Environmental economics Essay
It is a familiar characteristic of city life; it is a type of large scale outdoor pollution. It consists of fog grossly contaminated by the product of the inefficient combustion of coal. Chemical reaction between pollutants derived from different sources primarily automobile exhaust and industrial emissions. For each city that exact causes of pollution may be different, depending on the geographical location, temperature, wind and weather factors, smog in its acute form occurs especially during the warm months of the year.
Notable, air pollution disaster of this kind was recorded in December 1952 where London smog lasted in the acute stage for five days and overall for ten days. Casualties were among cattle and opera performance had to be stopped after the audience had no vision of the stage. More seriously though, it was estimated to have been directly responsible for an additional four thousand deaths. Specify the externalities/factors that have made this problem and the extent of the externalities involved, the impact and recent trends.
In pure market economy resource allocation is the result of the decisions of consumers (households) and producers (firms) who seek to maximize the difference between benefit and incurred costs i. e. private benefit and private cost. But in the weakness of the market economy is that it may fail to take account of any additional benefit or cost which spill over from the original decisions. The cost or benefits additional to those which are the immediate concerns of the parties to a transaction are the spill-overs or externalities, they are not provided for directly in the market place.
Due to activities of individuals or firms human based or naturally pollution occurs as a result of emitting too much of a substance to the environment so as to have harmful effects. Every time we breathe, we risk inhaling dangerous chemicals present in the atmosphere. These dangerous chemicals can be either in form of gases or particles and have diverse and numerous effects on human beings and the natural ecosystems. Because it is located in the atmosphere, air pollution is able to travel easily therefore making it a global problem and to a subject of cooperation and conflict.
Emission of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, lead, suspended particulates and organic compounds that can evaporate and enter the atmosphere. Air pollution caused naturally includes forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radio activity. This does not occur in abundance in particular locations. Most pollution is as a result of human activity. The biggest causes are the operation of fossil fuel: – burning power plants and automobiles that combust fuel.
These few factors are responsible for up to 90% of all air pollution in the United States alone. Other cities like Japan, China, Mexico and San Paulo have some of the most deadly pollution emission levels in the world. The world we are in is driven by fossil fuels, cars and other forms of transportation i. e. tracks, trains, aeroplanes e. t. c. run primarily on gasoline derived from oil. We can therefore say that some of the pollution issues that we face currently are directly related to the energy choice we have.
Cooking, heating, lighting, e. . c. for homes, work places, industries using oil, coal and natural gas making us prone to pollution. Solutions to this problem begin with the logic of cost. This is where issues of renewable energy alternatives are suggested but corresponding arguments of greater energy efficiency and reliance on renewable energy is also advocated for. Some notable air pollution disasters are for example: the most publicized issues of second hand smoking. The smokers not only harm themselves but also others close by when they breathe this smoke.
Industrial emissions did contribute to respiratory symptoms for several individuals and sixty deaths in Meuse area of Belgium in December 1930. In Danara, Pennsylvania, October 1948, twenty people died as a result of smog. This is a recurring problem that has seen world population mortality rate go up, low life expectancy e. t. c, this is due to diseases present in modern society and were not present 100 years go. Define using examples how policies to reduce this problem could be measured. Benefit management Policies set out to restrict smoking are important in attaining a healthy environment and individual.
Policies to regulate smoking are in effect in some locations, but personal exposure should be motivated and limited wherever possible. However a combination of scientist, legislators, business leaders and individuals is a prerequisite for adherence and advocacy with a view to achieving a better environment. In this case therefore second hand smokers are protected especially in public places, this has therefore resulted to a decline in lung cancer, respiratory cases which would have cost the government and the unsuspecting persons a lot of money for treatment.
On realizing the catastrophic effect of pollution and the environmental and personal costs associated with it, monitoring the air and environment campaign lead to: (i) Education in schools and universities where students begin at a very young age learning about the effects of pollution. They are taught and trained on management and conservation which carries in handy in the proceeding years of their life. (ii) Scientific groups have also been formulated as a result of government policies.
These aim to study the environment with a view of coming up with solutions of encroaching problems and finding lasting and workable solutions (iii) legislative bodes have also contributed enormously by writing down laws that control emission. In this case therefore persons found violating the set laws is liable for prosecution. This makes industries oblige to avoid pollution and consequently revert to better and safer methods of production. (iv) Policies have also enabled the setting up of regulatory agencies e. g. united nations, the atmosphere management program to carry out environmental projects.
They are bale to monitor, advocate and control the environment. These and much more are examples on policy formulated for better management and monitoring of the environment. As a result therefore emission of waste to minimized, controlled and checked. Dumping, waste disposal and waste management is carried out in a better way and thus reducing pollution levels. We also see that health cases and deaths are minimized, the government and individuals end up spending less for treatment in pollution related illnesses. The scenarios and beauty of landscapes, plants, etc is also retained.
Measuring the cost of reducing the problem In conducting environmental sound economic analysis, we are required to determine the environmental and natural resource impact of the project or policy in question. In this case therefore it is the smog effect. It should also handle biological and social effects. One needs to measure the impact to determine the cost of solving it and this relies on the experts such as engineers, ecologists, agronomists, etc. We also put into consideration valuing the physical impact and relationship.
Environmental impact can result in a miserable change in environmental quality. Estimating cost is generally easier than estimating benefits but it is not easy. One major problem derived from the fact that benefit cost analysis is forward looking and thus requires an estimate of what a particular strategy will cost which is more difficult than tracking down what an existing strategy does cost. Another fundamental problem disposed by collecting cost information when the availability of the information is controlled by a firm having an interest in the outcome.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 February 2017
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