Brett Clark

Brett Clark
University of Utah | UOU · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

181
Publications
76,603
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4,542
Citations
Citations since 2017
72 Research Items
2894 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Introduction

Publications

Publications (181)
Article
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El intrincado enfoque materialista dialéctico de Henri Lefebvre sobre la problemática naturaleza-sociedad, junto con su defensa de una praxis orientada a la transformación total desde la base a través de la autogestión, ofrece un enfoque unificado, crítico y dialéctico de la ecología política. Desgraciadamente, su trabajo en estas áreas se ha inter...
Article
W artykule opisano wpływ globalnego kapitalizmu na powstawanie i rozprzestrzenianie się chorób oraz niezdolność do reagowania na zagrożenia epidemiologiczne modelu medycznego, skupionego na zdrowiu indywidualnym i wypracowanego w ramach ekonomii rynkowej. Autorzy formułują postulat medycyny uspołecznionej, która miałaby stanowić odpowiedź na współc...
Article
The human social-metabolic relation to what Karl Marx calls ‘the universal metabolism of nature’ has become dangerously antagonistic, altering the Earth System on a scale that threatens to undermine human existence itself. In the face of this threat, many anthropocentric or anthropomorphic notions — such as the human domination of nature, ‘the prod...
Article
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Time is running out for humanity to avoid a catastrophic planetary tipping point. Widespread mass mobilizations of populations worldwide must fight to bring about revolutionary societal changes and dismantle neoliberal monopoly capitalism, with its reliance on extractive exploitation of our planet's resources and communities.
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William Stanley Jevons identified what has come to be known as the Jevons paradox: the observation that improvements in energy efficiency are often connected with rising, not falling, energy consumption. This insight informs the subsequent economic concept of the “rebound effect” and the expansive research investigating this relationship. We provid...
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L a actual configuración metabólica socio-ecológica de la humanidad no es sostenible y cada vez es más evidente la necesidad de una transformación radical de la sociedad para abordar estas fracturas metabólicas con el resto de la naturaleza. El trabajo del marxista francés Henri Lefebvre, uno de los pocos pensadores que reconoció la importancia de...
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Around the world adaptation projects are being implemented, with the hope of essentially climate proofing communities. While there is an abundance of failed adaptation schemes in developing and developed countries alike, there has been little scholarship on this problem. Through interviews with twenty-two climate change adaptation practitioners, we...
Article
Henri Lefebvre's intricate material-dialectical approach to the nature-society problematic, taken together with his advocacy of a praxis oriented to total transformation from the ground up through autogestion, offers a unified, critical, and dialectical approach to political ecology. Unfortunately, his work in these areas has too often been interpr...
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Most quantitative research testing ecological modernization theory focuses on the direct relationship between development and environmental outcomes. In this study, we assess overlooked propositions of the perspective: the impacts of economic development on intermediate mechanisms—efficiency improvement and environmental consciousness—that are theo...
Article
The work of Henri Lefebvre has played a pivotal role in human geography in recent decades. At the same time, it has frequently been subject to partial and fragmented appropriations that isolate his insights on the production of space from his broader corpus, leading to confusion and misunderstanding regarding his handling of the dialectical relatio...
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We examine socioecological drivers of nutrient overloading and eutrophication in the Chesapeake Bay associated with poultry production on the Delmarva Peninsula. We use a social metabolic analysis—rooted in a political-economy perspective—that highlights the interchange of matter and energy and the inextricable links within and between social and e...
Article
Building on the theory of ecological imperialism in the context of the Peruvian guano boom, this analysis explores the metabolic rift in the human relation to external nature and the corresponding corporeal rift in the destruction of human bodily existence. Guano capitalists robbed Peru of the manure deposited by seabirds, while British imperialism...
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Sociological insights are often underutilized in sustainability science. To further strengthen its commitment to interdisciplinary problem-driven, solutions-oriented research, sustainability science can better incorporate fundamental sociological conceptions into its core. We highlight four aspects of sociological thought that we consider crucial f...
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This study examines the comparative effectiveness of two important proposed solutions to climate change—energy efficiency improvement and the development and use of renewable energy sources. We focus specifically on their impacts on carbon dioxide emissions by conducting fixed effects regression analysis of panel data pertaining to U.S. states. The...
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Assuming that the Anthropocene will soon be officially designated as the earth's current epoch, there remains the question of the geological age with which the Anthropocene begins. Adopting the standard nomenclature for the naming of geological ages, the term Capitalinian is proposed as the most appropriate name for the new geological age, conformi...
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The death of Salvador Allende in 1973 marked, simultaneously, not only the demise of one of the great socialist experiments, and the launching of neoliberalism; it also represented the loss in Allende of one of the great figures in social medicine. Nowhere has neoliberalism had more devastating effects than in the destruction of public health and s...
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buy this issue We are extremely pleased to announce that John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, has won the prestigious Deutscher Memorial Prize for 2020 for his The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology.
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This study assesses the direct, indirect, and total impacts of political partisanship on state‐level utilities' investment in energy efficiency. This subject is of utmost importance because energy efficiency improvement has become a linchpin in worldwide efforts to combat climate change and other environmental challenges. Analysis of data on 51 ele...
Chapter
This essay argues that social theory, and social science per se, must be reconstructed to address a rapidly emergent planetary crisis characterized by exceptional ecological degradation and extreme economic inequality. The task requires re-envisioning society as part of the interdependent “web of nature,” acknowledging that humans face ecological c...
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Humanity's present social-ecological metabolic configuration is not sustainable, and the need for a radical transformation of society to address its metabolic rifts with the rest of nature is increasingly apparent. The work of French Marxist Henri Lefebvre, one of the few thinkers to recognize the significance of Karl Marx's theory of metabolic rif...
Article
Ambient air pollution, in the form of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), poses serious population health risks. We estimate cross-national longitudinal models to test whether the negative relationship between life expectancy and PM2.5 concentration is larger in nations with higher levels of income inequality. The dependent variable is average life ex...
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This study examines the relationship between energy efficiency policies and state-level energy consumption in the United States. In doing this, we assess tenets of ecological modernization theory, which suggests developed societies can and will leverage technology, including efficiency innovations and policies, to limit human demands and impacts on...
Article
This study contributes to interdisciplinary research on the social and environmental determinants of population health, with a focus on the interaction between working hours and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration. The authors estimate longitudinal models of the relationship between US state-level average life expectancy and both average...
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Throughout his life, W.E.B. Du Bois actively engaged the scientific racism infecting natural sciences and popular thought. Nevertheless, he also demonstrated a sophisticated and critical engagement with natural science. He recognized that the sciences were socially situated, but also that they addressed real questions and issues. Debate remains, ho...
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The rise to prominence of analyses of racial capitalism represents a breakthrough in Marxian theory. This has necessarily been accompanied by a critique of previous Marxian analyses, which all too often ignored or minimized the relation of slavery to capitalism. In recent years, however, these criticisms of orthodox Marxist treatments of slavery ha...
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Karl Marx's (and Frederick Engels's) analysis of nineteenth-century Irish history revealed what is referred to as "the rift of Éire" in the colonial period. Indeed, it is in relation to the analysis of the systematic disruption of the Irish environment that Marx's ecological inquiries can be seen as taking on a concrete and developed form, encompas...
Book
In the nineteenth century, Karl Marx, inspired by the German chemist Justus von Liebig, argued that capitalism’s relation to its natural environment was that of a robbery system, leading to an irreparable rift in the metabolism between humanity and nature. In the twenty-first century, these classical insights into capitalism’s degradation of the ea...
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This study advances research at the intersection of environmental degradation, social stratification, and population health in the United States. Expanding the theoretical principles of Power, Proximity, and Physiology, we hypothesize that the harmful effect of fine particulate matter on life expectancy is greater in states with higher levels of in...
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The "turn toward the indigenous" in social theory in the last couple of decades, associated with the critique of white settler colonialism, has reintroduced themes long present in Marxian theory, but in ways that are often surprisingly divorced from Karl Marx's critique of capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism.
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The deepening biodiversity crisis in the Anthropocene has led to polarised debates within the conservation movement regarding its objectives and guiding principles. Within this intellectual milieu, the Half-Earth project's call to enclose at least half the planet within protected areas has been defended as an ecocentric approach that overrides the...
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Historical capitalism cannot be understood aside from its existence as a colonial/imperialist world system in which the violent exercise of power is an ever-present reality. In order to uncover the material conditions governing concrete capitalism, including its interface with land, nonwage labor, and corporeal life, it is therefore necessary to go...
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French Marxist sociologist, Henri Lefebvre, was one of the foremost social theorists of the twentieth century, celebrated for his critiques of everyday life, urban revolution, and the production of space. We argue here that his mature work also encompassed a theory of ecological crisis, drawing directly on Marx’s theory of metabolic rift. In this c...
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This study scrutinizes the impacts of efficiency innovations as well as affluence on residential energy consumption, which is a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions. The study draws on the ecological-modernization perspective, which is optimistic about how technological innovations and affluence can help societies overcome environmental challen...
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Today there can be no doubt about the main force behind our ongoing planetary emergency: the exponential growth of the capitalist world economy, particularly in the decades since the mid–twentieth century. The mere critique of capitalism as an abstract economic system, however, is insufficient in addressing today's environmental problems. Rather, i...
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This study adopts a multi-level approach to examine the extent to which state- and household-level factors shape residential energy consumption in the United States, focusing on efficiency improvement and affluence. Analyzing the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, state-level energy efficiency data from the American Council for an Energy-E...
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Marx's concept of metabolic rift has emerged as a prominent theoretical framework with which to explain the socioecological crises of capitalism. Yet, despite its relevance to key concerns in critical environmental geography, it has remained marginal within the field. Here we address this by distinguishing between metabolic rift theory and two pred...
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In this continuation of the exchange on "Marx and Alienated Speciesism" and "On the Origins of Animalist Marxism," John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark, and then Christian Stache, reply to Ted Benton.
Article
In modern aquaculture, animal‐production technology is used to increase aquatic food sources. Such controlled rearing of seafood can, in principle, shift the pressure off wild stocks and aquatic ecosystems by reducing fishing activities, which may advance marine conservation goals. We examined resource displacement—the reduced consumption of a reso...
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Although studies have shown that air pollution can be devastating to population health, little is known about the health implications of the intersection of air pollution and income inequality. We investigate if air pollution is especially detrimental to the health of US state populations characterized by more inequitable distributions of income. I...
Preprint
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Although studies have shown that air pollution can be devastating to population health, little is known about the health implications of the intersection of air pollution and income inequality. We investigate if air pollution is especially detrimental to the health of US state populations characterized by more inequitable distributions of income. I...
Chapter
Socioecological transformations of marine systems are intimately connected to the structure of the global capitalist economy, including its relationships of unequal exchange and the international division of labor. We highlight how unequal economic and ecological exchange are intertwined in fishing production in Southeast Asia, in particular Thaila...
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In many animal-rights circles, Karl Marx and a long tradition of Marxian theorists are to be faulted for their speciesist treatment of nonhuman animals and the human-nonhuman animal relationship. These criticisms typically neglect the larger historical conditions, intellectual influences, and debates out of which Marx's treatment of the human-anima...
Article
In analyzing the relations between human societies and the larger biophysical world, Karl Marx employed a dialectical triadic scheme of “the universal metabolism of nature,” the “social metabolism,” and the metabolic rift. He incorporated this metabolic approach within his critique of political economy, allowing him to assess the historical interch...
Article
Sustainability is a contested concept that has been at the center of discussions of natural and social scientists for decades. Mainstream conceptualizations, predicated upon the “three-legged stool” and “triple bottom line model,” argue that questions of economic, social, and environmental sustainability are of equal importance. However, in actuali...
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The chapter on "Machinery and Large-Scale Industry" in the first volume of Karl Marx's Capital closes with this statement: "All progress in capitalist agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the worker, but of robbing the soil…. Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the soc...
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Increasing rates of nitrogen and phosphorus application have caused severe damage to aquatic systems, as rivers, streams, lakes, bays, and ocean systems have been inundated with nutrient runoff. Only by addressing the metabolic rupture in the soil nutrient cycle and the contradictions of capital can we begin to mend these land–sea rifts.
Article
Distinct land-use patterns can radically transform ecological conditions. In the following historical study, the authors employ Marx’s metabolic approach, nested within a political-economic perspective, to assess the ecological and temporal contradictions that emerged between the capitalist logging industry in New York State and the Adirondack fore...
Article
Marx’s concept of metabolic rift has emerged as an important category in ecological Marxism, but has received relatively little attention in political ecology. This appears to reflect a combination of confusion regarding the conceptual basis of metabolic rift and theoretical antagonisms between its materialist dialectic and dominant post-humanist a...
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To understand the present ecological crisis, it is necessary to dig much deeper into capitalism's logic of expropriation, as first delineated by Marx during the Industrial Revolution. At the root of the problem is a spoliation of the natural environment—the expropriation of the earth itself.Click here to purchase a PDF version of this article at th...
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This study examines the socio-structural drivers that influence the fisheries footprint and seafood consumption of nations. We assess how levels of economic development, population size, and transformations in food-system dynamics, such as those associated with terrestrial protein production and consumption, account for variation in ecological impa...
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Examining the historical specificity of women's lives and labor in England during the Industrial Revolution allows us to better analyze the assumptions regarding gender, family, and work that informed the writings of Marx and Engels—and ultimately to understand how capital as a system threatens the social and ecological bases of human life.Click he...
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W. E. B. Du Bois’s work serves as a fruitful avenue to synthesize intersectionality, political economy, and environmental analysis. We propose that the Du Bois nexus provides the basis to examine distinct historical relationships and conditions that shape race, class, gender, and national relations associated with environmental injustice. Through a...
Chapter
Kyle Whyte, Ryan Gunderson, and Brett Clark compare and contrast the notion of insidiousness in the philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy, the idea that the adoption of a new technology erodes intimate relationships with the environment. The authors reject the idea that technologies are neutral or disinterested but instead embody va...
Chapter
The AquAdvantage salmon is the first genetically engineered animal to be considered for human consumption. We provide a sociohistorical analysis of how the decline of marine fisheries in general, and the growth of salmon farming in particular, created the political and economic foundation to support the development of a genetically engineered fish....
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The recovery of the ecological-materialist foundations of Karl Marx's thought, as embodied in his theory of metabolic rift, is redefining both Marxism and ecology in our time, reintegrating the critique of capital with critical natural science. This may seem astonishing to those who were reared on the view that Marx's ideas were simply a synthesis...
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Robert W. McChesney, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet against Democracy (New York: New Press, 2013), 299 pages, $27.95, hardcover.Without question, the Internet has had a profound influence on the world. As with most technologies, debates rage over whether this development has been positive or negative. Celebrants proclaim...
Article
We advance marine sociology to analyze the human dimensions of ocean systems. Human societies are fundamentally linked to marine systems and are transforming oceanic conditions in dramatic ways, resulting in socio-ecological problems. Despite the great and important possibilities in this realm, these relationships are seldom studied within sociolog...
Chapter
The Frankfurt School, as represented especially by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s 1944 Dialectic of Enlightenment, was noted for developing a philosophical critique of the domination of nature. Critical theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt were heavily influenced by the writings of the early Karl Marx. Yet,...
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One of the lasting contributions of the Frankfurt School of social theorists, represented especially by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno's 1944 Dialectic of Enlightenment, was the development of a philosophical critique of the domination of nature.… Yet their critique of the Enlightenment exploitation of nature was eventually extended to a critiqu...
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The vague, yet undoubtedly desirable, notion of sustainability has been discussed and debated by many natural and social scientists. We argue that mainstream conceptions of sustainability, and the related concept of sustainable development, are mired in a "pre-analytic vision" that naturalizes capitalist social relations, closes off important quest...
Article
This study examines the relationship between national-level militarism and consumption-based carbon dioxide emissions. We analyze panel data from 1990 to 2010 for 81 nations to determine whether the magnitude of the effects of (1) military expenditures as percent of total Gross Domestic Product and (2) military personnel as percent of total labor f...
Chapter
Salmon is the first genetically engineered animal to be considered for human consumption. We provide a socio-historical analysis of how the decline of marine fisheries in general, and the growth of salmon farming in particular, provided the political and economic foundation to support the development of a genetically engineered fish. We review the...
Article
This study advances sociological research on the environmental impacts of working hours. Proponents of economic degrowth propose that a reduction in working time slows economic growth, which yields both social and environmental benefits. Building on such arguments, the authors conduct longitudinal analyses of the effects of average annual working h...
Book
Although humans have long depended on oceans and aquatic ecosystems for sustenance and trade, only recently has human influence on these resources dramatically increased, transforming and undermining marine environments throughout the world. Marine ecosystems are in a crisis that is global in scope, rapid in pace, and colossal in scale. In The Trag...
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We employ Karl Marx's metabolic approach—via the concepts of metabolic rift and metabolic restoration—to study the dynamic relationships of interchange associated with distinct agricultural systems. First, we offer an assessment of contemporary capitalist agriculture, including organic agriculture in the United States. We address how the organizati...
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Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything [argues that the source of the looming crisis from climate change] is not the planet, which operates according to natural laws, but rather the economic and social system in which we live, which treats natural limits as mere barriers to surmount. It is now doing so on a planetary scale, destroying in t...
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In the late 1950s, Pete Seeger received a letter from his manager, Howie Richmond, begging him to write a new hit song. … [Richmond] believed that “protest songs” were not marketable. Seeger was angry—he had a new song in mind, with words from a poem that he had set to music, and he believed it was, in a deep and significant sense, a song of protes...
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On February 25, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closed the public comment period for the environmental assessment of the AquAdvantage Salmon. Their review of the first genetically modified animal for human consumption concluded with a “finding of no significant impact.” Numerous fishermen, consumer safety advocates, public health...
Article
We investigate the potentially changing effect of urbanization on per capita and per unit of GDP carbon dioxide emissions for 69 nations from 1960 to 2010. We examine the effect of urbanization, measured as the percent of nation’s population residing in urban areas, for the overall sample as well as for smaller regionally-defined samples of nations...
Article
Social structures influence the spread of aquaculture and the particular ecological demands of this industry, which mediate the prospects of fisheries conservation. We assessed the effects of trade in food and fisheries commodities, the level of economic development, aquaculture production, and human population on the expansion of ecologically inte...
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This study examines the regional and temporal differences in the statistical relationship between national-level carbon dioxide emissions and national-level population size. The authors analyze panel data from 1960 to 2005 for a diverse sample of nations, and employ descriptive statistics and rigorous panel regression modeling techniques. Initial d...
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Capitalism today is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe. But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis: one of long-term survival. The common source of both of these cr...
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Two sociological theories are engaged to assess the temporal (in)stability of the relationship between CO2 emissions and economic development in Central and Eastern European (CEE) nations. Ecological modernization theory argues that while economic development harms the environment, the magnitude of the harmful link is likely to decrease through tim...
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This brief article considers the environmental impacts of militaries from a sociological perspective. The authors begin with an overview of treadmill of destruction theory, which highlights the expansionary tendencies and concomitant environmental consequences of militarism. This discussion is followed by a narrative assessment of military developm...
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Structural human ecology, ecological modernization theory, and international political economy perspectives are engaged to assess the extent to which coal consumption is influenced by various demographic factors, socioeconomic characteristics, and international relationships. Results of panel analyses for a sample of 66 countries from 1990 to 2005...

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