Vol 3, No 2 (Published)





Table of Contents

Book reviews

by Mina Taherifard
463 Views, 261 PDF Downloads
Old and new books of fiction are abundantly visible on checkout counters, public libraries, and bookstores in shopping malls and on the Internet. They usually deal with mystery, romance, and sellable thrills of life. That explains the conspicuous invisibility of Death of an Elephant. It’s a novella, self-published by a serious academic. Brij Mohan's debut in the reality-based realm of fiction mocks at the ‘absurdities’ of life in an otherwise progressive, happy, and affluent world.

Research Articles

by Eckart Bindewald
963 Views, 174 PDF Downloads

The environmental benefits of sustainability efforts can be rendered less effective due to economic feedback mechanisms. As a remedy against such rebound effects, a reinvestment strategy towards environmental causes has been suggested. Here, a practical implementation of such a reinvestment strategy is presented. It involves a) estimating the financial savings resulting from sustainability efforts, b) informing the participants that the environmental benefit of the efforts is reduced by economic feedback mechanisms and c) asking them to donate a fraction of the expected savings towards environmental causes. An easy-to-use methodology for estimating rebound effects of sustainability efforts is presented in order to quantify the efficacy of this approach. CO2 emission offsets are used as an example of donations towards environmental causes. It is shown, that donating even a small amount (less than 1% of financial savings obtained from conservation or engineering savings) of donated carbon offsets can more than eliminate the estimated rebound effects. This then leads to the restore principle, that states that the environmental benefit of reducing activities with average environmental impact is dramatically improved if a fraction of the resulting financial savings is applied towards environmental causes. This approach is made practical by augmenting the common reduce, reuse, recycle motto with a fourth component: reduce, reuse, recycle and restore.


Research Articles

by Sílvia Luís, Gabriela Gaspar
393 Views, 168 PDF Downloads

Health organizations recommend avoiding direct sunlight exposure usually between 11 am and 5 pm. Nevertheless, it is common to see people on the beach during all day. This study focuses on understanding if sunlight exposure risk might be normalized. Risk normalization is a process by which people minimize a perceive threat to psychologically cope with it, frequently by using positive illusions. A pilot study (N = 44) suggests that the positive illusions most referred to explain exposition at unrecommended hours are the use of protective measures. To explore if knowledge of sunlight exposure risk and risk perception were negatively associated, illustrating risk normalization, a questionnaire was applied to a convenience sample (N = 276). This effect was found among those individuals that exposed themselves to sunlight between 12 am and 3 pm and reported a use of protective measures that was above the average. Furthermore, health literacy moderated the negative relation between knowledge and risk perception. This study suggests that it is important communicating that the use of protective measures during unrecommended hours does not guarantee protection, promoting health literacy, as it can minimize risk normalization, and understanding how information on risks and benefits interacts to influence risk perception.