This is Sasha Doss's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Sasha Doss's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Sasha Doss
Recent Activity
These scientists make quite the statement. New York State, not just New York City, could be run by all renewable resources. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say this, but it kind of seems too good to be true. This article and the link in the article (which leads to yet another article as this paper has not yet been published) cite a lot of numbers. As a scientist, you learn to scrutinize numbers and their sources very carefully. It is encouraging that this group of scientists did not accept funding from any companies, interest groups, or government agencies, but I still feel like the wool is being pulled over my eyes. Did they incorporate the emissions from construction in their calculations? How can they predict energy demand in 2030? How did they fund this research if they didn’t take money from anyone? Despite my skepticism, this article does provide promise. Switching to renewable energy is doable, although drastic, and if it’s doable for New York boasting the seventh largest population density in the U.S, it should be doable just about anywhere. It is also promising that the scientists involved in this research are conducting similar studies for the states of Washington and California. I know it would take a long shot to put this into legislation or planning, but I would hope that policy makers at least consider portions of this proposal when creating future policies on state management of climate change and CO2 emissions.
I found this article very economically appealing—of course as a biology major that might not mean much. However, there are two reasons I think policy makers and economists should really examine this article. 1. a. The article points out that a cap-and-trade system has proven success. Rarely are those involved in climate-related decisions given the opportunity to see an option put into practice and observe its success. When the SO2 allowance-trading system was implemented under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, a 50% reduction in SO2 was achieved, and the “power of the market” was utilized. This may not be the most cost effective approach, but it is effective. b. The second reason the SO2 allowance-trading system was successful was due to very little partisan division. A partisan divide is unproductive no matter what the issue. If parties can’t agree, no system will be successful. 2.Policy makers actually have a chance to make a decision on how they want to mitigate CO2 emissions. This is important because politicians don’t realize the leisure they have right now by actually having a choice. At this moment in time, they should be choosing between a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, A or B. Pretty soon we will be long past the point of choices, and the only option we’ll have is to stop emitting CO2 and adapt. …Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is still valid. We should take advantage of market power while we still can. Without a decision, eventually we will be put between a rock and a hard place cutting emissions any way possible, which will be completely cost ineffective—something I’m sure will help Mr. Senator get reelected the following term…
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2013 on Another Political Football at Jolly Green General
I reviewed some of the comments above and generally agree with their content. It’s great news that provided enough incentive, e.g. the Olympics, China was able to reduce air pollution. However, that is a pretty large incentive. I think it would be difficult to continuously put that much social pressure on China, especially without it then being placed on the U.S. The recent sandstorm discussed in this article served to point out the general discontent with the country’s air quality. I think that the new carbon tax is not necessarily a response to this event in particular, but it is a response to the disgruntlement of its constituents on the subject of air quality. Although once again this policy decision lacks punctuality, it does seem like a step in the right direction.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2013 on Off The Charts at Jolly Green General
I really like the point Cort makes about examining the carbon trading program in the context of efficiency versus that of climate change. Clearly both are important, but I agree people and companies are more likely to jump on the bandwagon named efficiency. I am certainly glad RGGI decided to lower the emissions cap, and I like the other improvements they made as well, especially the “flexible cost containment mechanism.” I’m not sure if a form of that mechanism was included in earlier plans, but I think companies will look favorably on that addition. I also like that RGGI held a number of stakeholder meetings, stakeholders including companies responsible for lowering emissions. Some of the numbers they cite, such as the less than one per cent electric bill increase for consumers, seems unlikely, but if everyone was involved in the stakeholder meetings, these numbers seem slightly more believable. Presumably, RGGI knows the consequences of setting emissions at its future cap. All in all, I think the decision to lower the emissions cap seems mutually beneficial to the climate and the market.
I thought Obama’s speech was surprisingly unspecific as it concerns climate change. The worth in its mention is that it is a promise, an acknowledgment that the United States will attempt to address the problems of “raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.” At first, I saw this paragraph on climate change as progress. Despite its lack of specificity and punctuality, it is a start. Then, I read Obama’s first inaugural address. Below are a few highlights: • “With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.” • “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” • “…nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect.” He even mentions climate change as an indicator of crisis. This was four years ago. I don’t think his mention of climate change in this year’s inaugural address is progressive, rather its evidence of a stalemate. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has a residence life of 500 years. Even if we stopped using carbon altogether, the effects of our actions today will resonate long after we’re gone. The world will continue to get warmer and there will be more sporadic and severe weather events. As far as the general public is concerned, the surveys are promising, but still leave a lot to be desired. Clearly, we can talk the talk, but at some point we have to walk the walk, and our future generations would prefer sooner than later.
Sasha Doss is now following The Typepad Team
Feb 3, 2013