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Jack Koch
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Greer’s climate talk highlights several important points, some of which I was somewhat familiar with and some that I had never heard before. One of the most important aspects of this discussion to understand is the difference between weather and climate. I have heard many people dispute climate change based on short-term periods of particularly cold weather. In order to understand the actual evidence of climate change, it is crucial to examine long-term climate trends through out the Earth’s history. Greer does an excellent job of putting climate changes into perspective with the geologic time graph. When she zoomed in to show the last 400,000 years, she discussed the relationship between patterns of C02 changes and patterns of temperature changes. This reminded me of the question of whether temperature is a function of greenhouse gas emissions vice versa. Greer is careful to describe the relationship as a correlation rather than a causal relationship. Greer also explained the burning of fossil fuels in a way I had never heard before when she discussed carbon movements in the Earth system. As Greer discusses, combustion of fossil fuels transfer carbon to the atmosphere from beneath the Earth’s surface at a rate that is much higher than the rate at a natural state. Describing and quantifying this process makes the impact of fossil fuel combustion much clearer.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2015 on Climate Talk at Jolly Green General
This article highlights several issues related to a lack of equity that can be caused by MPA management. Because the level of enforcement is the same across villages, and villagers who allocate most of their labor to agriculture face a lower risk of being caught and fined, there is an incentive for infrequent fishers to continue fishing illegally. This is consistent with the issue of early cooperators tending to be villagers with a greater reliance on fishing. While the aggregate marginal cost of society might be equal to the aggregate marginal benefit of the MPA, the cost is not necessarily evenly distributed. That is, the early cooperators are bearing the majority of the cost while the rest of the villagers bear only the relatively low risk of being fined for illegal fishing. This is a free rider problem that policy makers should consider. If possible, an increase in enforcement among less frequent fishers would likely induce cooperation, which would result in greater equity in the form of more evenly distributed cost.
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The use of stated preference as a means to determine willingness to pay and thus the economic value of natural resources makes theoretical sense to a certain extent. However, the sample used in the choice experiment in this article yielded results that could be misleading. For example, the sample size of 165 survey respondents is relatively small, and it is possible that the responses do not accurately reflect the preferences of the whole population. Furthermore, the sample used in the experiment might not be a random sample, and this can skew the results in such a way that policy makers would be mislead. For example, it is mentioned in the article that many of the respondents are married. Because married people might influence each other’s preference and willingness to pay, their survey results might be misleading. Finally, there are many experienced divers within the sample, so the sample might not be an accurate reflection of the whole population, which has relatively few experienced divers.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 28, 2015