Social scientist Thomas Dietz and Kenneth Frank, MSU Foundation professor of sociometrics, have teamed up to find a way to tell if a state jumping on the environmental bandwagon can mitigate other human factors — population growth and economic affluence — known to hurt the environment.

“We’ve used new methods developed over the years and new innovations Ken has developed to add in the politics — and find that politics and environmentalism can mediate some environmental impact,” Dietz said. “Environmentalism seems to influence policies and how well policies that are in place are actually implemented and it also influences individual behavior and the choices people make.”

The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows a state-level win for environmental activism that hasn’t been apparent on a national scale.

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Act Now to view what the research shows from the American Psychological Association: what works better:Keep Off the Grass or Save the Planet?