Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Environment and Society


This paper uses the Cultural Topography (CTOPs) methodology, an intelligence community standard which is used to avoid ethnocentric analysis and the dangerous practice of mirror imaging--projecting US culture on to another country rather than viewing the costs and benefits they face through their own cultural lens. CTOPs assess a country’s culture by examining four components of culture: identity, values, norms, and perceptual lens of an actor in conjunction with a specific issue of concern. This paper examines the internal culture of China, with the Chinese government as the key actor, to discover how to build effective policy to regulate air pollution in China, to protect against the detrimental effects of climate change, which China is hastening through its massive carbon emissions production. After analyzing China’s internal culture using CTOPs, it was found that an effective climate change policy would be a tax incentive based system, and a switch to nuclear power, with the use of natural gas to supplement this shift. This will lead to a significant reduction in carbon emission production, which will increase the health and safety of the Chinese people, and ultimately the world.



Faculty Mentor

Jeannie Johnson

Departmental Honors Advisor

Nat B. Frazer