Environmental science theory: concepts and methods in a one-world, problem-oriented paradigm

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Partnership and faith. Partnership values and partnership ways. Subject index. Having no competitive works, this unique publication presents a single structure for the analysis, explanation and solution of environmental problems, regardless of their location, nature or scale. In this problem-oriented approach, a coherent framework interconnects the study of facts and values, environmental systems, social causes and ethical premises.

Counterbalancing current biases, the author emphasizes the fundamental, normative, economic and social-scientific aspects of truly interdisciplinary environmental science. For instance, the normative side of environmental problems are often neglected, resulting in policy designs and evaluations containing inefficient mixtures of sophisticated models and poorly grounded normative premises; this is the first major study to enrich the field with more normative consistency and groundedness. It is also the first text to consistently identify the social causes of environmental problems, rather than focusing on the physical-scientific aspects, and thus design deeper and more effective policies.

Furthermore, a tinge of post-modern thinking runs throughout the book, with special care being taken, however, to constantly keep in view the practical relevance of theory for problem-oriented work. The book will be of interest to environmental scientists and managers wishing to improve the consistency and depth of their work, to social scientists and geographers wishing to connect their discipline to the environmental problems field, and to general scientists interested in the connections between philosophy and practice.

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Imprint: Elsevier Science. Published Date: 22nd October Page Count: View all volumes in this series: Studies in Environmental Science.

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Institutional Subscription. Free Shipping Free global shipping No minimum order. Powered by. You are connected as. Connect with:. Use your name:. A very strong tool for nipping the 21st century environmental problems, which are becoming lot more alarming in the bud, is environmental education. One veritable tool for achieving this feat is a proper understanding and the application of behavioural models and theories.

Theory is a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural world. He stated further that theories arise from observations and testings that have been carried out repeatedly and they incorporate facts, predictions, laws, and tested assumptions that are widely accepted. The theoretical framework thus provides a platform for expressing a theory of a research study.


It presents and describes the theory that explains why the research problem under study exists [1]. There is a close relationship between concepts and theories, such that, the constituents of a theory are concepts and principles. A concept is a symbolic depiction of an actual thing. It is the building block of the theory. The main difference between the theoretical and the conceptual framework is that a conceptual framework is the idea of the researcher on how the problem of the research will have to be explored.

This is established on the theoretical framework, which lies on a much broader scale of resolution. The theoretical framework thrives that have been tested repeatedly over time that express the findings of numerous investigations on how phenomena occur. This framework provides a general representation of relationships between things in a given phenomenon. On its part, the conceptual framework describes the relationship between specific variables identified in the study.

It furthermore outlines the input, process and output of an entire investigation [2]. A model is a blueprint for action, describing what happens in reality in a universal way.

Environmental Science

Models are used to describe the application of theories for a particular case. In a nutshell, theories are well-established principles developed to elucidate dimensions of the natural world, they are made up of concepts and applied by employing models. It is a set of interrelated definitions, concepts, and propositions that predicts or explains events or situations by specifying relationships among the variables [3]. The notion of generality, or broad application, is important. Thus, theories are by their nature abstract and not content- or topic-specific.

Although numerous theoretical models can express the same general ideas, each theory uses a unique vocabulary to articulate the specific features considered to be significant.

Additionally, there is a variation in theories in the extent to which they have been developed conceptually and tested empirically. A very crucial feature of a theory is its ability to be tested [3].

Numerous theories and concepts exist for understanding Human Behaviors in Environmental Preservation. Few of these theories are reviewed below alongside their application to environmental preservation.

Scientific Objectivity

These theories and concepts enhance further understanding as to why people participate in different environmentally influencing behaviors. It is however evident, that no single theory, gives a perfect explanation of the complete interactions and relationships among variables influencing Human Behavior in Environmental Preservation. To properly examine the concept of Environmentally Responsible Behavior ERB there are 3 theories that can aid its understanding [4].

These are the Primitive models, Model of environmentally responsible behaviour proposed by Hines et al. These models were founded on the assumptions that educating the public on various ecological and environmental issues could alter human behaviour. Many other similar models, as will be discussed subsequently, linked knowledge to attitudes and attitudes to behaviour. Thus, as evident in Figure 1, when knowledge increases, environmentally favourable attitudes that lead to responsible environmental actions are developed [7]. Figure 1 illustrates the relationships emanating from the models proposed at that time [4].

Nevertheless, ulterior research refuted the arguments of those that saw the principles of human behavioural change in this model. As a result of this, the legitimacy of such simplistic linear model was not recognized or supported for a long time [7]. Researchers then focused their attention on a hypothesis that they would quickly verify and accept over the course of the following years: that a multitude of variables interact in different degrees to influence the embracing of environmentally responsible behaviour. The behavioural model, though very simplistic, provides a base for the consideration of possible relationship existing between environmental knowledge, environmental awareness and attitude and how these can translate to action or inaction.

A good knowledge of environmental variables may not necessarily imply good and sustainable environmental behavior.

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On the other hand, lack of environmental knowledge or awareness may also not necessarily imply a poor environmental practice. Therefore other intervening factors like the Locus of control, intention to act and personal responsibility need to be considered. While a line of possible relationship can be deciphered through this model, reality is far more complex than this linear trend, hence a more advanced model, incorporating this line of relationship is needed to offer a succinct explanation of the interacting variables of human behavior in environmental preservation.

The model argues that possessing an intention of acting is a major factor influencing ERB. Figure 2 presents the interactions likely to develop ERB. This model considers the major variables that play a part in the individual process of ERB adoption. This model also highlights the existence of a relationship between the control centre, attitudes of individuals and their intention to act.

In waste management processes, no single factor is responsible for current behaviors or sufficient to initiate behavior or cause behavior change. Create a List. Summary Having no competitive works, this unique publication presents a single structure for the analysis, explanation and solution of environmental problems, regardless of their location, nature or scale.

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