4. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

All of these investigations were undertaken with reference to the “real” traditional international system. Incorporating the natural environment is an important development in empirical analysis of lateral pressure theory – and in quantitative analysis generally. These studies are all informative in their own right.  Each one provides important insights and evidence about internal dynamics state attributes, external behavior and the antagonizing processes that lead to system-threatening dynamics and, in some cases, to overt conflict, violence and war. And they all focus on the “real” international system.

Of importance in empirical analysis of lateral pressure theory are efforts to endogenize the natural environment by taking tracking the impacts of human activity on nature.  Stated thus, the challenges become near-overwhelming. By necessity, we have selected to begin with first principles, that is, to focus on anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases. Early on we began to examine the specific activities that are most dominant in generating specific green gases and to take note of the salient properties of these gases. Then we identified the states most engaged in the activities in question. This provided a “mapping” of social impacts on nature.  Greenhouse gases generated in the course of creating human products and processes can be viewed as environmental lateral pressure, or lateral pressure in the environment mode.  This is a propensity intimately tied to and created by the nature of products and processes – without explicit consideration of nature’s life supporting properties (Choucri and North, 1993c)1.


  1. Choucri, N., & North, R. C. (1993c). Population and Security: National Perspectives and Global Imperatives. In Choucri, N. (1993). Global accord: Environmental challenges and international responses.