be supportive of the status quo. Schnaiberg argues that what is misconstrued as support for the treadmill of production (such as the recent protests against Greenpeace by workers in the forestry industries) really represents a lack of options. It is this lack of options within the "treadmill of production" that limits the effectiveness of human action and diverts or quashes motivation beyond the next consumer fix. Like other Marxist theorists, Schnaiberg gives priority to structure, discounting the importance of individual action and motivation. That is not to say that the structure of modern capitalism has no effect in limiting the choices of many individuals. Those with limited means and resources may have little option but to work at jobs that contribute to the "disorganization " of the environment, regardless of their personal concern for environmental degradation. The less affluent will seek housing they can afford — even if it is miles from work with no access to an adequate public transportation system. However, there is no reason to assume that the structure of modern capitalism limits these kinds of negative choices for everyone. A thoughtful assessment should conclude that the affluent, especially the educated affluent, are less restricted by the structure of society. Surely they have more options about their location of residence, have a greater ability to buy the more expensive "green" products, can determine which companies they will patronize with their purchases. Yet there is little evidence that the majority of the affluent exercise these options deliberately in ways the benefit the environment. Even the "Simplicity Movement" seems more about the middle-aged affluent trying to uncomplicate their lives, and is not strictly speaking, focussed on the preservation of the environment.2 One possible Marxist explanation for the actions of the affluent is that they are suffering 25 from "false consciousness," a term generally applied to the working class's acceptance of capitalism. Here the argument might be that individuals have a "false consciousness" regarding the environmental consequences of their actions. Perhaps people, including the educated affluent, are under the misconception that their individual actions are of no consequence when it comes to the environment. Perhaps they fail to see that their behaviours contribute to environmental degradation. But i f people believe that the actions of individuals do make a difference, i f they do know that their behaviours contribute to environmental degradation, and if those same people do have the means to make environmentally friendly choices in their lives, then how can it be claimed that they are suffering from "false consciousness" or are constrained by the structure of society? Rational Choice Theory If Structural Marxism takes the extreme position in assuming that most of human behaviour is ultimately determined by structure, with limited action on the part of individuals, then Rational Choice theory is the extreme in the opposite direction. It is one of the most extreme micro-level theories in sociology. With mainstream economics it shares the concept of "rational, maximizing, self-interested actors making the correct, most efficient choice of means to ends on the basis of information available to them" (Ritzer 1992). Essentially old-fashioned utilitarianism dressed-up in the garb of economic "cost-benefit" analysis, this theory has been criticized on a number of fronts. Robert H . Frank (1990) finds two major problems with this theory. First, people frequently make very poor use of the information at their fingertips and often the judgmental errors are not simply random computational mistakes; often they are 26 systematic errors. Second, the rational choice model ignores the fact that rational deliberations are only one of several important forces that motivate individuals. Frank argues that people will often adopt proximate goals that are incompatible with the pursuit of self-interest. Such goals include "doing one's duty." Because the theory focuses on individual action, it places a great emphasis on micro-level behaviours affecting macro-level phenomena but not vice versa. This is important, for how does one come to determine what is rational, unless there is some generally agreed upon (macro-level) understanding of what is rational behaviour under a given circumstance. Finally, it has been argued that analyses of action located in norm-guided, rule-following, and rule-changing social behaviour is limited with Rational Choice Theory (Jary and Jary 1991). Even Rational Choice scholars acknowledge the limitations of this theory: There are two ways in which theories can fail to explain: through indeterminancy and through inadequacy. A theory is indeterminate when and to the extent that it fails to yield unique predictions. It is inadequate when its predictions fail. Of these, the second is the more serious problem. A theory may be less than fully determinate, and yet have explanatory power if it excludes at least one abstractly possible event or state of affairs. To yield a determinate prediction, it must then be supplemented by other considerations. The theory is weak but not useless. It is in more serious trouble if the event or state of affairs that actually materializes is among those excluded by the theory.. . . In rational choice theory the emphasis may be on prescription rather than on prediction. The same kinds of failures may then occur. The theory may fail to tell people what to do. In that case the theory is indeterminate. Or the people may fail to do what the theory tells them to do. In that case, people are irrational. (Elster 1993: 181) Despite shortcomings, rational choice theory has been used by various researchers to explain environmental behaviour, such as failure to participate in recycling programs (Wall 1995), or the use of private motorized transportation. Urmetzer et al. (1999) conclude that most 27 people opt to be "free riders," preferring to commute in their own vehicles, while minimizing direct costs to themselves (both in terms of inconvenience and possible financial penalties for use of private transportation ). Urmetzer et al. also found a negative relationship between number of vehicles per household and a willingness to pay for the environmental consequences of private transportation. In other words, the greater the number of vehicles owned or leased, the less willing individuals are to bear the cost of environmental degradation resulting from private transportation, presumably because self-interest compels them to reject the increased costs they would incur. Elster (1993) argues that rational choice theory is not a predictive theory, but "essentially a hermeneutic one." It allows for partial understanding of behaviour in retrospect. For instance, given the inconvenience of recycling or public transportation, most people will choose to use their time in other ways, unless curbside recycling is conveniently made available or the cost of private transportation is prohibitive. However, Rational Choice Theory is less successful at predicting who will recycle or use public transportation, despite inconvenience, because it cannot account for things like tastes, or other sensibilities such as emotion, the effect of social norms on behaviour, or altruism. Further, it is difficult to determine what is rational behaviour. For instance, in modern developed nations, consumption represents a social dilemma. In a society where "the person with the most toys wins! " the social pay off (higher social status) to each individual for defecting behaviour (conspicuous consumption), is higher that the payoff for cooperative behaviour (purchasing fewer consumer goods), regardless of what other members of society may do. Under these conditions, it would appear that the most rational thing to do would be to consume conspicuously, and many do. On the other hand, all individuals in society 28 receive a lower payoff i f all defect, that is, i f all engage in conspicuous consumption, since the outcome of high levels of consumption invariably is waste at rates which the ecosystem cannot absorb, resulting in air pollution, water contamination, and climate change. Given the predicted consequences of climate change, and the health consequences of pollution, it is definitely more rational for individuals to make major changes in their lifestyles. Rational Choice Theory seems to be telling the people to do two things at once: (1) buy more goods and (2) do not buy goods. This takes the form of an argument: P notp Under these conditions, it is Rational Choice, not the people, that is irrational, and thus, indeterminate. Of course, it could be argued that this is a case of "mixing apples and oranges"; seeking status and seeking to protect the environment are not the same thing. Examined separately then, Rational Choice Theory would prescribe that if one wished to enhance one's social status, one should do those things that should contribute to its enhancement, such as conspicuous consumption. Yet there are people, particularly those of great religious status, such as the Dalai Lama, the Pope, or the late Mother Teresa, who have immense social status, despite having taken vows of poverty. Of course, it can be countered that there are ways of achieving social status other than through material affluence, and it is simply rational to pursue some avenue that will enhance social status, whether it be consumerism and material affluence or some other attribute. A more damaging argument is based on the second part of the social dilemma. If, as Rational Choice Theory claims, people act rationally to maximise their self-interest, then those 29 who are concerned about environmental degradation, and express a desire to protect the environment (and possibly their own health) should consume less. Yet there is very little evidence, despite widespread concern for the environment, that the majority of people who have expressed such concerns have made the rational choice to consume less. It appears, then, that either the predictions made by Rational Choice Theory are fallible or the people are irrational for ignoring the prescription offered. Rational Choice Theory is adequate for explaining more immediate behaviours, such as individuals rejecting environmental costs to minimize their cost of private transportation (Urmetzer et al. 1999). However, it is less successful in explaining more fundamental behaviours such as why, for example, Sport Utility Vehicles are so popular, when clearly there are more "environmentally friendly" forms of transportation. It is this more fundamental level of behaviour I wish to examine — why do people desire consumer goods in the first place. And this does not appear to be adequately addressed by Rational Choice Theory. I am looking for a theory that helps explain why a 'rational choice' is considered a rational choice in spite of evidence it is anything but rational. Structuration Approach to Human Motivation Because of the emphasis placed on materialistic explanations, Marxist theories of human motivation have been extensively criticized and revised. Giddens is one of these revisionists, giving us a structuration approach relating structure and action in a particular, reflexive way. No longer is structure the primary determinant of human behaviour and motivation. In fact, the "duality of structure" means that structure is both restraining and enabling of human action — both the medium and outcome of human action. Consequently, structures (defined as rules and 30 resources) cannot exist in space and time, but in the moment ofthe action. Agency, on the other hand, "refers not to the intentions people have in doing things but their capability of doing those things in the first place" (Giddens 1984:9). Agency refers to those events where an individual, at any stage of the action, might have acted otherwise. Thus, the concept of power is intrinsic to the concept of agency. Likewise, the concept of reflexivity is similarly linked. Individuals monitor their actions and consequences both intended and unintended (when known), and adjust future action accordingly. Giddens distinguishes between intentions, which he argues, competent actors can readily explain, and motives which are less readily accounted for. Motivation then, is the "potential for action" about which the actor may or may not be consciously aware (Giddens 1984:6) that comes into play, that is, affects action in circumstances that "break with the usual routine." The difficulty with the structuration approach is that social systems are viewed as reproduced practices contingent on the activity of actors. Thus, while structural and other Marxist theorists overemphasized structure in determining human motivation and action, Giddens, like Rational Choice theorists, places too much emphasis on individual action and agency and not enough on context. Further, by emphasising the interplay between structure and agency, the structuration approach limits the ability of the researcher to unravel the influence of one upon the other. (For a critique of structuration theory see Ross 1991; Archer 1988). While recognizing that the degree to which an individual has access to power and resources restricts or expands the potential for agency, there is less willingness to recognize conditions beyond the control ofthe individual (i.e., structural conditions) which may ultimately influence motivation, intention, and action. Further, it does not really explain why people fail to act when 31 they have the ability to do so. One assumes that individuals with access to power and resources would have an expanded potential for agency, to act in ways that minimize harm to the environment. If, as Giddens suggests, individuals are monitoring the consequences of their actions (both intended and unintended), then individuals in developed nations should be aware of the environmental impact of their affluent lifestyles and should adjust their behaviour to make their activities more environmentally friendly. This clearly does not seem to be the case. Recent "breaks with the usual routine," such as the Ice Storm in 1998, the collapse of the east and west coast fisheries, the threat of dire consequences from climate change, and the possibility of environmental disease should provide at least some motivation. Why, then, do the majority of people who express concern fail to act, even if they are not constrained by structure? Why would so many fail to act even though they are aware of the unintended consequences of their actions? Cultural Theory At the same time that these arguments were going on, the "cultural turn" in Marxist scholarship was occurring, leading others to insist on the importance of culture and the struggle to establish as primacy the concept that certain sets of ideas could be so inculcated within a given population they would be taken for common sense. After many years of neglecting 'culture,' sociologists, since the late 1970s and early 1980s, have devoted much of their time to its exploration. This newly rediscovered interest in culture was at least partially a result of the "turn to Gramsci" and a more humanist form of Marxism. Gramsci is credited with (1) the responsibility 32 for the emergence of a critical sociology of culture (Williams 1977) and (2) for resolving a central weakness of Marx's theory, namely the assumption that social development always originates from the economic structure (Ransome 1992). Gramsci (1971) argued that social, political, and economic elites use their cultural leadership (as opposed to coercion exercised by the state) successfully to develop consensus regarding what form social institutions, including the state, the family, education, etc. should take. However, hegemony is never absolute. There is always the possibility of a counter-hegemonic movement. Researchers within the developing field of cultural studies in Britain used these concepts to explore different forms of subcultures (primarily youth cultures) that developed in response to mainstream British society during the period of postwar prosperity, to analyze and criticize the emergence of new, right wing "consciousness" and efforts to resist or mobilize against it. Hebdige (1979) argues that participation in subcultures, that is, cultures that are on the periphery of mainstream society, becomes "an act of Refusal" — a form of political statement against political ideologies. Yet subcultures are not simply ideological constructs. They create cultural space in neighbourhoods and institutions and focus on key occasions for social interaction (Clarke et al. 1976). From this perspective, groups of individuals are motivated to act in particular ways, depending how they view their relationship to mainstream society. Those who feel marginalized may offer resistence. However, most persons who are well integrated into mainstream society will be accepting of most aspects of culture, even if objectively it is not in their best interests to do so. As a result ofthe growing interest in the exploration of the significance of culture, Cultural Studies has emerged as a source of enormous amounts of interdisciplinary research. This has led to much interest in "cultural models" of all kinds, but there remains too little understanding of 33 "how some cultural messages get under the skin" (Strauss, 1992). Further, it has been suggested that this interdisciplinary approach has greatly reduced the critical edge that Gramscian theory once offered Cultural Studies (Giroux, Shumway, Smith, and Sosnoski 2000). Recently, many cultural theorists have focussed specifically on aspects of identity or consumption, rather than subcultures. Grossberg (1996: 87) questions whether this focus on cultural identity is "a fruitful path to continue following." He argues that there is no reason to assume that agency and structures of subjectivity and self are the same or equivalent. Instead, Agency involves relations of participation and access, the possibilities of moving into particular sites of activity and power, and of belonging to them in such a way as to be able to enact their powers... The question of agency is, then, how access and investment or participation (as a structure of belonging) are distributed within particular structured terrains . . . Agency is not so much the 'mark of a subject' but the constituting mark of an abode (pp. 99-100). In other words, "action is culturally constituted." Unfortunately, this does not address how this happens or to what extent action is culturally determined. Strauss (1992) uses the analogy of a F A X machine to highlight the assumptions about the transmission and copying of culturally determined goals, motives, and values. While cultures do have dominant and persistent ideologies, "rarely, i f ever, does the public realm of culture present a single, clearly defined, well-integrated reality" (Strauss 1992:11). Cultural studies of consumption often link the motivation for consumption with the need to "create" a self-image, or identity. This will be explored further in the chapter on consumption. What concerns us here, is that, for the most part, Cultural Studies does not go one step further and offer explanations for what would motivate people to consume if the people themselves are aware that there are potentially harmful consequences as a result of their patterns 34 of consumption. Cognitive Explanations for Human Motivation Until recently, cognitive aspects of human behaviour and motivation were still largely neglected within sociology. However, in the burgeoning area of social movements and collective behaviour, the question of the relationships between attitudes and behaviour was being debated. During the 1960s, the "why do men rebel?" question was being explored in sociology, social history, and political science. In sociology, the Resource Mobilization approach, dominant from the mid 70s on, largely dismissed "grievances" and "concerns," saying they were always out there, and focussed on resources and organization. By the early 1990s, however, a few researchers were dissatisfied and began to take cognition seriously. Eyerman and Jamison (1991), for instance, examined closely the ways in which environmental consciousness develops differently and finds different forms of expression in various countries. They explained these differences with reference to the unique historical, cultural and institutional structures of the countries. It was their interdisciplinary, international study of the growth of environmental consciousness that led them to formulate a framework for the study of movements that was much more alive to "culture" and to questions about motivation. They saw — at the level of whole countries — differences somewhat like those we have been contemplating as we consider communities in the Fraser Valley. This led to the development of their concept of cognitive praxis. Cognitive praxis is "that which transforms groups of individuals into social movements" (Eyerman and Jamison 1991:3). It consists of the ideas, concepts, and intellectual activities that give social movements their cognitive identity. Eyerman and Jamison argue that "social movements are actually constituted by the cognitive 35 praxis" (p. 43). They identified three dimensions or "knowledge interests" of cognitive praxis: cosmological (or world-view), organizational, and technological (practical knowledge). The focus then, is on cognitive praxis as the source, and new knowledge as the outcome of social movements. Certainly the environmental movement has contributed to a new world view that is more aware of the human contribution to environmental degradation, and has contributed practical knowledge regarding measures one might take to reduce one's personal impact on the environment. Most people can recite like an eco-mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." But again, a problem arises of how to explain the apparent contradiction that occurs when people understand that their patterns of consumption are hannful to the environment, yet make little effort seriously to alter their patterns of consumption. To summarize then, Marxist theories, such as political economy, focus on materialist/structural explanations while ignoring the importance of culture and cognition in human behaviour. Alternative explanations such as Giddens' (1984) structuration theory, Gramchi's (1971) theory of hegemony, and cultural theory (particularly as practised by British cultural theorists) have links to political economy in their shared Marxist/Weberian view of capitalism. They differ from political economy however, in recognizing the domination of capitalism is never absolute, but fragmentary and in need of constant ideological reinforcement. While an improvement on strictly structural explanations, all the above explanations neglect cognitive aspects of behaviour. On the other hand, the more recent work that uses a cognitive approach does not discuss issues of structure, action, or culture except minimally. What is needed is an explanation that links structure, culture, and action with cognition. For that I have turned to cultural model theory. 36 Cultural Models Burningham and O'Brien (1994) argue that there are three approaches to value research in the social sciences, which generally constructs "value" as property possessed by an entity by virtue of either some intrinsic or relational quality of the entity itself. The first version is characteristic of post-Kantian aesthetic judgement. It asserts that the value of a thing or person is not dependent on its utility or scarcity or ascribed significance relative to some other thing or person. The second version is post-Humean economic idealism, which constructs values as a "conception of the desirable" which is held — more or less stable — by an individual or group. The third version applies the concept of "vocabularies of motive" to the study of values, arguing that values are resources which members employ to justify their conduct and demands, explaining not only what is wrong and why it is wrong, but what is desirable and why it is desirable. Cultural modelling theory follows in this vein. Theories of cultural models developed within cognitive anthropology, evolving from similar theories of "mental models' found in cognitive psychology. "Mental models" are simplified representations of the world that allow one to interpret observations, generate novel inferences, and solve problems. People in the same culture often construct the same models, even though many fundamental models are never discussed explicitly. When these models are widely held, they become cultural models that often have clear social patterns of variation (Kempton, Boster, and Hartley, 1995). A schema is a conceptual structure that makes possible the identification of objects and events based on simple pattern presentation. According to D'Andrade (1992:29): To say that something is a "schema" is a shorthand way of saying that a distinct and strongly interconnected pattern of interpretive elements can be activated by 37 minimal inputs. A schema is an interpretation which is frequent, well organized, memorable, which can be made from minimal cues, contains one or more prototypic instantiations, is resistant to change, etc. An easy example is the concept of good health. Most people hold a schema of good health as consisting of physical vitality, a feeling of personal-welling being, and an association of good health with exercise and good nutrition. The important property of cognitive schemata is that they have the potential of initiating action, that is, they can function as goals and so have motivational force. Depending upon the degree to which the schema of "good health" is significant to an individual, he or she may have a goal to be physically fit, and be motivated to engage in behaviours that promote a healthy lifestyle. The concept of motivation is central to cultural models. Strauss (1992:1) defines motivation "as the interaction between events and things in the social world and interpretations of those events and things in people's psyches." Motivation is necessary for the performance of cultural roles and is experienced as a desire or wish. It involves both goal directedness in behaviour and emotional reactions related to the success or failure of the pursuit of the goal. Dependent on cultural messages, motivation is realized in social interaction, although motivation is not automatically acquired when cultural messages have been imparted. Frequently, certain goals or motivations are publicly stated (such as the desire for environmental sustainability) but have little effect in private life. To understand why some cultural messages are compelling to social actors and others are not, requires knowledge of dominant ideologies, discourses and social symbols. The hierarchical organization of goal-embedded schemata helps explain situational variability of action and gives a way of understanding the cognitive correlates of dominant 38 cultural values. At the highest level are those schemata whose goals are easily triggered by a wide range of inputs. At the lowest level are those schemata that direct action only i f "recruited" by higher level goals. Top level schemata, sometimes called "master motives" function as a person's most general goals — for example, love, work, success. Middle level motives are schemata for things like marriage, job, etc. and usually require the presence of other goal-schemata to instigate action, though on occasion can initiate certain actions. At the lowest level, are schemata for things like coffee cups, birthdays, sandwiches. These initiate almost no action except where other higher-level schemas interact with them. It is important to recognize that while not all schemata are goals, all goals are schemata. The important potential of treating motivation as schemata with embedded goals is that (1) it connects cognition with behaviour and (2) it shows how goals are patterned or organized (D'Andrade 1992: 33). Some very important subsets of schemata are cultural. Such high level schemata include concepts such as love, authority, and pollution. However, not all parts of culture are held by people in the same way. Cultural propositions vary in the degree in which they are internalized. At the first level, the actor is acquainted with at least some part of the cultural system, but is indifferent to, or rejects the beliefs so that the cultural system has no directive force. At the second level, cultural beliefs are acquired as cliches, while at the third level the cultural system in internalized as a personal belief system that is "genuine" and evokes behaviour. At the 4th level, (the final level of internalization) the cultural system is internalized and highly salient. Actors hold the cultural proposition not only in their minds, but also in their emotions. D'Andrade uses the example of Christianity. At level one are those who have some knowledge of Jesus but who do not include themselves as Christians. At the second level are those who say 39 they believe Jesus died for their sins and one ought to take care of the poor, but in fact have little sense of sin and negligible concern for the poor. At the third level, Christianity has become a personal belief system; the person now has a sense of sin and gives generous assistance to the poor. At the highest, there is deep emotional involvement, the person is preoccupied with personal sin, and assists the poor though it may involve personal sacrifice. Actors must first learn a schema and the particular goal associated with it. Cultural models are composed of a "prototypical event sequence set in simplified worlds... where complicating factors and possible variations are suppressed" (Quinn and Holland 1987: 32) and are an adaptation to the requirements of human short-term memory (D'Andrade 1987). Still, the process of learning a cultural model is complex and involves interaction with other factors such as life conditions. Cognitive links depend on (1) abstract semantic similarity (what x is) and (2) concrete associations experienced in life. Also, the order of learning is important. Regularities learned early in life (like consumption is a pleasant, risk-free form of entertainment that has the additional benefit of contributing to social status) set up expectations that affect the way we interpret later experience (Strauss 1992:12). Shared cultural constructs do not automatically impart motivational force. To bridge the gap between learning that x is good, to actually being motivated to do something about x, it is necessary to remember that life experiences are remembered along with feelings associated with them. For instance, because recessions (periods of limited or no economic growth) are usually reported (and one assumes, frequently remembered) as negative, while periods of economic growth are usually considered positive, it is reasonable to assume that many people will have more positive feelings for economic growth than for limited or no economic growth. Life conditions are also related to 40 the degree to which schemas can realistically act as goals. For example, the "American Success Model" as exemplified by Donald Trump, is not achievable by the average working-class male who is more likely to use a "breadwinner" cultural model as a goal that is attainable (Strauss 1992). Finally, it should be noted that people can create new mental models by using analogies as powerful ways to understand how things work in a new domain (Collins and Gentner 1987). According to D'Andrade (1992:38): Preadaptive socialization experiences, mutually supporting interrelations among cultural schemas [schemata], fit between cultural schemas and self-schemas, opportunities for pursuing appropriate goals, cultural representations about how schemas should sever as goals, etc., can combine together to create cultural schemas that motivate the individual with great power. Added to these intrinsic motivations, the extrinsic forces of conformity and external reinforcements, including positive and negative sanctions, can combine to form extremely powerful instigations to action. Generally speaking, most people believe their own models of the world are correct because this belief is continually reinforced by interacting with people who share the same cultural models and use them in the same ways (Kempton et al. 1995). Individuals can expect positive reinforcement for holding and conforming to dominant cultural models, but may experience negative sanctions, such as social snubs, to arrest for their violation. For example, a cultural model of marriage that includes polygamy violates the dominant cultural model of marriage and the norm in western societies associated with it, which regulate behaviour regarding the appropriate number of spouses one may have at any given time. Lutz (1992) takes a position that is more in line with sociological interpretations. She stresses the "ambiguity, ambivalence, contradiction, simultaneity and multiplicity of goals." Because of the "pandemonious relationships between elements available in cultural models . 