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Aim and Rationale
In Australia, 2012 statistical estimates show that there are 12,714,235 private passenger vehicles with an annual growth rate of 2.2%, while methods of public transportation such as buses currently number at 90,599. Australia’s National Transport Commission estimates that each private vehicle emits 199 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer travelled (Hazmat and environment 2011, p. 10).
When taking into consideration the amount of private vehicles and the distances they travel per year, this can amount to millions of tons of carbon dioxide. Combined with a growing population, both the considerable amount of carbon pollution per household (i.e. 8 tons annually per household) and the amount of cars on Australia’s roads is indicative of a growing pollution problem (Cushing 2009, pp. 19-33).
The fact is that it is far easier for a person to choose to ride a bus or a train to work rather than cut down on their use of electricity at home. The concept of going green is based off the process of altering approaches towards the consumption and utilization of resources (Bradshaw 2011, p. 10).
If more people were to use public methods of transportation, the amount of carbon dioxide in Australia’s atmosphere could be cut by as much as 40 percent (Akter & Bennett 2011, pp. 417-436). As such, this study will aim to examine moderate to high income workers in Australia to determine whether they take into consideration the environmental impact of their choice of transportation or do they prefer comfort.
Population of Interest
The population that will be examined in this study consists of moderate to high income workers. The reason behind this population choice stems from the fact that based on the study of Şekercioğlu (2012), moderate to high income workers are more likely to own a car as compared to low wage workers (Şekercioğlu 2012, pp. 69-73).
Not only that, what should be taken into consideration is that low income workers often do not have a choice but to take public transportation given their limited incomes. Moderate to high income workers by virtue of their income levels have a choice and, as such, are the ideal subjects to be examined for this study (Isaac 2010, pp. 58-59).
Studies such as those by Narain et al. (2008) also indicate that moderate to high income workers have a greater predilection to be environmentally conscious as compared to their low income counterparts (Narain et al. 2008, pp. 148-167; Akter & Bennett 2011, pp. 417-436). This manifests itself in instances where they purchase recycled paper, use environmentally safe cleaners and detergents as well as an assortment of other products that have been labeled as being environmentally friendly.
Since moderate to high income workers are the greatest contributors to the amount of carbon dioxide gas via motor vehicles into the atmosphere as well as have the greatest predilection and awareness towards environmentally sustainable practices, it makes them the best possible candidates to be examined (Isaac 2010, pp. 58-59).
Method of Analysis
A qualitative research study is a type of exploratory research that tries to examine particular aspects of a scenario through an in-depth method of examination (Palinkas et al. 2011, pp. 44-53). While it is applicable to numerous disciplines, it is normally applied to instances which attempt to explain human behavior and the varying factors that influence and govern such behaviors into forming what they are at the present (Palinkas et al. 2011, pp. 44-53).
Thus, it can be stated that qualitative research focuses more on exploring various aspects of an issue, developing an understanding of phenomena within an appropriate context and answering questions inherent to the issue being examined. As such, it can be stated that a qualitative approach would be the best method of examination for this study.
Survey Based Method of Examination
A survey based qualitative study works through a sampling technique wherein a small segment of the population is utilized in order for a statistical inference to be made on the population as a whole (Palinkas et al. 2011, pp. 44-53). Palinkas et al. (2011) explains that using a survey enables a researcher to: “understand a particular population by making a statistical inference through sampling” (Palinkas et al. 2011, pp. 44-53).
Utilizing this method, a researcher can then compare and contrast various aspects of the research results collected and come up with conclusions that are effectively backed up by quantified data (Palinkas et al. 2011, pp. 44-53).. This is particularly advantageous in cases where numerous factors need to be examined and then correlated into succinct answers that can be easily understood (Palinkas et al. 2011, pp. 44-53).
Data collection for this study will be accomplished by the researcher calling various offices within the nearest business district and asking for permission to collect data from office workers within that building. Once the researcher has been given sufficient permission by the HR department for data collection a specific date will be set where the researcher will go to the offices that were informed beforehand and will ask mid to high level workers to fill out a quick survey that should not take more than 5 minutes.
The instrumentation that will be utilized will consist of either a tablet PC or a laptop so as to make it more convenient for the researcher and the research subjects to input data. A web browser will be utilized wherein the link to the survey will be pre-loaded so as to ensure a quick and easy process of filling up the form the inputting the needed information. Through this method of data collection, the researcher will be able to immediately get the necessary information needed for the study.
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Akter, S, & Bennett, J 2011, ‘Household perceptions of climate change and preferences for mitigation action: the case of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in Australia’, Climatic Change, vol. 109, no. 3/4, pp. 417-436, via EBSCO database.
Bradshaw, S 2011, ‘Australia Say Yes!’, Habitat Australia, vol. 39, no. 6, p. 10, via EBSCO database.Cushing, N 2009, ‘Australia’s smoke city: Air pollution in Newcastle’, Australian Economic History Review, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 19-33, via EBSCO database.
‘Hazmat and environment’ 2011, Chemistry In Australia, vol. 78, no. 2, p. 10, via EBSCO database.
Isaac, P 2010, ‘Mind the gap’, Chartered Accountants Journal, vol. 89, no. 1, pp. 58-59, via EBSCO database.
Narain, U, Gupta, S, & Van ‘t Veld, K 2008, ‘Poverty and the Environment: Exploring the Relationship Between Household Incomes, Private Assets, and Natural Assets’, Land Economics, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 148-167, via EBSCO database.
Palinkas, L, Aarons, G, Horwitz, S, Chamberlain, P, Hurlburt, M, & Landsverk, J 2011, ‘Mixed Method Designs in Implementation Research’, Administration & Policy In Mental Health & Mental Health Services Research, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 44-53, via EBSCO database.
Şekercioğlu, ÇH 2012, ‘Promoting community-based bird monitoring in the tropics: Conservation, research, environmental education, capacity-building, and local incomes’, Biological Conservation, vol. 151, no. 1, pp. 69-73, via EBSCO database.