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Jackson Hotchkiss
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Some of the sats that were brought up in the articles regarding Environmental Justice issues were truly mind-blowing to me. I have been aware that low-income communities, and communities of color specifically, are affected at a rate that is disproportionate to those around them. However, a few stats from the NYT piece really put this into perspective for me. The Article stated that Michigan where Ms. Dobbins Lives has a high death rate when discussing Covid19. Yet, 40% of the deaths are people of color, while they only make up 15% of the population. A clear representation of the burden falling on low-income individuals more than others. Another thing that I thought was interesting was during the Covid19 pandemic many factories and industries shut down, yet the industries in these low-income communities continued to run. Not only were these individuals more susceptible to the virus to be with, but the areas they are living in are continuing to be polluted while others have stopped for the time being. One thing I wanted to note about Environmental Justice was an issue I did some reading on in the Everglades. Specifically how this is highlights the problems within the legislation passed and how it clearly benefits those with a higher income. In the Everglades, there is a large demand for burning sugarcane to reduce biomass for sugarcane harvest. However, when doing some reading on this I found that the laws passed said that when the burning was done the direction of the wind should be taken into consideration. What I mean by this is that if the wind is blowing in the East then they would hold off the burn to prevent the smoke from traveling into these wealthy communities. While if the wind was blowing west or south the burns were encouraged. By doing so the negative externalities of burring the sugarcane were passed onto those in the Low-income communities that lived in these areas. While many Environmental justice issues might not be this severe and clear to see I think it's a good example to consider when thinking about the issue of low-income communities taking most of the burden.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2022 on Last Post for the Semester at Jolly Green General
This article brought up a few ideas that I had never considered when looking at some of the ways benefits of Climate policy would be distributed. Specifically when looking into the effects of houses and their income/age. I was not surprised to hear that those in the upper crust were not strongly affected if any at all. However, it never crossed my mind that one reason for this is because those individuals might be the ones that are stakeholders in the actual policy that would affect them. With this said, I was surprised to see that those at the bottom of the income bracket especially those over the age of 65 were those that benefited the most. Such benefits came from those individuals receiving such a high rebate value and other government support. However, these benefits went away at a rapid pace as income increased. Therefore making those in the middle class have more negative effects than the lower/upper class. It was also interesting how regardless of income over the age of 75 social security posed benefits. Lastly, I thought it was very interesting how under the Waxman Markey policy there was a price floor to regulate how cheap firms could sell their permits on Carbon. While on the other hand, the Kerry Boxer had both a floor and a ceiling to regulate carbon. I understand there is a need for a price floor but don't see any reason for a ceiling in this specific scenario.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I always try to read over a few responses that my classmates have left about the reading before writing my response. With this said, I would like to highlight something Josh said about the Katharine Hayhoe lecture. As noted by Josh, one of the questions asked during the lecture Q&A was somewhere along the line of "How can we get individuals to take action about the environment when the actions we do now won't affect many of us". Katharine Hayhoe answered by saying that you must make it relatable to them, therefore making it more persona and easier to understand during the present time. This alone is the most effective way for anyone person to push change. I thought this was very encouraging. As for the papers, the largest thing I would like to touch on is the fact that this is a global problem. Through the papers, we see that In many places individuals are being negatively affected by the harms that come along with air pollution. Specifically, those who are already suffering from respiratory issues develop worse or new symptoms. Lastly in the reading "Air pollution-related illness: Effects of particles" I was shocked to hear our failure to regulate ultrafine particles emitted by cars. In my opinion, if the automobile sector is one of the largest contributors to air pollution and the negative effects that come with it, then we should not let such carless harms go unregulated. Overall the harms of air pollution are something that affects all of us, but it is going to take all of us to change that.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
This article included one idea specifically that I would like to start with. The article read "The first category involves reducing CO2 emissions by reducing energy consumption. This does not necessarily require reducing economic activity, i.e. consuming less; rather means reconstructing society" under the "Reduction of Energy" section. I have heard what seems like a million times before that we as a whole need to cut down on the burning of fossil fuels or in some cases do away with them entirely. However, the idea of reconstruction of the society we already live in made a lot of sense to me. Instead of putting a focus on figuring out ways to make the burning of fossil fuels cleaner, maybe our efforts should be making things such as electric cars more mainstream and affordable for all. It is only at the point where one does not have to go out of their way to make a sustainable decision that is truly going to begin to reconstruct society. It was also shocking to see that around 40% of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere comes from the transportation sector. To me, it feels like a no-brainer to reduce the emissions coming from this sector. Especially if it can all be traced back to one thing. Untimitally I feel like the only way to truly reduce the amount of CO2 being released in this sector is to go electric. As we have mentioned in class, when a car manufacturer makes a car that gets good fuel mileage, that's great, but it does not persuade the owner to drive any less. Instead, it makes the driver more inclined to drive to get more bang for the buck off-gas. Ultimately this article was pretty encouraging for me. If we know not only how, but where to make the biggest cuts to CO2 emissions, I feel like it's only a matter of time before it happens.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