41 . . , individuals have a vast range of resources to deploy in thinking, conversation, and social persuasion" (p. 186). In other words, cultural models may be more temporary and less stable than D'Andrade suggests. According to Lutz, at the individual level, cultural models are more likely to be "temporary, emergent constructs motivated both internally by its own dominant cultural logic and externally by a particular social relationship or situation" (p. 186). Still, there is good reason to suspect that, at least at the very broad level, one can discuss cultural models as having wide-ranging applicability. Keesling (1987: 387) argues that "early cognitive anthropology was naively reductionistic in its tacit premise that cultural rules generate behaviour [and ] . . . . that cultural rules generate social systems as well as behaviour." He accuses early cognitive anthropology of being "curiously innocent of social theory." What he considers the primary importance of cultural models is that "models are created for the 'folk' as well as by them. As instruments of ideological hegemony, such models, whether we call them 'folk 'or 'cultural' — may legitimate and perpetuate the status quo. . . . " (p. 388). Finally, a distinction should be made between cultural models and "attitude theory." Kempton et al (1995:10-11) found that people use cultural models to organize their beliefs and values, that cultural models give an underlying structure to beliefs and a critical underpinning to values. Here "beliefs" refer to what people think the world is like, and "values" refer to the guiding principles of what is moral, desirable, or just. "Attitudes" are generally assumed to consist of three components (1) a cognitive component — beliefs and ideas; (2) an affective component — values and emotions; and (3) a behavioural component—a predisposition to act (Secord and Backman 1964). Thus, cultural models are assumed to be more fundamental than 42 attitudes, a possible precursor. For example, a cultural model of "good health" could lead to the belief in the necessity of taking vitamin pills, and values which promote individual effort. Of course, while beliefs or values may be incorporated into a cultural model, either may "stand alone as simple isolates" (Kempton et al. 1995: 12). The advantage that cultural modelling theory offers is its potential to explain conflicts between concerns and behaviours, without suggesting the outcomes are the result of "rational choice." In other words, "rational choice" explanations become rational when one includes the cultural models upon which the "choice" was based, in the explanation. For instance, the use of private transportation does not appear very rational in urban centres with adequate public transportation and serious air quality concerns. However, when underlying cultural models of individualism and personal success are taken into account, the apparent discrepancy between environmental concern (attitude) and use of private transportation (behaviour) becomes more understandable. Again, when cultural models are included in the explanation, we understand why "self-interest" is so frequently associated with immediate goals, rather than long-term consequences. For instance, faced with cultural models that base personal success on material acquisitions, many individuals may choose to be "free riders" shifting the costs of environmental degradation triggered by their vehicles from themselves to the general population. This is a rational choice that minimizes costs to the individual, affording them more disposable income which they can then direct towards achieving the goals set out by a cultural model of personal success based on material acquisition. .But the cultural model comes first as a motivator which then results in a particular form of "rational" behaviour. Of course, any given behaviour may be influenced by a number of cultural models, but the theory argues that those cultural models that receive the most reinforcement in society, will have the greatest influences. 43 Cultural Modelling theory also has potential to predict who is more likely to engage in environmental action, despite inconvenience and personal cost. Finally, cultural modelling theory not only offers an explanation for individual behaviour, but shows how macro-level phenomena can affect micro-level behaviour and vice versa. Widespread promotion of a particular cultural model, when re-enforced with widespread positive experience, should result in that cultural model being internalized at a higher level by more individuals. On the other hand, individuals who have internalized said cultural models may be motivated to engage in behaviours which affect not only their personal lives but have consequences at the macro-level, some of which may be unintended both by the promoters of a particular cultural model and the individuals involved. Organization of the Thesis The purpose of this research is to investigate how cultural models of the economy, of consumption, and of the environment affect people's behaviour. The next three chapters provide background information and help set the stage for the study. Chapter Three examines the literature on economics, revealing that two basic cultural models of the economy exist. Chapter Four continues the search for dominant cultural models, this time looking specifically at consumption and its significance for society and the individual. Chapter Five summarizes research findings regarding environmental concern and behaviour, and concludes that, while most people express concern for their local environment, this concern is not reflected in their everyday lives. Chapter Six details the research methods used for this study, including the hypotheses investigated. Quantitative data analysis was performed on samples from two data sets. Primary 44 data were based on 107 structured interviews of purposefully sampled community leaders from the Abbotsford region in the Central Fraser Valley in British Columbia. Community leaders were chosen because it was assumed they would have greater understanding of local environmental issues and would have more options regarding their lifestyle choices. As well, a secondary data set was used, that provided two random samples, one on the provincial level, and one based on the general population of Abbotsford. These two samples were used for comparison purposes with the sample of community leaders. The next three chapters discuss the findings based on the data analysis. Chapter Seven focuses on the results of cluster analysis performed in order to group respondents on the basis of their level of participation in behaviours supportive of environmental issues. The rationale for cluster analysis was to determine i f different levels of this form of behaviour could be explained by considering the influence of cultural models. For each sample, cluster analysis revealed four groups: Passives, Good Citizens, Communicators, and Activists. Having grouped respondents according to their level of participation in activities supportive of environmental issues, Chapter Eight then examines how respondents differ from one group to another in their concerns regarding the environment. Next, Chapter Nine examines how the groups differ in their economic concerns, their patterns of consumption, and support for the New Ecological Paradigm. The purpose here is to establish that real differences exist among the groups. The results of factor analysis were then used to establish whether there were underlying economic, consumption, or environmental factors which might influence the behaviour of respondents in the different groups. The purpose was to ascertain i f any of these underlying factors might represent or be explained by a cultural model. Finally, the findings of logistic and multiple regression were used to determine which cultural models are associated with high levels of 45 participation in behaviours indicative of support for environmental issues. Chapter Ten concludes the thesis by discussing the influence of competing cultural models, examining the consequences of social class, and possible future research. Conclusion Several different approaches to human motivation are examined in this chapter. The theory of cultural models was chosen for this study because it is best able to link structure, culture, and action with cognition. People come to internalize cultural models based on their everyday experiences within the structure of society and the particular culture in which they find themselves. Cultural models give structure and a cognitive underpinning to beliefs and values. Finally, cultural models have the potential for goal setting and for motivating action. I show that if it is true that cultural models can form ideologies that support the status quo, then it is unlikely that people will actively and willingly participate in pro-environmental behaviours when those behaviours threaten the existing economic order. In other words, cultural modelling theory predicts current economic interests will continue to override interests in limited growth and environmental preservation until either economic goals become aligned with pro-environmental behaviour or environmental devastation become so pervasive and so threatening to human well-being, that all other goals shrink to insignificance in comparison. 46 Notes: 1. The 15th Annual Maclean's year end poll was conducted by the Strategic Counsel. Telephone interviews of 1,400 adult Canadians, selected randomly from all ten provinces, were conducted between November 13 and November 22, 1998. Support for economic issues breaks down as unemployment 15%; deficit/government spending—14%; economy in general — 13%; and taxes — 5%. The 16th Annual Maclean's year end poll found similar results; only 2 percent of the 1200 randomly polled adult Canadians believed the environment was the most important problem facing the country, while 19% believed the most pressing problem was unemployment, taxes (12%); government spending/deficit (10%). See Maclean's December 20, 1999. 2. The Simplicity Movement began in Seattle in the early 1990s. A grass-roots movement, interested people can join "Simplicity Circles," where they learn practical skills to simplify their lifestyles. Members of Simplicity Circles try to free themselves from the "American Nightmare" which they interpret as the cultural emphasis on material acquisition and consumption, rather than on the quality of human relationships. Although the environmental consequences of consumption do figure prominently in their discussions, environmental concerns are not the primary motivation for the Simplicity Movement. 47 CHAPTER THREE CULTURAL MODELS OF THE ECONOMY The Social Causes of Environmental Degradation Advances in the natural sciences will enable us to establish the parameters of environmental change, but they will describe the symptoms and not explain the causes. The causes lie in human societies and their systems of economic development. (Newby: 1997: 472. Italics in the original.) In 1972 The Limits to Growth was published. Based on computer projections of population growth, resource extraction rates, pollution, and related environmental factors, the authors concluded continuous growth rates (resource extraction, population, pollution) were not viable. Alternative courses of action were required to avert severe human hardship in the future (Meadow, Meadows, Randers, and Brehen 1972). Their conclusions showed that a lack of natural resources, such as fossil fuels for energy, arable land, and an increase in pollution would lead to the decline of modern human societies. By the 1990s, with evidence of ozone depletion and global warming, the focus was on the limits not of resources, but of "sinks" — places where humans could safely dispose of waste and pollution without negatively affecting the biosphere (Dickens 1993; Meadows, Meadow, and Rander 1992; Rees 1992; Wackernagel 1994). The Task Force on Healthy and Sustainable Communities at the University of British 48 Columbia has developed an "ecological accounting tool" that uses land area as its measurement unit. This land area is known as the Appropriated Carrying Capacity or ecological footprint. Essentially it is the land that would be required on this planet to support a given lifestyle. The ecological footprint of an average Canadian (that is, the amount of land required to maintain each individual's present consumption) is more than 4.2 hectares. This "average" Canadian lives in a family of 2.7 people and had annual household expenditures in 1993 of $37,000. This means that the ecological footprint ofthe Lower Fraser Valley, with a population of 1.7 million, is actually eighteen times greater than what is actually available for food, forestry products and energy. Interestingly, a professional couple with no children and annual household expenditures of $79,000 requires almost three times as much land per person as the average family member — 12 hectares per person to maintain their lifestyle (Wacknagel 1994). Many respondents from the Abbotsford Leaders sample fit this profile. But it is not simply a matter ofthe land required to support a given lifestyle—but also, the limits of "sinks" to absorb wastes and toxins. There is a limit to how many landfills a given area can adequately cope with before leaching pollutants find their way into ground water. There is a limit to the amount of chemical pollution from agricultural production that can be absorbed by the surrounding environment without risking both surface and ground water contamination. Major health hazards are associated with the use of toxic agrochemicals, such as cancers, which may take up to twenty years to develop, and D N A damage that may result in birth defects (Harper 1996). Potentially catastrophic consequences could be the result "throughputs" and using the atmosphere as a sink. "Throughput" is a short-hand way of referring to all the energy required 49 to transform a resource into a commodity or a service, energy required to use the commodity, and all the energy required to dispose of that commodity after it has served its usefulness. Much ofthe energy involved in these processes involves the burning of fossil fuels. Global warming occurs because of increased carbon dioxide (C0 2 ) emissions and other "greenhouse" gasses being released into the atmosphere from industrial and urban activities. Atmospheric C 0 2 concentrations have risen seventy parts per million during the past century and now total around 350 ppm. If the present growth rate of 0.3 or 0.4 per cent per year continues, it is predicted that C 0 2 levels could reach as high as 550 ppm by the year 2060, leading to significant rises in the earth's average temperature (World Resources 1990-91). The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has projected that the average global temperature rise will be between 1.5 and 4.5 degree Celsius (Bell 1998: 11). Already there is a discernable warming trend. The twelve warmest years on record have all occurred since 1980. In 1995, the hottest year on record so far, 733 people died in Chicago over a three-day period when temperatures soared to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is expected that the climate will be affected in other ways as well. Storms, for instance, are expected to become more severe. Weather-related insurance claims totalled $60 billion in 1996, whereas weather-related claims for all of the 1980s reached only $17 billion (Brown, Renner and Flavin 1997, cited in Bell 1998). It is speculated that there could be a substantial rise in ocean levels, simply because of warmer liquid having more volume than an equivalent mass of cold liquid. Although the actual amount of expansion will be very slight, the sheer volume of water in the oceans means that low-lying areas wil l be flooded. At the same time there is the possibility of a net loss in the ice mass of the glaciers ofthe world, particularly at the poles, as more ice melts than is replaced by snow every year. This could also 50 contribute to a rise in sea levels. A one metre increase in sea levels could cause the United States to lose eight thousand square miles of wetlands and ten thousand square miles of dry land (Hoffman et al. 1983, cited in Kennedy 1993). The effects of these rising tidal levels for poor countries such as India and Bangladesh would be disastrous, resulting in mass migrations of people and animals. As well, global warming could increase the mean temperature of the oceans, affecting not only commercial fishing but the entire oceanic ecosystem, possibly decimating fish stocks and other marine life. The effects on agriculture would also be serious. Although the estimated increase of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius is an average for the earth, the increased temperature is expected to be higher in the mid-latitudes where most prosperous countries are and where most of the grain for export is grown. Dry areas are expected to become even more arid. In 1997 it was predicted that farmers in Iowa might have to switch to wheat and drought-resistant corn varieties because of climatic changes (Charles Bullard cited in Bell 1998). Two years later, the worse drought of the century hit the American East and Midwest. The corn crops of Iowa failed, and the region was declared a disaster area. Although the number of frost-free days in northern regions will increase, the soil in these latitudes is often thin and unsuitable for agriculture. Global warming may also thaw vast tracts of frozen soil and permafrost releasing huge amounts of ancient, ice-locked methane and C 0 2 into the atmosphere accelerating the greenhouse effect. Using the atmosphere as a sink has also resulted in two ozone problems. It is believed that chlorofluorocarbons are finding their way into the upper atmosphere. Once widely used as refrigerants, in certain manufacturing processes, and as a propellant in aerosol cans, it can break 51 down the protective ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. This layer is vital to the well being of life on this planet because it shields organisms from the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet light can cause several health-related problems including skin cancer, cataracts, and damaged immune systems. It can also seriously damage ecosystems by affecting plant and animal life cycles. The other ozone problem, ground level ozone, is a by-product of combustion from motor vehicles and factories. It is increasingly becoming a serious problem. Reactions with sunlight and certain waste gases create a photochemical smog estimated to cause between 50,000 and 180,000 premature deaths annually in the United States alone (Miller 1994 cited in Bell 1998 p. 14). The IP AT model states that environmental impacts are a result of population growth, per capita affluence, and technology (that is, the impact of economic activity). This may be expressed as I = P * A * T. It has been suggested that the term "T" should be formulised to capture technology and everything else not in the model, but considered influencing environmental impacts, such as attitudes and values (Dietz and Rosa 1994). Thus, there are ultimately only three ways to reduce human impact on the environment: (1) limit population growth; (2) limit affluence; and (3) improve technology and/or change ideas regarding the relationship between human and nonhuman nature. Should people fail to make these necessary shifts in their behaviour and attitudes, they will be imposed by "biophysical limits [which will then] dictate the timing and course ofthe transition" (Goodland, Daly and Kellenberg 1994). It has been suggested that the present level of physical exchange associated with industrial societies is not sustainable and must be reduced by at least half (Fisher-Kowalski and Haberl 52 1993). Rees (1992) has described the modern city as a "node of pure consumption existing parasitically on an extensive external resource base." A l l cities must draw on the carrying capacity of land beyond their own boundaries to survive. In urban centres in the north, however, the carrying capacity of regions around the world is drawn upon to maintain the current standard of living. Thus, the main difference in the environmental degradation between cities of the North and cities of the South is that the former arises from affluence and high levels of material consumption, while in the latter, environmental degradation is mainly the result of poverty and material deprivation. In other words, in the South, environmental issues are frequently about sustaining life, while in the North, they are issues about sustaining lifestyle (Redclift 1992). The most recent data from Statistics Canada (2000), reveals that the per capita consumption of energy doubled in Canada, from 1958, when each Canadian consumed slightly less than 167 gigajoules of energy to 1997, when it was 334 gigajoules. Yet the emphasis is not on the environmental consequences but the economic benefits. The amount of energy required to produce one dollar of economic activity fell from 15 megajoules in 1961, to 12.4 megajoules. This focus on economic efficiency diverts the focus from the real issue of increasing demands for energy. While the demands for crude oil have indeed declined over the last forty years, rates for natural gas tripled. Overall, the demand for fossil fuels rose from 65 percent of all energy consumed in 1958 to 74 percent of all energy used in 1997. So not only is much more energy being used, more of it is based on the consumption of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are carbon based and the burning of fossil fuels is suspected in being the primary factor in the global warming predicament. 53 To avoid the potential for an environmental catastrophe requires a concerted effort by all. According to Goodland et al. (1994), priorities for high-income nations focus on aspects of affluence and technology which include: (1) transforming the culture of consumerism into "an ethos of sufficiency and environmental sustainability"; (2) internalizing environmental costs in energy prices and accelerating the shift to renewable energy sources; (3) internalizing the costs of disposing of toxic and nontoxic waste; (4) addressing the current imbalance of resource flows between low income and high-income nations; and (5) hasten technological development and transfers. On the other hand, priorities for low-income nations focus on limiting population growth and elimination of poverty. There are six priorities: (1) accelerating the transition toward population stability, (2) increased government assistance for renewable energy sources, (3) promoting human capital, especially education and employment opportunities for women; (4) support for technologies that can provide employment for the unemployed and underemployed; (5) improve efforts toward the alleviation of poverty, including the introduction of health care and safety nets for the poor; and (6) increase support for conservation and management of natural resources. Should we be able to fulfill all these requirements, Goodland et al. (1994) believe it is possible for a population of 5.5 billion people to live approximately at the level of Western Europeans in the mid-1970s. Families would have modest, but comfortable homes, refrigeration for food, moderate quantities of hot water, and access to public transportation. While this would be an enormous material gain for billions of people, for many North Americans this would involve a substantial decline in their material well being. The question remains: Wil l North Americans be willing to alter their life style dramatically for sake of the environment and social 54 justice, and their personal well being? Economics From the point of view of the sociology of economic life, [a] central point is that every mode of production is a transaction with nature. It is therefore simultaneously determined by what a society is prepared to extract with its technology from nature and by what there is in nature. Arthur Stinchcombe, 1983: 83. It seems that when economies slow down, fingers point in every direction (particularly at the government) — except at the possibility that people and their desires for the "good life" are beginning to run up against the biological limits of the environment to meet their demands. Larry Gigliotti 1992: 22 Economics refers to the "organized management of human material resources, goods, and services" and "the social institutions concerned with the management, production, and distribution of human resources" (Jary and Jary 1991) within a given society. Since the material conditions of a particular culture are often instrumental in both defining and distinguishing one group of people from another, economics has been the focus of much research and interpretation. In some cases, such as Marx and the majority of neoclassical economists, the economy is assumed to determine all other aspects of society (economic determinism). Others, such as Marvin Harris (1975), have argued that population pressures combined with ecological pressures determine the socio-cultural system including the economy (environmental determinism). Whatever the approach taken, it is generally acknowledged that economic aspects of society do reveal much about the social organization and the values of the culture. In modern industrial societies it often seems as though economic interests dominate every 55 aspect of the lives of the people. Survival primarily depends upon waged labour - either directly by being employed, or indirectly, dependent upon the employment of others. Examples of this are the recipients of social assistance, whose income is ultimately dependent on the tax revenues raised through the employment of others. It is fair to say then, that to assure the material well-being for people in industrial societies requires mass employment in the paid labour force. History has shown the tragic consequences when j obs cease to be available for large sectors of the population. The stock market crash in 1929 delivered a terrible blow to consumer and investment confidence, resulting in a long-lasting collapse in the rate of capital formation. With the collapse of construction, manufacturing, and investment, the economy in North America slowed. As each additional worker became unemployed, the number of dollars available to purchase goods and services declined, leading to further layoffs. This snowball or multiplier effect is what prolonged the Great Depression (Heilbroner 1989). With up to 25 percent of the non-agricultural workforce unemployed, many started to question the status quo, looking for alternative forms of social, economic, and political organization. The response of the Canadian government was the establishment of "work camps," where men would exchange hard labour for a roof over their head, food, and meagre wages. Depression conditions served to radicalize sectors of the labour force causing men to organize and threaten the social order. The work camps greatly diminished the threat by dispersing the impoverished throughout the country. The obvious lessons for governments were that social and political stability, and material well being, are secured by pursuing policies that favour economic growth. This is the position shared by most economists today. The modern economy in western developed nations is based on consumer demand, wage labour, and the exchange of currency. •3 43 l l e CU o C o CJ >, cu c o C o •c 'W Bp H "55 O O " i •c ccs •e cu J O CB 3 -a •g 3^ c oo 3 H o B O cj W o o X ! cj 00 cu cu cu cu 60 -o C*- <U ° £ 1 1 JS J2 cu V CO cu cu o o a oo 3 a> ' o S IE PH CU cu cu CU cu O o 43 a 73 o cu 73. a, & e o S cu e CU _ a. 5 § cu cu >1 73 co fct cu cu H3 cu cu o o 43 o ao o eo cd o •ja CJ o o 43 o wo cu c l © T 3 O 43 ts o "U ^ -i e tS | ,<i> a CU T 3 T 3 CU 1^  o a o o cu o a a o o o e C*H O co a o a o -g .o c3 O 3 111 J o " o c o oo o 5a * ^ CO 73 S a cu -2 cu *0 o e a -g-•2 § MS re 73 I CU I O . O C o c co o c o a « a 43 cu 4 3 o c o a o o 43 o OO cu >4 o PH O O 73 oo 73 a o •*-» o. a o o W 73 cj o PH. a .a CU 73 i -s "2 " a 3 CU CO s cu •a cu .a 6 o a cu o a o a o a o O (Si •s CU o a o CJ W 2 -o 3 CQ cu •s > •2 1^ > CO a 3 CU CO cu > CU •c ca > cu •s > cu •s > O 8 O cj (Si a cu f3 3 s I ^  . PH ON e3 ON 0 0 w 1 o 03 K O cj It .5 -s: cfcl CH O -9 % 57 Without these three, the economy as we experience it could not exist. Mainstream economists contend that our current standard of living, our way of life is ultimately tied to the ability of the economy to increase the exchange of money, usually through the consumption of goods and/or services — in other words,to a growth in the GNP (gross national product). Although concerns of the different schools of economic thought may vary, most support the idea of economic growth, including some versions of environmental economics. As table 3.1 shows, only the schools of Steady State Economics and so called "Buddhist Economics" do not support the concept of economic growth as desirable. Although many environmental economists share similar views, rejection of economic growth is by no means universal within this group. Michael Jacobs (1993), for instance, argues that shifting from consumption of goods to consumption of financial services, such as investments could contribute to sustaining economic growth while minimizing environmental damage. One wonders how easy it will be to convince consumers to make these investments if the anticipated earnings can only be used to. purchase other investments and not the large variety of consumer goods currently available. Economic Sociology versus Economics Besides the distinctions between different schools of economics, there are some fundamental differences between economic sociology and most mainstream economics. [Economic Sociology] is the application of the frames of reference, variables, and explanatory models of sociology to that complex of activities concerned with the production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of scarce goods and services (Smelser and Swedberg, 1994). T A B L E 3.2. Economic Sociology and Mainstream Economics - A Comparison Economic Sociology Mainstream Economics The actor is influenced by other actors and is part of groups and society Many different types of economic action are used, including rational ones; rationality as variable Economic actions are constrained by the scarcity of resources, by the social structure, and by meaning structures The economy is seen as an integral part of society; society is always the basic reference Description and explanation; rarely prediction Many different methods are used, including historical and comparative ones, the data are often produced by the analyst ("dirty hands") Intellectual Marx-Weber- Etarkheim, Tradition Schumpeter-Polanyi-Parsons/Smelser; the classics are constantly reinterpreted and taught Source: Smelser and Swedberg (1994) Concept of the Actor Economic Action Constraints on the Action The Economy is Relational to Society Goals of the Analysis Methods Used The actor is uninfluenced by other actors ("methodological individualism") All economic actions are assumed to be rational; rationality as assumption Economic actions are constrained by tastes and by the scarcity of resources, including technology The market and the economy are the basic references; society is a "given" Prediction and explanation; rarely description Formal, especially mathematical model building; no data or official data are often used ("clean models") Smith-Ricardo-Mill-Marshall-Keynes-Samuelson; the classics belong to the past; emphasis on the current theory and achievement 59 Smelser and Swedberg (1994) examined some key differences between mainstream economics and economic sociology. These differences have been summarized in Table 3.2, but primarily they focus on differences in the concept of the actor, definitions of action, and the goals and methods used. While mainstream economics has the individual as an analytical starting point, economic sociology's analytical starting points are groups, institutions, and society. Economic Sociology differs from mainstream economics in that it assumes an actor as a socially constructed entity or "actor-in-interaction," while economics assumes "methodological individualism" (Smelser and Swedberg 1994). Mainstream economics holds that an actor has a given and stable set of preferences and chooses those actions which maximize utility for individuals or profits for corporations. By behaving in this way, the actor is demonstrating economically rational action, which involves the efficient use of scarce resources. This rationality is assumed as a "given." Microeconomics regards economic actions as an exchange among equals, but this position has been criticized for failing to address the power dimension (Smelser and Swedberg 1994). Finally, economic sociology can be approached from several sociological perspectives including cultural, institutional economics, and rational choice, focussing primarily on economic systems, institutions, and behaviour. (Sklair 1977). Granovetter (1991) is highly critical of mainstream economics noting two recent trends (1) a return to dominance by a pure Neo-classical tradition, and (2) an attempt by some economists to broaden their subject matter greatly. The classical sociological tradition takes the position that (1) the pursuit of economic goals is accompanied by such non-economic ones as sociability, the need for approval, status, and power; (2) economic action, like all action is socially 60 constructed and cannot be explained by individual motives alone; it is embedded in ongoing networks of personal relations rather than carried out by atomized actors (Granovetter 1991; Sklair 1997); (3) economic institutions, like all institutions, do not arise automatically in some form made inevitable by external circumstance (Granovetter 1991). Although the potential exists for economic sociology to address environmental issues, this has not been a primary focus of research. In fact, the idea of economic growth is so widely accepted in North American culture, that growth is seldom addressed as an issue by most economic sociologists. There are, instead, three main lines of analysis within economic sociology: (1) the sociological analysis of economic process; (2) the study of changes in the institutional and cultural parameters that constitute the economy's societal context; and (3) the analysis of the connections and interactions between the economy and the rest of society (Smelser and Swedberg, 1994). Economics and Values Socioeconomic normative values, therefore, provide the only possible basis for differentiating between undesirable consequences, which should be avoided and the desirable consequences which should be achieved; therefore, socioeconomic normative values are the essential basis of any successful policy. Hi l l 1996: 9 The argument put forward by several scholars is that economic behaviour is embedded not only in social structure, a position held by many economic sociologists (see for example, Granovetter 1991,1993 ), but also in culture (DiMaggio 1990, 1994; Horton 1992; Nankivell 1995). Paul DiMaggio (1990:113) uses "'culture' to refer to social cognition, the content and categories of conscious thought and the taken-for-granted." He describes and uses concepts very 61 similar to those used by cultural modelling theorists, disaggregating the concept of culture into progressively simpler elements. At the first level are those cognitive phenomena such as beliefs, attitudes, norms and evaluations. According to DiMaggio (1990:114) "the most fundamental attitudes from the standpoint of modern economics are preferences, which, when ordered, fuel microeconomics' analytic engine." At a deeper level, are found strategies, logics or the habitus, what cultural modelling theorists call "scripts." This, of course, refers to habitual behavioural or problem-solving routines which DiMaggio (1990:114) describes as "complex combinations of simpler cognitive elements that work like macros in computer programs to provide menus for action that shape people's interpretations ofthe world and responses to it." The third level are rules of relevance that guide the invocation of scripts and strategies. Finally, at the foundation of social cognition are systems of classification, category schemes that define the objects of thought and evaluation, grounds for comparison and contents of material and social groups. For example, it could be argued that a preference for economic growth is based on scripts which view economic growth as positive, using rules of relevance that seek to maximise individual wealth, and that are based on a system of classification between "haves and have-nots." Research by Helga Dittmar (1996) found that children from different social class background, while differing in certain aspects of economic understanding, agree on and reproduce widely shared views of economics and social class. Affluence is associated with intelligence, success, motivation, control, and forcefulness. On the other hand, people from poorer social strata are seen as "friendly" and "warm," attributes that characterize the powerless. These beliefs are internalized very early in life, even prior to entering school. 