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Michael DeMatteis
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After taking a class with Professor Greer and listening to the talk, the frustrations surrounding climate change are ever present. What I always find most interesting about climate change is the fact that there are so many discrepancies that are manipulated to persuade or dissuade the population in one direction or another in relation to temperature risings, and CO2 levels. The frustrating part is that in order to understand climate change, one must look at data on a micro level as well as a much broader macro scope. I always enjoy Professor Greer's talks on climate change because i think she does an excellent job of presenting all the facts and allowing the listener to make the decision on their own. To go off of what Matt was saying, I really enjoy how she explains the Greenhouse effect. I think the majority of the population doesn't necessarily know what the Greenhouse effect actually is rather they just believe that it is some sort of terrible catastrophe that is going to ruin the earth. I believe that's what it was intended to do, so I really like how Professor Greer explains it rather than assuming people understand it. One point I would love to discuss, is the difference between atmospheric CO2 and oceanic CO2 and how that affects global temperature levels. I believe that transforming the CO2 from the atmosphere into oceanic C02, is a viable solution into reducing the increase in greenhouse effect.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2015 on Climate Talk at Jolly Green General
For class on Thursday I think it would be interesting to discuss investments in clean energy technologies and how that is going to affect conservation. I wonder if the relatively new sector of investments in clean energy, is going to stray from the main idea of simply preserving the environment and limiting carbon emissions. This warrants more of a ethical and philosophical discussion but I think it would be a good topic. I believe that eventually the clean energy sector could lose sight of its original intentions due to the influence of increasing investments. It would also be interesting to look at how dropping oil prices are affecting investments in the clean energy field.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2015 on For Thursday at Jolly Green General
To me, it seems as if the paper presents an experiment used to articulate simple socio-economic principles. The results showing that those who desperately rely on fishing as practically their only form of well-being, outweigh the benefit of continuing their current catch amounts with the risk of being fined for illegal activity. This seems to be rather common sense to me. If the fine received for fishing illegally is less than the profits they could receive by fishing the new legal way, then why wouldn't they fish illegally? Then gradually those who do not rely largely on fishing or those that live further from the coast, would not find the risk of fishing illegally as worth doing so they would adopt the new initiatives. Perhaps the fine associated with illegal fishing is not high enough to entice those who rely on fishing to adhere to the law but I think the real problem is that the regulations are simply to broad and I think this is the main point of the paper. I believe the most interesting and useful item that the paper points out is that environmental regulations, even beyond fishery regulations, are not meant to be all-encompassing. The paper shows that an all-encompassing regulations does very little to nothing to solve problems. In order to see a solid adherence to regulation and a positive result from the regulation, then the policy makers must act on an extremely local social and cultural level. This is what I find to be so complicated with environmental regulation. The fact that so many people use the environment in different ways and rely on certain components more or less than others do, creates such variety that a mono-regulation could, quite simply, never possibly accomplish an efficient amount of positive returns. All together, I believe the paper accomplished an excellent socio-economic analysis and achieved an interesting result but maybe one different than was originally intended.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The ability to determine a monetary value for non-market goods and services, in this case ecotourism and coral reefs, allows for far more informed and perhaps convincing arguments for environmental preservation policy. Being able to quantify a numerical value for living entities, like sea turtles and coral cover in reefs, through hedonic pricing methods is interesting. The method of taking a service like SCUBA diving in the Barbados, separating that into specific characteristics, and then valuing those characteristics in terms of their importance in relation to the consumers is something that could be used to quantify values for most non-market goods/services. Often many dismiss the value of environmental preservation not because they believe that there is no monetary value associated with the preservation of natural resources but because the monetary value is does not present itself until too far into the future. When discussing conservation policy it is largely unappealing to leave millions of gallons of oil in the ground in order to preserve a forest because most people who are involved in determining the policy are, simply, only concerned with the present and see no value in the conservation for the future. The article presents a point that will combat this theory and will prove that there is a monetary value in natural resources present now and in the future. I believe this will help influence much policy.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2015 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
To take a more broader stance on Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons, I believe that most of what his argument, or thoughts, were based on a world that was relatively different than the one we currently living in and therefore cannot be truly applied to today's environment. I believe that Hardin did not appropriately account for the advancement of technology and industry in our society. What I garnered from Hardin's piece was that in order for an entity to utilize a resource there must be a cost associated with that use and due to said costs, resources would eventually be exhausted. In today's modern society I believe that industry and technology specifically can be used to negate a portion of the costs created by the use of resources. Hardin's argument is based on the fact that these costs cannot be reversed and hardly even prevented. The argument is based on a time where technology was just becoming a significant item. Over the past 50 years technology has increased exponentially. For this reason I believe that Hardin's argument does not currently hold as much weight as it did at the time when it was originally written. The practically limitless ability for technology to solve problems in today's world seems like something that Hardin thought to be an impossible scenario; I do not think that this was taken into account. We may not know how to utilize technology to decrease our harm on our resources and the environment but we certainly have made giant steps forward since the 1960's. Overall I believe that we can work together as a society to improve industry and technology so that a "tragedy of the commons" never occurs. I don't completely discredit Hardin's writing because I think it works as a warning sign and an eye opener as to how we treat the world around us. Moving forward though, we must keep the Tragedy of the Commons in mind as we develop industry and technology further. Opinions have changed since the time Hardin wrote his piece and I believe his writing had a large impact on social outlook on economics and the environment yet I believe it is a bit outdated to be completely applied to today's environmental and economic disputes.
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2015 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 21, 2015