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Upon analyzing the Vice article about Cancer alley, I became aware to a whole new perspective on air pollution and COVID-19. Although I understand the large threat COVID-19 poses to our country, I have previously taken for granted the situation I am in and the correlation it has to the threat COVID-19 poses to me as an individual. I thought that simply because of my age and fitness that I did not need to be concerned about the effects COVID-19 could have on me individually. However, I did not realize how much I should attribute my fortune of being less likely to be seriously threatened by it due to my socioeconomic status. I did not consider the fact that I likely have a much better chance of surviving the virus due to the location of my home and access to clean air. Putting this into perspective has allowed me to better understand the connection between injustices that lie in the inequality of income and are perpetuated throughout the system in more ways than one would think. This article also makes one realize the importance of clean air quality overall and as it pertains to a global pandemic or another catastrophe where an optimal and functional immune system is necessary.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2022 on Last Post for the Semester at Jolly Green General
I find the discussion in these paper about the potential conversion to WWS energy very interesting. From what I have experienced, it seems as if the majority of our current population either thinks that WWS is not a viable option for our future because they either believe that such a form of energy collection is economically unpractical with regard to transformation to such facilities , or that it simply would be too expensive once the conversion has happened. However, I these articles Delucchi and Jacobson point to the contrary. They state that conversion to WWS is actually more of a political and social issue rather than a technological or economic issue. They also discuss how if we transitioned to WWS, the cost of energy would be roughly the same. This points to the idea that if such a transition were to actually be put into place, it would benefit the environment greatly while simultaneously posing far less troubles than many think.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The Pnas article entitled, "The impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance" provided a very interesting look into the cognitive effects of air pollution of the human brain. The main things I found to be very interesting in the article were when it talked about the difference in effects on men and women as well as the differences shown in math and verbal scores. I do not understand entirely why verbal skills may be more subject to impairment than math skills due to air pollution. Is there a different neuropathway for verbal communications that is more susceptible being tampered with? While this came to a surprise to me, the difference in effects on gender was an even more shocking thing to see. While I understand men and women are not the same entirely, I would have thought that when it comes to exposure to certain elements men and women would have the same response. Even though the difference in effects between men and women was not as significant as the difference between math and verbal scores, I find it surprising that gender plays a significant role in the equation.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Upon reviewing the reading by Schrag, one thing that was brought to my attention immediately was the comparison to Venus and Earth. Schrag talks about how if Earth was similar to Venus in that it was dry, it would be far easier to predict the affects of humans on the earth. He discusses how water plays a large factor in emissions and their absorption. Earlier in the article he says that while 60% of CO2 emissions stay in the atmosphere and 20% are consumed by terrestrial ecosystems, 20% of CO2 emissions are absorbed by the ocean. While it may not be a shock to many, I found this statistic to be very interesting. I was not aware of the large portion of emission that are absorbed by the water on earth. Although he states that this is not a solution for the short term, when discussing possible solutions for CO2 emissions, Schrag states that reducing such emissions to the point where they are below the level consumed by the ocean and the biosphere could be a potential solution down the road. While this may not come as a surprise to most people, I am surprised by the large portion of CO2 that is absorbed by the planet itself, and not simply discharged into the atmosphere.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2022 on Papers for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I found this article to be very interesting as I love to fish myself. I have always wondered how the process behind regulating fish consumption on a much larger scale. Or course I am aware of the issues resulting from overfishing from fisherman's perspective, however I had not thought about it with regards to such a large scale. While there are many regulations on size and quantity of fish one can catch recreationally that I am aware of, commercial intake is something that requires more strict and precise calculations. In particular, I found RBFM to be interesting and crucial to the preservation and protection of fish. I found figure 2 to be very helpful. The graphical representation of the tradeoff between revenues and costs with axis's fish biomass and value. This visual aid allowed me to think of fish intake from a more economical standpoint rather than an ethical one. Lastly, one thing that I found baffling was table 2 representing NTMPA's. With the largest size NTMPA out of any other country, the United States had 1,521,594 square kilometers. The table then shows that this is a mere 0.42% of the ocean. When thinking about how large of an area 1,521,594 square kilometers is, it is crazy to me that such a large area only covers such a small percent of the ocean.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2022 on Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
This article was very interesting to me as deforestation has been something I have been exposed to for most of my life. My grandmother owns a tree farm in northern Michigan where I have lived and worked on for the majority of my life. Due to this, I wondered what the regulation process for such large scale deforestation looks like. Although regulation on such a large scale operation must be extremely difficult, the legal ramifications behind illegal harvesting of trees is something that came to my attention. Since such massive deforestation occurs and poses many threats to the Amazonian forests, what type of repercussions take place in the event of illegal harvesting of trees. Are there sufficient regulations and punishments to effectively deter from illegal harvesting, or do many operation go unacknowledged? I also found the progression of soy bean demand in China to be interesting. I found it confusing that in a seven year gap, while most other goods seemed to be gaining increasingly higher demand for export, the soy bean composite level of exports seemed to decrease.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2022 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The article discussing conservation efforts in Belize and the exit fee's they require as well as consumer's willingness to pay (WTP) was extremely interesting to me. While there were points in the article which I did not find to be surprising, I found it most fascinating and interesting that consumer's WTP increased greatly when they were informed of the previous exit fee. The article discusses how when consumers were told that the exit fee was previously $3.75, their WTP showed a statistically significant increase. The more I think about this scenario, the more it makes sense, however initially I would have thought upon consumers hearing what it used to be, they would lower their WTP, stating it should still be around the same level. Among many others, one aspect of this article that greatly impressed me was the many different factors taken into consideration when measuring consumer's WTP. I found it fascinating that in order to calculate an accurate WTP, 10+ variables were needed. Lastly, when analyzing the introduction of the article I thought such a significant increase in exit fees would surely result in an extreme decrease in the amount of visitors. However, as explained in the fourth section of the article, the mean WTP for tourists came to be $34.60, showing that a further increase in exit fees could most likely be successful. I found this article to be very encouraging especially when finding out that 80% of tourists prioritize conservation efforts and their WTP increases if the money goes to such efforts.
Toggle Commented Jan 26, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Upon analyzing the article from Aeon, I found many points to be interesting but also became critical of the logic behind some. First being, when they addressed the issue of leisure activities requiring the use of cars and suggested the idea of more cities. While I understand there may be more of a push toward the city life recently, I feel as though this proposition is somewhat counterintuitive. If we are trying to urge members of society to be more aware of nature preservation and environmental conservation, why would we encourage others to live in an area of more urban development. I understand how this could potentially be beneficial to the rest of the nation by leaving more undisturbed land, however I think another alternative could provide better results, not to mention that an urban lifestyle requires more inefficient fuel consumption. Another question I have regarding this essay is if we adopt a zero carbon system, how would this transition affect the economy during this time of change? While I agree that this needs to done, I believe it is important to deeply analyze potential pitfalls we could face during this time of colossal change. Another question I have pertaining to this issue is what happens if this does not happen on a global level? Although environmental preservation is vital to the preservation of the planet, is it potentially dangerous to individual nations to undergo such a colossal technological change with regard to national security?
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2022 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
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Jan 19, 2022