62 Other research by Walstad (1996) shows that economic knowledge and having attended an economic course, are predictors of positive attitudes towards the American economic system (Walstad 1996). The knowledge factor contributed to (1) more support for the American economic system (2) less thought of economic alienation and powerlessness, (3) more support for government welfare as a safety net for the poor and unemployed; (4) less support for government price fixing; (5) less support for powerful unions; (6) more support for the view that workers receive fair treatment from business; and (7) less support for the changing of wealth and income. In other words, highly educated people, likely to be in positions of influence and power, such as community leaders, are more likely to support the current economic system. The best predictor of attitude toward business is the score people make on the test of economic knowledge, not variables such as income, education, or gender (Walstad 1996). However, the same research found that holding an opinion on economic issues does not mean that a person is fully aware of his or her underlying attitude towards the issues (Walstad 1996). The argument I wish to put forward is this: People and organizations will frequently persist in following economic scripts even when they are detrimental to their long-term interests, simply because such scripts permeate so much of our culture in late modernity. The formation of economic ideas has continually changed over time, but at any given time the explanatory ideas of economics have been based on a value set, or ideology. Thus, despite claims that modern economic thought is presumed to be value free, the "most basic propositions of economics can be seen to be based on ideology" (Nakivell 1995). John Oliver Wilson (1991:254) argues that "the ideologies of individualism and totality are 63 far more pervasive in shaping an economic system than are the political ideologies of capitalism, communism, socialism, or any others." The result is an economic system where the autonomous individual is regarded as the primary unit within the economic system, and where the means of resolving areas of conflict, (including conflict over environmental issues) are compromised between rights of the individual and rights ofthe community. So pervasive is the acceptance of this value that it is hardly questioned by economic sociologists, much less mainstream economics. When challenges are made to mainstream economic thought, the response is often a polemic in support of free enterprise and the market. Often, the argument for neo-conservative economics and growth is really about individual freedom, often emphasizing the "virtue" of selfishness as the basis for the moral case for private enterprise and economic growth (see, for example, Tame 1979). People have no problem in selecting a value set that suits their ethical needs — to provide justification for their actions. Of course, the need for justification is greatest among those who are benefiting by exploiting new circumstances and new conditions (Nakivell 1995). Galbraith (1992) argues that in recent years a "culture of contentment" has led to hegemonic control over economic ideas as well as political ones. Under late modernity, the economically and socially fortunate actually form the majority of voting members of society. Under the guise of democracy, the comfortable of society can maintain the status quo, though they can become "very angry and very articulate about what seems to invade their state of self-satisfaction" (Galbraith 1992: 15). This cultural model maintains that individuals are responsible for their lot in life — the fortunate have earned their comforts and justice demands they have a right to peaceful enjoyment. Anything less is considered an infringement on their individual rights. 64 The result is resistance to any policies which would prove beneficial to the environment, such as increasing taxes on fuel, restricting use of private automobiles, or limiting the upper size of homes or lots. According to Galbraith (1992:20), "[fjor the contented majority the logic of inaction is inescapable." The point is to postpone anything that would mar the comfort of this group — so no real environmental responses will be forthcoming. Thus, the pain of increased taxation is postponed by delaying what might require huge initial outlays of cash. For example, the initial costs of creating truly effective public transportation system, works against such a system ever existing. The majority of the population is neither prepared to pay for it, nor prepared to give up private transportation. The contented majority frequently have a highly selective view of the role of the state. In Canada, government spending that benefits the contented majority, such as health care, education, and financial rescue will receive support, while on the other hand, funding for welfare, low cost housing, and other forms of social assistance, as well as support for the environment is reduced or eliminated. Galbraith lists three requirements to serve this culture of contentment. First, there is a need to defend a general limitation on government intervention in the economy — thus the broad commitment to laissez-faire. Second, there is a need to find a social justification for "the untrammelled, uninhibited pursuit and possession of wealth" (1992: 64-65). There is a need to demonstrate that the pursuit of wealth serves a serious social purpose — and to make the case that the rich are not only benign, but perhaps essential to members of society apart from the comfortably affluent (one is reminded of so called "trickle-down" economics). Such a pursuit of wealth requires a commitment to economic growth. Finally, there is a need to justify a 65 reduced sense of public responsibility for the poor, who are seen as the architects of their own fates. Interestingly, research shows a correlation between concern for other people and concern for the environment (King, 1989, Merchant 1992). Politics and Economic Growth Economic growth is also a political issue: The social and political costs of trying to stop growth would be incalculable. For there is no prospect, in a democratic society, of any party winning an election on a no-growth ticket, so that to talk of political and social implications, is to indulge in meaningless rhetoric. Nor is there any prospect of winning over the public to support and anti-growth policy in due course. The continual rise in aspirations and needs and to accept the self-denying rejection of goods and services that has been preached for thousands of years by the inspired leaders of great religions without any effect on the vast mass of the population, is unrealistic. Those of us who are confident that society will continue to find the means and the technology to overcome the problems of pollution, to increase food supplies, to reduce birth rates, and to find raw materials or synthetic materials and so on, are invariably accused of being.. . . myopic or complacent optimists.... Beckerman(1974: 247). During the 1980s, Earl Cook (1982, cited in Daly 1996:35) wrote that the appeal of economic growth is not based on logic or scientific evidence but the fact that: the concept of limits to growth threatens vested interests and power structures; even worse, it threatens value structures in which lives have been invested. . . Abandonment of belief in perpetual motion was a major step toward recognition of the true human condition. It is significant that "mainstream" economists never abandoned the belief and do not accept the relevance to the economic process of the Second Law of Thermodynamics; their position as high priests of the market economy would become untenable did they do so. Thus, it is unlikely that governments would challenge such a deeply held cultural model of the economy or even have the tools to challenge mainstream economic thought. If fact, according 66 to Booking (1997:262) Growth of the economy and population is the goal of much public policy in the Fraser Basin, since enlargement of the economic pie eases many difficulties faced by governments and provides opportunities for people.... But growth is also the most important source of problems in the basin, whether related to pollution, traffic congestion, obliteration of farm and natural lands, excessive rates of resource exploitation or diminished viability of ecosystems. As economist Robert Costanza writes, "our economic system is operated as if it had a life independent ofthe ecological system." Economic Growth as a Source of Environmental Degradation It seems that when economies slow down, fingers point in every direction (particularly at the government) — except at the possibility that people and their desires for the "good life" are beginning to run up against the biological limits of the environment to meet their demands. (Gigliotti 1992: 22) Much of the blame for environmental degradation lies with modern economic theory, which fails to recognize that ultimately, the economy is sustained entirely by low entropy energy and matter produced by the ecosystem and biophysical processes (Daly 1996; Daly and Cobb 1994; McLaughlin 1993; Rees 1992). Daly and Cobb (1994) argue that "misplaced concreteness," which they define as: "the fallacy involved whenever thinkers forget the degree of abstraction involved in thought and draw unwarranted conclusions about concrete reality" (p. 36) is the "cardinal sin of standard economics" (p. 41). One form of misplaced concreteness of which they and others (Waring 1988) are highly critical, is the use ofthe gross national product (GNP) as a measure of economic success. Widely accepted by economists, politicians, financiers, governments, international organizations, and the general public, the GNP is essentially a measure of the flow of money from households to businesses or from business to households. Assumed to be an indicator of general human welfare, any exchange of money is assumed to 6 7 contribute to the GNP, and thus to the general well-being of the state and of the people. This can result in environmental disasters being good — not bad — for the economy. For example, a consequence of the enormous costs that resulted from the Ice Storm in eastern Canada was that the province of Quebec could show economic growth for the first time in almost a decade, contributing to the reelection of a separatist government. A similar "economic benefit" occurred in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. According to Herman E. Daly ( 1 9 9 6 : 4 1 ) : . . . . GNP is not only a passive mismeasure but also an actively distorting influence on the very reality that it aims only to reflect, GNP is an index of throughput, not welfare. Throughput is positively correlated with welfare in a world of infinite sources and sinks, but in a finite world with fully employed carrying capacity, throughput is a cost. To design national policies to maximize GNP is just not smart. It is practically equivalent to maximizing depletion and pollution, [italics in the original]. Not all "green economists" agree. Michael Jacobs writes ( 1 9 9 3 : 5 4 ) GDP and its growth are measures of income flows around the economy. They are not measures of either natural resource consumption or of pollution. Any activity which involves the exchange of money in return for a good or a service contributes to Gross National Product. But the environmental impact of different activities is clearly different, [italics in the original]. Daly and Jacobs represent two camps of "green economists." Daly argues for a steady-state economy, a rejection of the pursuit of economic growth, and radical changes in economic policy. In 1 9 9 6 (pp. 8 8 - 9 3 ) , he gave four suggestions for "better serving the goal of environmental sustainability." Daly advises the World Bank and others to "stop counting consumption of natural resources as income." According to Daly, consumption in the current year, if it is to be considered income, must leave intact the capacity to produce and consume the same amount in the following year. In the past, however, only man-made capital was considered along these 68 lines, natural capital was considered a free good. This error of implicitly counting natural capital consumption as income, he continues, is customary practice by the United Nations system of National Accounts (although the error is recognized and is being addressed), in the evaluation of projects that deplete natural capital, and in international balance-of-trade accounting. In other words, the depletion of natural resources is seldom part of the economic equation. Daly's second suggestion is: Reduce taxes on labour and income, while increasing taxation on resource throughput more. While disposable income would increase, the price of goods and services would begin to reflect their true cost of production and disposal, in some cases raising the cost of private consumption (like private ownership of motor vehicles) to the level where public consumption, such as public transportation, is preferable. Daly's third recommendation is to maximize the productivity of natural capital in the short run, and invest in increasing its supply in the long run. In other words, wherever possible implement renewable substitutes for natural capital, set limits on the rate of liquidation of non-renewable resources, and insist that profits generated from non-renewable sources be invested in research to discover environmentally friendly, renewable substitutes. Finally, Daly recommends "a move away from the ideology of global economic integration by free trade, free capital mobility, and export-led growth — and toward a more nationalist orientation that seeks to develop domestic production for internal markets as the first option, having recourse to international trade only when clearly much more efficient." He argues that policies favouring free trade and the pursuit of global economies, weaken the ability of local communities to carry out policies for the common good, while strengthening the relative power of transnational corporations. Like many critiques of the 69 World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, Daly argues that "global competitiveness" is actually "a standards-lowering competition to reduce wages, externalize environmental and social costs, and export natural capital at low prices while calling it income" (1996:93). Jacobs (1993), takes a much more mainstream approach. He believes that the pursuit of economic growth need not lead to environmental degradation. Instead, Jacobs argues, it is the rate of consumption above the natural regeneration rate that leads to much environmental degradation. Yet Jacobs and Daly agree on one thing: What is not effectively captured by the GNP are long-term consequences, or pervasive externalities often associated with environmental degradation, and so it is possible for governments to claim economic growth while the quality of life in the future and even in the present could be declining precipitously. Classical political economists understood the relationship between the natural environment and human economic activity. Malthus foresaw the dangers of excessive population growth within a system of limited environmental resources. David Ricardo and John Stuart M i l l both saw the inevitability of a limits to growth in an expanding but essentially agrarian economy and concluded that "the explosive growth of the early nineteen century would eventually reach both natural and economic limits of exhausted soil and declining rates of return" (Goldblatt 1996:2-3). Unfortunately "the new global economy has created a new form of competition where coercive forces and sanctions will be used to enforce a laissez-faire economy that knows no boundaries. It is going to be a world where economic material interests will rule the globe and 70 where social and human values will be relegated to the sidelines and protest demonstrations" (Lutz 1996). One can only assume this applies to environmental values as well. Economic Growth as the Solution to Environmental Degradation There are many who view economic growth as not only desirable but as a solution to problems of poverty and environmental degradation. Sandbach (1978) assumes the "limits to growth" perspective is invalid because (1) it assumes that levels of resources are fixed; (2) it disregards the potential for technological innovation; and (3), predictions of doom have thus far proved false. The "economic/technological fix" position argues that scarcity of resources varies with market price factors which influence the search for new resources or substitutes. Fundamental to this position is the belief that potential availability of resources is likely to far exceed present availability. In any case, the "ultimate resource" is human creativity and imagination that should lead to technological innovation (Simon 1981). Meanwhile, pollution, while an economic constraint, can be held at "optimal" levels through the application of existing and future technologies. Since the limits-to-growth debate in the 1970s, there has been a move towards supporting the idea of "sustainable development." This term has been defined "as development that meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of the future populations to meet their needs." This idea of sustainable development has been criticized for its anthropocentric orientation (Jones 1987; Merchant 1992), and for following an economic plan designed to appease the interests of capital (Buttel, Hawkins, and Power 1990; Redclift 1992; Stockdale 1989). Lele (1991) calls sustainable development "a bundle of neat f i xes . . . . with something 71 for everyone." Troyer (1990) translates the concept of sustainable development from one originally based on ecological sustainable development to one of economic sustainable development where the assumption is that the solution to current environmental problems and avoidance of future environmental degradation is more economic growth. While recognizing that advanced industrial nations play a role in environmental degradation, for the most part, the emphasis of Troyer's book is on abject poverty, inappropriate government policy, and rapid population growth in developing countries, though it is high income, advanced industrial countries that are mainly responsible for global environmental change. Canadian readers ofPreserving Our World will be shocked at some data (e.g., the entire world spent an average of $25,000 to support one soldier, but only $450 to educate each child, p. 120). Canadians, however, can rest easy. This version of the Bruntland report requires citizens of advanced industrial countries to make little alterations in their current lifestyles. In the last chapter, readers are asked to reduce their consumption and waste by cutting back on useless packaging, to use their own shopping bags, to reuse products such as car oil, to recycle items, and to reject obviously harmful products. For instance, there is no call for people in the affluent North to conserve resources by eliminating private transportation, recycling, advocating collective goods and services such as public transportation, legislating the compulsory marketing of products in standard sized glass containers (glass only needs to be sterilized, not re manufactured when it is recycled), or rejecting the modern consumer culture, the economic system that drives it, and the mass media 72 that support it. Preserving Our World is a title to be taken literally. Sustainable development, as it is presented here, concerns maintaining our standard of living, while shifting responsibility for environmental problems to the failures of the developing world: failure to control population, failure to control miliary conflict and military expenditures, and failure to develop economically. An ecologically-based analysis of global environmental change would focus more on the interactions of population growth, affluence, current technologies, and cultural values, and their impacts on the carrying capacity of ecosystems (Dietz and Rosa 1994; Rees 1992), while focussing on the interrelationship between human and nonhuman nature (Dunlap and Catton 1994). When these criteria are used, the consumer-based lifestyle found in affluent nations, along with the unquestioning support for economic growth, are no longer considered "sustainable." Cultural Models of the Economy While specifically Marxian models and varieties of socialist models of the economy do exist, these have had little impact within major western societies. There is a general acceptance of, support for, and lack of real reflection upon the capitalist, or market system. For the past seventy years though, there has been a competition between two versions of the dominant model of the economy. The first being a neo-classical model, the other the "revisionist" Keynesian approach to economics. Since the 1930s, the battle has waxed and waned. Hayek was recruited by the London School of Economics to confront the growing influence of John Keynes (1936) 73 in the 1930s. The American New Deal was the first big test of the Keynesian theory that governments could intervene in the working ofthe economy to lift a society out of economic depression by artificially inflating aggregate demand (which is to say, artificially creating the conditions for greater consumption). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s and into the seventies, we see a virtual consensus around this model, with governments of all stripes in most western countries creating their so-called "Keynesian Welfare States." Since the mid-1970s, there has been a resurgence of neo-liberal ideas about the primacy of markets. The rediscovery of Hayek (1962) and the Austrian School, led to the emergence of the Chicago School, associated with Milton Friedman. The laissez faire approach, as popularized by Milton and Rose Friedman (1979), equates human freedom with economic freedom; the marketplace acting as the measure of (rational) human values. Government intervention and power are to be kept to a minimum, limited to providing those services which could not reasonably be provided by the private sector, while individual interests are considered paramount to collective interests. A l l aspects of human (and nonhuman) existence are reduced to cost-benefit analysis. Regarding air and water quality, "the real problem is not 'eliminating pollution' but trying to establish arrangements that will yield the 'right' amount of pollution" (Friedman and Friedman 1979: 204.) The right amount, of course, being that which maximizes gain (or profit) with limited sacrifice of other goods — but with no indication that the benefits and costs are to be shared equally. Gailbraith (1958) and a few others, maintained a belief that there was a role, a substantial role for government in economic affairs, and for the "mixed economy" — some parts of which were socialized. While economic growth is still considered desirable, there is a recognition that 74 at least limited government intervention in the economy is required for the well-being of all citizens. Governments, therefore, may legitimately involve themselves in the redistribution of wealth and in providing certain nationalized service. Governments are supposed to impose and enforce such regulations as is necessary for the protection of the citizenry, but to do so without seriously threatening the existence of the capitalist organization of the economy. Whatever version the dominant model takes, both are premised on the need for increasing levels of consumption of goods and/or services to maintain a "growing economy." Both Neo-classical and socioeconomic models treat environmental issues as "add-ons." Robert Gale (1992) argues that this approach leads to four specific 1 imitations. First, attention is paid to the effects of environmental problems rather than to the underlying causes. Second, environmental issues are excluded from development policy because they are considered conservation or management issues beyond the scope of macroeconomic concerns. Third, environmental issues are examined in isolation, rather than in a holistic manner with other pressing issues. Thus, environmental policy is treated as a secondary consideration, and a limited field for policy making. The alternative cultural model rejects the idea of economic growth as patently desirable. Instead, it promotes concepts such as equity, social justice, limits to growth, measures of economic welfare, and the desirability for local and regional trade, rather than trade at the national and international level. Associated with 'radical' economists such as Herman E. Daly (Daly and Cobb 1994; Daly 1996,1974), the "Buddhist economics" of E.F Schumacher (1973), and anti-establishment/ alternative lifestyles, this model seldom gets "good press" since it 75 actively promotes a dramatic change in both the way we think about economics and in personal patterns of consumption. For proponents of this model, personal welfare and/or ecological sustainability is the goal, both of which are believed to be undermined by presently accepted economic models in the pursuit of economic growth (Goodland, Daly, and Kellenberg 1994; Naess 1989; Nodhauss and Tobin 1972). Between 1982 and 1985, The Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development in Canada received 1,515 written briefs by interested actors. Of these, 1,119 briefs were analysed, of which 27 per cent were from the general public, 26% were from voluntary-sector actors, 21% 76 Table 3.3. Support for Economic Development Models. Sustainable Group Neo-Classical Socioeconomic Development Model* Model Model Private Sector 64% 34% 2% (21%) Public Sector 16% 79% 5% (10%) Voluntary Sector 4% 86% 10% (26%) Labour Sector 8% 88% 4% (9%) General Public 28% 67% 5% (27%) Academics and 24% 66% 10% Researchers (7%) Total = 1,119 Briefs 26% 68% 6% Source: Based on data from Gale 1992. Rows do not add up to 100 per cent because of rounding. * Neo-classical economics is another term used for neo-conservative economics. Neo-conservative economics is typically associated with neo-liberal political ideologies. It is uncertain why economists chose the term "conservative" since conservative ideology places more emphasis on the collective view than does classic liberal ideology. 77 from private sector actors, 10% from public sector actors, 9 per cent were labour sector actors, and 7 per cent were from academics and researchers (Gale 1992). Table 3.3 summarizes the findings. The most popular model was the socioeconomic model of economic development (68 per cent support over all). The strongest support for a mixed economy came from those sectors most likely to benefit from government involvement in the economy, namely labour, the voluntary sector, and the public sector. Although only 26 per cent of the briefs submitted supported Neo-classical economic development, the fact that two-thirds of the private sector prefers this approach cannot be ignored. In other words, most of the briefs from the private sector support the kind of laissez-faire economics advocated by Milton and Rose Friedman. According to Gale (1992), the core values of these Neo-classical economic actors are (1) a belief in undifferentiated economic growth; (2) resource development rather than conservation or preservation, and (3) a limited role for government intervention. The development preferences for the majority ofthe private sector actors were inversely associated with environment concern. Finally, only 6 per cent of the briefs supported economic development concerned with carrying capacity, ecosystem productivity, and environmentally sound decision making. In no group was this the preferred economic development model. Only 2 per cent of the private sector supported this model, and academics and researches were twice as likely to support a Neo-classical economic model than a sustainable development model. Evidence suggests that since this Royal Commission took place in 1985, people have become even more conservative in their economic outlook. 78 Conclusion Economic behaviour is embedded in culture. Individual actors are not the asocial, "social morons" known to mainstream economists as homo economicus, but instead use cultural models to guide behaviour. Currently, the dominant economic cultural model favours economic growth, to the point that, with few exceptions, the concept is seldom challenged or even addressed. The pervasiveness of this model is shown by its widespread support in Canada by seemingly disparate political organizations as the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance (formerly the Reform Party) and the federal New Democratic Party. It is simply assumed to be desirable — even a solution to environmental degradation, despite evidence that biological, and even social systems cannot support continued growth. Ironically those activities most detrimental to the environment often have the greatest positive effect on the GNP, while those activities which are benign often have little impact in generating the much desired economic growth (Rees 1992). The alternative is the development of a "steady state" economy, where quality of life, not growth, is the desired goal. Within mainstream society and economics there is little support for such "idealism." It is assumed by politicians, business leaders, and many academics that continued prosperity depends on strong economies and growth. With such authorities endorsing a particular perspective on the economy, we should expect that the majority of respondents from all three samples wil l support the dominant cultural model of the economy. 