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Andrew Arnold
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The one thing I keep coming back to when I read these articles is the old adage that poor people should just "work harder." I feel like that is something that gets pushed around often from people in the upper economic classes because they feel they have worked hard to get where they are, and they do not understand why others can't do the same. Maybe that is true. Maybe these people did work hard to get where they are, in all likelihood they probably did. But also in all likelihood, they were probably not born into the circumstances that we read in these articles. I had read a book about cancer ally called "strangers in their own land." This book was interesting because the person was trying to figure out why the people were supporting politicians whose policies were negatively affecting them, such as deregulation of companies. I think we have been talking about a similar scenario in West Virginia. It all seems to boil down to lying and misinformation, which is really frustrating. On the topic of racism, It really did not surprised me that these poorer often less white communities are hit harder by things like air pollution. I think it is an interesting intersection between something like climate change and helping solve social issues because air pollution perpetuates the cycle of poverty by making people less healthy and literally less able to function cognitively as someone born in the same city just in a different area. Katharine Hayhoe talked about Climate Change as a threat multiplier, and I think we are seeing this here
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2022 on Last Post for the Semester at Jolly Green General
I think it is interesting that this paper talks about the effects of certain policies that would help halt climate change. We have talked all the time in class about what can be done to fix climate change, but I don't think we have talked a ton about some of the tradeoffs that come with these policies. Part of the reason I feel uneducated about it is because there is so much political messaging simply lying for one side or the other's benefit. It does not really surprised me that the middle class would feel a lot of the effects of a cap and trade type policy, but it was interesting to me that the fixed income older individuals would be largely unaffected. For me, I know at the moment that the people bearing the costs of climate change are overwhelmingly the people that are not feeling the benefits, so I personally think some of these effects are going to have to be necessary for long run benefits. The issue is helping support these middle class people in the meantime.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The most frustrated I had been after one of our classes was when you told us about the health effects surrounding mountain top removal in West Virginia. It really had an effect on me that the people in charge knew what they were doing, as well as the politicians, and they were doing nothing. I was really taken aback that people could really just not care about other people so much. Now reading these articles I have even more examples of how wide spread these types of instances are. For example, in Australia these kids are growing up through no fault of their own with an increased chance of asthma and wheezing. I really don't understand why people won't do more when the science identifies a problem like this. Even simply on the economic side the paper said it cost Australia 600-700 million dollars. Air pollution is the kind of problem too where it is caused by very few but affects very many. I don't get why the policies don't reflect the negative externalities of firms who cause this air pollution. Taxation seems not only necessary but needed very soon. When the health effects are proven and getting worse, policy has to reflect what is best for the people not profit seeking firms.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Reading these articles reinforced a lot of what we had been talking about in Professor Greer's class when it comes to the carbon cycle and minimizing carbon emissions. It is really frustrating to read these articles especially when the second one says it would only cost about 1% GDP (at that time) to make the shift towards clean energy. I have been trying to think ever since you brought up the mountain top removal impacts on people what should we do about these problems? It is frustrating because we know for a fact they exist, and we know the solutions and steps that we need to take. Even still, it seems like our policy and decision making at every turn is the opposite of what we should do and is not in the best interest of people. I think after reading these articles eduction has to be the biggest thing missing. I think if climate change was something people understood really well then we could fight through all the "fake news" about it. Just speaking personally, I don't know how someone could take yours or professor Greer's class and think yeah right now we are doing a good job. I think that even before we can aggressively start asking people to change the way they live, we need to educate them on why they are changing what they are changing. This is because I have very little faith at this point that the solutions will come from the top down.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
This is an example of the tragedy of the commons. My mind immediately thought of the Chesapeake Bay because being form Richmond, it is something I've heard about my whole life. There have been problems with people over harvesting blue crab especially in the bay. While fishing licenses are required, the bay is large and illegal activities are inevitable. This is a problem that affects a lot of people, but in reality acts like a public good between people over harvesting crabs and polluting the area. That is where the principal of the tragedy of the commons comes into application with that example. This also made me think of Professor Lisa Greer's class on climate change that I am currently in. I have learned how fragile coral reefs are when it comes to the pH and temperature of the water, and they house a large number of species of fish. Reading in the article the massive amount of fish we harvest, and seeing the trends our ocean is heading in a number of areas. I am concerned about our supply of seafood being threatened in the future.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I think this article is an interesting case study for how international of a problem climate change is. Politics obviously make solving a lot of these international problems difficult, so I think this makes way for economics to be the primary mode of change when it comes to combatting climate change. In this case, China is economically incentivizing Brazil to act against the long term interests of the world. Obviously, though, it is hard for another party to step in and bear the financial responsibility of incentivizing Brazil to stop. This is a spot where I think the UN could play a larger role in international economics than it has in the past. The biggest hurdle would be convincing enough countries that the financial tradeoff in the short term would be worth it in the long term. I think the UN would need to somehow obtain enough funding to act as a financial incentivizing force, but they would need to obtain funding from somewhere. How they would do that would be quite problematic.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2022 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I thought both these pieces were quite interesting because of how hard it is to assign economic value to things like beaches or coral reefs or really any kind of natural attraction. Obviously, it is generally bad for humans to be interacting with a lot of these places because we litter and disrupt ecosystems, but at the same time for the places that were mentioned in the articles, these beaches and reefs are natural resources for these countries and drive local economies. I think Willingness to Pay is an interesting concept to add to these places. As Americans, we are used to national parks being largely free to use, but maybe they shouldn't be because our WTP could be greater than 0. I think for places like Belize and Barbados these studies are really important for how they choose to allocate their financial resources. It really is a balancing act for them because they do not want their natural tourism resources to be destroyed, but at the same time humans need to use them for these countries to drive tourism. I wonder if more expansive surveys could yield more accurate data. Especially the Belize one. That sample size of 300 something felt small to me when deciding on changing national policy on something so big. Still, I think both are an interesting case study for other tourism driven countries to follow as it may provide them the method to get more of people's WTP.
Toggle Commented Jan 26, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I thought the article by Quiggin was particularly interesting because it presented feasible tangible solutions to problems that I think a lot of people think are insurmountable. Some of these solutions were rather obvious like alternative energy such as solar or electric cars. Others I had not thought of as much before. Quiggin says a line "the problem of stabilising the global climate is not ‘Can we?’ but ‘Will we?’" I think this is a really interesting especially considering the resource allocation Quiggin recommends. He talks about world hunger like the solution is obvious and simply. Maybe it is maybe it isn't, but if what he says is true about historical production growth, I don't get why we have not allocated enough food to everyone. I understand there is cost involved, but I think most would agree it is the right thing to do. So why do we not incentive it or use command and control? Again, he makes these massive problems sound so simple to solve. I think it is really interesting how Quiggin believes that we can solve these problems simply by debunking misconceptions and then taking the next logical and moral actions.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 19, 2022