African elephant populations have been plummeting over the past few decades due to increased poaching and demand for ivory. This thesis investigates the influence that poverty and tourism have on the level of African elephant poaching, as well as the influence that poverty and elephant poaching have on the level of tourism in Africa. Through the use of an ordinary least squares regression, poaching, tourism and socioeconomic data between the years 2002 and 2012 for 27 African countries are used to examine these relationships. Results have shown that poverty and elephant poaching have a positive relationship; poverty and tourism have a negative relationship; and elephant poaching and tourism have a negative relationship.
International trade has allowed the Chinese economy to boom and “Made in China” tags to dominate the world market. However, a number of studies have argued that the rapidly growing Chinese economy has placed great amount of pressure on its natural environment. The emphasis on export-led growth may bring in its wake, pollution to China. This thesis gives empirical evidence to the question that whether exports in China have caused environmental issues, especially air pollution. I use data from 31 provinces in mainland China over the period from 2002 to 2012. The results show that there is no strong relationship between air pollution in China and its exports, but the economic growth in general has hazardous impacts onto the environment.
In this study I attempt to explain the effect that the horizontal drilling boom has had on the resultant energy security scenario in the United States. Using crude oil import data and international political risk profiles from 2002-2012, I construct a risk-adjusted supply concentration index as a measure of how vulnerable the United States is to international disruptions of oil supply. I develop a model such that fluctuations in the vulnerability index can be explained by horizontal well count data from 2002-2012. I find that the horizontal drilling boom has had a positive and statistically significant effect on increasing the energy security of the United States.