79 CHAPTER FOUR CULTURAL MODELS OF CONSUMPTION Consumption It is necessary to recognize that consumption itself is partly determined by the non-rational, cultural, element of sociality. Shopping is not just a functional activity. Consumption has become a communal activity, even a form of solidarity. Rob Shields 1992:110 ... [S]everal decades of preaching the same eco-radical gospel have had little appreciable effect; the public remains, as before, wedded to consumer culture and creature comforts. Lewis, 1992: 11 For the most ardent environmentalists, the green consumer is the ultimate oxymoron. Consumers are the problem, not the solution: consuming uses up the earth's capacity to produce materials and absorb waste. Caimcross, 1992: 191. Beyond the promotion of material growth and progress, the culture of late modernity requires an ideology of consumerism, by which people come to identity the satisfaction of needs with the consumption of commodities. Thus, the standard of living is measured in material terms, what Bell (1998) calls "the treadmill of consumption." Sociology of Consumption Starting in the late 1970s, researchers were beginning to focus more attention, not on production, work or class, but on consumption. The sense of being beyond "industrialism," of living in a distinctly 'new' kind of society led to a huge volume of work on consumption and its 80 place in modern society. How should we explain the patterns of consumption? Why do people consume in ways they do? What meanings are attached to forms and styles of consumption? Eventually a sociology of consumption emerged in which structure, culture, and action were being explored in ways that are relevant to my research. Consumer culture is based on three ideas: (1) happiness is achieved primarily through the accumulation of things; (2) human desire takes precedence over all other considerations (anthropocentrism); and (3) the belief in the incompetence of nature (Valaskakis, Sindell, Smith and Fitzpatrick-Martin 1979). That is, human ingenuity could "improve" and "perfect" Nature, including one's own image, by creating new or alternative, or even multiple self-identities with the purchase of consumer goods and services (Gabriel and Lang 1995; Giddens 1991). Other scholars have emphasized the social aspect of consumption - especially the idea of shopping as a social event, both historically (Featherstone 1990) and in the present at the local mall (Shields 1992). McCracken (1988) discusses how the fashion industry not only transfers meaning from the culturally constituted world to consumer goods, but how the industry itself, in a modest way, actually invents new cultural meanings. Motivations for consuming appear to be tied up in three social goals: (1) to signal to others the consumer's values, rank, and preferred self-image; (2) to give order to events; and (3) to increase the time available for social involvement (O'Shaugnessy 1987:11). Yet continued levels of consumption in western nations are no longer sustainable; the consequences for the environment are simply too devastating. Recent reports in the popular press suggest that "over consumption by the world's rich countries had to be cut by 90%" to reverse the process of global warming (Brown, 1999). Yet western economies are based on 81 what Schnaiberg and Gould (1992) call the "tread mill of production" and the necessity of ever expanding economies. The consequence is that "waste and economic growth tend to rise in step with each other" (Cairncross 1991:213). While there is widespread recognition that something must be done to prevent both local and global environmental degradation, solutions proffered vary enormously. Conservative economists insist that we can only afford the corrective measures necessary i f we continue to pursue expanding economies and maximise economic efficiencies (Lewis 1992). On the other hand, radical environmentalists subscribe to a wholesale re-invention of western culture, and the relationship of humanity to Nature (Jones 1987; Lewis 1992; Merchant 1992; Susuki 1994) Fundamental to both positions is the perception of risk and the recognition of global environmental consequences i f we continue the current path of mass consumption of durable consumer goods and economic growth that depends on the exploitation of natural resources (Lewis 1992; Ridker and Watson 1980). Threats to one's well being have always existed. What has changed in late modernity is the ability to calculate the probability of threats, and to make predictions about outcomes. We have become a risk-oriented society, where risk can mean "exposure to loss." For many, though, it can also mean exposure to risk that is "deliberately induced by some social actor in order to realize an incremental net profit" (Leiss and Chocilco 1994: 6). As technology becomes more sophisticated, making possible increasing amounts of data about potential risks to be available, the public becomes ever more dependent on "authorized" experts to evaluate risks and determine what levels ensure safety and which ones result in potential threats to well-being (Bauman 1992; Beck 1992b). The principal standard forjudging and regulating risks should be their relative 82 seriousness, that is, the probability and magnitude of harm (Sandman et al. 1993). "Authorized" experts are entrusted to make those decisions based on rational, actuarial models (Baumanl 992; Giddens 1991). Often, however, they exercise little regard for the moral implications of their decisions (Baumanl992). According to Lopes (1992: 71): ...all people who are reasonably in touch with events in politics and industry have good reason to distrust probability estimates, particularly when those estimates deal with highly uncertain scenarios of future event or with matters that are politically charged or that involve potentially high profits for individuals or firms. In the past there has been a "calculated under-assessment of risk by our dominant institutions" which has resulted in the tendency of the public to overestimate certain risks (Leiss and Chociolko 1994:6). Overall, the public tends to overestimate the frequency of death due to low-frequency causes (such as natural disasters or food contamination) while underestimated the likelihood of death due to high frequency causes (such as heart disease and diabetes) (Leiss and Chociolko 1994; Lopes 1992). According to Lopes (1992: 63)), "risk appears to have at least two major, conceptually orthogonal factors: dread risk and unknown risk" (see Table 1). Each of these factors can be divided into technologically high, and technologically low categories. Generally speaking, lay people overestimate the large scale, essentially involuntary risks in the high-high quadrant, such as the threat of nuclear energy, while underestimating those in the low-low quadrant, such as current levels of consumption. At the same time, individuals tend voluntarily to accept higher levels of risk for themselves because they believe that the benefits are worthwhile and they have autonomy over their lives. Leiss and Chociolko (1994:31) have found that three main factors influence the perceptions of risk: (1) the degree to which the risk is understood; (2) the degree to which it involves feelings of dread (including fatalities); and (3) Table 4.1: Examples of Different Forms of Risk. HIGH TECHNOLOGY LOW TECHNOLOGY D R E A D (perceived high risk) lack of control catastrophic potential fatal consequences inequality of risks inequality of benefits examples: nuclear energy nuclear weapons examples: caffeine aspirin power mowers U N K N O W N (perceived low risk) new risks unobservable delayed in manifestation of harm examples: microwave ovens electric fields nitrates examples: automobile accidents fireworks bridges consumption Adapted from Lopez, 1992:63. 84 the size and type of population, especially i f children are singled out. Lawrence J. Axelrod and Timothy McDaniels (1999) conducted survey research of layperson's and expert's ratings of the risk posed by thirty-three items to water environments of the lower Fraser Basin. Participants included 102 women and 81 men, some were from Burnaby, Langley, and Abbotsford, three residential communities in the lower Fraser Basin, others were students at the University of British Columbia. The experts were water resource experts working at the University of British Columbia or with the Government of British Columbia's Water Management Branch. The top ten items selected by the lay people ranked in terms of riskiness to water environments in the lower Fraser Valley, started with the most risky: acid rain, air emissions from automobiles, increased ultraviolet radiation due to ozone depletion, disposal of liquid waste products in sewer; climate change (global warming); pesticide use, clear-cut logging, effluent from pulp mills, population growth, and acid rock drainage from mines. Yet, lay people considered that auto emissions, population growth, urban development, and urban consumption (the last two not in the "top ten" list) had real human benefits. The top ten risks, according to water management experts are: population growth; urban development, loss of fish habitat; construction of logging roads; air emissions from automobiles; urban runoff; alterations of shorelines for development; agricultural waste disposal; disposal of liquid waste products down sewers; clear cut logging. The experts appear to be more concerned about the consequences of growth and development, while lay people are more concerned about additives to the environment. This divergence of opinion can result in bitter struggles over water management strategies — especially as it affects development projects. 85 The mass media is the main vehicle of risk communication (McCallum et al. 1991; Stallings1990). Such communication involves the flow of information between the expert sphere of industry and independent researchers (domain of technical risk) and the public sphere of the general public and special interest groups (domain of perceived risks) (Leiss and Chociolko, 1994). There are limits, though, on how much public information programs can influence the confidence people will place in experts, largely depending on the type of environmental risk involved (Smith 1992:51). In any case, it is unlikely that the mass media would ever undertake a sustained campaign to reduce levels of consumption, considering their primary and in some cases, their only source of revenue comes from advertising. But beyond the economic dependence of the media on consumption, it is also the case that most media directors share the values of advertisers. "Hence, the media themselves have institutionalized treadmill values and need little external control" (Schnaiberg and Gould 1994:102). Coverage of environmental issues has increased substantially over the last quarter-century, but the popular media have failed to link the environmental crisis with national economic goals. Consumption and the Consumer Society A second development in the late twentieth century is the growth of mass consumer society in western industrial nations. Consumption has been defined as "the human use of human products, or product systems, outside of paid employment" (Per Otnes 1988: 173). By this definition, consumption has been a part of human society since our most ancient ancestors first began making tools. In the past, as in the present, consumption has been celebrated on feast days and in the local markets and fairs that marked social occasions (Shields 1992; Featherstone 86 1990). The mass consumer society is a fairly recent phenomenon, evolving from the activities of urban elites in the last two decades ofthe nineteenth century. Veblen (1994) in his study of American "nouveau riches" of late nineteenth century, decried the supersession ofthe Protestant work ethic with an ideology of "conspicuous consumption." It was during this period (1880-1900) that a national marketplace, national advertising, as well as new organizations, corporations, governments, universities, and media evolved (Fox and Lears 1983: xi). Major technological advances such as transnational railway transportation, and telephones and telegraphs which made for almost instantaneous transmission of information from one point to another, contributed greatly to the development of mass consumer society. In 1905, Henry Ford extended the consumer society to the working class by increasing the hourly wages of employees at the Dearborn plant to $5.00 an hour, thereby insuring a crop of future consumers for the Model T. At the same time, a new, but as yet untried form of labour discipline was introduced: the threat of the loss of material benefits, especially disposable income that high wages provides, should the worker fail to meet the expectations of management. As Fox and Lears (1983:xii) state: Consumer culture is more than the "leisure ethic," or the "American standard of living." It is an ethic, a standard of living, and a power structure. Life for most middle-class and many working-class Americans in the twentieth century has been a ceaseless pursuit of the "good life" and a constant reminder of their powerlessness. Consumers are not only buyers of goods but recipients of professional advice, marketing strategies, government programs, electoral choices, and advertisers' images of happiness . . . individuals have been invited to seek commodities as keys to personal welfare, and even to conceive of their own selves as commodities. One sells not only one's labor and skills, but one's image and personality, too. 87 Why do people buy? Consumption is ultimately a purposeful activity. Many people purchase goods and services because they believe new products or new services will make their life better and possibly happier. O'Shaugnessy (1987:11) sees the ultimate goal of human existence as the "total good" based ultimately on personal happiness. Personal happiness is based on the individual' s ability to achieve certain life goals such as the desire to be healthy, admired, and entertained. These life goals, in turn, provide a guiding direction for more immediate goals and choices. Social goals, such as the desire for more time, are based on the social effects sought, such as having more free time to spend with friends and family. They see consumption of goods and services as one way of meeting life and social goals. Another attraction of consumption is the novelty of the purchased item. But novelty is short-lived and in the case of durable goods, the novelty has ceased to exist long before the consumer item has. This problem is especially great in our affluent, mass consumer society, where millions of identical durable goods are churned out (Skitovsky 1992) then tossed away, contributing to landfill sites, production of waste, while perpetuating the treadmill of production. Shopping as a social event According to Shields (1992), the retail trade has many latent functions; Shopping is as much a social exchange as an exchange of commodities. Shoppers are not obligated to buy; they can simply browse through the shops and "take in the scenery much like a tourist." There is the possibility of a chance meeting with an acquaintance, the sensation of being "part of the crowd," Table 4.2. O'Shaunessy's Goals of Human Existence 88 Ultimate goal (total good) = happiness Life goals (guiding directive) * To be healthy, not i l l * To be happy/full of life not miserable and sluggish * To be physically secure not physically threatened * To be loved and admired not hated and shunned * To be an insider not an outsider looking in * Confident not insecure * Serene/relaxed not tense and anxious * To be beautiful not ugly * To be knowledgeable not ignorant * To be in control of life not at the mercy of events * Entertained not bored Social Goals (social effects sought) * To signal to others the consumer's values, rank, and preferred self-image * To give order to events * To increase the time available for social involvement Source: O'Shaugnessy, 1987: 11 89 and of participating in a world larger than oneself. This can motivate people who are lonely, marginal, or idle to visit shopping malls as passive observers. Because ofthe social significance of consumption, and the importance of social centrality to commercial success, shopping malls, try to capture community events, timing them to coincide with recognized holidays, or the changing of seasons. Though in reality private spaces, shopping malls have come to operate as "public spaces," seemingly fulfilling the function of community centres, while market places have become tourist sites, such as the West Edmonton Mall . In particular, they operate as urban public spaces which double as "consumption spaces" and are key sites of symbolic consumption, new social movements, and groups. Still, with the emergence of big-box, warehouse retailing, shopping malls have had to compete for consumers' time and dollars. John A. Hannigan (1998:89) explores the ways "four consumer activity systems: shopping, dining, entertainment and education and culture" merge and overlap, starting in the early twentieth century. By the 1990s, the retail industry was referring to "shopertainment," "eatertainment," and "edutainment." Consumers apparently expect to be "bombarded with free entertainment," (Obrien 1996b, cited in Hannigan 1998: 97), whether they are shopping at the mall, dining out, or going to the museum. According to Hannigan (1998:70), there is a newly emerging kind of consumer, who "incorporates entertainment experiences into their repertoire of cultural capital" summarized in the slogan, "been there, done that, got the t-shirt." This blending of consumerism, amusement, and cultural capital makes it even more difficult to convince people that consumption can be a risky business. At the same time, increased forms of private entertainment, such as cable and satellite 90 television, computerized games, etc., have led to a stronger focus on private life at the expense of their personal participation in the public sphere. "People who do not consider the public space to be a place that has to surround them time and again, will have less scruples about abusing and fouling the 'empty nest' (Knulst, 1989, p.232, cited Spaagaren, 1994). In other words, as long as people can retreat into their private, comfortable lives, many individuals will have few qualms concerning actions, either on a personal or on a societal level, which contribute to environmental degradation. A classic example is private ownership of transportation. Individuals contribute to poor air quality in large urban centres using the very vehicles that allow them to escape to the relatively cleaner air of those suburbs not downwind of the primary smog producing area. Consumption and Self-identity Consumption is strongly linked by many researchers to the development and expression of self-identity (Giddens 1991; Featherstone 1990). That is, "you are what you buy." In addition, conceptions about one's self can affect the likelihood of "green consumption." Sparks and Shepherd (1992) found that self-identity affected respondents' attitudes and behavioural intentions regarding the purchase and consumption of organic vegetables. Those who considered themselves socially responsible consumers were more likely to be in favour of organic vegetables and to indicate their intention to purchase them, should they be available. Other studies emphasize the cultural capital aspect of consumption. Knowing what and how to consume sends cues about one's social class, personal interests, and economic status, allowing distinctions to be made among people (Bourdieu, 1984; Douglas & Isherwood, 1979). Not only do people express their personal and social characteristics through their own material 91 possessions, but they make inferences about the identity of others on the basis of their possessions (Dittmar 1996). However, consumer culture in the late twentieth century represents different forms of lifestyles and requires no inner coherence (Featherstone 1990). So, while acknowledging that a certain amount of consumerism is about consumer goods as communicators of class status, people are generally free to consume for pleasure, to please themselves rather than others. Warde (1994) argues that under conditions of postmodernity (ie. greater individualization and informalization) pressures to make "correct" consumer choices should be reduced (ie. the need to conform to group or social expectations). Thus, the link between self-identity and consumption is perhaps not so strong as indicated by some researchers. Instead, Groups likely to feel anxiety are those with a tendency to high stylisation (youth, cultural intermediaries, conformists). However, they are the least likely to make mistakes. They are supported by sharing style, considerable access to relevant knowledge, or a clear sense of rules and source of belonging. Because they are well informed and/or have the most stringent guidelines as to what is acceptable and/or are most deeply and firmly insinuated into social groups, they are, by definition, not the people most exposed to processes of individualisation and informalisation (Warde 1994: 893). Hannigan (1998: 70) concurs, citing research that reveals that young shoppers continue to be influenced by the fashion choices of their peers, rather than their own personal comfort. Consumption and the Economy The economies of advanced industrial nations are based on somebody selling something to someone else — the exchange of goods and services for money. To achieve a growing economy two things must be done. First, production costs can be limited, (usually by reducing 92 labour costs); thereby increasing profitability. Second, there can be an increase in the number of goods and services sold. Credit cards have provided a neat solution to both of these. Essentially, the credit card system allows consumers to increase their purchasing power, without employers having to increase wages. In many cases, the credit card actually acts as a stimulus to facilitate spending (Feinberg 1986). The consequence for many Canadians has been an ever spiralling increase in personal debt as families try to maintain their accustomed lifestyles, even as the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar and their wages declines. Complicating things is the preference for new goods over used ones, even if the used item is initially superior (Arkes and Hutzel 1997). This is problematic as it has obvious detrimental effects on the environment, as raw materials are required to sustain replacements with new items. Yet without consumption levels continuing at their present level, there is a real threat of economic depression and the potential of large-scale layoffs and permanent job losses. Finally, because so much of consumption is concerned with matters of convenience, Spaargaren (1994:2) believes that efforts to develop more sustainable consumer patterns conflict with the social barriers "inherent in the organization ofthe daily life of citizen-consumers." Research by Arkes and Hutzel (1997) reveals the paradox in which many people find themselves. On the one hand, people do want new things, on the other hand they desire not to be wasteful. That is, people do not want to spend more on an item than is necessary, and they want to get fully utilization of an item or service once it has been purchased. Thus, one ofthe motivations of consumption can be thrift. Green Consumers The fact remains: few people express a willingness to make dramatic changes to their 93 lifestyles. Surveys of American consumers indicate the proportion of shoppers altering their patterns of consumption to a greener perspective has stopped rising, and increasingly those most likely to make "green" purchases are becoming disillusioned and are making fewer of them (Caincross 1992). Many consumers are sceptical about environmental claims; almost half (47 percent) consider such claims "mere gimmickry" (Caincross 1992: 199). Another American survey, conducted by Roper reported that 40 percent of respondents stated that green products were too expensive; 34 percent said they did not work well on a regular basis; while 36 percent stated they did not believe the label claims of environmental friendliness (Ottman 1993:43). At the same time, corporations are wary about producing "environmentally friendly" goods, since few consumers are willing to pay the higher prices necessary for businesses to cover costs and a reasonable profit (Hume 1991; Schwepker and Cornwall 1991). On the other hand, Blake, Guppy, and Urmetzer (1997) did not report a statistically significant relationship between personal financial decline and "green consumerism." Those who show the most interest in green issues are twice as likely as those the least interested to earn more than $50,000 a year and to be college graduates (Cairncross, 1992:1993). Research has shown that environmentally responsible consumers tend to be young (VanLiere and Dunlap 1980), to have higher levels of education (Samdahl and Robertson 1989), and generally to have higher economic status (Vining and Ebreo 1990). In other words, many of these people are members ofthe "new middle class" of knowledge workers (Kriesi, 1989). Brint (1984) found that members of an "oppositional intelligentsia" are most likely to be younger specialists employed in social science and arts-related occupations. These social and cultural specialists are more likely to be actively involved in new social movements such as the 94 environmental movement. Other equally highly educated professionals, with stronger ties to business tend to lean toward a reformist approach to environmental issues, rather than consider major shifts in how western economies are run. Interestingly, green consumers are most likely to be baby boomers, and those least likely to be careful consumers are born after 1959 (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998). Roberts (1993) found that women score significantly higher than men on a scale designed to measure socially responsible behaviour as consumers. He speculates that gender-role expectations lead women to consider the consequences of their decisions on others more often than men. This is important as women continue to do more of the household shopping than men. Blake et al. (1997) found that women in British Columbia were more likely to engage in "green" consumption, and for similar reasons. There is some evidence that those least likely to consume in a pro-environmental manner are disproportionately male, blue-collar, and more likely to be economically disadvantaged. Such people generally believe there is not much they can do as individuals to combat environmental degradation (Ottman 1993). Cultural Models of Consumption From the literature, it appears that at least certain aspects of consumption meet the criteria of a cultural model. It has been earlier stated that cultural models are schemas that have motivational force because they label and describe the world and set goals and elicit or include desires. This certainly describes modern patterns of consumption. People are labelled as consumers. For many people, consumption and the "market" are almost synonymous with values like "freedom." Many people define success in terms of their abilities to achieve certain 95 goals regarding the acquisition of consumer items such as a certain make and model of car, housing in a fashionable neighbourhood, or exotic vacations. Advertising is specifically designed to elicit desires and to help describe and label the world in terms of "highly desirable" and "less desirable" or even undesirable, such as clothing styles from the previous decade. Two very broad cultural models of consumption can be readily identified. The first (again the more popular) focuses on consumption as a vehicle for self-identity and promotion, pleasure, and social interaction— "consumption is good" (Bourdieu 1984; Featherstone 1990; Gabriel and Lang 1995; McCracken 1990). The second, which focuses on the environmental consequences of consumption — "consumption is bad," advocates less consumption, the consumption of local goods, the avoidance of products produced and merchandised by big capital, and the avoidance of cash or its alternatives, in preference to other modes of economic transactions, such as the exchange of goods or services (Jones 1987; McLaughlin 1993; Nozick 1992). As with steady-state economics, the "consumption is bad" model is associated with anti-establishment/alteraative lifestyles, seldom is discussed, and is unlikely to be endorsed by mainstream media. Conclusion Consumption fulfills a number of needs for people in the affluent West. It serves to facilitate social interaction, it contributes to the projection of a desired self-image, and is often viewed as a source of pleasure. Consequently, most people do not consider consumption as a "risky" behaviour with long term consequences both for the environment and their well being. Consumption is, in fact, a kind of "catch-22." If individuals in the affluent West continue to 96 consume at current levels, the results could be catastrophic for the environment, especially i f increasing numbers of people in developing nations succeed in emulating our patterns of consumption. And while people living in the developing nations are more likely to feel the negative consequences of global warming first, and will have fewer resources to cope with those consequences, eventually even developed nations may experience long-term difficulties. On the other hand, i f people fail to consume at current, even increasing rates, the results may be a crisis in the economy. Although some "green economists" suggest it is possible to have growing economies based on sustainable consumption, it is unclear exactly what people would consume. It has been proposed that such consumption could be based on services, rather than goods. However, many services, such as personal care services, require time, while most goods only require storage space. Simply stated, most North Americans can more easily arrange to have empty closet space to fill than they can arrange to have empty time to fill. Yet many climatologists and ecologists are now stating that dramatic changes in lifestyle, towards material simplicity, is not simply preferable, but mandatory. By in large, their arguments fall on deaf ears. Too frequently people flatter themselves into believing they are "green consumers" because they purchase token items like "dolphin-free" tuna. Clearly, what is required is a rethinking of the relationship between economics, consumption and the environment. But, as with economic growth, the acceptance of consumption is so widespread, that Canadians are more likely to be referred to as "consumers" or "clients"rather than as "citizens" or "taxpayers." A sign of the times, we are more likely to hear discussions on the rights of consumers than the rights of citizens in advanced industrial nations. 97 CHAPTER FIVE CULTURAL MODELS OF THE ENVIRONMENT To some extent, the American public can be seen as environmentally conscious. They are certainly more conscious than at any time in recent memory. But that attitude is still superficial, filtered through layers of self-interest and unencumbered with any understanding of what precisely a sustainable life-style really is. Krause 1993:141 Introduction Because we wish to understand cultural models of the environment, it is important to understand how widespread environmental concern is, and who is most likely to express environmental concern. Simply put, i f environmental concern is extremely rare, or only expressed by a readily identifiable subgroup in society, then it would more readily explicable why few people in the Abbotsford region appear to be actively engaged in environmental activism. Perhaps people are not acting, because they do not care enough about the issues. What if, in the face of widespread environmental concern, there is an apparent lack of motivation to engage in even minimal forms of environmental activism, much less those that require serious commitment? For this reason, the chapter begins with an examination of the literature regarding environmental concern primarily in, but not limited to, North America. Literature regarding the effect of socio-demographic variables on environmental concern is examined first, followed by an examination of literature that focuses on the relationship between 98 social-psychological variables and concern. It is here we may find evidence of cultural models of the environment. The chapter will finish with an examination of the literature specific to environmental behaviour. The purpose of this chapter is to reveal what other researchers have discovered regarding environmental concern, and variation in forms of environmental behaviour and participation rates. This will allow for an informed comparison between the forms of activism and participation rates of the respondents from the three samples. Environmental Concern Given what we now know about the environmental condition of our planet, it is any wonder that many people express some level of environmental concern? Nor is environmental concern a new phenomenon. Appreciation for healthy, natural environments is apparent in the ancient writings of Rome, Greece and China (Bell 1998). Modem forms of environmental concern emerged in the nineteenth century as a moral concern regarding the social and environmental transformations occurring in various western societies as a result of industrialization. Denton E. Morrison (1989) argues that two phases of organized environmental concern can be readily identified in the United States, with the possibility that a third phase may be emerging in post-industrial nations. The first phase of modern environmental ism emerged at the turn of the century. It split along two lines, between preservationists who lobbied to keep certain wilderness areas protected from development and utilitarians who sought scientific management of natural resources, seeking to balance economic and preservationist interests (Morrison 1989). Recent forms of environmental concern emerged after the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1962 (Bell 1998; Krause 1993). A biologist for the United States Fish and 99 Wildlife Service, Carson conducted an analysis of hundreds of scientific studies, linking the use of toxic chemicals, particularly pesticides, to the destruction of ecosystems. At the time her book was published, few people understood the dangers inherent in many postwar technological advances. Suddenly it became apparent that technology could have its dark side. This transition toward second generation environmentalism occurred in the heady days of the 1960s when a variety of social issues sparked movements of protest. The environmental movement seemed very unobtrusive, a "motherhood and apple-pie" issue, with solutions to problems that did not appear as serious threats to existing patterns of social stratification, as did the civil rights and feminist movements. By the late 1960s, televisions routinely broadcast images of oil-soaked wildlife and a "lonely, fragile, spaceship earth." Environmental concern peaked shortly after Earth Day in 1970 and declined in Canada and the United States throughout the 1970s (Wall 1995), despite the energy crisis of 1973-74 (triggered by the oil embargo by OPEC) which led to temporary concerns about the "limits to growth" (Buttel and Taylor 1994; Dunlap and Catton 1994). The realization of the monetary and societal costs of environmental reforms by business, employees, and consumers is thought to account for the decline of environmental concern during the 1970s (Jones and Dunlap 1992). During the 1980s and early 1990s, environmental concern in North America increased as media reported accounts of environmental disasters such as Love Canal, Bohpal in India, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Prince William Sound, and risks associated with the diminishing ozone layer and the consequences of global warming. In the decade between 1980 and 1990 there was a 40% increase in public agreement with the statement, "we spend too little on the environment" (American data) (Kanagy, Humphrey, and Firebaugh 1994). During the late 1980s, dramatic 100 increases in the levels of environmental concern were recorded both in Canada and the United States (Bozinoff and Macintosh 1989; Dunlap 1991; Dunlap and Scarce 1991). Pro-environmental attitudes in the early 1990s were at the highest levels ever recorded (Dunlap and Scarce 1991; Howell and Laska 1992; Noe and Snow 1990; Roper Organization 1990; Tarrant and Cordell 1997; Wall 1995). Second generation environmentalism expanded issues from preservation of specific features of the environment, such as local habitat conservation, to a holistic concern for all physical and biological phenomena. Denton argues that the source of the modern environmental movement's persistence, growth, and ability to adapt and change has been the emergence of environmental sciences. It is the convergence of media coverage, organized environmental activism, and science that have contributed to environmental concern on the part of the public. While the intensity of environmental concern varies from one person to the next, public concern for the environment has shown not only remarkable staying power - but that concern is diverse and wide spread in today's society. The results of the 1990-1993 World Values Survey of forty-three societies (representing 70 percent of the earth's population), show that 96% of respondents approved of the environmental movement, while in Canada more than half (54%) "strongly approved" (Inglehart 1995). In 1990,73 percent of Canadians reported being very concerned about environmental issues and 58 percent stated that protecting the environment was more important than creating jobs (Bozinoff and Macintosh 1991). Blake, Guppy and Urmetzer (1997) using data from a province-wide survey conducted in the summer 101 of 1995, found that 18.1 percent of British Columbians ranked the environment as "the most important problems facing British Columbia today," second only to unemployment. Both in developing and advanced industrial countries, people perceive that environmental quality has declined and is continuing to worsen, and they express substantial concern about the overall quality of the environment (Bloom 1995; Dunlap, Gallop, and Gallop 1993; Furman 1998). The 1992 Gallop survey "Health of the Planet" involving 29,618 respondents in twenty-four countries found that 37 percent expressed "a great deal" of concern about the environment (Bloom 1995). However, in spite of global concern, the tendency to give priority to environmental goals is much stronger in wealthier nations than in poorer ones (Diekmann and Franzen 1999). Structural and Cultural Basis of Environmental Concern Research into environmental concern has developed along two main branches: studies that focus on the social structural basis of environmental concern and those that focus on the social-psychological aspects. Structural factors, such as socio-economic and demographic variables and cultural models such as political orientation, and religious affiliation have typically been examined as having separate effects on people's attitudes and behaviours, from social-psychological factors. Age/Cohort Beginning in the 1970s, most research studies have shown a relationship between age and environmental concern, usually showing younger people expressing higher levels of concern than that of older people ( Arcury and Christianson 1990; Buttel 1987, 1979; Hallin 1995; 102 Hannigan 1995; Honnold 1984; Howell and Laksa 1992; Inglehart 1995; Jones and Dunlap 1992; Kanagy, Humphrey, and Firebaugh 1994; Scott and Willits 1994; Van Liere and Dunlap 1980, 1981). Even children as young as four and six express concern for the environment (Palmer and Suggate 1996). Age has been strongly negatively associated with concerns regarding pollution (r = -.25), and negatively associated with concerns for the conservation of natural resources (r = -.06), environmental regulation ( r = -.09), and environmental spending (r = -. 