While examining satellite imagery of the Ecuador rainforest you notice that areas that have been previously clear cut are showing signs of renewed forest cover over the past few decades. In addition, you are aware that new country policies include promoting local ecotourism, but the price of lumber has also declined, so it’s not as profitable to cut trees. You would like to know if ecotourism has had an effect so you can push for policies that will lead to more income for the local forest residents. List the steps in the scientific method that you could take to scientifically evaluate your suspicion about the effects of tourism, or if declines in lumber prices are the only factor. For each step in your process, name the step in the scientific method, and state what your specific step would be in this scenario (as shown in the example below). Follow the process for one full round (and only one round) of evaluation. (You will have to make up some hypothetical results).
As the Planet Rethink video explains, there is currently no price (for the manufacturer) who destroys nature, even as we rely on our ecosystems to live. One ecosystem service is the ability of vegetation to protect against erosion and floods. How might you assign a value on this ecosystem service, so that it’s value can more realistically be included in understanding the role of nature in the economy?
Provide a detailed description of the externalities (externalized costs) that may result from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) associated with modern industrialized agriculture. How might this problem be addressed? Weigh the pros and cons of utilizing a market solution versus a regulatory solution to this problem, clearly explain how they differ and how each would work.
Current worldwide natural resource extraction has increased by ten times in the last few decades, and our use of mineral resources is growing because we need rare minerals for cell phones, tablets, and solar panels, among other manufactured goods. Recently, the US Trump administration began a new space program focused on mining minerals on the moon in an effort to meet the growing demand, an obviously very costly solution. Propose an economically efficient policy and explain clearly how it would help to meet our mineral needs without endangering the health of those who work to recycle this resource.