One of the points that stood out to me most in this article was the difference in the biomass levels and health of fisheries in unregulated waters of developing vs more regulated waters of developed. In many cases, I can clearly see how unregulated waters can cause a problem due to exceeding the MSY. Yet one factor that should be considered is many times (as we have talked about in previous classes) developing or more poor areas receive a larger percentage of the burden than developed areas along the lines of Env impact. Therefore, I am not saying that regulation of the MSY is a bad thing whatsoever, but there are other underlying factors that lower retrievable biomass in many unregulated waters than some might originally think. Another point I found interesting was the emphasis on Marine Protected Areas or MPA. The article made it pretty clear that the placement of an MPA was one of the best ways to make sure that fisheries get the best benefits possible. I thought it was interesting that even though an MPA was a good thing in many cases there could actually be an increase in catch outside the borders of the MPA due to spillover of fish. This makes me wonder if protecting one specific place really does that much? Similar to the idea that Jessica touched on above, maybe the best approach is to tackle more broadly instead of isolated locations. Not only do fish travel outside of the MPA but toxins and pollution can travel into the MPA at an amount that just can't be regulated. Therefore when looking at this topic it's hard for me to grasp how effective certain practices would actually be due to the surrounding Enivoroment possing constant threats.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
For me, this article was pretty upsetting. I remember in high school my roommate was from Brazil and he told me about the problems the country had With the deforestation of the Amazon. It is wild to me that one country (china in this example ) can have so much of an influence on the political decisions that are made across the world. Not only is Brazil one of the chinese leading importers but china now owns land in the amazon which only makes their grasp on the situation even stronger. Interesting that a country would go to such an extent and overlook all the social benefits of the situation. My question would be if the people in Brazil could make an impact somehow and if so how would they do so? I know my roommate was pretty torn up by the situation and he expressed how as a member of the country he felt pretty helpless in the situation.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2022 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
There were several points from the lecture last night that I found very interesting and would like to touch on. From the thoughts that Professor Casey touched on, I really liked the idea that it is really hard to be against sustainability. To say the least I could not agree more. I know we talked about this concept in class, but last night it really sank in. If sustainability is presented in the proper way (Which I think Professor Casey did) I think most people would be hard-pressed to not be willing to present their children and grandchildren with equal opportunities. With that said, it is important to know that we can't know exactly what the future wants, so as a society we can only do what we know is best now. With this hope, we will be supplying the future with equal opportunities. The next idea I really enjoyed was the ideas of Professor Humston and his thoughts on the Anthropocene. It is wild to think that we as humans are just a small shaving in the earth's ecological history. It is also very interesting that as a human race we have taken hold of the world as no other animal has. Chancing the environment we live in along with many ecosystem services. Lastly, I just wanted to note that I thought it was very inspiring and encouraging to see the work that Julianna has done with her company Terravive. I think is a clear representation that no effort is too small. While Julianna might have started the idea in high school it is now helping to create a greener tomorrow. So if you cant makes a larger impact you can change the ways you live and every bit counts.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2022 on Sustainability Webinar at Jolly Green General
I thought both of these were a pretty interesting way of looking at the environment from an economic perspective. Both pieces presented the general idea that for the economic gain of the country or area it's in their best interest to hold the natural environment ( coral reef or beach ) to a high standard. In a way, I think this is somewhat funny because it seems like the only incentive to conserve these natural areas is economic. With this said, I found the exit fee that goes towards PACT in Belize to be somewhat surprising. Overall the WTP was very high. To be exact it was upward of 30 dollars after the survey results had been studied. I think this is so fascinating and having an exit fee was very smart on Belize's part. I think that the WTP would be much higher after one has experienced something in a natural place rather than before. Therefore, having an exit fee rather than an entry fee is brilliant. With this all said, Belize and Barbados seem to realize what they have in the form of Monetary value, but I wonder if this helps translate the message of the natural objects' non monetary value as well.
Toggle Commented Jan 26, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The work by John Quiggin was by far my favorite of the two due to the new perspective that I was presented with. In a way, it was nice to hear that due to our current agricultural food production growth since the Green Revolution we are running no risk of feeding the growing population if things continue to run in the same direction. This is the case if agriculture production continues to climb at a percentage that is larger than the population. Alongside this, it was encouraging to know that due to such innovations in technology we as a whole have the capability to cut down on carbon emissions, thus both lowering and slowing the speed at which the planet is warming. Not only do we have the technology to do such a thing, but we can increase the overall standard of living in the process. However, as good as this sounds I am not super optimistic that we will take the necessary leap. I say this because, in developed countries specifically, individuals would have to make a sacrifice that goes away from the cultural norm they are used to. I think it is safe to say that those who would make the biggest impact would be quick to advocate, but long as the sacrifice comes at another's expense. Another reason this would be hard is the way humans live as a whole. Not everyone lives in a city. Therefore, it is not possible for them to ride a bike, walk or even take public transportation if they live an hour round trip from the store. So I'm not sure what the possible solution could be. How could those who want to make the leap influence those who would never do so? Could you use some sort of moral suasion and if so would that be enough to make a true difference. Overall I was pleased to hear this but also felt relatively helpless in moving towards these ideas.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 18, 2022