13) (Van Liere and Dunlap 1981:666). Expressed environmental concerns seems to peak in cohorts born between 1942 and 1964 (Bakvis andNevitte 1992;). Blake et al. (1997,1996-97) found that middle-aged British Columbians are more likely to express concern for their local environment, and for the environment in general. Baby Boomers, for instance, are more willing to sign a petition in support of environmental cause than are those born before 1946 or after 1959. Those born after 1959 are also less likely to be careful consumers. (Dietz, Stern and Guagnano 1998). Those born before 1946 are less likely to support environmental spending, are less aware of the consequences of environmental degradation and are less willing to sacrifice economic growth and progress for the environment (Dietz, Stern and Guagnano 1998). Overall, the effect of age was strongest in the North America between 1977 and 1981 - and then becomes weaker (Greenbaum 1995). Howell and Laska (1992) found that in 1980,aperson aged 18-25 was 25 percent more likely to favour increased spending on the environment; by 1984, age had become insignificant and remained insignificant in 1988. There is a possible explanation for the decline in the significance of age in predicting environmental concern. For twenty years, older cohorts have been replaced by generations that experienced the opportunities, income and education necessary to appreciate processes going 103 beyond their immediate material needs (Arcury and Christianson 1990; Kanagy, Humphrey, and Firebaugh 1994). Also, along with others, older members of society would have been exposed to mass media coverage of environmental problems (Howell and Laska 1992). An increased awareness of environmental problems could increase levels of concern among older members of society. Finally, from a rational choice perspective, it could be argued that the elderly have already discounted the future, and so have less concern (Coughlin 1991). In other words, the elderly may expect they will not live long enough to see the consequences of environmental degradation. As they do not personally expect to experience any negative consequences, perhaps the "rational choice" is to maximize their pleasure and comfort in the present, rather than make sacrifices now for a future they do not expect to experience. Education Many studies show a positive relationship between education and environmental concern (Arcury 1990; Arcury and Christianson 1990; Cairncross 1992; Greenbaum 1995; Inglehart 1990; Van Liere and Dunlap 1981; Wall 1995). Van Liere and Dunlap (1981) found that education was positively associated with concerns about the environment, concerns about pollution, concerns about natural resources, environmental regulation and environmental spending. Higher levels of education are correlated with greater concern about the earth's environment overall (Wall 1995). This influence crosses generations; young people who showed high levels of environmental concern where more likely to have parents who had higher levels of education (Holdsworth and Boldero 1996). Controlling for other factors, education is the best socioeconomic predictor of preference of environmental protection over job creation, and highly educated people are more likely to name the environment as the most important 104 political issue (Bakvis and Nevitte 1992). Overall, higher levels of education are associated with a willingness to sacrifice, sign a petition, join an environmental group, and support government spending to protect the environment — but, interestingly, do not affect consumption (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998). Persons with higher levels of education are less likely to believe that Nature is fragile, but are more willing to sacrifice economic growth and progress for the sake of the environment (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998). Education, though, is not related to the level of personal environmentally friendly behaviour (Van Liere and Dunlap 1981). Faith in technology and support for the domination of nature is also highest among the best educated (Greenbaum 1995). Income and Occupational Prestige The relationship between income and occupational prestige and environmental concern is inconclusive. Some studies show that higher incomes are positively associated with environmental concern (Arcury and Christianson 1990). Those individuals showing the most interest in green issues are twice as likely as those not interested to earn more than $50,000 per year (Cairncross 1992.) Occupation has been found positively associated with environmental behaviour (r= .32) (Weigel 1977). Scott and Willits (1994) found that income was positively related to one of the New Ecological Paradigm subscales (see Appendix B); the higher one's income, the more likely one is to believe that humans are a part of nature - not masters of nature. On the other hand, other recent research shows that income and prestige do not affect environmental concern (Kanagy, Humphrey, and Firebaugh 1994). Blake et al. (1997) found that British Columbians experiencing financial setbacks were less willing to accept the costs (such as higher prices) associated with 105 environmental protection. New Middle Class The New Middle Class (NMC) consists of academics, teachers, social workers, and professionals that staff public agencies. Greenbaum (1995) offers four possible explanations why this occupational group is associated with environmental concern. First, members of the N M C possess the knowledge, skills, time, money, and other social resources that are useful for activists (Bagguley 1992). Second, both environmental views and occupational choices arise from values and opportunities shaped by the circumstances of their formative years. People raised in security and affluence are likely to obtain higher levels of education and acquire postmaterialist values (Inglehart 1990). Third, concern for the environment may be self-serving. Some members of N M C disproportionately benefit from environmentalism. Employed directly or indirectly by the regulatory apparatus of the state, any social force contributing to a demand for increased regulation of business wil l increase the power of at least some members of the N M C , and generate better career opportunities. Those employed outside the industrial-production sector may benefit from the protection of the environment because they have the time, money and education to appreciate a restored or undamaged environment fully. On the other hand, the cost of implementing environmental regulation is often borne disproportionately by the investors and employees of the industrial production sector. A final explanation for the relationship between N M C and environmental concern is that distinctive cultural biases arise out of the nature and organizational structure of new middle class occupations. For example, those employed as teachers responsible for discussing environmental issues in the classroom, may develop higher levels of environmental concern than the general public. 106 Anti-environmentalist attitudes are usually associated with two groups: industrialists, including private sector executives, managers, or professionals, especially those in resource extraction or pollution-causing activities (Cotgrove 1982); and workers and self-employed people whose jobs are directly related to resource extraction and pollution causing activities. There is some indication that members of the environmental "rearguard," who do not think that environmental problems are serious, favour technological solutions, and do not believe there are limits to growth, also tend to have high incomes and high levels of education (Greenbaum 1995). Interestingly, full-time homemakers in the United States are less concerned with general environmental issues, less likely to fear pollution, less likely to approve environmental regulation, less willing to bear the costs of caring for nature, and are more concerned with the effects of environmental controls on the economy than are women employed outside the household (Blocker and Eckberg 1997; Blocker and Eckberg 1989). Permanent full-time homemakers are even less likely than temporary homemakers to recycle or engage in organized "green" activities, and are substantially more positive toward economic activity (Blocker and Eckberg 1997). Political Ideology Having a more liberal political ideology is associated with greater acceptance of the concepts of Balance of Nature and Limits to Growth (Scott and Willits 1994.) Liberalism has been found to be positively associated with willingness to sacrifice, with environmentally friendly consumer behaviour, with willingness to sign petitions in support for the environment, with being a member of an environmental group, and with environmental spending (Dietz, Stern, 107 and Guagnano 1998). Blake et. al. (1997; 1996-97) found that the greatest impact of political ideology involves the willingness to pay for environmental protection and support for increased government regulation, (with those on the political "left" being more willing to endorse such policies). Blake et al. (1996-97) also found regional differences affected environmental concern in British Columbia. Respondents who lived in the Greater Vancouver region (also known as the Lower Mainland) are more liberal than the rest of the province, where a more neo-conservative political orientation has considerable influence. For British Columbians, neo-conservatism is negatively associated with both concern for the local environmental and general environmental concern. Other research shows that right-wing authoritarians are strongly pro-growth, an attitude central to the dominant social paradigm (Shultz and Stone 1994). Religion In general, strength of religious conviction is negatively associated with a willingness to trade off progress or economic growth for the environment (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano 1998). Those who believe that the Bible is literally true tend to have lower levels of environmental concern than those who do not (Blocker and Eckberg 1989; Greenbaum 1995). Church attendance and fundamentalism have statistically significant negative effects on support for environmental spending (Kanagy, Humphrey, and Firebaugh 1994). Blake et al. (1996-97) found that British Columbians with no religious affiliation were more likely to express concern for their local environment, although once political values were controlled, religion was no longer statistically significant. Community Size Recent studies suggest that urban people are more pro-environmentalist in their views than 108 rural residents (Guagnano and Markee 1995; Tremblay and Dunlap 1978). Age may be a factor, since most young people live in cities. Certainly, elderly people are more likely to be influenced by an agricultural heritage (Hallin 1995). People who grew up on a farm appear to be significantly less likely to support increased spending on environmental problems, even when the effects of age, region, and overall willingness to spend on social problems are controlled for (Greenbaum 1995). Gender Most research indicates that women are more concerned about environmental issues than men (Blocker and Eckberg 1989; Blake et al. 1997, 1996-97; Blocker and Eckberg 1997; Davidson and Freudenburg 1996; Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano 1998; Greenbaum 1995; Holdsworth and Boldero 1996; Tarrant and Cordell 1997) and expressed more pro-environmental attitudes (Mainieri et al. 1997; Schahn and Holzer 1990; Tarrant and Cordell 1997). Although women frequently know less about environmental problems than men (Schahn and Holzer 1990), women are more likely to see the negative consequences of environmental degradation for themselves, other humans, and the biosphere (Stern and Dietz 1994), although other research indicates this is less likely to be true of women who are full-time homemakers (Blocker and Eckberg 1997). Blocker and Eckberg (1997) and Davidson and Freudenburg (1996) examined possible explanations why women are (apparently) more concerned about the environment. One explanation argues that men's greater involvement in the marketplace make them more likely than women to favour economic growth. In general, favourable orientations towards economic growth are associated with lower levels of environmental concern. Blocker and Eckberg found 109 that studies examining this hypothesis have mixed and inconclusive results. A second explanation involves concerns about physical health and personal safety. This hypothesis assumes that women's nurturing orientation leads them to be concerned about health and safety issues, which is then reflected in higher levels of environmental concern. Blocker and Eckberg found that this hypothesis has received support in virtually all existing studies which investigated this topic and is particularly relevant to studies of the disposal of nuclear energy wastes. A third hypothesis is based on the assumption that men are more likely to be knowledgeable about technical environmental issues, and that this knowledge is linked to less concern for environmental damage. Although studies do indicate that men are more knowledgeable about the technical aspects of environmental issues, this greater knowledge is not related to lower concern about these issues. Indeed, more research reports unexpected findings that increased knowledge is associated with increased concerns (Davidson and Freudenberg 1996). A fourth hypothesis concerns parenthood status. The argument is based on sex roles. Women, traditionally involved in "female" roles of homemaking and/or child rearing, should be the more nurturing and therefore the more concerned about environmental damage. Men, on the other hand, are expected to be more oriented toward economic growth and less toward environmental concern, since it is in the job market that the traditional father's role is played. For example, Blocker and Eckerg (1989) found that women with young children were less likely to favour economic benefits over environmental protection, while men with young children showed just the reverse pattern. Fathers, for instance, are less likely tb fear pollution than 110 childless men. Overall, however, Blocker and Eckberg (1997) found that people who have had children are less likely to engage in organized environmental activities, less willing to bear the cost of protecting nature, less likely to believe that human action is intrinsically harmful, and less likely to believe in animal rights. People who have had children are more likely to believe in the salience of the economy. One possible explanation is the lack of time for commitments outside the family and the general lack of money that many parents experience when raising their families. Still, findings on how parental status affects environmental concern remain mixed and inconclusive. The fifth hypothesis examines the relationship between trust in science and technology and levels of environmental concern. Women tend to be more distrustful of science and technology and other institutions, such as governments, than men, and low levels of trust are positively correlated with environmental concern. Although several studies have found men to have more trust or confidence in science and technology than women, as yet, no studies provide a multivariate test of the proposed relationships. Davidson and Freudenberg (1996) found that the Knowledge Support hypothesis received the weakest support, with the strongest support going to the Safety Concerns Hypothesis, suggesting that it is not a case of women knowing less, but women caring more. The second strongest support was for the Institutional Trust Hypothesis, with the Economic Salience arid Parental Role theories having mixed results, possibly a result of changing gender roles within modern families. Blocker and Eckberg's (1997) own research suggests that the major sources of women's stances on environmental issues are their level of knowledge, social status, religious I l l sectarianism, attitudes towards science, and level of political conservatism, not family role factors. Women tend to be somewhat more concerned about pollution, more "green" in their personal lifestyle, and more in favour of animal rights than men. On the other hand, there are no gender differences in terms of environmental actions or behaviours, or regarding the salience of the economy. Davidson and Freudenberg (1996) concluded there was little difference between men and women regarding general environmental concerns, but differences do exist between men and women regarding specific risks, especially local ones, where women are more concerned. Women, for example, are more likely to indicate greater concern when a survey question implies specific risks (Bord and O'Conner 1997). Also, women are more likely than men to believe that "nature is fragile (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano 1998). In general then, women and men of higher social status, with more knowledge, and greater trust in science, are more likely to engage in pro-environmental action and are less likely to see the economy as being as important as the environment. Persons with less knowledge, less status, or less regard for science, may falsely appear unconcerned. Interestingly, Arcury and Christianson's (1990) study of the consequence of drought on environmental concern found that men had a more environmental world view than women. Summary Research indicates that environmental concern is highest among women, and is positively, though sometimes weakly, associated with education, income, urban residence, and liberal ideology. On the other hand, environmental concern is negatively associated with age, and religiosity. Although there is a relationship between these variables and environmental concern, socio-demographic variables explain only 10 to 15 percent ofthe variance of environmental 112 concern (Greenbaum 1995; Van Liere and Dunlap 1980; Wall 1995). This limited utility of demographic variables to explain variation in environmental concern points to widespread concern among the public that is widely dispersed across the social system (Van Liere and Dunlap 1980). Thus, i f a lack of committed environmental activism on the part of most people is found to exist, a lack of environmental concern cannot be used to explain it. Social Psychological Basis of Environmental Concern Given that socio-demographic variables have limited utility in predicting variation in environmental concern, it is necessary to turn to another level of analysis. Environmental problems are rooted, in large part, in the basic values upon which society has been built, such as individualism, materialism, limited government, and support for progress and economic growth (Gigliotti 1992). Stern and Dietz (1995) argue that values and world views act as filters for new information or ideas. Information that is congruent with an individual's values and world view will more likely influence their beliefs and attitudes. They argue that values should be treated as causally antecedent to world views for three reasons. First, they argue that values are probably formed earlier in life, within the family, while world views may be the result of political and social experiences in the larger world. Second, values seem more general than world views and tend to encompass more broad dispositions or orientations. Finally, they argue that values are probably more stable over the life course because they can be challenged only in terms of their desirability or appropriateness "not their veracity." According to this definition, the New Ecological Paradigm appears to measure a world view, while post-materialism scales seem to be measuring values. 113 New Ecological Paradigm as a World View In 1978, William R. Catton and Riley E. Dunlap suggested that a paradigm shift, of the magnitude documented by Kuhn (1972), was underway. They believed that an existing dominant paradigm underlies most actions, disciplines, and research conducted in the Western world, which they called "Human Exceptionalism" (later renamed "Human Exemptionalism" (HEP). Four assumptions form the basis of this paradigm. First, humans are assumed to be different from all other species because they have cultural as well as genetic solutions which enable humans to thrive. Second, it is assumed that cultural factors are the primary determinants of human behaviour. Third, nature, that is, the biophysical world, is assumed to have little impact on human lives; causes of social change are exclusively social phenomena. Finally, it is assumed that human culture is cumulative, and that technological advances will eventually provide solutions for social problems. Catton and Dunlap argued that the shift was occurring because the basic assumptions of HEP are irreconcilable with the growing recognition that there is an interaction between human and nonhuman nature. Adherents to the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) believe that humans are one species among many; all are interdependent in the web of nature. Second, human affairs both influence and are influenced by the biophysical world. Third, human society is both supported and is constrained by the finite biophysical environment. Finally, humans cannot exceed the carrying capacity of their environment and violate ecological principles without suffering consequences similar to other species. Research by Blake et al. (1997, 1996-97) used the New Ecological Paradigm Scale, consisting of ten variables, (see Appendix B) as a measure of "global" environmental concern 114 (which I understand to mean "general" environmental concern). They found that the majority of British Columbians express concern (at some level) for the environment in general. Specific questions sometimes elicited strong responses. For example, Blake et al. found that almost 50 percent of British Columbians strongly agree "when people interfere with nature it often produces disastrous consequences." This is significant, given that respondents had six other alternatives to select from. (Respondents were asked to chose a number from 1, representing "strongly agree" to 7, representing "strongly disagree.") In recent years, researchers have argued that the scale measuring NEP was not a unitary measure, but was based on three underlying scales, namely Balance of Nature, Limits to Growth, and Humanity over Nature (Ebreo, Hershey, and Vinning 1999; Kempton, Boster, and Hartley 1995; Furman 1998). The first of these measures ecological concerns, the second measures concerns about industrial and population growth, and the final one measures the world view regarding the relationship between human and nonhuman nature. Quality of Life vs. Security Values An alternative kind of paradigm shift is found in Inglehart's analysis of a postmaterialist shift in cultural values (Inglehart, 1990,1995). This theory draws on Abraham Maslow's (1970) hierarchy of human needs, which argues that basic survival and security needs must be met before "higher order" needs such as self-actualization can become personal goals. Inglehart has translated this concept into political needs and cultural values (Greenbaum 1995). The theory posits that basic value priorities of individuals reflect their socioeconomic environment, leading them to place the greatest worth on those items that are in short supply (Lee and Kidd 1997; Kidd and Lee 1997). The lower-level "materialist" needs focus on support for economic 115 growth, national defence, and crime control, where "post-materialist" needs include such things as support for free speech, having more say in government and work, and the belief that ideas are more important than money. As the socioeconomic environment improves, an individual's value priorities change from issues of physical sustenance and safety, to concerns related to the quality of life. These value changes are best reflected in the values among age cohorts. Inglehart (1995) has suggested that the choice of the terms "materialist" and "post-materialist" are not accurate, for it is not correct to state that those individuals who support post-materialist values are, in fact, less materialistic than "materialists." Post-materialism does not imply post-consumerism. It is apparent, however, that "materialist" values are, in fact, "security values" - economic security, security of the person, and security of the nation/community, while "post-materialist" values are more accurately termed "quality of life" values. Because I believe these terms more correctly and simply identify the underlying construct for these values, I shall refer to materialist values and post-materialist values then as "security values" and "quality of life values" respectively. Most people in advanced industrial nations still do not hold quality of life values (Kidd and Lee 1997). For instance, older cohorts who experienced World War Two and the Great Depression are more inclined to support security values (Inglehart 1995). It is those individuals born before 1946 who are more likely to support "progress" and economic growth (Dietz, Stem, and Guagnano 1998). Given that the younger generation has grown up in relative economic security, they should demonstrate a greater concern for quality of life values (Inglehart 1995). However, younger people (age forty-nine and younger) were found to be somewhat less willing to reduce their use of private automobiles (Krause 1993). 116 On the other hand, in advanced industrial countries, quality of life values are strongly related to support for environmental protection. In the European Community countries, for example, individuals holding quality of life values are more likely to (1) approve of an environmental cause, (2) much more likely to act on the behalf of and environmental cause, (3) more likely to report having done something to protect the environment, and (4) are more apt to report having done some relatively "difficult" action, such as taking part in a demonstration or contributing money in support of an environmental cause (Inglehart 1995). Data from the World Values Survey 1990-1993, show that while most Canadian respondents hold security values (62 percent), slightly more than half of these respondents (53.2 percent) support environmental protection. In comparison, more than 70 percent of quality-of-life respondents support environmental protection, a difference of almost 23 percent (Kidd and Lee 1997). Blake et al. (1997,1996-97) found among British Columbians, post-materialism (or "quality of life values") was positively associated with concern for local environment and general concern for the environment. According to Stern and Dietz (1995), since the scale used measures quality of life values versus security values, these should be more stable over a lifetime and influence whether one is likely to have a NEP world view. It seems reasonable that persons who strongly hold security values are less likely to hold a New Ecological Paradigm world-view, than others who hold a quality of life value. Finally, it should be noted that personal experience may contribute to individuals becoming more environmentally concerned. Comparing data collected in 1984 and 1988 by the Kentucky Survey Research Centre, Arcury and Christianson (1990) found an overall increase in an 117 environmentalist world view - but the only statistically significant increase occurred in those counties which had imposed water restrictions during a statewide drought in 1988. Environmentalism and Value Orientations A case may be made for the existence of three value bases for environmentalism (Stern and Dietz 1994; Stern, Dietz, and Kalof 1993). Egotistic Values predispose individuals to desire protection of aspects of the environment that affect them personally — or to oppose protection ofthe environment i f the personal costs are too high. Here economic approaches to valuing the environment attempt to determine the social values of environmental conditions in terms of material costs and benefits across the whole of society. The underlying assumption is that self-interest should be the overriding guide to action. It is this orientation that many economic and sociobiological account of environmental problems assume to be the predominant motivation for human behaviour (see, for example, Hardin 1968). Research by Stern, Dietz, and Kalof (1993) found that egoism will override other forms of environmental concern if economic issues are a factor. People who apply altruistic values judge phenomena, including environmental issues, on the basis of costs or benefits for people. This can refer to negative consequences for human groups such as community, ethnic group, nation-state or the global human family. This model presumes that individuals act on social-altruistic values, such as the Golden Rule. Here the primary concern is for the welfare of other human beings. Individuals experience a sense of moral obligation and will act on it when they believe adverse consequences are likely to occur to others, and that they can personally void or at least ameliorate such consequences if they take appropriate action. 