Is Wealth Green? Examining the Relationship Between Wealth and Environmental Conservation
Lee, Moira Elizabeth
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This study tests an aspect of the environmental theory of Peter Huber outlined in his book Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists: A Conservative Manifesto (1999). Huber's thesis is that wealth leads to environmental conservation in two ways: 1) that wealthy nations develop and implement technologies to maximize the efficiency of land use, and 2) that wealthy individuals pour their wealth into the conservation of nature. Using secondary data analysis, I test the first national-level hypothesis with regressions of the variables "Gross National Income" and "ecological footprint," and test the second individual-level hypothesis with logistic regressions of the variables "income" and "donation to environmental groups," from both the General Social Survey and the World Values Survey. The results strongly refute Huber's national-level theory, with evidence that wealthy nations are actually less efficient at using land, but on an individual level the evidence suggests that the wealthy are indeed more likely to donate money to environmental groups.
- Masters Theses