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Camryn Bostick
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The letter by Lane et al. stood out the most to me. It is crazy to see how much racism from the past still affects people today, and how those processes of systematic racism are still in process. Although the Fair Housing Act banned redlining in 1968, most of the long-lasting damage was already done. Those who were put into the "D" level neighborhoods lost the opportunity to gain wealth through property ownership, and following generations are often stuck in the same neighborhoods because they do not have the wealth required to move or afford a better home. On top of this, living in these lower-level leads to higher-level pollution rates which a lot of times leads to adverse health effects starting from in the womb. Poor health can also lower wealth by inflicting high medical bills, lowering the ability to work, and lowering education performance, which often results in lower paying jobs. I also found it crazy that in 80% of what used to be categorized as D neighborhoods, the air pollution levels are higher than average. Also, in 84% of A neighborhoods the air pollution levels are lower than average. Finally, what I believe to be the most important topic of this letter, is the fact that redlining still subconsciously continues. While there are no specific categorizations of A through D neighborhoods, new highways, railways, and other largely polluting types of construction are built around neighborhoods of the lower income population, and mostly people of color. Although redlining is illegal, air pollution is used to systematically lower the living conditions and wealth opportunities for people of color.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2022 on Last Post for the Semester at Jolly Green General
While reading this paper, I found it very interesting and positive that the proposed bill would allocate the allowances to offset the extra expenditures from low-income households. In fact, it states that there would actually be a net gain for those in these situations. I believe that this is very important as we've discussed how lower-income households, communities, and countries have the hardest time adapting to climate positive technologies and policies. I also found it very interesting that those over the age of 75 are the ones who would be most benefitted from the cap-and-dividend scheme, as normally those who are in the older age groups are more opposed to climate change reform policies. The reason that we have not yet widely implemented any such policies is demonstrated rather nicely in the paper, as they state that the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases will not be reaped until the future, but the cost of it we have to pay now. This "cost but no benefit" situation is not easy to pass in Congress or through the public. Creating policies like the cap-and-dividend scheme can help to fight this by incentivizing people to reduce emissions and at the same time reducing the cost of doing so.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Whenever you are in a city, or a more densely populated area, you are aware of the pollutants in the air, but even when you are outside of these areas you are still breathing in dangerous particulate matter without even realizing it. I thought that it was interesting and concerning that the particulate matter that is being monitored and regulated by the government is the coarser types, rather than the more dangerous "ultra fine" matter that can more easily embed into your lungs. One of the biggest warnings that get taught when it comes to air quality is to never smoke around a pregnant woman, because it is not good for the fetus. While reading all the effects and illnesses caused by particles in Nel's article, I wondered why people were more worried about the few minutes of smoke compared to the sometimes lifetime worth of particulate matter caused by fossil fuels. In Zhang's article, I noticed the pattern of the negative feedback loop within air pollution and cognitive abilities. Being that the most harm caused by air pollution occurs in the lower income areas, those whose cognitive abilities have been affected by air pollution will likely stay in this area and endure more physical and mental damage. Therefore, the following generation will likely have the same effects and stay in the same unsafe areas. It was not a surprise to me that air pollution has a lot of adverse health effects, but it was a new information that it also impairs your cognitive ability. Impaired decision making, as said in the article, can also lead to worse health, as you need to be able to choose your health insurance and health care.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
While reading Schrag's article, I found it very interesting that there was a potential solution offered. In many articles about climate change and the need for more proactive environmental regulations, it purely describes the harm that is being caused, but in this one it also describes the different types of resources that could be used to reduce pollution. While many people believe that making changes to environmental regulation will be impossible because of the changes needed for society to make in their own lives. In Schrag's article he states that reducing CO2 by reducing energy consumption does not necessarily require you to make economic changes in energy usage. Technological achievements and developments can make it more possible to universally reduce energy usage. For example, the conversion from gas cars to electric cars has been a gradual but promising change in energy use. More car manufacturers are offering electric models to fit in with the on-going "trend", which will benefit the environment if it continuously spreads throughout the industry. Similar developments in more environmentally-conscious energy use can revolutionize reduction of carbon emissions.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
What I found the most interesting about this article was how the management type and efficiency of fisheries can affect not only life conservation, but also the living conditions and food security of those near the fisheries. However, the FAO's figures of fishing conditions is quite concerning, as 33% of stock is overexploited, which has is a figure that has been growing throughout the years. Also, even these numbers may still be incorrect, as fishery-specific estimates are often highly uncertain. In order to create more strictly managed fisheries, they offer the rights-based fishery management, which will be expected to both increase profit by up to 4 times the amount of biomass than expected under open fishing conditions, as well as increasing conservation. In turn, this would produce more food, profits and conservation benefits, which translates to more guaranteed long-term profits. The reason that ITQs have not been implemented for a majority of fisheries, however, are their relatively high management costs, but with global implementation, there will be a major rise in profit that will outweigh the costs of both sustainably fished and open ocean fished biomass.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
When I hear about deforesting in a certain country or area, I tend to assume that it is being deforested by those native to the area to strengthen their own economy and use their own resources. This is why I found this article so interesting, because it shows that not only are citizens overusing the natural resources of their own country, but also of other countries when they run out. This can be done either directly (ex. land purchases) or indirectly (ex. rise in exports of soy and beef from Amazonia to China). I never considered that the increased need for farming and raising animals would create an increase in deforestation. The need for land is something that will continue increasing with the increasing population size and misuse of land that kills nutrients in the soil. This article mostly had a large effect on the way I think about deforesting, and that a portion of it is in fact an unintended, yet profitable, consequence of other demands. Because of this, to help the Amazon forests, we not only need to advocate the decrease of deforesting for wood materials, but also for any indirect reasons.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2022 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I find it very interesting that we are able to find the amount that people are willing to pay to preserve natural and environmental resources. This willingness can be used to find efficient and cost-effective natural resource policies, mostly focused around travelers and visitors. Travel and tourism being such a large and growing industry has a huge impact on some economies, and therefore satiating the preferences of those who participate is in the best interest of the most people. As stated in the article by Peter Schumann, those who visit and stay at beach front properties are quite adverse to seeing litter on those beaches, and will pay more money to avoid it. Knowing this, we see that most people do have a certain amount of willingness to preserve natural and environmental resources, and that in order to help preserve such we need to find a level at which the most people would agree to help. In the article on the PACT, it is shown again that people have a certain willingness to preserve the environment, as there was almost no outcry when the fee per tourist was $3.75. Also, in the survey, 90% of people said that they would still return to Belize, and their mean willingness to pay for the PACT fee was $34.60 - even larger than the currently instated $20 fee.
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The largest point that struck me from Quiggin's article was that concerning capability versus willingness. Many people believe that solving the furthering of climate change is some far off dream, but in reality the bigger issue is people's willingness to give up or sacrifice anything in order to even attempt to fix our planet. Quiggin states that a study found we could cut our coal, gas, and oil usage by 90%, but this process would be extremely slow and expensive. This could make a huge change in the environment - keeping global warming down to a 2 degrees increase - but the amount of people who support these large steps are heavily outnumbered by those who do not. This point is furthered by the example of private cars. Driving yourself in your own car is a very common, normalized fact of our nation, and almost all people would be absolutely unwilling to give this up, even though it is one of the biggest pollutants on the planet. I believe that the most important issue regarding climate change and global warming is the unwillingness of humankind to sacrifice money, materials, or time in order to save the planet that they are living on. Although there may be many plans on how to lower temperatures and minimize pollution, none of them will matter if they are not allowed to be put into motion.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 19, 2022