118 Biospheric Values are commonly held by ecologists and environmentalists and may be found in the writings of deep ecologists, such as Devall (1988), Devall and Sessions (1985), and Naess (1989). Similar to the NEP, individuals j udge phenomena on the basis of costs or benefits to ecosystems or the biosphere. Stern and Dietz (1994) study of 349 university students found that proponents of biospheric-values have not succeeded in having the public make a clear distinction between valuing nature in itself and valuing nature because of the human benefit it brings. Summary Cultural modelling theory argues that values underlie world views, or cultural models of goals. In this research, three world views regarding environmental concern will be examined: Balance of Nature, Limits to Growth, and Humans over Nature. The values discussed can be divided into two camps: values based on self interest {egotistic values and security values) and those concerned for the welfare of others (quality of life values, altruistic values, and biospheric values). If cultural modelling theory is correct, we should find that individuals holding values based on self interest should exhibit behaviours in response to environmental issues different from than those who hold values that are more concerned with the welfare of others — even though both groups may share concerns about the environment and even share similar worldviews regarding the environment. Environmental Behaviour The human activities that interact with Earth's natural systems are driven by three fundamental factors: the number of human beings and their distribution around the globe; human needs and desires, which provide individuals and societies with motivations to act; and the cultural, social, economic, and political structures that shape and mediate their behaviour. Gigliotti 1992: 16 119 Despite widespread general concern about the environment, inaction is the norm when it comes to environmental behaviours (Wall 1995). While most people are emotional about doing something for the environment, in fact they "do very little and know even less" (Maloney and Ward 1973). In general, then, there are only modest correlations between environmental attitudes and behaviours (Buttel 1987; Dunlap 1991; Gigliotti 1992; Scott and Willits 1994; Tarrant and Cordell 1997; Van Liere and Dunlap 1981). Apparently people are willing to make changes so long as it does not involve too great a sacrifice, particularly regarding changes to personal habits (Hannigan 1995; Krause 1993; Wall 1995). General Environmental Behaviour Research indicates that older individuals are less likely to have environmental concerns, less likely to own a recycling bin (Guagnano, Stern, and Dietz 1995), less willing to pick up litter, or sign petitions in support of an environmental cause (Weigel 1977), and are less likely to endorse spending to preserve the environment ( Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998). But in other ways, pro-environmental behaviour is most common among old people (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998; Greenbaum 1995, Van Liere and Dunlap 1981). Manheim's theory of generations suggests that formative experience in 1930s/1940s, has led to frugal "waste-not" values formed under conditions of relative scarcity. These "conservers" place a greater emphasis on paying with cash - not credit, and on saving and preserving what one already has. This "conserving" behaviour is motivated by the experiences of the Depression, not concerns over the environment. Conservers born after 1930 tended to develop this pattern of behaviour in one of four ways. Some, as children of the Depression generation, were taught to conserve 120 by parents and have a value system which emphasizes thrift. Like their parents, they do not relate their conserving behaviour to environmental problems. Some members of the Vietnam war generation experienced a shift in consciousness which was not determined by scarcity or environmental calamities, but by a crisis in society's values system. Many people tried to find an alternate way, and some have kept this value of conserving through time. Still others changed behaviours as a result of becoming role models themselves, often because of their occupational status. For instance, the role of teacher or of an environmental specialist may have triggered changes towards pro-environmental behaviour. Finally, other conservers may have gradually evolved more pro-environmental behaviours as a result of association with environmentally concerned people. These younger conservers differ from the Depression generation in several ways. First, they have not experienced scarcity like that ofthe 1930s, and were not forced to conserve. Second, their changed behaviour is determined by exposure to environmental problems (through the media and changing value system). Third, they have experienced a more urban lifestyle than the Depression generation, and are not as influenced by a rural heritage to the same extent as elderly people. Finally, they have a variety of differing histories and contexts that they have experienced. The Depression generation, on the other hand became conservers on the basis of a collectively experienced major event (Hallin 1995). Overall, non-conservers do not attribute any moral or ethical aspects to their use of natural resources. Although many are critical of the "throwaway society," they do not feel guilty about wasteful behaviours, not having internalized the social norm "waste not, want not" into a personal norm about preserving their environment. Some deny the seriousness of environmental issues. Overall, they are highly optimistic about technological solutions, tending to leave the 121 finding of those solutions to others. Three reasons are frequently given for not taking environmental actions. First, they lack the time. Time is perceived as a scarce resource and since environmental actions such as green consumption or recycling are time-consuming, non-conservers did not give these priority. Second, the lack of pecuniary reward for recycling dissuaded non-conservers from participating. Recycling was the only environmental action they considered, and they expected to be remunerated when they "did the world a favour" (Hallin 1995: 572). Finally, non-conservers see environmental actions as inconvenient, though they are frequently at a loss trying to pinpoint a specific impediment. They did not want to spend time, money, or psychic energy in overcoming perceived difficulties. Although most said they would participate in curbside recycling, the program would have to be initiated by someone else. Other research indicates a nonlinear relationship between age and environmental behaviour. Baby boomers, for instance, are more willing to sign a petition in support of an environmental cause than those born before 1946 or after 1959 (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998). In terms of activism, older people are more likely to support more conservative nature preservation groups, while younger people are drawn to more activist, less conservative environmental groups (Greenbaum 1995). Younger people are also slightly more likely to have reported engaging in responsible environmental behaviours because of environmental concerns than were older individuals (Hines, Hungerford, and Tomera 1987). However, the relationship between age and environmental behaviour is tenuous. The standard deviation is larger than the correlation coefficient (Hines, Hungerford and Tomera 1997). In general, more highly educated individuals are slightly more likely to report engaging in environmentally responsible behaviour (Hines, Hungerford, and Tomera 1997). Education is 122 positively associated with a willingness to sacrifice, sign a petition, environmental group membership, and support for government spending to protect the environment — but has no effect on consumption (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnao 1998). Similarly, individuals with higher occupational prestige were more likely to engage in ecologically oriented activities (Weigel 1977). The effect of gender on environmental behaviour is ambiguous. While some research has found that women are more likely than men to engage in environmentally protective consumer behaviours (Blake et al. 1997; Dietz, Stern, Guagnano 1998, Scott and Willits 1994; Stern, Dietz, and Kalof 1993; Van Liere and Dunlap 1981), other studies indicate men are somewhat more likely than women to engage in relevant political behaviours, such as a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the environment or to join protests or demonstrations (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano 1998; Scott and Willits 1994). Still other research indicates limited or no relationship between gender and responsible environmental behaviours (Blocker and Eckberg 1997; Ebreo, Hershey, and Vinning 1999), The effect of political ideology on pro-environmental behaviour is similarly ambiguous. Weigel (1977) found that both liberalism (r=.34) and socialism (r=.42) are positively associated with environmental behaviour, while conservatism is negatively associated with pro-environmental behaviour. Other research indicates that a liberal political ideology is positively related to environmental concern — but not to pro-environmental behaviour (Van Liere and Dunlap 1981). Blake et al. (1997) found that for British Columbians, neo-conservatism is negatively associated with participating in "green" activism. (For a list of variables used to measure activism, see Appendix B). On the other hand, among British Columbians, "quality 123 of life values" (postmaterialism) was found to be positively related to "green" consumption, "green" activism, and a willingness to pay the costs associated with protecting the environment. Finally, pro-environmental behaviour is positively associated withbiospheric-altruism, but is negatively associated with to egotistic value orientation (Stern and Dietz 1995; Stern, Dietz, and Kalof 1993). Specific Environmental Behaviour Most studies on environmental behaviour concentrate on recycling because recycling behaviour is more easily tested than other forms of environmentally friendly behaviour, because it is considered a major objective in developing sustainable consumption, and finally, because recycling wastes is one of several important aims in promoting long-term environmental protection (see Bratt 1999; Derksen and Gartrell 1993; De Young 1986; De Young and Kaplan 1985-86; Lansana 1982; Larson 1995; Reams, Geaghan and Gendron 1996; Shultz andOskamp 1996; Vining andEbro 1992,1990; Wall 1995). A study involving 221 randomly selected adults in a suburban American city that had begun a city wide curbside recycling program the previous year, yielded some interesting results (Oskamps et al. 1991). The most important demographic variable in predicting recycling was living in a single-family residence; up to 95 per cent of residents in single family homes recycle at some level. Blake et al. (1997) found that British Columbians who lived in a single family residence were more likely to recycle. The next strongest predictor was recycling by friends and neighbours. On the other hand, most demographic variables did not predict participation in the curbside recycling program. A n earlier study by Vinning and Ebro (1990) showed similar results. Gender, education level, or occupation are not associated with recycling, although 124 recyclers do have a slightly higher income and tend to be somewhat older than non-recyclers (Vinning and Ebro 1990). It is possible for people to have other motivations to engage in recycling beyond environmental concerns. Oskamp et al. (1991) found negative relationships between recycling and other environmentally responsible behaviours and pro-ecological attitudes in general. Just because one recycles does not mean one is an activist! Young people, for instance, are inclined to recycle for cash. Thus, recycling does not appear to have a carry-over affect that contributes to environmentally friendly behaviour in a general way and cannot be considered to be representative of people's environmental behaviour overall (Bratt 1999). A study of more than 500 urban residents and 300 rural residents from Champaign County, Illinois, found that recyclers believed that shopping in an environmentally responsible manner was important in terms of conserving resources — but not necessarily important in terms of protecting living organisms. In other words, the motivation for most people to recycle was to conserve natural resources rather than the product's effect on animal life or the biosphere in general. Respondents were most concerned about product safety (especially the toxicity of products), and were least concerned about the role of animals in the development and manufacture of consumer products, suggesting a value conflict, giving priority to the value of human needs and life, versus those of other living beings in the environment (Ebreo et al. 1999). This suggests either an underlying egotistic value orientation or possibly an altruistic value orientation, but not a biospheric value orientation. Although people may feel some responsibility for the generation of solid wastes, they do not appear to link their concerns with product attributes, or to make 125 efforts other than recycling to reduce solid waste. In other words, people typically do not make serious adjustments to their consumption levels. Research indicates that environmental attitudes that are predictive of recycling are less likely to be related to concerns regarding consumption (Ebreo, Hershey, and Vinning 1999). Conservation of resources — not concern about nature — appears to be the primary driving force for environmentally friendly behaviour. A longitudinal study found that American students in 1990 and 1981 were less willing to give up items for the benefit of the environment than were students in 1971. In particular, students who believed that technology and growth will solve current and future environmental problems were less likely to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the environment. The study found that fewer students today believe that resources are limited compared with twenty years earlier (Gigliotti 1992). The belief that material and energy resources are seriously limited, declined from 1971 to 1981 and again from 1981 and 1990. In addition, research indicates that those born after 1959 are less likely to be careful, pro-environmental consumers (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano 1998). This does not bode positively for the environment if pro-environmental behaviour is primarily motivated by conservation concerns. Another survey, involving 201 middle class respondents in Southern California found that 12% or less had contacted a public official about an environmental problem in the previous year. Almost one in four had joined an environmental organization, but less than 25 percent of these had attended meetings, social activities, or helped with organized events. Seventy percent received information about environmental aspects of consumer products from newspapers and magazines, while only 43 percent actually participated in a curbside recycling program (even though 62 percent had it available) (Mainieri et al. 1997). 126 Concern for the environment should lead to environmentally responsible consumers. But, although the middle class urban respondents were fairly high in the general pro-environmental attitudes, they were lower in beliefs about their responsibility as consumers, and lowest in their reported green-buying behaviours. Less than one in three respondents stated that they had ever bought any category of products because of its environmental impact. Safety to the environment ranked only fourth out of five factors influencing purchasing decisions ( Mainieri et al. 1997). Karp (1996) classified respondents on the basis of their environmental behaviour. Good Citizens have high rates of participation in recycling tins and newspapers and voting for "environmental" candidates. This is the most common group among those who demonstrate environmentally responsible behaviour. Activists are the least common, but have the highest rates of participation in protests and demonstrations. Healthy Consumer was also uncommon, and may reflect pro-environmental behaviour that is partially self-interested. The Roper organization found the most dedicated environmentalists were very highly educated, had the highest range of information sources, and the least amount of confusion regarding the environmental issues (Wall 1995). Canadian studies of environmental behaviour and recycling tend to echo the findings of the American studies (Berger 1997, Scott 1999; Wall 1995). IdaBerger's (1997) analysis of data compiled by Statistic Canada of 43,000 households indicates that size of residential area, type of dwelling, level of education, and income are significant determinants of whether recycling facilities are available and used. Yet Scott's study of673 household in the Greater Toronto area, has led Scott to doubt that recycling leads to greater environmental awareness and long term changes in consumption patterns. This is a real concern since "[i]f the majority of individuals 127 do not equate recycling with a needed lifestyle change, it is conceivable that they may eventually tire or recycling, leading to an erosion of recycling intensity or perhaps the abandonment of recycling altogether" (Scott 1999: 287). Ungar (1998) argues that the failure to translate the initial enthusiasm for recycling into substantive lifestyle changes can be attributed, at least partially, to the promotion of a "small steps" approach to environmental issues, where individuals are asked to make small changes, such as purchasing products with less packaging — rather than what is really required, purchasing fewer products. In promoting awareness of environmental issues, environmental organizations (and other organizations and individuals) rely on scientific expertise and institutional sponsors to lend credibility to the claims made. But to ensure that the message will be received, there should be some economic incentive to make necessary changes, and claims makers must present some grounds for optimism (Hannigan 1995). Demands for dramatic lifestyle changes are met with resistance, even backlash. Environmental problems (and their solutions) must "be legitimated in multiple arenas — the media, government, science, and the public" (Hannigan 1995: 47). Thus the "small steps" approach, promoted by environmental organizations, the media, government ministries, and accepted by a significant portion of the population focusses on recycling, rather than "anti-consumption notions of reducing or reusing" (Ungar 1998: 259). Summary While concern for the environment is apparently widespread, the literature suggests that this concern is not reflected in the behaviour of most citizens. Pro-environmental behaviour, such as recycling, cannot be interpreted as evidence of concern for the environment. Often it 128 is simply a matter of complying with the expectations of neighbours and friends. In other situations pro-environmental behaviour occurs because of life experiences that make thrift a necessity first, and then a virtue. Where pro-environmental behaviour is motivated by concerns for the environment, this is more likely to result from concerns for conservation of natural resources and for concerns about the preservation of ecological systems. The question remains, however: To what degree will the respondents from the three samples differ from or be similar to the respondents in other studies? Conclusions The negative consequences of human activity are environmental degradation locally and climate change on a global scale. These will have implications, inevitably, for both economics and lifestyles. People, both in advanced industrial and in developing nations, report they are concerned about their local and the global environment. Yet the evidence is clear that most people "do little or nothing" when it comes to making those significant changes in lifestyles that would alleviate their impact upon the overall environment. While demographic and socio-economic variables explain a small part of environmental concern, social-psychological variables appear to be more relevant in explaining both concern for the environment and pro-environmental behaviour. Cultural models of consumption (consumption as intrinsic to self-identity and personal well-being) and the dominant economic models (growing economies as necessary for both national and personal success and material well-being) meet all the criteria proposed by 129 D'Andrade. Many people are very emotionally involved with consumer goods and consumerism generally, because those goods and the activity of acquiring them are associated with their self-identity, success, and pleasure (see Bourdieu 1984; Douglas and Isherwood 1978; Featherstone 1990; Fox and Lears 1983; Gabriel and Lang 1995; Hannigan 1998; McCracken 1988; O'Shaughnessy 1987; Otnes 1988; Shields 1992; Ward 1994). People support the idea of constant economic growth because they perceive their personal well-being and a growing economy as closely linked. On the other hand, there is reason to believe that for many people, cultural models ofthe environment and environmentalism are primarily acquired at the second level of internalization; that is, people profess concern but in fact have not internalized the threat of environmental degradation in any meaningful way. Unlike the dominant model of economic growth and consumerism which, for most people, have been positively reinforced both by popular media and personal experience, environmentalism has limited positive reinforcement. People can feel good about not littering, but generally people who make dramatic lifestyle changes for the sake ofthe environment are treated as "eco-freaks," ridiculed in the media as the "yogurt and nuts brigade." According to Ungar (1998: 261): The eco-freak package presents stereotyped tales of the environmentally correct. . . . Deep greens are depicted as wacky curiousities, faddists or zealots that ordinary persons would not want to emulate. Effectively, the eco-freak package functions as a cautionary tale, variously combining elements of horror, the unimaginable, and the ridiculous. Obviously, such representations in the popular media are likely to affect the level of internalization of certain cultural models of the environment. Also, for many adults, cultural models ofthe environment and environmentalism are more recently acquired, unlike cultural 130 models of consumption and the economy, which may have been internalized in childhood. From the perspective of Lutz (1992), there is an even greater ambiguity when individuals are faced with three different, but interrelated goals (economic growth, acquisition and maintenance of material wealth, and environmental protection). People express concern, but are ambivalent when it comes to their own behaviour. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that people's behaviours do not reflect their apparent concern about the loss of Paradise. 131 CHAPTER SIX RESEARCH DESIGN Introduction This project is one element in the much larger, interdisciplinary Lower Fraser Basin Eco-Research Project that examined the environmental impact of very rapid population growth, economic development and urbanization in the Fraser River basin over the last thirty years. Abbotsford, a major centre in the heart of the Fraser Valley, was chosen as the site for this part of the study because of the abundance of evidence showing the area was experiencing environmental problems. These problems were well publicized both in local and regional media. Called Persistence and Change: Political Cidture in a Community, the primary focus of the study was an examination of the relationship between local political culture and how that culture shaped forms of collective action organized around environmental issues. Community leaders were specifically chosen as the target group because it assumed they would be knowledgeable about environmental problems and any collective action around environmental issues. Some may have been directly involved in such collective action. It also assumed that leaders of the community would have several advantages over the general population, in particular, higher household incomes and higher education. Because of these advantages, leaders should have more options regarding the level and type of consumption and their personal level of environmental activism. In other words, people with higher levels of education should 132 be more aware of environmental issues and potential solutions. Also, a higher income provides more options regarding housing and consumption choices. For instance, higher incomes give more flexibility when choosing the location of one's home. One could choose to live closer to work or to public transportation, rather than choose "low cost" housing which may require more extensive use of private transportation. For this reason, it was assumed that some explanation other than a structural one, might more adequately explain why advantaged people would not necessarily respond to their own concerns regarding the environment. Previous research based on the Leaders Sample focussed on the relationship between political culture and environmental concern and behaviour (Simpson and Elliott 1999), as did the Eco-Research Survey Project headed by Neil Guppy and Don Blake (Blake et al. 1997; 1996-97). My research extends these earlier studies by (1) looking specifically at groups of respondents classified by their level of participation in environmental actions; (2) focussing on consumption and growth, and the seeming contradiction between general environmental attitudes and action (individual or collective), and (3) by using the theory of cultural models to explain the contradiction. My research differs from that conducted by Blake et al. and by Simpson and Elliott, by using a different theoretical approach and by focussing, for the most part, on comparisons between specifically defined groups of respondents, rather than the overall samples. At times, however, because certain group sizes may be too small to legitimately do some forms of statistical analysis, the level of analysis shifts to the more macro-level represented by the entire samples, to allow for comparison. In either case, the unit of analysis still remains individual respondents. 133 To compare the responses of the Abbotsford Leaders, secondary data analysis of the Eco-Research Survey conducted by Neil Guppy and Don Blake of the University of British Columbia was also undertaken. This survey provided two samples: a random sample of the general population of British Columbia, and an over-sample of the general population of Abbotsford. It was a deliberate decision at the early stages of the main project to create this ability to relate the interview survey of community leaders and other materials about environmental issues and activities in Abbotsford to the broader questionnaire material. Falling under the rubric of basic research, the intent of my study is to advance fundamental knowledge of the social world by focussing on refuting or supporting theories that explain how the social world operates. Although basic research, when compared with applied research, rarely gives citizens help with their everyday concerns, it does stimulate new ways of thinking about the important social issues with which they live. Hypotheses to Be Investigated Research by Simpson and Elliott (1999) and Blake et al. (1997; 1996-97) revealed that the majority of respondents in all three samples were unlikely to actively act as advocates for environmental protection. Since I am looking specifically at groups of people classified by their level of environmental action, my first hypothesis is: /. The largest group from each sample will consist of respondents who seldom or never engage in behaviours indicative of supporting an environmental issue. As the literature reveals, there is a discrepancy between the apparent levels of environmental concern and actual levels of pro-environmental behaviour that most people 134 engage in, (the classic attitude-behaviour discrepancy). There is no point in investigating the relationship of concern and behaviour among the respondents of the three samples, if in fact the lack of environmentally friendly behaviour can be explained simply by an apparent lack of concern regarding environmental issues on the part ofthe respondent. Previous research by Simpson and Elliott (1999) and Blake et al. (1997; 1996-97) shows that despite the general lack of environmental action, most respondents in British Columbia, and in Abbotsford specifically, were concerned about some facet of their local environment. As a corollary to the first hypothesis, I also predict there will be other groups of respondents who can be defined on the basis of their pro-environmental action, although these groups will be smaller than the larger group(s) of less active respondents. My second hypothesis states: Hypothesis 2. The majority of respondents in each group will express concern for the environment. Since other research indicates that demographic, and socio-economic variables may play some (small) part in influencing the levels of concern expressed regarding the environment, the following sub-hypothesis will be examined. 2a. For each group, women will express more concern regarding the environment than men. 2b. For each group, respondents' level of concern for the environment will not be affected by age 2c. For each group, respondents' level of concern for the environment wil l not be affected by level of education. 135 2d. For each group, respondents' level of concern for the environment will not be affected by household income levels. 2e. For each group, respondents who are married will have greater concerns for the environment. 2f. For each group, respondents who have children still living at home will have greater concern for the environment. The literature review indicates that most people should support economic growth. My third hypothesis is: Hypothesis Three: The majority of respondents in each group will support economic growth. Because it is feasible that demographic, and socio-economic variables may play some (small) part in influencing the levels of support for economic growth, the following sub-hypotheses will be examined. 3a. For each group, gender will have little influence on respondents' support for economic growth. 3b. For each group, education will have little influence on respondents' support for economic growth. 3c. For each group, level of household income wil l have little influence on respondents' support for economic growth. As well, the relationship between environmental concern and economic growth, and support for environmental issues and economic growth are also investigated in two more sub-hypotheses. 3d. For each group, the greater the level of concern for the environment, the less support 136 for economic growth. 3e. For each group, the greater the support for environmental issues, the less support for economic growth. Evidence from the literature suggests that consumption serves a variety of social purposes, and that actual levels of "green" or "ecological" forms of consumption will be limited. Because of this, my fourth major hypothesis is: Hypothesis 4. The majority of respondents in each group will not regularly engage in "ecological "forms of consumption. Because the possibility exists that demographic, and socio-economic variables may play some part in influencing the level of support for ecological forms of consumption, the following three sub-hypotheses will be examined. 4a. For each group, gender wil l have little influence on respondents' participation in "ecological" forms of consumption. 4b. For each group, education will have little influence on respondents' participation in "ecological" forms of consumption. 4c. For each group, level of household income will have little influence on respondents' participation in "ecological" forms of consumption. Two more sub-hypotheses are also proposed regarding the relationship of concern for the environment and "ecological" forms of consumption, and support for environmental issues and "ecological" forms of consumption. 4d. For each group, the greater the level of concern for the environment, the more likely a respondent is to participate in "ecological" forms of consumption. 