This is Jalen Twine's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Jalen Twine's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Jalen Twine
Recent Activity
After reading the articles it is easy to say that the US should implement a carbon tax but that is because the articles only really were concerned with the benefits of such a tax. In this class we have been taught to ask what the costs are when faced with an argument full of benefits so I would've liked to see more about the costs. The British Columbia article is an interesting "case study" for the U.S. to maybe look into because it shows the benefits and questions the cost-effectiveness of a carbon tax. While I agree that something needs to be done, I think it's hard to just implement a tax and hope that the problems are fixed without a thorough understanding of both sides. While other problems might arise, the question that the government needs to ask itself is whether or not the carbon tax, something that we might see the effects of for awhile, is important enough for them to pursue.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2017 on Econ 255 readings - update at Jolly Green General
In response to Phillip's question about whether or not fracking is judged harshly everywhere I think that the answer to that question would be no. Coming from Houston, Texas, oil-drilling and fracking are cornerstones of a major portion of the business in Texas. I think that the article does a great job of describing the benefits and negative externalities that come with fracking. For Texas and specifically the cities the positives outweigh the negatives by so much and the state as a whole relies on it so much that the negatives can be overlooked and fracking and oil-drilling is not seen in a harsh way at all. I was surprised by Phillip's comment but after reading the article I realize that the benefits are not as great in other places so it makes sense why the negatives are the prevalent school of thought.
In response to another student’s post and the Fueling Our Future piece in Harvard Magazine, I was equally interested in why coal has not been replaced by nuclear energy or at least utilized less in favor of nuclear energy, but I found it problematic to insinuate that the choice is as easy as taking one for the other. The concerns over national and international security having to do with nuclear energy are very real and should not be taken likely. Although nuclear plants take care of our carbon problems the risks associated with trying to completely trade them in for all of carbon sources for electricity have very high risks. The article touches on some of these issues that increase risk like terrorism and accidents like Chernobyl. Just increasing nuclear plants and energy in a 1 for 1 swap in terms of energy provided by coal will not solve all our problems. While I do think working to improve, utilize, and then regulate nuclear energy should be a goal, I think it is only a smaller piece of the puzzle and not the answer. The article conveys this sentiment in the last sentence of the nuclear energy section, “Nuclear power should not be regarded as an alternative to cleaner energy fuels or biomass or windmills. We are going to need everything – and the over time we will see how the economics sort out” The political side of nuclear energy although cumbersome, is very vital to the health of the planet in the short-term as well as long term.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2017 on Econ 255 for next week at Jolly Green General
Like a student above I am very curious as to why innovation hasn’t kicked in due to all of the insane costs that come with coal mining. I know that there are alternatives to coal for electric power but I wonder how expensive they must be for us to not find a suitable and cheaper alternative. Due to how we talked about China spending 70 times as much as us in government research and development, I find it odd that they have not found some alternative to using coal yet when there are so many obvious costs to health and to the environment. I have pondered this and come to the conclusion that America’s reliance on the private sector for research and development has led to much more ingenuity and innovation that allows us not to rely on coal as much as China.
I thought that the study was interesting for many of the reasons that my peers did. It did a good job of illustrating that scuba divers would pay more for many of the different things talked about in the paper. I agree with the point of some of the people that were concerned with the study possibly inflating the willingness to pay more and when thinking about my own willingness to pay I believe it would be much less than the findings. Since I am not a scuba diver and have never been to Barbados. Additionally, I thought that the findings were a little troublesome in that there were so many different reasons and particular scenarios that led different divers to value different aspects more than another that I think it would make monetizing the value much more difficult. I had my own reservations before reading the article. But after reading it and the findings I found it interesting that my option value and existence value increased. This is something that I could see myself doing or something I would want the option to do in the future. But even if I never went scuba diving in Barbados, that is something that I think holds bequest value for me now as well. I'd love for people that enjoy this already and my family to have the opportunity to do this.
I am going to focus on the Hardin piece. I found this piece interesting because it reminded me of a philosophy/business course that I took that focused on the ethics of globalization. We talked about the ethics of poverty and population control was something that came up in this course. I think that the Hardin piece does a great job of illustrating the innate problems that we encounter trying to meet the need for finite resources with ever increasing infinite population growth. It makes sense that the optimal amount of growth for a population is none but as we’ve learned in class, achieving the optimal amount of something can prove to be rather costly. In this case the cost is the liberty to procreate. I agree with an earlier point that described how the nation is somewhat of a welfare state that provides little penalty to over population. As the aforementioned post stated and what we talked about in my ethics course was that it is unethical to willingly not provide the necessities of life to anyone. I think this reading shows the confusing nature of this problem. But as Hardin states, the most miserable populations have greater rates of growth. This reading gave me a more realistic outlook on the problem of population growth. While implementing something like China’s one child policy is controversial and unfeasible because it ideally goes against how our country is, eventually there will have to be maybe some sort of incentivized policy that limits population growth in order to combat this problem.
I found the articles to be interesting in that they answered questions about many of the misconceptions pertaining to economists and their attitudes towards the environment. In the Krugman article, he talks about how economists are thought to be people “who think that anything that increases gross domestic product is good and anything else is worthless”, although policies that favor the environment do the opposite in many cases. Despite this, 2,500 economists signed the Economists’ Statement on Climate Change. I thought this article illustrated a lot of what we talked about in class on Tuesday about not being able to place the proper value on things affected by Climate Change like water and oxygen. Krugman effectively showed why this factors into the opinions of economists due to their understanding of natural and environmental resources. They understand that “the private costs of an activity fail to reflect its true social costs”. So with this knowledge the rest of the article becomes less surprising in terms of the policies that these 2,500 economists favor. It makes sense that economists would go against the actions and policies of what people of a similar background but without this knowledge and understanding would prefer. Realistically, the environmental policy suggestions proposed in this article would have little to know effect on the overall spending due to a potential reduction in other taxes like income taxes. I agree with Nicholas George in that the majority of people might be less rational than economists give them credit for being in respect to preventing sound economic policy due to ignorance, interests, and ideology.
Jalen Twine is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 11, 2017