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Structural and individual obstacles in delayed institutional adaptation and implementation of environmental policies : environmental procrastination : save the world another day

Klüssendorf, Peer LU (2014) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20142
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
While evidence for man-made Climate Change has continuously increased, we witness insufficient changes in governmental policies. In many countries, even popular support for Green parties has decreased. This phenomenon reminds on an individual level of the psychological concept of procrastination. To overcome this problem, it seems necessary to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon and develop toolkits for dealing with it. Therefore this study highlights the impact of delaying environmental adaptations, aims to integrate them into the existing framework of Transition Theory and ultimately transfers coping mechanisms from an individual to a structural level.
In analyzing current literature, I synthesize two theories of the individual... (More)
While evidence for man-made Climate Change has continuously increased, we witness insufficient changes in governmental policies. In many countries, even popular support for Green parties has decreased. This phenomenon reminds on an individual level of the psychological concept of procrastination. To overcome this problem, it seems necessary to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon and develop toolkits for dealing with it. Therefore this study highlights the impact of delaying environmental adaptations, aims to integrate them into the existing framework of Transition Theory and ultimately transfers coping mechanisms from an individual to a structural level.
In analyzing current literature, I synthesize two theories of the individual concept of procrastination and the structural level of changing institutional behavior, with a particular focus on measures that can be scaled up. This is later compared to the empirical observations, for which this thesis seeks to quantify environmental procrastination for the German federal elections of 2009 and 2013, focusing on the electoral campaign of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, by quantitatively and qualitatively assessing the party’s electoral program and advertisement campaign. The strategic decision to decrease the presence of Climate Change in the electoral campaign in 2013, despite the growing urgency of the problem, is found to resemble procrastination both on a structural and individual level. This mirrors previous delayed adaptations in German politics in general and by the Greens in specific.
Comparing with existing environmentalist strategies, potential theoretical areas for solutions and specific existing practical mechanisms are identified and possibilities for improving current policies tackling structural inaction are analyzed. Possible solutions include an increase in vividness of environmental consequences, reconsidering the implications of political pragmatism vis-à-vis a stricter set of ideological rules and lowering the thresholds for mobilization by decreasing opportunity costs of individual decision-making. It is concluded that the inherent irrationality of some human (in)actions deserves stronger attention in environmental activism and that procrastination is a valuable framework for future research in this field. (Less)
Popular Abstract
While evidence for man-made Climate Change has continuously increased, we witness insufficient changes in governmental policies. In many countries, even popular support for Green parties has decreased. This phenomenon reminds on an individual level of the psychological concept of procrastination. To overcome this problem, it seems necessary to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon and develop toolkits for dealing with it. Therefore this study highlights the impact of delaying environmental adaptations, aims to integrate them into the existing framework of Transition Theory and ultimately transfers coping mechanisms from an individual to a structural level.
In analyzing current literature, I synthesize two theories of the individual... (More)
While evidence for man-made Climate Change has continuously increased, we witness insufficient changes in governmental policies. In many countries, even popular support for Green parties has decreased. This phenomenon reminds on an individual level of the psychological concept of procrastination. To overcome this problem, it seems necessary to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon and develop toolkits for dealing with it. Therefore this study highlights the impact of delaying environmental adaptations, aims to integrate them into the existing framework of Transition Theory and ultimately transfers coping mechanisms from an individual to a structural level.
In analyzing current literature, I synthesize two theories of the individual concept of procrastination and the structural level of changing institutional behavior, with a particular focus on measures that can be scaled up. This is later compared to the empirical observations, for which this thesis seeks to quantify environmental procrastination for the German federal elections of 2009 and 2013, focusing on the electoral campaign of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, by quantitatively and qualitatively assessing the party’s electoral program and advertisement campaign. The strategic decision to decrease the presence of Climate Change in the electoral campaign in 2013, despite the growing urgency of the problem, is found to resemble procrastination both on a structural and individual level. This mirrors previous delayed adaptations in German politics in general and by the Greens in specific.
Comparing with existing environmentalist strategies, potential theoretical areas for solutions and specific existing practical mechanisms are identified and possibilities for improving current policies tackling structural inaction are analyzed. Possible solutions include an increase in vividness of environmental consequences, reconsidering the implications of political pragmatism vis-à-vis a stricter set of ideological rules and lowering the thresholds for mobilization by decreasing opportunity costs of individual decision-making. It is concluded that the inherent irrationality of some human (in)actions deserves stronger attention in environmental activism and that procrastination is a valuable framework for future research in this field. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Klüssendorf, Peer LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20142
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
environmental psychology, transition theory, climate change, sustainability science, political inaction
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2014:034
funder
Heinrich Böll Foundation
language
English
id
4696729
date added to LUP
2015-01-29 15:51:43
date last changed
2015-01-29 15:51:43
@misc{4696729,
  abstract     = {While evidence for man-made Climate Change has continuously increased, we witness insufficient changes in governmental policies. In many countries, even popular support for Green parties has decreased. This phenomenon reminds on an individual level of the psychological concept of procrastination. To overcome this problem, it seems necessary to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon and develop toolkits for dealing with it. Therefore this study highlights the impact of delaying environmental adaptations, aims to integrate them into the existing framework of Transition Theory and ultimately transfers coping mechanisms from an individual to a structural level.
In analyzing current literature, I synthesize two theories of the individual concept of procrastination and the structural level of changing institutional behavior, with a particular focus on measures that can be scaled up. This is later compared to the empirical observations, for which this thesis seeks to quantify environmental procrastination for the German federal elections of 2009 and 2013, focusing on the electoral campaign of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, by quantitatively and qualitatively assessing the party’s electoral program and advertisement campaign. The strategic decision to decrease the presence of Climate Change in the electoral campaign in 2013, despite the growing urgency of the problem, is found to resemble procrastination both on a structural and individual level. This mirrors previous delayed adaptations in German politics in general and by the Greens in specific.
Comparing with existing environmentalist strategies, potential theoretical areas for solutions and specific existing practical mechanisms are identified and possibilities for improving current policies tackling structural inaction are analyzed. Possible solutions include an increase in vividness of environmental consequences, reconsidering the implications of political pragmatism vis-à-vis a stricter set of ideological rules and lowering the thresholds for mobilization by decreasing opportunity costs of individual decision-making. It is concluded that the inherent irrationality of some human (in)actions deserves stronger attention in environmental activism and that procrastination is a valuable framework for future research in this field.},
  author       = {Klüssendorf, Peer},
  keyword      = {environmental psychology,transition theory,climate change,sustainability science,political inaction},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Structural and individual obstacles in delayed institutional adaptation and implementation of environmental policies : environmental procrastination : save the world another day},
  year         = {2014},
}