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Marco Sonnberger and Michael Ruddat

The transition to renewable energy in Germany is an enormous task. It requires long-term and intensive communication as well as the cooperation of all societal groups and systems (politics, economy, science, civil society, and citizens). The

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Roger A. Pielke

This essay explores the management and creation of ignorance via an exploration of the landscape of eastern Germany, which has seen profound social, political, and technological changes over the past several decades. Like in many places around the world decision makers in eastern Germany are seeking to reach a future state where seemingly conflicting outcomes related to the economy and the environment are simultaneously realized. The management of ignorance is an important but often overlooked consideration in decision making that the concept of "post-normal science" places into our focus of attention.

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Erik Gawel, Sebastian Strunz, and Paul Lehmann

The German energy transition repeatedly faces harsh critiques questioning its economic and environmental merits. This article defends the energy transition and argues that Germany has chosen an economically efficient and particularly forceful approach to securing a sustainable energy supply. Though current expenditures are high, the long-term benefits of transforming the energy system to a renewables-based system are likely to outweigh present investment costs. Furthermore, support policies for renewables are not redundant-as some critics claim-but instead complement other policy instruments, such as the emissions trading scheme. This article also addresses the motives behind the discrediting attacks on the German energy policy regime. Defensive actions by beneficiaries of the former energy market structure are only to be expected, but the attacks from liberal economists are astonishingly fierce.

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Karl-Werner Brand

Goodbody, Axel. 2007. Nature, Technology and Cultural Change in Twentieth-Century German Literature: The Challenge of Ecocriticism. New York: Palgrave.

Markham, William T. 2008. Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany: Hardy Survivors in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. New York: Berghahn Books.

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Henning Best

This article aims to empirically test the so called low-cost hypothesis. The hypothesis posits that cost moderates the strength of the relationship between environmental concern and behavior. The effects of the behavioral cost and environmental concern on household waste recycling were evaluated, using empirical data collected from 2,695 respondents in Cologne, Germany. Empirically, a clear effect of both behavioral cost and environmental concern can be identified. Recycling rates are higher when a curbside scheme is implemented or the distance to collection containers is low. In addition, the probability of recycling participation rises when the actor has a pronounced environmental concern. This effect of environmental attitudes does not vary with behavioral cost and opportunities. Therefore, the low-cost hypothesis is not supported by the study.

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William T. van Markham and C.S.A. (Kris) Koppen

This article investigates the messages about climate change that ten nature protection organizations in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States communicate to their members and the public through their Internet sites, member magazines, and annual reports. Based on analysis of this content, we conclude that all the organizations address climate change, but to varying extents and in differing ways. All of the organizations note that climate change is a major problem, has a significant impact on nature, and should be addressed mainly via mitigation. With the partial exception of the Dutch groups, all also inform their members about domestic climate change politics. Other themes, including international dimensions of climate change, adaptation to climate change, consumer behavior, collaboration with and criticism of business, and efforts to pressure business or government received less emphasis overall. How much emphasis the organizations gave these themes was conditioned by their traditions, constituencies, national context, and international affiliations.

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Dieter Rink

Since about the 1980s shrinkage has become a new normality especially for European cities and urban regions. As a consequence of the shrinking process, new dimensions of wastelands appear in the affected cities. Urban planners have to find solutions for these “holes” in the urban fabric and new visions are needed for open spaces. In the last few years, the wilderness concept has emerged in the planning field and it has become a fashionable term, in particular in urban restructuring in eastern Germany. If wilderness is a usable concept for urban restructuring, can wilderness be a new structuring element for urban planning? This article analyzes the mechanisms of formation of wasteland in shrinking cities, and then focuses on related debates in urban planning as well as the debates in urban ecology and nature conservation research. The article concludes by considering different aspects of these debates and the question of which role wilderness can play in shrinking cities is discussed.

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Facing a Toxic Object

Nuclear Waste Management and its Challenges for Nature-Culture-Relationships

Christiane Schürkmann

-understanding as superior cultural subjects. Empirically, I will focus on documents (protocols, reports, and videos) of nuclear waste management policy in Germany in order to illustrate such a heuristic perspective on toxic objects in the context of debating nature

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Meshworks and the Making of Climate Places in the European Alps

A Framework for Ethnographic Research on the Perceptions of Climate Change

Sophie Elixhauser, Stefan Böschen, and Katrin Vogel

meshworks.” In the second section, we introduce the empirical research on the basis of which we developed our framework. Two field studies were carried out in two Alpine communities, in Bavaria (Germany) and South Tyrol (Italy), respectively. Each community

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Katharina Seebaß

article makes use of a survey on climate change from Nuremberg, a major city in southern Germany. The data set and operationalization are presented in the following section. Then, a regression model is applied to estimate individual, social, and housing