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Paul R
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We have discussed this problem of over fishing in class often. I did not know about the dredging technique of fishing. The fact that 90percent of the catch in these nets is thrown back seems incredibly inefficient. Even if the net caught coral; people eat coral and could gain some benefit from the capture. This process is destructive but in class the marginal damage function isn't set at 0 for maximum efficiency. Some damages occur and are accepted by society when all costs and damages are known. PEOPLE WANT MORE TURTLES! Sea grass provide good nurseries for baby sea turtles. One way to get Asian countries to not use techniques that harm sea turtles is to provide incentives and infrastructure for tourism and diving. Unfortunately, simply outlawing fishing hurts most low income/impoverished people. If they are worried about providing basic needs like food and shelter for their families they will fish. Governments could provide incentives to protect fish species or to fish in a more sustainable manner.
In reading the article, I think this is an interesting problem for New York. Who could/should raise the start up cash for such an endeavor? Should the state of New York use taxpayer money to fund a project some residents might not be for? During a recession when unemployment is still relatively high one way this large scale project could help is with jobs. One questions is does the state of New York even have enough money for the project alone? It would in my opinion need investors and probably have to raise taxes. Is it possible that it could drill for natural gas and sell both the gas an plastics in order to help pay for such a project? The article talks about health improvement associated with this plan. However, pollution is not always local and winds carrying polluted air from Midwestern states like Ohio who burn coal and other fossil fuels could have negative impacts on human quality of life. If every city in the world did this there wouldn't be an environment problem. We would still be at 350 ppms of carbon dioxide and wouldn't see icecaps melting and tides rising. One questions is if New York builds these coastal wind turbines how would they effect the current environment and what if another hurricane like the one that just ravaged the state and New Jersey hits again in the middle of production or even after the project is finished? In a closed system New York would be find but New York is only one of many current polluters in an ever changing and interconnected world. _Paul Reilly
Maybe Smokey should find a new job? During the 2008 recession many people lost their jobs. As this article highlights our government's partisan system keeps beneficial policies from forming in a divided Congress. During the Bush family(father and son) administrations SO2 reductions occurred due to cap and trade. Republicans still refuse to take this successful test of cap and trade policy and use it with CO2 emissions. Some have even changed opinions against implementation because of party lines and not use previous economic examples. If science and incentive programs can not save the day due to political gridlock maybe Smokey the Bear should aim for the capitol instead of the wilderness. Moral Suasion is not the most reliable means but pressure from constituents could help pressure Congress to pass some form of cap and trade legislation. Wildfires are still a problem, but if carbon emissions continue to go up raising sea levels and temperatures with it, we might need Senator Smokey to stay out of the fire and cool off in the pan. _Paul Reilly
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2013 on Another Political Football at Jolly Green General
China's current state portrays several costs. Leaders in the party should consult economists in order to decide just how much it should use to fund environmental cleanup efforts(wedges). China has to focus not only on environmental problems but also social frustrations. Its new leaders were not elected by the people and maybe if they were leaders would be focused more on environmental issues. Any abatement cost function would need to take into account the medical costs associated with the particulates. The article also explains how due to the low visibility highways, airports, and trains were shut down. This probably cost millions if not billions of dollars for small businesses and the government itself. On a sad not for humanity people seem shocked that this kind of environmental decay could occur... but China is not the only country experiencing air quality problems. An American voter doesn't have to fly to the far east to see just as bad air quality. Simply drive to Atlanta during the summer... and you might wanna order your Chinese made mask before you visit.
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2013 on Off The Charts at Jolly Green General
This article was interesting in the fact it explained how black carbon works. I have heard of carbon dioxide but black carbon doesn't seem to be publicized as much. Black carbon being washed out of the atmosphere seems interesting. In terms of the atmosphere it sounds easier to correct. We have atmospheric chemicals that are used to make rain occur over forest fires. This might be one interesting way of clearing out the atmosphere. Similarly to the particle matter and fine pms we learned about in class. Carbon dioxide is not the only impact on the environment and should be taken into consideration in our cost curve. Unfortunately similarly to carbon dioxide it is found naturally through forest fires which actually can help the environment through clearing room for new species which otherwise wouldn't be able to thrive. As a side note I thought we had a wood burning energy source on campus. Would be interested to know if anyone else knows anything about this. Would be an interesting study to see how much black carbon it produces per school semester. _Paul Reilly
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2013 on Worse than we thought.... at Jolly Green General
This article talks considerably about all the benefits of adding a tax on the American People. I merely want to point out that yes a tax on carbon output would raise revenue and cut emissions; however, there would be several negative impacts as well. By adding a tax on fuel and energy every american would bear the burden. This across the board taxation seems fair yet most people can not afford to redo their house instantaneously. Insulating a house is expensive and could cause people to not be able to keep their house or place of business. Overtime new houses would be built with the tax in mind, yet most people now know about the cost savings that can come from insulating in a house. I would prefer an incentive and not a tax. It is easy to say a 14% tax is easy to manage when your not the one who has to enforce it on a family. _Paul Reilly
I thought the article highlighted the fact that Pigouvian taxes work best with goods bought by people with inelastic behavior. Several goods...(oil, foods, etc) are inelastic in the fact everyone needs food and people who already own cars find oil inelastic in the present(possibly elastic over time (ie: buy an electric car or bike to work)). This concept of time have effects in economics is present also when looking at how companies will react to a pigouvian tax. In the short run the company will just have to pay but over time it can reduce its pollution output and therefore be profit maximizing. _Paul Reilly
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2013 on My Bad..... at Jolly Green General
I thought the cases that have already been brought before courts in the USA were very interesting. The fact that several cases have been found not guilty in my opinion puts doubt on future cases receiving guilty verdicts. United States Law is based on precedence and I think the article overlooks this. The article, to me, seemed very hopeful yet most of the actual evidence seems not hopeful. The article cited tobacco and the asbestos cases as similar instances in which courts ruled based on negative health externalities. Like our conversation in class, I do not think the scientific ability to prove individual culpability for a corporation, individual person, or individual country. This is a key point of the environmental degradation problem. There would be no problem if one company, one country, or one individual were polluting by themselves but the magnification of every person and every corporation leads to global environmental issues. If the United Nations were the legal body in charge of hearing cases, the key members on the Security Council are the world’s largest polluting countries. If a country or corporation within a country were told to appear before the United Nations Court, they could simply not go. Several key issues, in my opinion, will make any attempt at holding countries or corporations accountable unlikely in the foreseeable future. _Paul Reilly
One thing that popped out to me in reading this article was the political party incoherence in policies. Republicans generally are pro business yet many would argue a new economic supply and demand business would be set up in the form of polluting tax credits. Both between countries and large corporations pollution tax credits which allow a certain amount of pollution could be bought and sold allowing those who need the extra polluting ability to continue operation while rewarding companies who phase out pollution thus gaining a competitive edge over their competition. Especially for developed countries, this form of global pollution control would benefit immensely because most underdeveloped nations would need to buy up larger quantities for their own companies to compete. The draw back, like with many things in life is that most countries would sign a document that would put them at a competitive disadvantage when they can simply ignore the proposal and carry on polluting and providing cheaper goods. Just like with the Kyoto Protocol, even if the United States were to start looking at a global agreement getting such a proposal passed in Congress would be almost impossible with the current partisan atmosphere in DC. On a personal note I am never a strong proponent of government forcing new taxes on their people. I would hope a nation referendum would be held on such a controversial issue. _Paul Reilly
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Jan 14, 2013