Social Roots of Global Environmental Change: A World-Systems Analysis of Carbon Dioxide Emissions

J. Timmons Roberts, Peter E. Grimes, Jodie L. Manale


Carbon dioxide is understood to be the most important greenhouse gas believed to be altering the global climate. This article applies world-system theory to environmental damage. An analysis of 154 countries examines the contribution of both position in the world economy and internal class and political forces in determining a nation's CO, intensity. CO, intensity is defined here as the amount of carbon dioxide released per unit of economic output. An inverted U distribution of CO, intensity across the range of countries in the global stratification system is identified and discussed. Ordinary Least Squares regression suggests that the least efficient consumers of fossil fuels are some countries within the semi-periphery and upper periphery, spe-cifically those nations which are high exporters, those highly in debt, nations with higher military spending, and those with a repressive social structure.

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Copyright (c) 2015 J. Timmons Roberts, Peter E. Grimes, Jodie L. Manale

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