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Sarah Michalik
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Rachana makes an interesting point when she states that she doesn't understand how the public perception became so clouded with myths about a subject that should be firmly rooted in science. I believe this has much to do with human psychology, and the fact that people hate to admit that they're wrong. I believe there was initially an uncertainty surrounding global climate change, and in this time of uncertainty people formulated opinions for various personal reasons. Once people in the public spotlight shared their initial, uninformed opinions, they were then too embarrassed to retract them once the science proved them wrong, so instead they decided to try to discredit the science. It would be interesting to look at polls through different periods of history to see how opinions on global climate change have progressed and attempt to find a correlation with psychology studies on group behavior. I believe the catchphrase, "I'm not a scientist," that was brought up in class today is a result of politicians realizing that science is against them but refusing to fess up to the public that they are wrong.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2015 on Climate Talk at Jolly Green General
For Thursday's class, I would like to talk a little more about debt for nature swaps. We have already touched on this subject a couple of times with the example in Costa Rica, but I am curious if there are any instances in the past where this has been employed. I would be interested to see the how a policy such as this plays out in the long term. We have brought aspects of psychology into our discussions before, and I believe applying psychology to this scenario to determine whether a debt for nature swap policy will be beneficial in the long run would be an interesting study.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2015 on For Thursday at Jolly Green General
Earlier in the term we discussed the pros and cons of command and control policies vs economic incentives. This paper also looks at this issue, though not as we did in class. Upon reading the introduction, I found it odd that the park only employed six park rangers to conduct regular patrols and enforce policies in such a large area. In class, we had discussed how commond and control policies can only be effective if those in charge have the means to enforce them. However, after reading the results of this study this choice made more sense to me. The researchers found that a certain amount of enforcement (what they refer to as a "stick" policy) will increase the amount of cooperation with the policy. However, once the amount of enforcement rises too high, many of the villagers stopped fishing all together. This had a negative effect on the welfare of the villages.The researchers pointed out that this reaction was likely due to the disproportionality of the fine to the catch.I would be interested to see if the model determined through this case study could be used to determine the optimal number of park rangers.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
This week's chapter from Kahn discussed the biases that can occur through various methods of assigning market prices to non-market items. Many of these biases occurred when a stated preference method was utilized. When I first began reading the methods of this experiment, I saw the use of a survey and thought that the results would be inaccurate due to the biases discussed by Kahn. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the researchers switch rather quickly to a conjoint analysis approach. I believe that a conjoint analysis approach is the most accurate tool currently available to conduct this kind of research. Furthermore, the researchers analyzed many variables beyond those that they were most interested in studying. Therefore, I believe this study was fairly unaffected by biases.
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I understood the point that was made in the Conservation Reconsidered paper regarding option demand. However, the author then posed a question asking why a market hasn't developed for this type of demand. I did not understand how the author answered this question and was wondering if anyone could explain to me why a market hasn't developed for option demand.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2015 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 19, 2015