To be an effective learning tool the Discussion Thread questions require your active discussion of the topic in answering the question and in discussing the




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Discussion

General Information:

To be an effective learning tool the Discussion Thread questions require your ACTIVE discussion of the topic in answering the question AND in discussing the topic with at least two of your classmates.

  1. First post made during, or before, Saturday.

  2. Posts on at least 3 different days.

  3. Responses to at least TWO other classmates.

  4. Substantive posts that stimulate further active discussion, posts that accurately reflects the learning of the Unit, that are logical, and clearly presented with correct spelling, word usage and grammar.

Be sure to complete the Assignment to define key terms for this unit prior to answering the Discussion Thread question.

Topic

Reliance on finite supplies of foreign oil and on coal fired electric power plants causes ever increasing prices that we must pay for the oil and the deleterious effects on our environment from both as sources of greenhouse gasses contributing to global warming.

There are several renewable sources of energy available to the world. These include:

  1. Wind power (both large scale wind turbines and household sized roof mounted wind turbines to co-generate electricity)

  2. Solar water heating (roof mounted solar collectors)

  3. Solar photovoltaic electric generation (solar cells mounted on roofs to co-generate electricity)

  4. Ocean wave generation of electricity

  5. In transportation, the development of all electric and hybrid electric cars

Please pick one of these topics, do internet research on it and discuss the ECONOMIC impact on the overall economy that national adoption of that choice would have and discuss what the drawbacks are to adopting that system in the near future.

Pay particular attention to research presented by mainstream business news organizations such as:

  • MSNBC - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032072/ns/business

  • CNBC - http://www.cnbc.com/id/15839285

  • PBS Nightly Business Report - http://www.pbs.org/nbr/

as well as any economic think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, Cato Institute, or the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Links to several economic think tanks can be found at:

http://business.baylor.edu/steve_gardner/TTANKS.HTM

Remember to include in your references links to the web sites that you feel are important contributors to your position

(For clarification of expectations, review the discussion board rubric criteria located in the syllabus.)


06/16/2012 03:34pm
I would like to first say that I am a huge advocate of renewable resources. We should be very progressive and aggressive in our development of technology that can and will replace oil. Laws should also be passed for greener homes and apartments, that would require builders to adhere to stricter guidelines when building any new home. This should cover all new cars as well.

My number one choice for renewable energy is solar (photovoltaic).

This is what I know before research:
-seems like the best renewable energy solution
-does not in itself cause pollution
-is pretty expensive
-has an endless amount of potential energy
-requires large glass panels on the roof to generate a useable amount of electricity

This is what I know after research:
-solar can function well in any climate
-solar energy can be stored (something I did not know)
-solar panels can operate on their own without being connected to a power grid/gas grid
-solar panels need very little maintenance which translates to savings
-solar panel warranties can be offered up to 20 years, which I find quite amazing (AlternativeEnergySecret).

So what is the economic impact of implementing such an energy resource? Well, first it would create many new jobs. Jobs developing the technology, jobs marketing the technology, and jobs building and implementing the solar technology. The economic impact would be great...if we became serious about implementing and integrating it into our society. I see a future where houses and apartments provide their own electricity and perhaps even add extra energy back to the power grid - that would be amazing. Imagine receiving a letter in the mail from the electric company, though it's not a bill, it's a check because your home actually provided surplus energy. The electric company is paying you!

What would be the drawbacks? Well it is expensive to implement solar energy; someone would have to foot the bill to get it started. Also, even though panels last a long time, they will eventually have to be replaced. They cannot just be thrown into a dumpster as they contain harmful materials. There's also a concern for the large scale manufacturing of millions of panels. This would require a huge amount of resources as well as tight control over the manufacturing plants themselves. We wouldn't want to generate pollution on the back-end just so there wouldn't be pollution on the front-end.

Reference:
www.alternativeenergysecret.com. (n.d.). The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy. Retrieved 06/16/2012 from: http://www.alternativeenergysecret.com/pros-cons-solar-energy.html.


---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page



http://eddiejackson.net/web_images/solar_panels.gif


06/16/2012 4:59pm
VIDEO 1
I find the invisible hand an interesting concept. It basically says your own personal greed or capitalism endeavors could perhaps ultimately serve the public. I'm not sure if that's always true, but is certainly true sometimes.

The real problem I see with someone only being concerned with personal ventures, is their lack of concern or acknowledgement of all the other contributing factors to their success (which really is the success of our own open market system). It's rare to become successful without the help of many variables; variables like family, friends, employees, other business contributing factors, other companies, market educators, and even just pure luck. The only reason I mention this is because I believe it's hard to build solid business models on the ever-shifting variables that contribute to our open market. And, to say something like the invisible hand could possibly drive successful markets, seems like a stretch to me. That's not to say it couldn't possibly happen - I just think if we want to forecast or predict how to maintain strong economies, we need more than just the invisible hand. America already suffers from extreme narcissism, and the invisible hand just seems to perpetuate that ideology.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page

06/16/2012 08:03pm
VIDEO2

The United States has the largest oil imports right now, but in the year 2015 it will be the EU, and years later (2035) it will be China. The oil equation is ever changing and really requires our attention on the world stage - and how it will be used in the future; oil obviously is running out and we need to look to coal and natural gas as other serious alternatives. Even better yet, renewable energy should be evaluated. Nuclear power is also a good alternative...however there are serious implications and questions surrounding nuclear fuel usage.

