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Emily Rollo
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I think this paper does a really good job at explaining the way carbon tax would be created and implemented. It also provides good evidence and explanation on why a tax is better than a cap-and-trade system on emissions. The criticism made about the implementation of a carbon tax makes this paper especially interesting. Today, we are emitting at a rapid rate and do not seem to be doing much about it. We are worried that a solution, such as a tax, would not be very cost effective. However, we have not experienced any method before now that internalizes the cost, so I think we might as well try the carbon tax. If the carbon tax was a flexible policy, then we should eventually see its benefits. A carbon tax plan that would allow adjustment in the future would help long-term goals of reducing emissions. I disagree with the analysts in the paper who believe in curing immediate damages and speeding up the stabilization of atmospheric conditions. This does not help future generations. Additionally, the options presented for minimizing cost by equating marginal abatement costs for all emission sources do not seem that practical. New energy conserving sources are not as easy to implement as it sounds. The longer we wait as a society to adopt and adapt to new technologies, the more expensive it will become. It will no longer be cost effective or minimizing and we are back at the root of the global emission problem.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2016 on ECON 255 for next Thursday at Jolly Green General
I think this article did a really good job at simplifying the carbon and climate problem and their solutions by breaking it down into the seven wedges of the stabilization triangle. In order to solve these problems in the next 50 years, we as society must utilize certain technologies and make lifestyle changes in order to fill all seven wedges. Pacala and Socolow offer many options that could be “scaled up” to fill at least one wedge. One option stuck out to me the most. The idea regarding forest management seemed very impractical to me. I think that because even ending tropical rainforest harvesting altogether would only create one half of a wedge. The efforts, economically and socially, that would go into this would be so high and it would take so long and it would not even fill one complete wedge. As we already know, it is not the “slash and burn” forest management technique that is the problem. Instead, it is when a large population is coupled with this technique that it becomes an issue because it brought to a large scale. With the population still growing, it is going to be difficult to limit, let alone end entirely, this type of forest management because you must deal with the people and not just the forests.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2016 on ECON 255 for next Thursday at Jolly Green General
I think this article does a really good job at highlighting all the costs of the coal harvesting industry on the environment. The most interesting part of the article to me was the section on coal production’s contributions to climate change. I think it’s widely known that coal harvesting is responsible for large amounts of carbon emission and global warming. However, I think the effects it has on climate change are very underestimated. It is was until reading this article that I realized the detrimental effects coal production puts on the environment. At Professor Greer’s talk on climate change earlier this semester, she ultimately was trying to explain that we are currently experiencing very warm atmospheric and water levels. We should actually be going through a cold period and instead we are seeing melting ice, rising sea levels and warming of the land. This is in line with what Epstein et al. is saying about the effects of carbon emission from coal harvesting on the climate. These climate change damages are costly to other economic factors as well such as real estate and insurance values. The total costs of climate changes from coal-derived power industries accumulated to $63.9 billion at the time the article was written. At a global economic level, the losses have reached 20% of gross domestic product. I think it is often underestimated how much economic loss the world receives from coal burning. These costs were projected to increase, so I think it would be interesting to look at the value of the costs to the economy today.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2016 on ECON 255 for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 21, 2016