Archive for the ‘Environmental economics’ Category

So, Should we Recycle?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/12/741283641/episode-926-so-should-we-recycle

China used to purchase the majority of waste that the United States could not (or did not want to) recycle by themselves. After China stopped purchasing U.S. recyclables, many cities have given up on recycling. Some economists even believe recycling may do more harm than good.

Original air date: July 12, 2019

Length: 23 minutes 6 seconds

Discussion prompt: What are the costs and benefits associated with recycling? Given this information, is recycling ‘worth it’? Can you think of any strategies based in economic-thinking that might approach this problem differently? 

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/11/804985258/why-cheap-solar-could-save-the-world

Solar energy has become increasingly more popular and affordable in recent years. Through the subsidization of solar energy, the services offered in the market have become cheaper and the market itself has become much more competitive. Large companies such as Facebook, Google, and Blackstone have invested millions of dollars into solar energy, indicating a bright future for the industry.

Original Air Date: February 11, 2020

Length: 9 minutes

Discussion prompt 1: Even though solar energy is cheaper than coal or natural gas, it only accounts for 2% of energy used in the United States. How can solar energy companies improve to gain more control of the market?

Discussion prompt 2: How can solar companies compete with large natural gas and coal companies that have contributed so much money and jobs to the economy? What should the government do for those who may lose their jobs at coal and natural gas companies due to increased popularity of solar energy?

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Oil Prices   Leave a comment

Oil pricesLink: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/01/19/579231506/therise-and-fall-and-rise-of-oil-prices

Summary: Oil prices have been fluctuating over the years, but when there is a price increase, many people may experience increases in the price of gas, heating, or a flight ticket back home as well. With the volatility of oil prices, what does this mean for determining future prices of oil and will these prices ever stabilize?

Original Air Date: January 19, 2018

Length: 7 minutes 4 seconds

The latest jobs report reveals hurricanes Harvey, Irma’s economic costs   Leave a comment

Screenshot-2017-10-30 The latest jobs report reveals hurricanes Harvey, Irma_s economic costsLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/10/06/economy/weekly-wrap/latest-jobs-report-reveals-hurricanes-harvey-irma-s-economic-costs

Summary: With significant damages caused by two major hurricanes that recently took place, it is no surprise that the road to recovery will be a long and an expensive one for the affected areas. This podcast considers the statements of President Trump and his stance on Puerto Rico’s debt, as well as Janet Yellen’s view on regulation. In addition, consider concerns whether the financial system of the U.S. itself has been stable and transparent.

Original Air Date: October 6, 2017

Length: 5 minutes 53 seconds

Northern California Wildfires Destroy Thousands Of Businesses   Leave a comment

4971832860_8c25345e37_zLink: http://www.npr.org/2017/10/12/557444669/northern-california-wildfires-destroy-thousands-of-businesses

Summary: There are many factors that can damage businesses, but not all businesses can say that mother nature is a leading factor in disrupting their operations. Winery businesses located in Sonoma and Napa counties are the main focus of this podcast, discussing how Northern California wildfires have made business owners realize just how detrimental they are to not only the future of their businesses, but to them and their employees as well.

Original Air Date: October 12, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 34 seconds

A warning for parched China: a city runs out of water   Leave a comment

Link: http://www.marketplace.org/2016/04/21/world/warning-parched-china-city-runs-out-water

Summary: A northern city in China has run out of water, increasing pressure between the government and it’s constituents. Marketplace explores this multifaceted issue in regards to the future of China’s economic development.

Original Air Date: April 25, 2016

Length: 7 minutes 2 seconds

Lead contamination poisons a neighborhood’s home values   Leave a comment

Link: http://www.marketplace.org/2016/05/03/sustainability/lead-contamination-poisons-housing-prices-east-la

Summary: Lead contamination has serious economic consequences for home owners – not only for home values but health costs as well.

Original Air Date: May 6, 2016

Length: 2 minutes 25 seconds

Eagles vs. Chickens   Leave a comment

white-oak-pastures-bald-eagles-3-2--8a659fb85864863fa192f7d90300cd9bfecde5b2-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/03/513302816/episode-752-eagles-vs-chickens

Summary: One farmer had what seemed like a great environmentally conscious plan to fertilize his soil.  However, Eagles threw his plan of offering Whole foods consumers organic chicken into disarray.  Planet Money discusses how the unintended consequences impacted farmer’s plan.

Original Air Date: February 3, 2017

Length: 17 minutes 28 seconds

Discussion Question: What were the unintended consequences of the farmer’s choice to use chickens to fertilize the soil? Explain how unintended consequences are important to economics.

The Bees go to California   Leave a comment

bees-6bb12f86c978790d3ce3f4f7c9fd448957f4461f-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/24/517076055/episode-756-the-bees-go-to-california

Summary: Bee stings hurt, but without bees, fruits and nuts wouldn’t be possible.  Every year, millions of bees travel from the east to California to pollinate fields.  Planet Money researches this unique business and how efficient trucking bees from Louisiana to California really is.

Original Air Date: February 24, 2017

Length: 22 minutes 54 seconds

Farmers Hack Their Equipment to Evade Tractor Company Policies   Leave a comment

Statewide Drought Forces Californians To Take Drastic Measures For Water ConversationLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/03/27/tech/farmers-hack-their-equipment-evade-tractor-company-policies

Summary: Farmers are hacking into their own tractors in order to fix them, rather than pay for a dealer to fix it for them.  Marketplace introduces this situation and explains why tractor owners aren’t satisfied with this developing market concentration in the repair market and what they hope to do about it. .

Original Air Date: March 27, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 2 seconds

Discussion Question: What impact does forcing tractor owners to go through dealers for repairs do for competition in the market? Who benefits from this system more, the owner or the dealer?