The 11 degrees Fahrenheit change due to the increased CO2 on our planet is also a concern - up for debate, but many believe we are the cause of this "global warming" due to the factories and burning of fossil fuels.

We need new technology that addresses our energy needs efficiently. Only then can we escape the many pitfalls of burning fossil fuels, as well as keep us from destroying our planet. I know I wasn't raised to save (or think about) our planet, but it really is the only one we have; maybe we should treat it better.
---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page


06/12/2012 8:36pm
VIDEO3
IEA, EIA and IEO the groups as part of the CSIS, spoke on world natural gas being well supplied, that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, as well environmental concerns, as each of them are related to the growing global market of energy. There are environmental concerns as well as other unknown economic changes that are coming. The world energy use is obviously rising exponentially, and the statistics are forecasted from now to the year 2035. China and India energy consumption, combined alone, in 2008 was 21% and by 2035 it will be 31%. The video is basically a summary of projected growth and energy needs of the top largest countries, how this is relative to economic development, along with population growth.

My summary is, yes, energy needs of the future will be great. The market of energy will probably be the most profitable global market on our planet. And, how we address the energy needs in the future is an extremely important topic - which we all should be concerned about. Not only do we have to supply energy to the largest countries in the world, but we also have to find a way of doing it without destroying our planet.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page


06/17/2012 01:45pm
VIDEO4
I see the higher the production of a product, the higher the opportunity costs of that very same product - it makes a lot of sense actually (this equals the law of increasing opportunity costs). The comparison between two products like guns and butter seemed pretty simple really; I doubt that the real equation is that simple.

I am sure there is some basic psychology that applies to economics, and I'm sure economists think they have the answers based upon our past successes. I think they are probably wrong as the financial equation that will affect the economics of the future are being skewed by unknown and unpredictable variables; the best they have are educated guesses.

I'm hoping to learn a lot more economics in general, because as of right now, I look at economics as a totally negative aspect of our society. I don't believe the economics of our society are doing us any good. Our current open market system brings out the worse in people, segregates the haves from the have-nots, as well as promotes greed, extreme wealth, and narcissism. I cannot see how the economics of the 21st century is good for us.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page


06/17/2012 02:19pm
VIDEO5
Scarcity, the law of increasing opportunity costs, efficiency, and pushing the frontier outward are all part of understanding the economics of our time. What I'd be interested in is knowing if having more material possessions is making us stronger, faster, or better human beings.

The thought I'd like to expand upon is are we using these possessions to build a better society? Or, are we abusing our resources? A hammer is simple tool that does quite a bit. Its simplicity is its very strength. Another tool is the computer, as great as it is (in all its complexities), many believe it is making us lazy, fat, and perhaps stupid as it has added way too many shortcuts to our society; rather than reading and learning from books, we now turn to instant answers, quick information, without actually knowing or having any real knowledge surrounding the topic (I've witnessed this firsthand). I've always said there is something important to be said for the slower absorption of knowledge in concentrated studies.

If American economics are supposed to move in a positive direction in the future, we need more than just hollow solutions; we need solid products and quality services that the entire world can benefit from. Americans need to get back to basics, and that's hard work.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page

06/16/2012 8:58pm
Wind Power
I like the idea of wind as a renewable resource, but my problems with it is it can't be used in every climate. And as you pointed out, there is actually a small level of pollution associated with wind turbine technology (I had never heard of that). My post was on solar energy...I believe solar is really an untapped renewable resource. I mean the sun is going to be around for quite a while, and the way we harness the energy generates next to zero pollution (other than ultraviolet light). The actual solar panels being made these days can last up to 20 years, have low maintenance, and if used in large panels, can supply almost all a home's energy needs - quite amazing. The only problem with solar panels, they are expensive, well the upfront cost is high that is. Good post though, I do find all renewable energy quite fascinating, and hopefully will be considered as a serious energy source of the future.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page


06/17/2012 5:41pm
I am also an advocate of renewable energy sources and wonder why we aren't doing more; maybe it's because oil is making the rich richer. The financial economics of renewable energy just aren't there yet; we don't see the real value of changing from fossil fuels to renewable energy unless there are billions to be made. Never mind the much needed ecological relief it would give to our planet. I've never been much of a "tree-hugger", but as I get older I do realize we need to do more for our planet, it's the only one we got. I'm all for solar energy and I'm actually going to look into getting a few panels for myself.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page


06/19/2012 12:49pm
You're right about how long it could take to pay for itself, however, there are other noticeable gains right up front, and that's reduced pollution, along with the satisfaction that you know you're doing something right. It will also reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources...almost priceless if you ask me. It would also create jobs as somebody has to install the panels, maintain them, as well as recycle them.

Here's a great article about solar energy...which basically states we are under-estimating solar energy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/03/solar-energy-greg-barker. Good post though, very informative.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page

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