My intent in having students write an environmental issue paper is two-fold: To increase students awareness of environmental problems and to encourage the analysis of these problems using an economic framework.
The requirements for the paper follow:
It should be 12-point size, single-spaced
It should use the following format:
Describe the environmental problem (what it is, where it is, is it new or has it existed for a while, etc.)
Describe the cause of the problem (or believed to be the cause)
Describe the environmental impacts (see Chapter 6 in the book for a description of these impacts and economic impacts) (e.g., loss of fish and wildlife, loss of ecosystems/habitat, risk of aquatic contamination from chemical/bacterial pollution, increase in water pollution, air pollution, contaminated soils, lowering groundwater levels, loss of biodiversity, etc.)
Describe human health impacts (gastrointestinal illness from water pollution, asthma, other illnesses and death, loss of quality of life, loss of recreation, loss of aesthetic beauty, reproductive effects, learning defects, etc.)
Describe economic impacts (loss of homes and property, decrease om property values, loss of crops, loss of business properties/revenues (e.g. fishing, tourism, etc.), loss of city/county revenues, loss of commercial recreation; increase/decrease in other economic impacts)
Describe current strategies to address the problem, citing costs and benefits where available. According to the criteria discussed in Chapter 9 of the book and your personal experience, is this strategy effective, efficient, and equitable? If not, why not?
Is there a strategy (e.g. an economic incentive strategy) that you would recommend?
ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS An Introduction, Barry Field and Martha Field, McGraw Hill, 2016