137 4e. For each group, the greater the level of participation in behaviours in support of environmental issues, the more a respondents is likely to participate in "ecological" forms of consumption. The assumptions of Cultural Modelling Theory would lead us to predict that models that serve as deeply felt personal goals will have greater effect on human behaviour. This research assumes measures of attitudes and values reflect underlying cultural models. The following hypotheses address the relationship between economic and consumption cultural models, environmental cultural models, and pro-environmental behaviour. Hypothesis 5. Dominant economic and consumption cultural models are salient for most respondents. In other words, the behaviour of most people is likely to reflect the dominant cultural model of the economy (economic growth is good) and the dominant cultural model of consumption (consumption is pleasurable and desirable), rather than reflect their stated concern about the environment. It is expected that those individuals who are seriously committed to protecting and preserving the environmental, wil l be less likely to support dominant cultural models of growth or of consumption. Hypothesis 6. The more an individual is seriously committed to, and actively participates in behaviours targeted at the protection of the environment, the less likely he or she will hold the dominant cultural models of the economy and of consumption. The literature also suggests that holding self-interested, altruistic, or biospheric values will affect an individual's response to environmental issues, and that values are themselves often based on cultural models. The following hypotheses state that: 138 Hypothesis 7. The greater the degree a respondent holds values based on self interest (egotistic values and security values) the less likely he or she will be to engage in behaviours targeted at the protection ofthe environment, regardless of his or her worldview regarding the environment, and that: Hypothesis 8: The greater the degree a respondent holds values based on concern for others (altruistic values, and biospheric values), the more likely he or she will be to engage in behaviours targeted at the protection of the environment. General Method The basic research design is survey research. " A survey design provides a quantitative or numeric description of some fraction of the population — the sample — through the data collection process of asking questions of people" (Creswell1994:117). A primary means of collecting social science evidence, survey research is useful because it allows for the systematic comparison of identical questions from a large sample of people, and, depending on sampling technique, allows for the generalization to the larger population from which the sample was chosen (Guppy 1998: 519). The survey of community leaders involved structured interviews. Structured interviews involve face-to-face meetings with respondents where questions are read out and answers are recorded. Such interviews provide for in-depth probes on some questions. Interviews also allow the respondents to ask questions, thereby clarifying any ambiguities. There are two important advantages of face-to-face interviews. First, they have the highest response rates among survey 139 designs and, second, they permit the longest questionnaire. Interviewers can also observe the interview setting, which may provide clues about the respondent, and can use and interpret nonverbal communication, and use visual aids in conducting the interview. Two disadvantages of structured interviews are high cost and the amount of time to do the research. The expenses typically involve training interviewers, travel, supervision, and personnel wages. Interviewer bias is also greatest in face-to-face interviews. Surveying elites requires special techniques. Powerful leaders in business, government, and community organizations are often difficult to reach. Assistants may intercept letters of introduction, and restricted access can present a formidable obstacle to face-to-face interviewing. Access is simplified when some prestigious source calls or sends a letter of introduction. As well, personal interviews with many open-ended questions are usually more successful than all closed-ended questions (Newman 1991:251). Another aspect of this research is the extensive use of secondary data analysis. I was fortunate to have access to data collected for the Eco-Research Project. It should be acknowledged that I am pursuing a particular set of interests and questions using data sets that are not ideal for my purposes. The data sets were shaped by other slightly different concerns. However, previous studies suggest that what I want to look at is very worthwhile. The Eco-Research Project, while not absolutely the right "fit" for my research, contains an unusually rich and diverse body of material, providing an excellent resource pool beyond that normally accessible to a lone doctoral student. The appropriateness of secondary data is always problematic. However, there are some important advantages of secondary data analysis, primarily regarding a savings both in time and 140 money. Assuming the data is appropriate for the study, information can be reorganized or combined in new ways to address questions of interest. Existing statistics can be used for exploratory, descriptive or explanatory purposes, but are most frequently used for descriptive research or comparison. Because of the relative completeness of the data from the Eco-Research Project, it is presumed that studies based on the findings can lead to sound general statements about the social world. Specific Procedures First Stage A certain amount of secondary analysis preceded the development of both the Abbotsford Leaders Survey and the Eco-Research Survey of public opinion. Aaron Doyle, for instance, provided a scan of the archival and historical material on Abbotsford and other valley communities. Chantelle Marlor (1994) gleaned information from census data and reports by various government ministries, while Melanie Brown scanned local newspapers, monitored local elections and a crucial referendum that lead to the merger of two cities located in the Central Fraser Valley — Abbotsford and Matsqui. There were demographic projects conducted by B C Stats, as well as interviews with knowledgeable locals about local politics, environmental politics and activism. There were component projects examining environmental planning in nine valley communities. Another part of the larger study investigated a short-lived movement protesting "environmental illness" in the Abbotsford area, while research by Andrew McKinnon (1997) compared the "ecology of environmental activism across four communities in the Lower 141 Mainland. Thus, I have an extensive body of directly related, directly relevant contextual material which gives considerable strength to my interpretations. Ethical Review The study of community leaders did not require an investigation of particularly sensitive issues. Instead, respondents were asked about contested social and political issues, political and religious affiliations, economic beliefs and values, and some personal matters such as income and shopping preferences. Still, the study needed to be conducted in accordance with the 'best practice' norms of social research which entail getting ethical clearance, first approaching potential respondents with a contact letter, and getting signed consent forms. Copies of the application for approval for research on human subjects, as well as the contact letter, and consent form can be found in the Appendices. Research Sample Data from two main sources were used in this study. Primary data came from the Abbotsford leaders interview study, while secondary data analysis is based on a province-wide telephone survey, which included an oversample of Abbotsford. A detailed description of each follows. Abbotsford Leaders Subjects were "purposefully" sampled. Our goal was to have twenty-five respondents in each of four categories: local business leaders, local community service leaders and activists, local politicians and bureaucrats, and local religious/church leaders. The use of special populations can be a powerful tool for testing theory (Sudman 1983). Of course, using such a 142 method, while it has the benefit of convenience, carries with it dangers of bias and the obvious disadvantage that one cannot analyze the data or generalize the findings in ways made possible by more rigorous sampling. Lists of potential respondents were drawn from local directories like those compiled by the Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Community Service, and the local Ministerial Association. The list provided by the Ministerial Association was in many ways the best and the most comprehensive. However, the rate of geographical and occupational mobility among the pastors, ministers, and priests, gave this list certain limitations. Other sampling frames were compiled from several sources to give adequate coverages of the political, business and community leadership. Contact letters were sent to 162 potential subjects. We were unable to contact thirty-five potential respondents (four political respondents, six bureaucrats, seven business leaders, and eighteen church leaders), frequently because they had moved outside the area, or were travelling during the time allotted for conducting the interviews. Of the 127 contacted, twenty declined, eleven of whom were church leaders, primarily from the more conservative churches. In the end, 107 face-to-face structured interviews of community leaders who live and/or worked in Abbotsford were done between March 1996 and 31 July 1996 (84 percent response rate from those we could contact). Because men dominated positions of influence, women were specifically targeted to ensure their representation. Although women formed only 28 per cent of our sample, this almost certainly over represents women community leaders in Abbotsford. Women were most likely to be community activists and least likely to be church leaders (see Table 6:1 for a breakdown of type and sex). 143 Table 6.1: Type of Respondent by Sex of Respondent — Leaders Sample Sex of Respondent Type Male Female Row Count Percent Bureaucrat count 11 4 15 row percent 73.3 26.7 14.0 column percent 14.3 13.3 total percent 10.3 3.7 Business count 18 6 24 row percent 75.0 25.0 22.4 column percent 23.4 20.0 total percent 16.8 5.6 Community leader count 6 14 20 row percent 30.0 70.0 18.7 column percent 7.8 46.7 total percent 5.6 13.1 Education count 6 3 9 row percent 66.7 33.3 8.4 column percent 7.8 10.0 total percent 5.6 2.8 Political count 12 2 14 row percent 85.7 14.3 23.4 column percent 15.6 6.7 total percent 11.2 1.9 Religious count 24 1 25 row percent 96.0 4.0 23.4 column percent 32.2 3.3 total percent 22.4 .9 Column total count 77 30 107 total percent 72.0 28.0 100.0 Note: The four main groups were business, political (political + bureaucrats), community leaders (community leaders + education) and religious. 144 This sample differs from a random sample of the general public in other important ways. The average age was 51.6 years old with a standard deviation of 8.95. Although the range was from thirty-five to seventy-three years, 50 percent were between forty-six and fifty-six years of age. Overall, these were also highly educated people. Fully 68 per cent had at least some university education, and 56.3 per cent had completed at least one degree. Clearly these were higher than proportions from the general population of the area. The 1991 census found that in Abbotsford only 9 per cent had completed a degree, while in Matsqui it was lower; only 7 per cent had finished a degree. The respondents also enjoyed a higher than average household income; 35 per cent had an annual household income of more than $95,000. In other words, more than 70 per cent of the Abbotsford Leaders had a household income of more than $55,000, while only 40 per cent of the Abbotsford population and 37 per cent of those in Matsqui had household incomes above $50,000 in the 1991 Census. These then, are people we would expect tb be more aware of environmental issues, especially environmental issues within their area, which were widely publicised and discussed at public meetings. Because they have the resources — material, social, and intellectual, we might anticipate that respondents from the Leaders Sample would reflect environmental concerns in their personal lives and in their involvement in various kinds of collective action. Eco-Research Survey The market research firm of Campbell Goodell Traynor Consultants Ltd. (located in Vancouver, British Columbia) conducted a telephone survey in July 1995. The random sample comprises 1638 respondents across British Columbia with another 100 respondents over-sampled from each ofthe Punjabi, Cantonese, and Abbotsford populations. Only the general 145 survey and the Abbotsford over-sample are used in this research. Instrumentation Abbotsford Leaders Data were collected using an interview schedule containing 175 items, most of them employing Likert-scales measuring agreement/disagreement on a series of seven-point scales. I divided the schedule into five parts. The first section consisted of open-ended questions exploring the subjects' awareness and concern for local environmental issues. Open-ended questions also explored respondents' recognition of groups and individuals actively involved with addressing those problems. The second section consisted of mainly Likert scale questions for measuring political culture. Several variables regarding economic issues were drawn from this section. A third section investigated the relationship of the individual to others in the community. The fourth section investigated consumption behaviours, while the fifth section used Likert scale questions to explore environmental concerns. This section also investigated levels of environmental activism. The sixth part specifically addressed current employment and economic concerns (since both relate to patterns of consumption). The second to last block of questions focussed on demographics. Finally, the interview schedule ended with open-ended questions that allowed respondents to pursue topics of personal interest not addressed in the main body of the schedule. On average, the interviews were one and one half hours long. 146 Data Collection Abbotsford Leaders As project manager, I was responsible for contacting respondents, setting appointments for interviews, and assigning the interview to an interviewer. I personally conducted twenty-five of the interviews. Each potential respondent was first contacted via a letter of introduction explaining the research and inviting their participation. Within a week of the expected date of receiving the letter, potential respondents were contacted by telephone and asked i f they would agree to set a time for an interview. Potential respondents were called back four times (at different times of the day, and on different days) in an attempt to include them in the study. Once the appointment was made, one of six interviewers would drive to the location where the respondent suggested he or she wished to meet. On average, each interview took about one and a half hours, but some ran considerably longer, being protracted by breaks for tea, and even meals. Respondents were frequently very friendly and accommodating, and quite happy to discuss their concerns. For example, I had the pleasure, in one case, having been served the most wonderful coffee and lunch served on an open deck off the respondent's kitchen. Beside her many gardens against a backdrop of forest, we spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon discussing environmental issues and other concerns, while completing the interview. In other cases, interviews were conducted over lunch in local restaurants, while many others were conducted at the respondent's place of employment. 147 Interviews conducted at the respondents' homes were interesting, since the environment in which the interview was conducted sometimes gave clues about the respondent. Two examples readily come to mind. In one case, a very successful businessperson was declaring his strongly held conviction that a reduction in the levels of consumption was necessary to save the environment. Yet, one quick glance around his home showed the opposite. The home was very large (he told me it was more than 5000 square feet), beautifully appointed in every detailed, luxuriantly furnished, and featured a professionally landscaped yard, complete with swimming pool. His family owned five late model cars. In another case, a headmaster of a private school was interviewed in his office. The interviewer described the surroundings as "incredibly humble — simple as heck! Plastic map table cloth on an old table, wrinkled old curtain covering a book shelf. No plush carpet and mahogany in this place!" The respondent was described as a "very kind, warm man," (underlined in the original handwritten note), who was concerned about the environment, but had not actively participated in any form of environmental activism. The shortest interview was about half an hour long while the longest went on for almost five hours. In each case, the interviewers asked permission to tape each interview to assure accuracy in recording the data. Most respondents agreed. Treatment of Data As interviews were completed, the interview schedule and tapes were collected. To ensure confidentiality, each interview schedule and tape was assigned a number. A copy of the master 148 list, which matched the names of the respondents and the number, was kept by myself and Professor Brian Elliott. Data was entered into the SPSS-PC statistical program and qualitative data was quantified where possible. Open-ended questions from selected interviews were transcribed verbatim. Key Variables Used in the Analysis A detailed listing of the variables used for analysis will be found in Appendix B. Where necessary, variables were recoded so that pro-environmental positions were given the higher value. Categories were also collapsed when necessary, to avoid blank cells or to create dichotomous variables. In brief, the following variables were included in the main analysis: Dependent Variables The primary dependent variables are (1) Cluster Membership, (2) Environmental Concern, (3) Ascale, (4) Support for Growth, and (5) Ecological Consumption. Cluster Membership is a nominal variable with four categories (1) Passives, (2) Good Citizens, (3) Communicators, and (4) Activist. This variable is used in descriptive research to determine (1) i f respondents can be categorized on the basis ofthe level of environmental activism in which they participate, and (2) what, i f any, are the significant demographic, and ideological differences between these categories of people. As well, each ofthe categories was turned into a binary variable and used in regression analysis. For example, the variable Activist vs. Other, is a binary variable used in logistic regression analysis to ascertain i f it is possible to predict who is most likely to become an activist, using demographic, economic and consumption variables. 149 Environmental Concern: Two variables from the Leaders data were used to measure local environmental concern. "Local water poses serious health risks" was the only measure of environmental concern that was statistically significant across the cluster groups from the leaders sample (Pearson chi-square probability < .05). For that reason it was selected as a measure of environmental concern for logistic regression analysis. The variable: "Local air quality poses serious health risk," was used to establish how widespread environmental concern was among respondents of the Leaders Sample. Although it might be argued that these are measures of health concerns, in fact the majority of respondents from the Leaders sample voluntarily stated that concerns with ground water quality and air pollution were local environmental concerns (see Table A. 8). The variable from the Eco-Research data used to measure local environmental concern stated: How concerned are you about the local environment? For all three variables, respondents answered the question using a seven-point scale which used numerals to ranked level of concern; "1" indicating the respondent " strongly agreed" or was "strongly concerned," while "7" indicated the respondent "strongly disagreed" or was "strongly not concerned," respectively. Ascale: This variable is a scale based on ten binary questions from a scale originally developed by David Tindall (1994) regarding participation in activities indicative of advocating environmental protection. The scale is the sum of these ten variables. Chronbach's alpha was a respectable .68. These activities include behaviours that require little effort or commitment, such as signing a petition, to more public forms of behaviour which would appear to require greater commitment to environmental issues, such as participating in a protest or demonstration 150 in support of an environmental issue. A l l these questions are listed Appendix B under "dependent variables" for the Leaders Sample and the Eco-Research Survey. Support for Economic Growth: The ordinal variable used from the Leaders data as a measure for support for growth states: "How important do you believe it is to increase industrial development?" It also uses a seven-point scale to rank agreement with the statement. The ordinal variable from the Eco-Research data used to measure support for growth states: "How important is it to maintain a high rate of economic growth?" This was measured using a four-point scale where the numeral "1" was used to indicate "high priority" and "4" was used to indicate "no priority." It is presumed that this variable is indicative ofthe degree to which an individual has internalized the dominant cultural model of the economy. Ecological Consumption: For the Leaders sample, factor analysis of thirteen measures of consumption resulted in a scale based on four variables which asked respondents how frequently they did the following (1) buy organic fruit and vegetables, (2) mend or repair items, (3) compost fruit and vegetable waste, and (4) use public transportation. Factor analysis on similar (though not, in every case, identical) variables from the Eco-Research data also resulted in an "ecological consumption" factor, although testing for scale reliability suggested that further analysis would best be served by using the variable with the highest factor loading, namely: "How frequently do you buy organic fruit and vegetables?" It is presumed that this variable is indicative of the degree to which an individual has rejected the dominant cultural model of consumption. Independent Variables Independent variables were used to describe different and similar characteristics ofthe four 151 cluster groups and to develop scales that indicate the degree to which an individual had internalized or rejected dominant cultural models of the environment, the economy, and consumption. Those variables which indicated they may have power in predicting "activists" were included in regression analysis. What follows is a brief summary of the key groups of variables used in the analysis. Environmental Activism Abbotsford Leaders, Province, Abbotsford Oversample Ten dichotomous variables developed by David Tindall (1994) were used as measures of participation in behaviour indicating support for environmental causes or issues. Respondents were asked if they had done a variety of pro-environmental activities in the previous year, such as: signing a petition or joining a protest or demonstration in support of an environmental cause or issue. These variables were used to develop the factor scores used in cluster analysis. Demographic variables. Demographic variables used in analysis include sex, marital status, highest level of education, main activity, occupation, total household income, ethnic background, age group, and i f children still lived in the home. These variables are used to compare differences among the three different samples, and then to compare differences and similarities among the four different cluster groups contained in each of the three samples. Prior research indicates that some demographic variables are statistically significant in predicting both environmental concern and pro-environmental behaviours. However, as noted previously, demographic variables are not expected to explain much of the variance between activists and non-activists. 152 Economic Variables Eight variables were used from the Abbotsford Leadership Survey to measure attitudes regarding the economy. Opinions of economic priorities were much more thoroughly explored in the Eco-Research Survey and offered some insights into the priorities of the people of British Columbia and of the general population of Abbotsford. Seven variables were used from this survey. Consumption variables A l l three samples included the same nine measures of "green consumption." Respondents were asked the frequency of the following behaviours: recycling newspapers, composting fruit and vegetable waste, use of own bags when shopping, recycling tin cans, use of public transportation, purchasing organic produce, purchasing bottled-water, turning down thermostats, turning off electric lights. For the purposes of this research, responses were reduced to a three-point scale (never, occasionally, regularly). Factor analysis of these variables resulted in the measure of Ecological Consumption, mentioned earlier as a dependent variable, also functions as an independent variables for some analysis. Other consumption variables included "type of residence," number of cars and vehicles owned or leased by the household, usual form of transportation, whether respondent has a regular commute. Respondents from the Abbotsford Leaders Survey were also asked about the distance of public transportation from their personal residence and workplace (or other place regularly attended) and the frequency they mended or reused items. They were also asked to define the "type" of consumer they were (based on five possible categories). These five categories were later recoded to (1) thrifty consumers (2) green consumers, and (3) status 153 consumers. New Ecological Paradigm Variables Eight variables were used from the Leaders Sample to measure NEP values. These variables, added to others which measured attitudes regarding the environment, resulted in three scales, Limits to Growth (alpha = .84); Balance of Nature (alpha = .82) and Humans Over Nature (alpha = .65) were used. Other research indicates that acceptance of the Balance of Nature (considered a measure of biospheric values) and Limits to Growth paradigms is widespread. However, the rejection of the idea that humans hold a rightful mastery over nature has less well-spread evidence, according to Scott and Willits (1994). For that reason, the Human over Nature variable is probably not part of the same New Ecological paradigm as the other two. It is included here as evidence of support for the Dominant Western Worldview and as a measure of egotistic values. Ten variables were used from the Province Sample and the Abbotsford Oversample to measure NEP paradigms. Environmental Concern Five variables from the Abbotsford Leaders Sample were used to measure aspects related to environmental concern. Abbotsford leaders were asked to express their level of concern for the local environment, and also the degree to which they believed local water or air quality posed a risk. Five variables from the Province Sample and the Abbotsford Oversample were used to measure aspects related to environmental concern. 154 Measures of Self Interest Two different measures of "self-interest," "security values" and "egotistic values," are assumed to be negatively related to levels of participation in behaviours supportive of environmental issues. Six variables measuring "materialistic values" were included in the Eco- Research Survey. These are listed in Appendix B , under Eco-Research Survey — Independent Variables Security Variables. Factor analysis revealed two "security" values — economic security and physical security. Because the alpha statistic for scale reliability was not high for either measure, I substituted the variable with the highest factor loadings in subsequent analysis. "Economic security" was represented by the variable which asked "How important is it to maintain a high rate of economic growth?" "Physical security" was represented by the variable, "How important is it to maintain order in the nation?" Both these variables used a 4 category, Likert-type scale to measure the priority respondents gave to these issues. For the Leaders Sample, concern for economic security was measured using the variable: (1) How important do you believe it is to increase industrial development? Physical security was measured using the variable: (2) How important do you believe it is to reduce crime and delinquency? Egotistic values place self-interest ahead of the interests of other beings. In this case, I used a scale, Humans Over Nature as a measure of egotistic values for all three samples. This scale is based on factor analysis of New Ecological Paradigm variables (listed in Appendix B under "Independent Variables" for both the Leaders and the Eco-Research Survey). For the Abbotsford Oversarnple and for the Province Sample the variables included in the scale were 155 (1) Plants and animals exist primarily to be used by people; (2) People have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs; and (3) People need not adapt to the environment because they can remake it to suit their needs. Chronbach's alpha was .55. For the Leaders Sample, the variables included in the scale were: (1) People have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs; (2) Plants and animals exist to be used by people; (3) My behaviour as one individual makes no difference; and (l)People must live in harmony with nature (negative relationship). Chronbach's alpha was .65 Measures of "Concern" Three different measures of "concern" were assumed to be positively related to levels of participation in behaviours supportive of environmental issues — "quality of life values," "altruistic values," and "biospheric values" Fourteen variables, similar but not identical to the post-materialist variables of Inglehart (1990;1995) were included from the Leaders Survey. Factor analysis was used to develop four scales from these variables. One of these scales, Green Economics was used as a measure of "quality of life values." This scale was based on the following variables (1) Government should do more to protect the environment; (2) Large corporations must reduce their demands on natural resources; (3) Provide free university education for those with high marks; (4) Force industry to bear the costs of stopping air and water pollution; (5) People who control big corporate money have things their own way. Strong support for this scale indicates a concern for quality of life issues and less concern for security issues. Chronbach's alpha was .78. A second scale, from the same factor analysis was used to represent "altruistic values." Preserve is based on the following variables: (l)Increase economic aid to poorer countries, (2) Increase 156 the number of parks and recreational areas, and (3) Must control industrial growth to maintain a healthy economy. Chronbach 's alpha was .60. The highest factor loading was for the first variable, measuring support for increased economic aid to developing nations. This seemed a reasonable measure of altruism. The measure of "biospheric values" was based on the Balance of Nature scale. This scale was developed through factor analysis of variables measuring attitudes related to environmental issues. This scale was based on high factor loadings for the following variables;(l) People are abusing the environment; (2) When people interfere with nature, it often produces disastrous results; (3) The environmental crisis is exaggerated (negatively associated); (4) People must live in harmony with nature; (5) Local air quality poses serious health risks; (6) There are limits to growth beyond which industrial society cannot expand; and (7) It is important to buy environmentally friendly products. Chronbach's alpha is .82. Six variables were included from the Eco-Research Survey that specifically measured "post-materialism." Some of these variables are presumed to measure "altruistic values," while others measure "quality of life values." Factor analysis revealed two "post-materialist" factors. One, Input, seemed a measure of "quality of life" concerns. Variables with high factor loadings were: (1) Give people more say in important government decisions and (2) People should have more say in how things get decided at work and in the community. Because of the low alpha values, the first variable was used as a substitute for the scale itself. A second factor based on post-materialist variables was also revealed. Progress had high factor loadings on three variables: (1) Progress toward a society where ideas are more important than money, (2) progress toward less impersonal more humane society, and (3) protect nature from being spoiled 157 and polluted. Again, because of the low alpha value, the first variable was used as a substitute for the scale. Progress was used as a measure of "altruistic values." Finally, "biospheric values" were measured by a Balance of Nature Scale, similar to, but not identical to the one used for the Leaders Sample. This scale was determined by factor analysis of the New Ecological Paradigm variables (listed in Appendix B , under Eco-Research Survey — Independent Variables). Variables with high factor loadings included: (1) When people interfere with nature, it often produces disastrous results; (2) People must live in harmony with nature in order to survive (3) (People are severely abusing the environment and (4) We are approaching the limit to the number of people that the earth can support. Chronbach's alpha was .61. Methods of Analysis Details regarding the method of analysis are available in Appendix C. What follows is a brief summary. After data were entered and checked for errors, variables were selected for analysis. Descriptive statistics were used for examining the dispersion and distribution of the variables. The first stage of analysis involved assigning respondents to different groups or "clusters" based on their environmental activism. The first step was to do principal components analysis of the environmental activism variables. The rotation of factors is an important step, it offers important advantages: Unrotated factor solutions achieve the objective of data reduction, but the analyst must ask if the unrotated factor solution (while fulfilling desirable mathematical requirements) will provide information that offers the most adequate interpretation of the variables under examination. In most instances the answer 158 to this question will be no. Therefore, the basic reason for employing a rotational method is to achieve simpler and theoretically more meaningful factor solutions. Rotation of the factors in most cases improves the interpretation by reducing some of the ambiguities that often accompany initial unrotated factor solutions. (Hairetal. 