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Andy Roberts
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Having taken this class as a sophomore, it was good hear Lisa's in-depth understanding of the complexities of our climate system. I believe she provides a good understanding of the interplay between the various drivers of our climate. It is important to have an appreciation for these processes as they are inherent to the feedback systems that occur on our planet. While I have had a good amount of instruction on geologic processes, the social science side of climate change is a different and interesting aspect of the issue. I will be interested in further discussing how economics will be incorporated into the changing of climate.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2015 on Climate Talk at Jolly Green General
Seeing Caroline's post about the Keystone XL pipeline is also of keen interest me. Even though the Canadian tar sands (which would supply the oil for the pipeline) are an extremely energy intensive resource, what is of more interest to me would be analyzing economics of the massive water resource located below the pipeline. Growing up with the Ogallala aquifer beneath my feat in the Texas Panhandle, I would be very interested in discussing the cost/benefits aspects of this precious resource. Not only are large amounts of water being used for frac jobs throughout the Panhandle, but with agriculture and livestock being such mainstays of these economies I would certainly be interested in discussing ways of sustainably using this resource.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2015 on For Thursday at Jolly Green General
The models detailed in this paper are successful at identifying the basic factors affecting economic decision making for residents of poor rural countries lacking a diversity of employment opportunities. Yet, what was of particular interest to me was the protocol for gear exchange. I do appreciate the long term goal of an increased average size of fish in the bay and the overall possibility of a revitalized ecological system. But, it is hard for me to believe that the majority of villagers are concerned with anything other than their short term well-being. That being said, this issue of how the efforts of the villagers are being allocated is suitably addressed through the issuance of fines and other income-generating projects. While this wasn't mentioned in my section, in the comments above, Matt refers to the overharvesting of fish in Perth and that remediation has led to gains that are higher than ever. But, I do not see the merit in comparing the economies of Perth and MBREMP purely based on the relative opportunities available outside of fishing in these two locations. This study sets a clear framework for developing increasingly detailed models that incorporate more specific characteristics of an individual village. With further quantification of factors affecting villagers choices for time allocation, this model would undoubtedly be sufficient in maximizing both environmental resource stocks, as well as human well-being.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The research and modeling conducted by Casey et al provided an interesting method for ascribing monetary value to environmental resources. The results displaying a preference for lower levels of site crowding and higher levels of coral quality do not come as a huge surprise. That being said, these unsurprising preferences could easily be applied to many other forms of recreational activity. Overall, I believe that the placement of a premium on activities in ecologically sensitive areas is a good idea. Just as Matt stated in his post, many environmental resources have relatively low admittance costs when compared with the benefits derived from these goods and services. Following the argument made by Krutilla in the previous passage, if facilities are made available for a particular activity, participation and demand for that activity will increase. By placing premiums on diving activities the hope would be that coral quality will rebound. This would cause a positive feedback loop in which an increasingly valuable environmental resource is sought by an increasing demand by technically skilled divers of future generations. Following this thought, would you then need to apply this NMV to snorkeling as well? For the sake of Krutilla's argument it almost seems as though you would not want to place a greater monetary burden on low skill snorkelers/divers for if they are not willing to pay then future generations of skilled divers may be decreased.
Toggle Commented Jan 28, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Krutilla's paper posed a very logical approach for comparing the costs and benefits of conserving natural resources. Through his analysis of the ambitious assertion that "technological progress had compensated quite adequately for the depletion of...natural resource stocks," Krutilla dismisses this notion with the inevitability of environmental degradation. Current generations must therefore determine an optimal balance between development and preservation. Throughout the article, the manner in which Kruitlla ascribes value to natural resources is often quite vague, but one way in which he suggests we determine this value is through the notion of option demand. He emphasizes the value of natural biota and its ability to reintroduce genetic traits that are often lost in modern day genetic engineering in agriculture. I am not sure this is the best example for manifesting the concept of demand option, for I imagine that the large agriculture firms conducting the genetic engineering would inherently have a vested interest in preserving the source of their research, and therefore the threat of destruction of these ecosystems would be mitigated. To answer Matt's question on the value of car camping, I believe he his implying that to gain this appreciation for nature and its enjoyment through technical skills, one must first be afforded the exposure to nature in general. Through exposure to nature and the many associated adrenaline-pumping activities, one would be able to gain an increasingly great appreciation for the natural environment, whereby conducting these technical activities provides an increasingly intimate connection with nature.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2015 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 21, 2015