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Unformatted text preview: Environmental Science and Environmental Policy Why are environmental conflicts challenging to resolve? Scientific uncertainty • Decisions need to be made, but the science is only partly known Climate change – how much will temperatures rise, what will be the impacts, should we impose controls now or not?? • Necessity of accepting some risks (coal versus nuclear power) • How well understood must a problem be before taking action? • How serious must a problem be before taking action? Environmental Science and Environmental Policy Market Failures • Supply and demand economics fails, requiring policy interventions • Clean air and healthy ecosystems have no direct market value and are generally ignored in economic decision-making. Pollution does not become more expensive as clean air is “used up”. No pricing mechanism exists to signal scarcity Issue: Net benefits to society versus individual selfish behavior – The Tragedy of the Commons-in a condition where a common resource is limiting (cattle-grazing)-many farmers turn cattle loose to graze. -many farmers turn cattle loose to graze....
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2008 for the course CHEM 123 taught by Professor Perona during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.
- Winter '08