1992:232). VAREV1AX rotation was selected because it has proven very successful as an analytical approach to obtaining an orthogonal rotation of factors, important because this eliminates collinearity. The factor scores were saved and used in cluster analysis to assign respondents to different groups. The third step involved using contingency tables to check the accuracy ofthe cluster analysis in assigning respondents to groups based on their environmental activism. The second stage involved comparing groups both within the three samples and among the three samples. Analysis of variance was not chosen, since the respondents were not randomly assigned to groups. Instead, contingency tables were used to give some feeling as to how the groups differed or were similar using the different independent variables listed above and detailed in the tables found in Appendix A. The third stage involved discovering whether cultural models can be used to explain differences between the groups. First, factor analysis was employed to determine whether underlying factors could be discovered. Next, logistic regression analysis was conducted to see which variables could predict those who were most committed to the protection of the environment. Those independent variables that were found to be statistically significant on the dependent variable, Activist vs. Other, were used in logistic regressions for all four groups so that the group could be compared. Finally, multiple regression was used to determine whether variables representing underlying values affected environmental activism. 159 Summary This research compares findings from three samples taken from two data sets. One data set, The Leaders Sample, provides primary data based on interviews conducted with 107 purposefully sampled leaders from the community of Abbotsford, British Columbia. Secondary data analysis was based on two samples, the larger of which is a random sample of the British Columbia population, while the smaller is a random sample of the Abbotsford population. Variables selected for analysis primarily dealt with the economy, quality of life issues, security issues, environmental concern, patterns of consumption, and environmental activism. Analysis involved four main steps: (1) cluster analysis to assign respondents to groups based on their environmental activism; (2) comparing groups within samples, and between samples, (3) logistic regression, to determine i f cultural models can be used to predict individuals who are most active in their commitment to preserving the environment, and (4) multipl e regression, to determine which key independent variables were predictive of high levels of environmental concern and environmental activism. 160 CHAPTER SEVEN THE PEOPLE OF PARADISE Introduction The original question to be answered was: What motivates people to act in ways that are (apparently) not in their best interest? In particular, why does the behaviour of people not reflect their apparent concern for the environment? To answer these questions, respondents from all three samples were first categorized according to their level of environmental activism. In this chapter we examine how the respondents were classified and some ofthe characteristics of these groups. Cluster Analysis Cluster analysis is useful when the researcher is faced with a large number of observations that are meaningless unless classified into manageable groups. Cluster analysis can be used to perform this data reduction procedure objectively by reducing the information from an entire data set to information about specific smaller subgroups. Application of cluster analysis techniques involves three major stages: (1) partitioning; (2) interpretation, and (3) validation and profiling. The first question to be considered during the partitioning stage is: What are the variables used in computing similarity among respondents? Ten Environmental Activism variables, developed by David Tindall (1994), were selected. These ask whether the respondents 161 had done any of the following in support of an environmental issue during the previous year: (1) signed a petition, (2) displayed a bumper sticker or worn a pin in support of the environment (3) boycotted a product because of environmental concerns, (4) joined an environmental group (5) donated money to support an environmental cause (6) worked to elect someone because of their environmental views? (7) written a letter about the environment to the newspaper? (8) phoned a television/radio talk show about environmental issues?, (9) written a public official about an environmental matters?, (10) joined a protest or demonstration concerned with the environ-ment? (See Appendix B for details). Because raw variables contain interdependencies that are likely to bias the cluster analysis results, factor analysis was the first step, since it removes such interdependencies (which reflect the number of variables in each dimension and their intercorrelations), by representing the data as a relatively independent and parsimonious set of factors (Lorr 1983). The use of Environmental Activism factors was also appealing because these factors are theoretically meaningful and interpretable, and represent an acceptable classification of environmental activism. Table 7.1 shows the results of factor analysis ofthe ten Environmental Activism variables used for all three samples. Because of the small sample size for the Leaders and the Abbotsford Oversarnple samples, the mean was substituted for missing data. Three factors were found for each of the three samples: Tokenism, Activism, and Communication. Although similar, these factors were not identical across all three samples. Tokenism refers to environmental activism that does not create undue hardship or require significant effort on the part of the individual. This factor was able to explain between 26 percent and 27.8 percent ofthe variance between the factors. As Table 7.1 reveals, across all three samples, the factor Tokenism has high factor loadings for the following forms of so 3 & > « o co rt C U C O 2 cn . 5 «*"> 3= o p. 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These three were the only variables that showed high factor loadings for Tokenism Leaders Sample. Cronbach's alpha is .64. The Abbotsford Oversarnple showed an addition three variables as having high factor loadings: boycott a product for the sake of the environment (60); worked to elect someone because of their views of the environment (.46); and wrote to public officials about an environmental issue (.52). Cronbach's alpha was .67. The Tokenism-Province Sample was similar to Tokenism-Abbotsford Oversarnple, but it did not include "writing to public officials." Cronbach's alpha was .62. The one variable that showed high factor loadings for Activism across all three samples was: "Joined a protest or demonstration in support of an environmental cause." Activism-Abbotsford Oversarnple included only two variables: joined a protest or demonstration (.92); and "joined an environmental group"(.91). Cronbach's alpha was .79. Activism- Leaders Sample had several variables with high factor loadings, including: boycott a product (.66); worked to elect someone (.63); wrote to public officials (.42); phoned television or radio talk show about an environment issue (.51); and joined a protest or demonstration (.55). Cronbach's alpha was .62. Finally, Activism-Province Sample had high factor loadings for: joined an environmental group (.74); joined a protest or demonstration (.64), wrote to public officials (.48); displayed bumper stickers or wore a pin (.36) and donated money (.35). Chronbach's alpha was .61. The factor, Communication-Leaders Sample had high factor loadings for: wrote to the newspapers (.80); joined an environmental group (.78); and wrote to public officials (.69). Cronbach's alpha was .52. Communication-Abbotsford Oversarnple had high factor loadings 164 for: phoned television or radio talk show (.83); wrote to newspapers (.76); and wrote to public officials (.53). Cronbach's alpha was .56. Communication-Province Samplehad high factor loadings for: phoned a television or radio talk show (.76); wrote to newspapers (.69); wrote to public officials (.48) and worked to elect someone (.33). Chronbach's alpha was .50. Although there are differences among the samples, it was presumed that enough similarities existed to make credible comparisons possible. Thus, the underlying factor of Tokenism referred to forms of environmental activism, such as signing a petition, donating money, or displaying bumper stickers, all of which require little effort. The common variable for the factor Activism was 'participation in a protest or demonstration in support of an environmental cause.' Thus, the underlying factor appeared to be effort and commitment on the part ofthe respondent in support of environmental causes. Finally, the underlying factor in Communication was a willingness to communicate to others about environmental issues, either through writing to newspapers or public officials, or through contacting talk shows. Because the measures of scale reliability were reasonable (Chronbach's alpha measures range from .50 to .79), the factor loadings were saved as variables which were then used in cluster analysis to group individuals on the basis of their environmental activism. The initial cluster analysis, using Ward's method of Euclidean distances between the cases, suggested between two and six clusters. Subsequently, it was determined that the four cluster solution was the most appropriate representation of the data. Tables 7.2,7.3, and 7.4 show the results of nonhierarchical (K-means) cluster analysis for the Leaders, Abbotsford Oversarnple, and Province samples respectively. In each case, cluster analysis resulted in four groups of varying sizes. 165 Leaders Sample (Table 7.2) In examining the mean values ofthe final cluster centres, it was apparent that members of Cluster 1 limited their environmental activism, relative to the members of other clusters, to token efforts (X, — Tokenism). Members of Cluster 2, relative to the members in other clusters, were more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviour that demanded more commitment (X 2 — Activism). Members of Cluster 3, relative to the members in other clusters, were unlikely to engage in environmental activism. Finally, members of Cluster 4, relative to the members of other clusters, were most likely to engage in communication as their chosen form of environmental activism (X 3 — Communication). The levels of significance between cluster centres were p < .001. Abbotsford Oversarnple (Table 7.3) Although the ordering of the clusters was not identical to that of the Leaders Sample, the net result was similar. In examining the mean values ofthe final clusters centres, it was evident that members of Cluster 1 were most likely to pursue communication as their chosen form of environmental activism (X 3 — Communication). Members of Cluster 2, relative to the members of the other three clusters, were most likely to engage in token forms of environmental activism (Xj — Tokenism). Members of Cluster 3, relative to the members of the other clusters, were unlikely to engage in environmental activism. Finally, members of Cluster 4, relative to the members of the other clusters, were most likely to engage in forms of environmental activism that demand commitment and time ( X 2 — Activism). The level of significance of the differences between the cluster centres for each variable used, was p < .001. 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W CU -2 cn CO • 5 S en la *c > s cu U s cu cu cu 8 CJ R cu CJ ! .5 o o o © o o o o o 00 t--r> v-i so 00 ro VI vo CN 00 0< CN o CN OS CO CN SO rt rt o © o Os' os ON CN CN r-i v> VO v-> rt rt OS CN vs OS OS CN ro xt CN CN xt xt SO © r- «— 00 ro *—1 xt 00 oo CN CN r- OS ro CO s CO '3 CU ' ? •43 o < X X X 169 Province Sample (Table 7.4) Since this was a large data set (N=1533), compared to the Leaders Sample (N= 107) and the Abbotsford Oversarnple (N = 101), and the subjects were randomly sampled, the findings should be generalizable to the population of British Columbia. As such, it sets a benchmark against which I compare the findings of the other two samples. In examining the mean values of the final clusters centres, it was evident that members of Cluster 1, were most likely to focus their environmental activism as communication (X 3 —-Communication) or tokenism (Xj — Tokenism). Members of Cluster 2, relative to the members of the other three clusters, were most likely to engage in token forms of environmental activism (X, — Tokenism). Interestingly, members of Cluster 2 also scored high for Activism (X 2 ), though not as high as members of Cluster 4. Members of Cluster 3 were unlikely to engage in environmental activism. Members of Cluster 4 were most likely to focus on communication (X 3 — Communication) and forms of activism that demand commitment and time (X2—Activism). Again, the level of significance for the differences between the cluster centres was p < .001. Based on the cluster means for the derived factor scores and the cluster sizes (see Table 7.2, Table 7.3, and Table 7.4), the clusters were labelled as follows: 1. Passives, classifying 48 percent of the Leaders Sample, 65 percent of the Abbotsford Oversarnple, and 73 percent of the Provincial Sample, represented individuals, whose level of environmental activism was below average on all three factors {Tokenism, Activism, and Communication). In the face of environmental degradation, and in spite of environmental concern, Passives were the least likely to take action. 2. Good Citizens, classifying 33.6 percent of the Leaders Sample, 25 percent of the 170 Abbotsford Oversarnple, and 13.7 percent of the Provincial Sample, characterized individuals who were below average for Communication and Activism, but were highest on the Tokenism factor. Although these individuals engaged in some forms of environmental activism indicating support for an environmental issue, the implication was that they were less willing to engage activities that required substantial effort or inconvenience. 3. Communicators, classifying 10 percent ofthe Leaders Sample, 7 percent of the Abbotsford Oversarnple, and 8.7 percent of the Province Sample, represented individuals whose environmental activism consisted primarily of communicating their concerns to either the media or public officials. These individuals were unlikely to engage in protests or demonstrations. 4. Activists, classifying 8.4 percent of the Leaders Sample, 3 percent of the Abbotsford Oversarnple, and 4.5 percent of the Province Sample, were individuals most likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviour, such as protests and demonstrations, that required commitment and involved greater inconvenience than either token or communicative forms of environmental activism. However, it should not be assumed that these "activists" were on the vanguard of radical environmentalism, or represented the sort of "activists," such as leaders of Earth First!, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, or Greenpeace, who sometimes make the headlines in the popular media. The terms "Good Citizens" and "Activists" are borrowed from research conducted by David Karp (1996), and are similarly applied here. o tf W Tf cn o CN OS SO cn CN 00 cn 1-1 Os OS —l so T t CN 00 <N CN r~- sd SO cn cn l-H 00 00 00 i - H 00 i—H vi <n r f r f CN CN r-° o o SO r f cn r- r f SO vi m r f T f cn cn sd so r f r t vi <n <n <n 00 CN cn <n <n so r t r- cn i—t os 00 CN r f <n vi r t i - H 00 00 1—1 CN r -CN r t <n in r t cn so SO cn CN r--r-° CN Os° © ' Os l-H oo 00 OS —< p p r - m r t so so r t 00 CN CN 00 i - H vi vi SD cn OS © in r f r-° CN r-° cn so CN SO cn so cn Os CN OS 00 C N o © CN • o? 00 cn so cn so CN Os O 00 00 Os o C N o o SO' r f so m o o o © O o SO © ©" Os TT OS l - H o o © o O © 00 CN 00 CN Os 00 r - H 00 00 i — o o • o o • O fcj. o r f cn U r- cn r- m sd cn sd cn SO cn so cn o o © r - cn r t so l-H OS sd so cn cn i - H r -oo' CN <n CN r f CJ CN — SO CJ so CN rt o o o o vt Os —< 00 00 - H so in o o r f r t 00 C N C N r-Os O r- C N o o o o 00 CN 00 i - H cn cn r- m cn o cn cn so SO cn cn sd SO so SO cn" cn sd so cn cn o o 1 • o l - H Os t-- cn cn r-. 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Q CO o o •5 cu ts CU i — l T 3 cu 3 O O co § Si. "S 3 m o 1 C H 3 cu I O co cu o IH (X c« T 3 cu .9 o 172 Checking the Results of Cluster Analysis. Based on Tables 7.2, Table 7.3, and Table 7.4, it was expected that for the typology to be valid: (a) communication behaviours should be more frequent among Communicators and Activists and least evident among Passives; (b) attendance at demonstrations and protests in support of environmental issues should be more frequent amorigActivists and less frequent with Passives, Communicators, and Good Citizens; and (c) token forms of environmental activism should be more frequent among Good Citizens and least evident among Passives. Following the example of Jagdip Singh (1990), cross-tabulations were done, using the ten Environmental Activism variables and cluster membership. Should the cluster analysis be faulty, there should be a great deal of discrepancy between the expected results and what the cross-tabulations revealed. Table 7.5 shows that variation across the four clusters, for all three samples, was significant for all variables tested. The hypothesized pattern was strongly supported. Hypothesis 1 states: "The largest group from each sample will consist of respondents who seldom or never engage in behaviours indicative of supporting an environmental issue." The largest group for each sample, Passives, consisted of those respondents who had participated in few, if any, of the ten behaviours indicative of supporting an environmental issue. The corollary to Hypothesis 1 is also supported; other small groups defined by their level of participation in behaviours supporting environmental issues were also revealed. The Leaders Sample Of the total sample of 107 respondents, 51 were classified as Passives, 36 were classified as Good Citizens, 11 were classified as Communicators, and 9 were classified as Activists. J2 "a, 1 00 1 bp C CD N b "O O O O 0 > "to </) to a. co > < CO a *c £ £ o O o © V «x I co u c o CD PH 174 Passives were distinguished from the other groups by their almost nonexistent levels of environmental activism (see Figure 7.1 and Table 7.5). None had joined an environmental group in the previous year and only one claimed membership in an environmental group (in spite of a very generous interpretation of what this could mean). None had ever written a letter to a newspaper voicing concerns about the environment, or had any ever joined a protest or demonstration in support of an environmental cause. Only one person from this group had phoned a television or radio talk show in support of an environment issue, despite there being serious environmental issues in Abbotsford, although a few had written a public official. Generally, there was little support for even relatively painless expressions of environmental concern. For instance, more than 90 percent had never done any of the following in support of an environmental issue: signed a petition, displayed a bumper sticker or worn a pin, or donated money. Only one in three had boycotted a product because of environmental concern. Only lOpercent had ever worked to elect someone because of their environmental views. Good Citizens, on the other hand, did engage in some forms of environmental activism. In the twelve months prior to their interview, more than 90 percent had donated money to an environmental cause, and more than 60 percent had signed a petition. On the other hand, only one in four had displayed a bumper sticker or wore a pin, only one in three had boycotted a product, only 30 percent had joined an environmental group, and only 22 percent had worked to elect someone because of their environmental views. Two-thirds of these Good Citizens had written a letter to a public official about an environmental issue, but only 2.8 percent had written a letter to the newspapers and none had phoned a talk show about environmental concerns. None of the Good Citizens had joined a protest or demonstration in support of an environmental issue. 175 In the previous year, more than 90 percent of Communicators had written a letter to the newspaper, and more than 80 percent had written to a public official regarding an environmental issue or cause. Interestingly, only 18 percent had ever phoned a talk-show about environmental concerns. Communicators were more likely to join a protest or demonstration, to work to elect someone, or to join an environmental group than either Passives or Good Citizens. On the other hand, Communicators were less likely than Good Citizens to do the following: sign a petition; display a bumper sticker or wear a pin in support of the environment; boycott a product, or donate money. Activists were the most likely to do the following: sign a petition display bumper stickers or wear a pin, boycott a product because of an environmental issue, work to elect someone because of their views on the environment, to phone a talk-show regarding an environmental issue, or join a protest or demonstration in support of an environmental cause. None of the Activists had written a letter to the newspapers although two-thirds had written letters to public officials regarding environmental issues. As well, only 11.1 percent stated they had joined an environmental group in the past year. However, this does accurately reflect their involvement; 100 percent belonged to an environmental group of one form or another — some had obviously been members of such organizations for more than one year. Abbotsford Oversample Of the 101 respondents, 66 were classified as Passives, 2 5 were classified as Good Citizens, seven were classified as Communicators, and only three were classified as Activists. Passives were very unlikely to participate in environmental activism. None of the sixty-six, for instance had done any of the following in the previous year in support of an environmental cause: displayed a bumper sticker or worn a pin, joined an environmental group, phoned a 176 television or radio talk show, or joined a protest or demonstration. However, these Passives were slightly more likely than Passives from the Leaders Sample to do the following: sign a petition in support of an environmental cause; donate money, and work to elect a "green" candidate. Oh the other hand, they were less likely to boycott a product than their counterpart in the Leaders Sample, and fewer had written to public officials about environmental concerns. None of the members of this cluster had discussed environmental issues on a television or radio talk show, although one person had written a letter to a newspaper. As predicted, Good Citizens were most likely to be involved in forms of environmental activism that required little effort or commitment. Thus, Good Citizens were more likely than members of the other clusters to have done the following in the previous year in support of an environmental cause or issue: sign a petition, display a bumper sticker or wear a pin, boycott a product, or donate money (76 percent). Almost two-thirds of Good Citizens stated that they had worked to elect someone because of their environmental views, and 40 percent had written to a public official about an environmental issue. However, none had written a letter to the newspapers, phoned a talk show, or joined a protest or demonstration, and only 12 percent joined an environmental group. Communicators from the Abbotsford Oversample were very conservative. More than 85 percent had written a letter to the newspapers or a public official, and almost 60 percent had phoned a talk show regarding an environmental issue. However, they were less likely than Good Citizens to sign a petition, to display bumper stickers or wear pins, to boycott a product, or to donate money. None joined an environmental group or joined a protest. Of the four clusters, Communicators were the least likely to work to elect someone because of their 177 views on the environment. It is difficult to comment on the Activists — there are so few of them, only three! A l l three had joined a protest or a demonstration regarding an environmental cause and all three had written to a public official for similar reasons. Only one in three had done the following: signed a petition, displayed bumper stickers, written a letter to the newspapers, and phoned a talk show. Two of three had donated money and had worked to elect someone. With such a small sample, one can only say with confidence that these few did agree with the general direction expected from Activists, though comparison with other clusters or with the two other samples was necessarily very limited. Province Sample Of the 1533 Provincial Sample respondents, 1120 were classified as Passive, 211 were classified as Good Citizens, 133 were classified as Communicators, and 69 were classified as Activists. Virtually 100 percent of the Passives had never done the following in support of an environmental issue: joined a protest or demonstration, joined an environmental group, written a letter to the newspaper, or phoned a television or radio talk show (see Figure 7.2 and Table 7.5). Only 7.5 percent had ever written a public official about an environmental concern. Passives were the least likely to sign a petition, though they were more than four times as likely to do so than Passives from the Leaders Sample. They were also significantly less likely to display bumper stickers or wear pins, to boycott a product, to donate money or to work to elect someone because of their position on an environmental issue. 179 Good Citizens were the most likely to sign a petition, to display bumper stickers, or donate money. They were almost twice the rate of their counterparts from the Leaders Sample to do the following: display bumper sticker or wear a pin; boycott a product; or join an environmental group. Almost half stated they had joined a protest or demonstration in support of an environ-mental cause, while none of the Good Citizens from the Leaders Sample had done so. On the other hand, Good Citizens from the Leaders Sample were more likely to have written to a public official. It was extremely unlikely for Good Citizens to have written a letter to a newspaper, or to have phoned a talk show regarding an environmental issue. According to the cluster means (see Table 7.4), Communicators should show high levels of both token and communicative forms of environmental activism, but weak on activist forms of environmental activism. My analysis verifies this. Less than 4 percent of Communicators had joined an environmental group or joined a protest, compared to 45 percent and 18.2 percent respectively for Communicators from the Leaders Sample. Communicators from both the Leaders Sample and the Abbotsford Oversample were more likely to have written a public official. Only 34.6 percent from this group of Communicators had done so. Similarly, Communicators from both the Leaders Sample and Has Abbotsford Oversample were more likely to have written a letter to a newspaper. Only 36 percent of this group of Communicators had done so. However, this particular group of Communicators was more likely to phone a television or radio talk show about an environmental issue, to sign a petition, to boycott a product, to donate, money, or to work to elect someone because of their views on the environment than their counterparts in the other two samples. According to the mean value of the clusters on Table 7.4, this particular group of Activists 180 should show higher than average levels of participation for forms of environmentalism involving communication and "hard-core" forms of activism such as participating in protests. More than 90 percent had written a letter to newspapers in support of an environmental cause, the highest rate among all three samples. Almost 80 percent had written a public official, and 40 percent had phoned a talk show regarding an environmental issue. Activists were the most likely to have joined a protest or demonstration (56,9 percent — a rate very similar to the Activists in the Leaders Sample) and to have joined an environmental group (72.5 percent). More than 70 percent had signed a petition, boycotted a product, or donated money toward an environmental cause. More than 40 percent had displayed bumper stickers or worn pins that supported an environmental cause. As well, 42 percent had worked to elect someone because of their views on the environment. Summary The overall picture reveals that for each sample, the smallest group consists of Activists who were willing to support pro-environmental issues with behaviours that require both commitment and effort. Activists were more likely than respondents from the other groups to join protests and demonstrations or to be members of Environmental organizations, for instance. Respondents from a slightly larger group, Communicators, were the most likely to engage in forms of pro-environmental behaviour that involves communication. However, they were unlikely to join a protest or demonstration or to display bumper stickers or wear pins in support of an environmental cause. The second largest group, Good Citizens, willingly engaged in many forms of pro-environmental behaviour, but were less likely to engage in those forms that involved communication. Their strongest support was for those forms of pro-environmental 181 action that required the least effort, such as donating money. Finally, it should be remembered that the majority of people were passive in their levels of environmental activism. When Passives did engage in pro-environmental behaviour, it was primarily in the forms that required the least amount of effort. Demographic and Socio-Economics Differences Tables 7.6 and 7.7 compare socio-economic and demographic variables for all three samples. The following demographic and socio-economic variables were statistically significant for the clusters from the Province Sample: marital status, children living at home, education level, main activity (p < .05), and occupation (p < .01). Ethnic background (p < .01) and age group (p < .05) were statistically significant for the clusters from the Abbotsford Sample. Age was also statistically significant for the clusters from the Leaders Sample (p < .01). Clearly, all four groups from the Leaders Sample were better educated and more affluent on average than their counterparts in either the Abbotsford Oversample or the Province Sample. Many Passives had lower levels of education, lower household income^ and less material wealth when compared to others from the same sample. With the exception of the Leaders Sample, Communicators were likely to have less education than Passives, although they frequently had higher household incomes. Many of these respondents had the time available to state their opinions in a public manner. The majority of them, for instance, did not have 182 Table 7.6: Demographic Variables (percentage) Abbotsford Abbotsford Province Leaders Oversample Sex n=107 n=101 n=1652 male 72.0 43.6 49.5 female 28.0 56.4 50.5 Education n=107 n=95 n=1632 some seeon dary education or less 4.7 16.8 16.7 completed secondary 0.9 29.5 22.7 some post secondary 20.5 28.4 21.3 technical diploma 11.2 8.4 12.5 university degree 62.6 16.8 26.8 Main activity n=107 n=101 n=1648 working 84.1 56.4 59.3 student 1.9 3.0 5..3 homemaker 2.8 10.9 7.4 retired 9.3 20.8 20.3 other 1.9 9.0 0.2 Occupation n=94 n=82 n=749 Professional/Management/Executive 84.0 19.2 44.2 Sales 6.4 10.6 6.1 Clerical 1.1 10.6 10.8 Skilled labour 2.1 31.9 21.6 Unskilled Labour 4.3 8.5 5.3 Other/refused 2.1 19.1 11.9 Total Household Income n=97 n=82 n=1383 less than $25,000 4.1 23.2 22.6 $25,000 - $34,999 6.2 18.3 16.8 $35,000 - $44,999 6.2 18.3 15.7 $45,000 - $54,999 11.3 17.1 11.8 $55,000 - $64,999 11.3 4.9 9.8 $65,000 - $74,999 9.3 8.5 7.7 over $75,000 51.6 9.8 15.6 married n=107 n-97 n=1652 yes 84.1 68.0 53.0 Children living at home n=103 n=100 n=1607 yes 51.4 36.0 32.0 183 Abbotsford Abbotsford Province Leaders Oversarnple Ethnic Background n=107 n=97 n= 1,583 Western European 81.3 79.4 76.6 Eastern European 1.9 6.2 8.8 Chinese 1.9 - 3.2 Indo-Canadian 2.8 3.1 1.6 Other/not stated/unknown 12.2 11.3 12.2 Age n=107 n=99 n= 1,635 15-24 - 9.1 11.9 25-34 1.9 20.2 21.7 35-44 15.8 20.2 20.6 45-54 49.5 17.2 17.3 55-64 21.4 19.2 11.7 65-74 10.3 9.1 11.4 >75 0.9 5.1 5.5 T f oo <u T3 (Tt CU rt T f u m CJ CJ Os S O cn —i in CJ ON rt 00 00 *-< r t sO so m" cn so so T f © ' os' cn so r- C N C N r-Os Os oo' vi 00 r~ cn CN K r~ CN *—• Os sd cn" 00 —* CO P"; r t vi 00 —i © ° . ° . 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CJ « o 55 > 2 3 - O CU co CJ cu - O OH O _D CD 187 children living at home, making demands on their time. Also, Communicators appear to have been an older population, a higher proportion of these respondents were retired, compared to other groups. Generally speaking, Good Citizens (with the interesting exception of Good Citizens from the Abbotsford Oversample) had as high or higher levels of education as the Activists. Accordingly, they also enjoyed the highest household incomes. The majority of Activists were married, middle-aged, and many still had children living at home. Activist-Leaders were clearly much more affluent and better educated than the average Canadian. Having established (1) that the respondents from the three samples can be classified by their level and variation of their behaviour in support of environmental issues, (2) that the largest group from each sample will consist of those respondents who are the least likely to engage in behaviour in support of an environmental issue, and that (3) other, smaller groups wil l also be formed from each sample, the next step is to determine whether environmental concern is widespread among the respondents in different groups. 188 CHAPTER EIGHT ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN Hypothesis 2 states that the majority of respondents in each cluster group will express concern for the environment. Since one would assume that concern for the environmen