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Joey Dunn
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As an Environmental Studies and Business major, this class was right up my alley. From tools for government intervention to the President's prevention of research on the health effects of mountain top removal, nearly every lecture and class discussion had me thinking about the topic with a new perspective. One of the hardest things about studying environmental studies is that it can often feel hopeless, as you quickly realize there are way more problems than you initially thought and each one of them is far more complex than anticipated. One of the major complexities is that it often appears our economy-driven society and political landscape cannot coincide with fixing environmental problems. However, the most valuable thing I have learned in our class is that there are already viable solutions to many of the complex issues that can and will ultimately improve the efficiency and maximize the value in our economy. How will this help me become a better citizen? Well, we may have some theoretical solutions, but we need people to make them a reality. I hope to be one of those people.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2020 on ECON 255 Final Exam at Jolly Green General
It is consistently fascinating how many of these issues are so interconnected. Most of the connections have very sad implications, i.e. the connection between environmental justice and human health or belief in climate change and adherence to social distancing. It is also fascinating and sad how so many of what should be non-partisan discussions become so controversial based on your politics. Political parties have nothing to do with science, yet democrats have become the party of scientific reasoning while republicans shout them down with fake news and the economy over all else. Climate change and covid-19 have nothing to do with political ideology, and we should have a relatively simple time agreeing on how to react.
Are there any potential repercussions we may face in the future for aggressively borrowing now?
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2020 on ECON 100: The Corona Coma at Jolly Green General
Although we often discuss the many negative externalities associated with air pollution, the issues presented in the first and second articles particularly grabbed my attention. The first article caught my eye because I had not even considered the potential effects that air pollution may have on cognitive ability and development. The second article stood out simply because of the magnitude of how many people die and are affected by health problems stemming from air pollution every year. Unfortunately, both the cognitive and health problems caused by air pollution are likely to disproportionately affect low-income and disadvantaged communities. This is because poorer communities are much more likely to be situated in areas where air pollution is worse (i.e. next to a highway or near a factory). This serves as yet another example of how environmental issues often align with human rights issues.
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2020 on 3 short papers for Friday at Jolly Green General
The objective of this paper was to determine if Belize tourists were willing to pay a higher exit fee to help fund conservation. For those willing to pay a higher fee, the secondary objective was to determine the maximum fee they were willing to pay. The results of the study were generally positive, as results indicated that approximately 80% of tourists are willing to pay higher exit fees for conservation, with a mean fee of $34.60. These results were also consistent with a number of other similar studies conducted in high profile conservation locations. In my opinion, these results are very encouraging, as they both affirm the sentiment that a substantial percentage of people value conservation and reveal an opportunity to greatly increase conservation efforts around the world. That being said, there may be some bias within the sample as individuals who can afford to travel to Belize and chose the nature-rich country over other vacation destinations may not accurately represent an average person. This bias is irrelevant when considering scenarios like Belize, which is why the results appear to be very helpful and encouraging, but I do not think we have enough evidence to declare that an exit fee is the best strategy for all conservation. Not all locations in dire need of conservation have the same appeal, popularity, and wealthy visitor base as Belize. These variables may have a major influence on a tourist’s willingness to pay, which implies that we have a lot more research to do if we want to further apply this strategy to conservation efforts around the world.
When I started reading Krutilla’s Conservation Reconsidered, I expected to finish reading it having gained a better understanding of how we can estimate the true value of various natural resources. However, when I finished I was left with more questions and a realization that such a task was far more complex than I had anticipated. Krutilla uses both philosophical and logistical arguments to make this exact point. Krutilla acknowledges that advancements in technology sometimes have the ability to replace natural ecosystem services, and in some cases will be required if we are to realistically give the next generation the same opportunities to achieve prosperity. However, Krutilla also argues that there are some natural recourses cannot be artificially replaced, thus it is imperative to protect them. Furthermore, Krutilla argues that even some of the natural resources and services that can be replaced may still never reach the same value of the natural version. Much of this argument revolves around the intrinsic value of various natural objects, landscapes, and organisms. This is the most complicated aspect of the conversation because it is seemingly impossible to accurately estimate/ take into account intrinsic value.
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Jan 15, 2020