ECON 275 – Environmental Economics

All readings should be completed prior to lecture)

 

Syllabus  (PDF)          Grading Scale     Companion Website (10th)  

 

DATES

TOPICS

READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS

Week 1

August

23, 25

Visions for

the Future

Text: (TL)Reading: Chapters 1 and 2

 

Chapter 1 Lecture - Chapter 1 Lecture - Visions of the Future     (PPT)

 

Chapter 2 Lecture - The Economic Approach: Property Rights, Externalities, and Environmental Problems     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: A Great Civilization Brought Low by Climate Change (and, no, it’s not us)     Economics in the Age of Environmental Policy, with Robert Stavins (podcast)

 

Websites: Asian Pacific Environmental Network     EcoMENA     Greenpeace     International Institute for Environment and Development     National Geographic-Environment     Our World in Data     Qatar Ministry of Municipality and Environment Environmental Defense Fund     Resources for the Future-Topics     Treehugger     UN Environmental  Programme     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 

Videos: Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapters 1 and 2      Gaia Hypothesis (Theory)     Malthus, Population Growth and the Resource Base     Why do Societies Collapse?

Week 2

August 30

September 1

The Economic Approach: Property Rights, Externalities, and Environmental Problems

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 2

 

Chapter 2 Lecture - The Economic Approach: Property Rights, Externalities, and Environmental Problems     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: External Costs: Research Results on Socio-environmental Damages Due to Electricity and Transport     External Costs and Charges per Vehicle Type     Should We Tax People for Being Annoying?

 

Additional Reading: Notes on Externalities     

 

Websites: Environmental Performance Index     OECD Environmental Data and Indicators     Resources for the Future-Environmental Economics  

 

Videos: Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapters 1 and 2     Environmental Econ: Crash Course Economics     The Coase Theorem Explained: Coasean Bargaining Definition, Conditions/Assumptions and Examples     The Tragedy of the Commons | How to Avoid It?

Week 3

September

6, 8

Evaluating Trade-Offs: Benefit-Cost Analysis and Other Decision-Making Metrics

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 3

 

Chapter 3 Lecture - Evaluating Trade-Offs: Benefit-Cost Analysis and Other Decision-Making Metrics     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: The Economics of Regulatory Repeal and Six Case Studies     Cost Benefit Analysis of a Net-Zero Energy Housing in Qatar

 

Additional Reading: Environmental Impacts of Food Production     How to Perform a Cost Benefit Analysis - ProjectEngineer.NET

 

Websites: Resources for the Future-Topics/Environmental Economics    

 

Videos: Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 3     How Much Would You Pay For A Year Of Life? (Warning: podcast discusses cancer and death may be upsetting to some people) Intro to Cost-Benefit Analysis (Conservation Strategy Fund Series)

Week 4

September

13, 15

Valuing the Environment: Methods

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 4

 

Chapter 4 Lecture - Valuing the Environment: Methods     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: Hedonic Pricing Method    The Cost of a Human Life, Statistically Speaking

 

Videos: Economics: How to Calculate the Value of Life     Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 4     Valuation of Ecosystem Services: Intro to Valuation     Valuation of Ecosystem Services: Contingent Valuation     Valuation of Ecosystem Services: Travel Cost Method

 

Week 5

September

20, 22

Dynamic Efficiency and Sustainable Development

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 5

 

Chapter 5 Lecture- Dynamic Efficiency and Sustainable Development     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: What Is Sustainability and Why Is It Important?

 

Videos: Economics of Sustainability     Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 5     What is Sustainable Development?

Week 6

September

27, 29

 

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 6

 

Chapter 6 Lecture - Depletable Resource Allocation: The Role of Longer Time Horizons, Substitutes, and Extraction Cost     (PPT)

 

Websites: Our World in Data     

 

Videos: Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 6

Week 7

October

4, 6

 

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 7

 

Chapter 7 Lecture - Energy: The Transition from Depletable to Renewable Resources     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: When Fossil Fuels Run Out, What Then?     What is Fracking and Why is it Controversial?

 

Videos: Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing – One View     Fracking 101: Why Fracked Gas is Dirty and Dangerous (Another View)     Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 7

 

Week 9

October

18, 20

Recyclable Resources: Minerals, Paper, Bottles, and E-waste

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 8

 

Chapter 8 Lecture - Recyclable Resources: Minerals, Paper, Bottles, and E-waste     (PPT)

Week 10

October

25, 27

Water: A Confluence of Renewable and Depletable Resources    

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 9

 

Chapter 9 Lecture - Water: A Confluence of Renewable and Depletable Resources     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: Experts Name the Top 19 Solutions to the Global Freshwater Crisis     Water Statistics in the State of Qatar 2015 

 

Additional Reading: High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy (Read Executive Summary)    

 

Websites: UN-Water     Water.org    

 

Videos: Are Future Water Wars Inevitable?     Countries Are Building Economic Empires by Controlling the Worlds Water Supply     Journey 2050: Water     Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 9

Week 11

November

1, 3

A Locationally Fixed, Multipurpose Resource: Land

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 10

 

Chapter 10 Lecture - A Locationally Fixed, Multipurpose Resource: Land     (PPT)

 

Required Readings: Environmental Problems of Modern Cities     10 things to Know About the Impacts of Urbanisation

 

Additional Reading: The Impossible Fight to Save Jakarta, the Sinking Megacity

 

Videos: Journey 2050: Land Use     Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 10

Week 12

November

8, 10

 

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapters 10 and 11

 

Required Reading: Green Facts - Forests (Pay particular attention to part 8)

 

Videos: How To Save Our Forests and Rewild Our Planet     

Week 13

November

15, 17

 

Fisheries Economics & Policy: Maximum Economic Yield     Fisheries Economics & Policy: A Closer Look at Fisheries

 

Ecosystem Goods and Services: Nature’s Threatened Bounty    

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 13

 

Chapter 13 Lecture - Ecosystem Goods and Services: Nature’s Threatened Bounty     (PPT)

 

Required Reading: Methods for Ecosystem Service Valuation     MSG Monitor     Role of Tourism in Sustainable Development     The Millennium Development Goals Report2015 (Read Overview and section on Goal 7) 

 

Videos: Can Eco-tourism Help Save the Ocean?     Role of Tourism in Sustainable Development     UN Millennium Campaign Goal 7 Environmental Sustainability     Valuation of Ecosystem Services: Classes of Values

 

Economics of Pollution Control:

An Overview    

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 14

 

Chapter 14 Lecture - Economics of Pollution Control: An Overview     (PPT)

 

Required Reading: Carbon Tax - Pros and Cons     What is Carbon Offsetting?

 

Videos: Carbon Offsets     The Story of Cap & Trade

Week 14

November

22, 24

 

Environment and Natural Resource Economics -Tietenberg and Lewis, Chapter 16

Week 15

November 29

December 1

 

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 15

 

 

Text: (TL) Reading: Chapter 16

 

Chapter 16 Lecture - Mobile-Source Air Pollution     (PPT)

 

Required Reading: The Facts on Fuel Economy Standards     Volkswagen: The Scandal Explained

 

Websites: Transport and Environment

 

Videos: Are Electric Cars Really More Environmentally Friendly?     What's Behind Extreme Air Pollution in India

Week 16

Final Exam

Exam Time: