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In addition, chemical reactions in the atmosphere convert some radiationally inactive compounds into greenhouse gases over time.
Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public to work together to build a better future for everyone.
Everyone can contribute to making sure the Global Goals are met.
This section describes an accounting system that can help to perform the task and illustrates it with a rough and partial accounting of the human causes of global climate change.
A useful accounting system for the human causes of global change has a tree structure in which properties of the global environment are linked to the major human activities that alter them, and in which the activities are divided in turn into their constituent parts or influences.
In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 goals for a better world by 2030.
These goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change.Researchers might then investigate the social factors that affect change in the number of automobiles and their typical life span, such as household income, household size, number employed per household, and availability of public transportation.More detailed analysis can be carried out until it no longer would provide information of high enough impact to meet some preset criterion.Because the connections between global environmental change and the concepts of social science are rarely obvious, social scientists who begin with important concepts in their fields have often directed their attention to low-impact human activities (see Stern and Oskamp, 1987, for elaboration).An analysis anchored in the critical physical or biological phenomena can identify research traditions whose relevance to the study of environmental change might otherwise be overlooked.In the future, however, the properties of concern to humanity are likely to change—ultra-violet radiation, after all, has been of global concern only since the 1960s.Consequently, researchers need a general system for moving from a concern with important changes in the environment to the identification of the human activities that most seriously affect those changes.We begin this chapter by outlining and illustrating an approach to accounting for the major proximate causes of global change, and then proceed to the more difficult issue of explaining them.Three case studies illustrate the various ways human actions can contribute to global change and provide concrete background for the more theoretical discussion that follows.For example, an examination of the actors and decisions with the greatest impact on energy use, air pollution, and solid waste generation showed that, by an impact criterion, studies of the determinants of daily behavior had much less potential to yield useful knowledge than studies of household and corporate investment decisions or of organizational routines in the context of energy use and waste management (Stem and Gardner, 1981a,b).Theories and methods existed for each subject matter in relevant disciplines such as psychology and sociology, but much of the research attention had been misdirected.