Al Gore is Ready to Win the Battle of Climate Change

by Abby Schantz 

In the New York Times article, “The New Optimism,” published on March 16th, 2015, John Schwartz explains a change in action by Al Gore regarding climate change. Gore has a long list of achievements; former vice president of the United Sates, environmental activist, and investor. He is also the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, including his Academy Award winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” These efforts have focused on showing the magnitude of the problem of climate change, instilling concern for the issue around the globe. Recently, however, his viewpoint has transformed to cast a more optimistic light saying, “We’re going to win this.” Gore uses the history of cellphones as an analogy to changing energy sources. In 1980, AT&T estimated that 900,000 cellphones would be sold by 2000. In fact, 109 million were sold by 2000 and, by- today, around 7 billion. Gore says the mis-estimation was due to the rapid increase in technology and decrease in costs, which turned giant blocks (old cellphones) into miniature computers (new cellphones). Continue reading

Would You Pay to Reduce Climate Change?

by Abigail Schantz

In the article “Actions and intentions to pay for climate change mitigation: Environmental concern and the role of economic factors,” Christian Dienes (2014) studies the correlation between individuals’ concern for the environment and their willingness to pay or act for change, and how these correlations are affected by financial circumstances. Dienes reviewed previous studies and used one survey to analyze his own results. He took the responses from the Life in Transition Survey (2010) by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank. In this survey, which included 35 countries, 37% of respondents expressed intent to pay to reduce climate change and 11% were unsure, but 45% responded that they had the highest concern level (five out of five on the survey) for climate change. This showed a discrepancy between people who are deeply concerned with climate change and those willing to pay for improvements. Dienes took into account other variables such as age and gender in order to minimize bias. Continue reading