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MaryAnne Vardaman
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I really enjoyed the way Dr. Nordhaus calmly and thoroughly refuted the 6 major arguments of climate skeptics. However, this kind of solid analysis is being done on both sides of the issue, leaving regular citizens to muddle through and decide whom to believe. It seems as though depending on how the evidence is framed (whether short term or long term), very different conclusions can be reached. However, I believe that the real story behind climate change skepticism is simply the fact that an ever-warming planet is just not convenient, especially at this point. I was reading a TIME article earlier today, and it mentioned that people are concerned about the economy right now, and they figure they can deal with climate change at some point in the future. This makes sense because most people prefer instant, rather than delayed, gratification. Similarly, people prefer delayed, rather than immediate, "punishments." Therefore, unfortunately, I think people will continue to support "business as usual" until some drastic consequence of their actions is presented to them.
Going along with the comments above, I, too, was not surprised with this finding. As we've discussed in class, the price of oil right now is reflecting the uncertainty of the regions in which it's produced. Like Molly said, the American public does not understand that domestic drilling will not lower gas prices, nor will it make us energy independent. I hope that the longer gas prices stay high, the more people will realize that alternative fuels can help us gain energy independence AND help combat climate change.
I think it's really cool that a study on climate change was able to be done in such a familiar place like Concord, rather than a far-off continent like Antarctica! This study makes it more apparent that our climate is changing on a local scale, as well as on a global scale. Also, it is helpful that it has been getting more attention than other studies because part of its data set comes from a famous writer, Henry David Thoreau. Besides just featuring a “big name,” this study offers concrete evidence that there are changes happening in our own backyards – changes in phenology, changes in species of thriving plants, changes in temperature, changes in the timing of seasons, and changes of migratory patterns of wildlife, like birds. In the future, I hope other studies can be done “close to home” so more people realize that climate change is real and that it has effects on our day-to-day lives.
Going off the above comment, I also agree that costs would need to be passed on to consumers in order for this to be a feasible plan. I'm wondering if it could be as simple as making all the highways into toll roads? Even if that problem were solved, though, there are still several issues: - pollution created by the production of electricity, as Ellen mentioned - who would be fronting the costs for the reconstruction of our highway system (which, granted, needs to be redone anyway...) - safety concerns (people's health and the reliability of the cars)as Colleen mentioned - what would happen during a power outage - how the system would be affected during inclement weather (snow, ice, etc) If these issues were addressed, I think this could be a great technology for our future.
As a consumer of raw Gulf oysters, I found this to be an interesting abstract on a topic that I've never really considered. If the harvesters of oysters are not willing to cover the costs of PHP, I think it makes sense to allow consumers to "pay for their own safety." I'm assuming that the producers are unwilling to take on the PHP cost because the benefits (saving 15 lives) are smaller than the costs of reducing bacteria levels. If this is the case, maybe both PHP and non-PHP oysters could be offered on menus in the gulf, and producers/restaurants can let the consumers decide whether they want to pay an extra $1.08 per meal as "insurance" against potential death...
Toggle Commented Jan 30, 2012 on Nice work from John Whitehead at Jolly Green General
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Jan 30, 2012