This is Nick Bell's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Nick Bell's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Nick Bell
Recent Activity
I think this article brings a lot of promise for the possibility of New York to meet all of their energy needs through renewable resources. Even though there is not much mention of the costs of doing so, the benefits alone are amazing. Saving 4000 lives is a huge deal regardless of the circumstances. If New York switched to renewable resources, this article says they can not only do that but also create thousands of new jobs. While I agree with my classmates that this is definitely a long term goal, it encourages me that researchers are actually working hard to see if switching to renewable resources is plausible instead of sitting by and not exploring our options. Studies like this will educate people and get them talking and if the benefits outweigh the costs, maybe states will start to make the transition to renewable resources.
In this article, what first stood out to me was that the AEP’s decision to close 3 coal-burning plants was in response to a lawsuit in 1999. 1999 was 14 years ago. To me this just represents the overall attitude that Americans have towards our environment and pollution. A law suit was made 14 years ago which means people knew very well the negative environmental effects that these plants were having on the east coast and still nothing got done for 14 years. I feel that most Americans either are not smart enough to realize how badly we are ruining our environment or they simply don't care. I am glad that the plants are finally closing and I feel that it is a step in the right direction, even though it took so long. I just hope America can continue to focus on our environmental issues and figure out some solutions because we cannot afford to stay idle for another 14 years.
Since 2008, The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has had major success in limiting carbon pollution from power plants in a very cost effective way. Coming from the Northeast, this article makes me proud that businessmen and state policy makers are taking the initiative to limit carbon emissions even when the federal government has done the opposite, ignoring the issue and doing little to solve it. The states have proven that it is not only possible to enact a cap and trade system, but it’s actually being done right here, right now, in the United States. It is being done so successfully and cost effectively that the states that volunteered to participate in the experiment have now announced that they will lower the carbon cap by an additional 45 percent than their initial goal. What I thought was most interesting about this article is that the states have erased all myths that a cap and trade system would be a bureaucratic nightmare; "their cap-and-trade program has reduced carbon, created jobs, and promoted clean energy investments" all with a small staff of fewer than 10 employees! If 10 state level employees can run such a successful cap and trade program why can't our federal government, an entity with much more power and control, do the same for our entire country?
I agree with Jack in the sense that I would like to see more examinations of natural disasters and their correlation to climate change before making any decisions based on these disasters. While I do see climate change as one of the major issues facing the Obama administration, I am not convinced that these natural disasters are occurring because we are emitting too many fossil fuels. While Hurricane Sandy was a tragedy, it doesn't mean we should make assumptions out of a impulse reaction. The most interesting part of this article to me had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy. I found it very surprising how much less the United States taxes carbon dioxide compared to other industrialized nations. We are taxing energy less than 10 percent as much as the average country does, per ton. As one of the leading nations in carbon emissions I find it very irresponsible of the United States to not at least comparatively make an attempt to slow down climate change.
I thought this article was interesting because it points out that many students cannot distinguish between a fiscal tax and a Pigouvian tax. Many students think that Pigouvian taxes result in dead-weight losses when really, as the author explains; they are a win-win situation. The reason I think most students think Pigouvian taxes result in dead-weight losses is because they do not realize that a market pre-Pigouvian tax is inefficient. Students do not understand that negative externalities such as pollution are not just bad for the community, but also inefficient. I think the students are not alone in their misunderstanding of Pigouvian taxes. Many politicians and policy makers do not realize that taxing pollution does not only limit pollution, but it also fixes problems economically. If economists ruled the world, pollution would be treated as any other negative externality and would be taxed from the beginning.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2013 on My Bad..... at Jolly Green General
This article brings news that ties in well with our class discussion of negative externalities. Over the past few decades there have been studies about the negative externality of all the environmental damage being caused by burning fossil fuels. Many scientists have concluded that our current model of burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas impacts the environment negatively through the production of greenhouse gases. However, despite all this research, as Professor Casey pointed out in class, little has been done politically to limit the emission of these gases. Today, we learned that Senator Bernie Sanders is attempting to pass legislation which will inflict fees on greenhouse gas emitters. This would be a carbon tax of sorts that would highly limit pollution from some of the biggest offenders. This attempt comes after recent news that 2012 was the hottest year on record. Although it is encouraging that Sanders is at least attempting to finally make some changes, it is a plan that’s extremely unlikely to succeed. As Professor Casey said, politicians today tend to speak on these issues as if they are of great importance, but then never take action to solve the problems. For example, President Obama has said repeatedly that he will focus on climate change during his second term, but has not offered a specific policy agenda. This comes after promising to attack the issue during his first term, only to almost completely ignore the matter. Although Sanders’ actions show that liberal politicians may be preparing to intensify plans to confront global warming, for economists, the situation looks dismal. It is hard for an economist to understand why politicians wouldn't attack this extreme negative externality as it would any other. As Angela Anderson, the director of the climate program at the Union of Concerned Scientists said, “The price tag for dealing with unchecked climate change makes the fiscal cliff look like a crack in the sidewalk”. Hopefully, Sanders’ attempts lead to more and our country can finally move towards solving the global warming problem.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2013 on Rumor has it..... at Jolly Green General
Nick Bell is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 10, 2013