Anderson- Environmental Outline
¨ Problems of Environmental Degradation. 49-59, 26-30
Is it really a problem?
Why does it happen?
What can be done about it?
¨ Population Growth
o Rate of growth is slowing but already at 6.5 mil
· problem of increased consumption/wealth, increased wealth lowers pop. Growth.
¨ Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ANWR
¨ The question of whether to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been an ongoing political controversy in the United States since 1977. The issue has been used by both Democrats and Republicans as a political device. Much of the debate over whether to drill in the 1002 area of ANWR rests on the amount of economically recoverable oil, as it relates to world oil markets, weighed against the potential harm oil exploration might have upon the natural wildlife, in particular the calving ground of the Porcupine caribou. Should you drill?
· Too harsh on env of N Slope Delay so have time to figure out alt eng
· Discourages looking for alt energy Reduces foreign dependence
· Delays day of reckoning Who cares?
· Not enough to make a difference Less dependency on volatile sources
· Not now (reduced impact, improved tech
· Insurance policy
· Effects on wildlife
· Effects on indigenous peoples
· Effects on people elsewhere from alternative
v 2 ways to look at this problem:
· Eco-centric & Human goals (Endangered species: have a right not to be made extinct v. could be beneficial to humans human goals v. eco-centric)
· Cost-benefit analysis – comparison of the cost with other sources; examine environmental degradation
¨ Tragedy of the Commons
¨ “The Tragedy of the Commons” is an influential article written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968. The article describes a dilemma in which multiple individuals acting independently in their own self-interest can ultimately destroy a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long term interest for this to happen. ¨ Central to Hardin’s article is a metaphor of herders sharing a common parcel of land (the commons), on which they are all entitled to let their cows graze. In Hardin’s view, it is in each herder’s interest to put as many cows as possible onto the land, even if the commons are damaged as a result. The herder receives all of the benefits from the additional cows, while the damage to the commons is shared by the entire group. If all herders make this individually rational decision, however, the commons are destroyed and all herders suffer.
¨ * Positive: the herder receives all of the proceeds from each additional animal.
* Negative: the pasture is slightly degraded by each additional animal.
o Cows example – how do you solve the issue of overgrazing cows?
· Divide the land into 3 portions that each farmer is responsible for so that way the farmer is responsible for the tragedies in his section only so he has inventive to preserve it.
§ Shifts loss and benefit to the farmers accordingly
· Can limit the amount of people who come in
§ Get a ticket – charge money for it (money can go towards protecting resources)
· Common area for people to congregate and use for a common purpose
· Spreads burden on entire community but receives all of the benefit. So you have individual decisions that are individually rational and collectively irrational.
· Ocean is the commons and fishing boats are depleting fish pop.
· How to fix? Govt. reg. privatize the land so each person responsible for own land. Cooperate (works as long as you don’t have outside market only take amount needed or agreed on so works well w/ subsistence.)
§ economic zone created 200 miles off coast so country can control own fish. (12 miles off coast Country’s territorial waters)
· Fisheries councils set quotas for amount allowed to fish.
· Problems: data (aren’t sure what is sustainable), representation issues (Co.s on councils always pushing for higher quotas).
· *Best solution: no fishing areas so area will flourish and excess will move to other areas in ocean and can be fished.
· *Real Problem: commercial fishing outside of 200 mile mark. Fleets use giant nets to take everything and let the fish they don’t want die.
· Antiquities Act à President’s set up large protected areas within the last few months of their term to reserve land for future generations. Setting aside area where there is no commercial fishing allowed, allows resources to regenerate; allows common resources to come back and then spread beyond the protected area.
o Could be seen as commons problem; putting in rather then taking away. Problem b/c hard to divide the air and give ownership rights.
o Cars. Every day add pollution and create additional problem however don’t breath all pollution you create. Solutions? à maybe public transit, letting people with certain license numbers drive some days, different numbers others
o *Industry: plants create pollution and people in area suffer. B/c air isn’t owned it costs nothing to pollute. P could travel 500 miles and not even bother people around plant: called externalizing(making others pay for your pollution or use of resource).
o *Problems: transaction costs (lawsuits etc.), free riders, causation (proving that this person is the source of pollution that is causing particular damage)
o Government regulation/intervention:
§ How much should they be allowed to emit?
§ They should have to pay cost of damage that they’re doing – pay for the polluted air, but how can it be measured? (crop damages, health injuries, damages to aesthetics?)
II. ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE
¨ Cost-Benefit analysis – [30-38; 232-247; Chart 31] o Stop pollution if it makes economic sense
o Most important benefit = value of human – $7 million
§ You have a job:
· Wages = $30,000
o Risk = 1 in 1,000
· Wages = $35,000
o Risk = 2 in 1,000
§ Risk of death (say you work on a beam in the air)
§ Pay is different because of level of risk
o Example:25 yrs ago cars use leaded gas, which has CFCs
§ Hard to determine health benefits of taking lead out of gas
· lower IQs; how do we value that benefit? 1pt IQ worth 1100.
· Determined cost of treatment to have lead removed for their blood to determine the worth.
· Also determined 4-8k per child; school costs for cognitive deficit.
· Difference be
ct people to the court
OSHA- The Occupational Health and Safety Commission is a federal agency which oversees job safety and health regulation.
¨ Safe Drinking Water Act
o Authorizes the EPA to limit contaminants in public drinking water supply systems that have at least 15 service connections or that regularly serve at least 25 ppl
o Feasibility approach- technological feasibility – get rid of certain contaminants so long as it is economically feasible and affordable
o Statute set up a 3 step process that EPA must complete: (1) EPA instructed to establish health-protective goals for contaminants in drinking water, which are termed maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs); (2) EPA next determines the level that is as close as is feasible; (3) This maximum contaminant level becomes the enforceable standard unless EPA analyzes the quantifiable and non quantifiable costs and benefits with respect to any MCL it proposes and determines that the strictest feasible standard would not justify the costs of complying with the level in which case EPA can back away from the max feasible standard to a lesser standard
§ MCLG: zero adverse effect – Section 300g-1 – requires that MCLGs are to be set at the level at which no known or anticipated adverse effects on the health of persons occur and which allows an adequate margin of safety- MCLs are to be set as close to the MCLGs as is feasible
§ MCL: practical, feasible achievable level [reviewed every 5 years] § They want MCLG AND MCL to be as close as possible.
o Statute doesn’t require level at 0 adverse effects. Only need practical achievable level using CBA.
· Carcinogens: zero exposure, non-threshold b/c body can’t defend against.
o Decided that 3 parts per billion is feasible, however may set standard above maximum contaminate level if benefits don’t justify the cost. Doesn’t say costs must be less then benefits, must be justified.
o Then determined that 10ppb makes sense b/c of CBA
o Political: In last years of office Clinton paid more attention to env and put plans into action at end of term so Bush adm stopped those acts from passing. Here BAdm stoped the effective date of act and did own review, then concluded that it was right and let regulation go forward. Now 10ppb is level for whole country.
o Problem: for CAB here b/c maybe shouldn’t focus on cost b/c we are exposing people to risk of cancer from exposure to arsenic.
Well water: water supply for smaller systems. WW is more contaminated then surface water b/c arsenic is in rock and it is leached from the rock. Problem how smaller, impoverished systems are going to pay for water to be filtered.
If you have your own well then not covered, have to send water off to be tested. IF number of people getting water from well is under 25 then doesn’t have to be tested.