Monday, February 4, 2019

Dumb and dumber

A shocking article I can't fully process right now: I need to get the original research. Take a look!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Social Costs

Yes, it's the start of a new term and I'm teaching Resource Economics again, so more of my gaze is devoted to issues like this. However, this article might've caught my eye regardless: the AP summarizes fossil fuel rollbacks under the current administration to be complicit in billions of dollars of damages and thousands of deaths per year. The catch? It's hard to link specific deaths to pollution. Statistically speaking, the deaths are happening, we just don't know who is dying. At least some mention is being made of this ledger!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chesapeake update

I haven't done a good job of keeping up with the news on the Chesapeake, but fortunately a couple of articles from the Baltimore Sun this month have bailed me out. First comes a piece talking about the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's State of the Bay report, which showed a deterioration in quality this year sparked by the heavy rains that inundated the region. This is the first time the ranking has gotten worse year-on-year in at least 10 years.

A longer list of bullet points summarizes the situation in this second article. While the rain wreaked havoc on water clarity (and thus didn't work wonders for bay grass health) many categories of the report showed very little change. The above article preaches doom about the crab population, but the CBF is a bit more sanguine, noting that the number of juveniles is up. Still, the authors caution that wastewater must be better controlled going forward, particularly as the developed areas in the watershed continue to expand. Hopefully we have a more normal year as far as rainfall, and bay grasses continue to expand, while runoff is increasingly sequestered in buffers. We'll see!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ride-sharing increased accidents by 2-3%/ year

Wow, big numbers from this study showing $5-13 billion damage per year. "Our estimates, moreover, do not include the costs imposed by non-fatal accidents, for which data is not readily available." Yikes.

At least it's not all the fault of Pokemon Go!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Climate change, travel & meat

Interesting article on making decisions that affect climate change. While they are working hard to make the article accessible, talking about daily decisions, they make some mention of the bigger picture, which I appreciate. See what you think.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20181102-what-can-i-do-about-climate-change

Monday, September 24, 2018

Florence and the Meat Machine

Some pretty devastating pictures in today's Washington Post, showing the damage done by animal feeding operations. Cesspools of hog waste, flooding the environment for miles, washing down rivers; that's pretty much as bad as the coal ash reservoirs, breached by the flood, sending accumulated heavy metals downstream. It's going to take a very long time to clean up after this, and remember: North Carolina's gerrymandered legislature has been given the legal OK to continue to organize its voting along racial lines, ensuring that racists and anti-environmental groups still hold sway. Appalling.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Growing pains in Asia

Asia is growing- news flash, right? This article calls attention to the need for production of more meat, whether seafood or land-based.

This article talks about the health consequences of air pollution, and particularly damages that are accruing to intelligence. Crap in the air, it turns out, actually has major consequences for developing brains, with pollution being associated with a penalty of up a year of education.

Finally, another problem associated with climate change is getting worse in India. Climate change changes plant growth patterns in a way that leads to plants having reduced nutritional content. That's bad news for the 1 billion-plus people trying to stay alive on the subcontinent. :(