Tutor profile: Whitney D.
Subject: Urban and Regional Planning
With relation to city planning, what is advocacy planning?
Advocacy planning is a focus on results, change, and empowerment. This represents for WHOM planning is done and not HOW it is done. For example, this type of planner would present city planning in a way that reflects the need and priorities of a specific group or community. In a way, the planner is an activist. Their mode of planning will be rational and their focus will be decentralized.
Subject: Environmental Science
How have riparian areas become designated as crucial areas of biodiversity?
Riparian areas are vital to landscapes by surrounding water sources, creating a buffer between dryland and aquatic systems. This buffer absorbs excess nutrients and sediments from runoff that flows into water sources and regenerates groundwater (USDA 1996). This attracts plant and wildlife species including a significant amount of endangered species that will seek refuge in these areas. By providing a variety of ecosystem services to wildlife and the public, riparian areas are crucial to life. According to Briggs, with problems arising because of the degradation of riparian areas, managers applied a riparian vegetation strategy to mitigate effects. This lead to a crucial point in understanding riparian ecosystems in that evaluating past and current site conditions as well as researching the causes of degradation can guide managers to the solution (Briggs 1996). Although riparian areas were considered sacrifice areas in the past, now they are considered some of the most important ecosystems that hold a diversity of life and ecosystem services. Previous lack of understanding about function, value, and uniqueness has lead to an exploitation of this landscape. As major issues rose because of harmful effects, people began to realize the importance of riparian areas. Now these areas are considered high priority in restoration because of their sensitivity and influence on surrounding areas.
Subject: US Government and Politics
What role does the market play in our current environmental issues? Can the market be a solution for environmental issues such as Climate Change?
As of now, command and control methods set out by the government are “congressionally mandated for setting environmental standards that are insensitive to costs” (Nordhaus and Shellenberger 163). Meaning, congress doesn’t consider the economic consequences of such decisions on environmental regulations because agencies don’t follow the regulations in many cases. This shows that a revision in environmental standards for the U.S. is essential if we want to avoid environmental risk. The market provides a choice for agencies to limit their pollutants and can “earn credits for keeping pollutants below a certain level” (Nordhaus and Shellenberger 187). This could be a short-term solution to the command and control in place currently. The Clean Air Task Force organized a few long-term ideas for marked-based solutions to solve our environmental problems. The task force suggested improving government performance through seeking additional resources of knowledge, because Congress is not made up of scientists, environmentalists, or the like and politicians usually go for the best available information. Also, the market could provide advanced pollutant reducing technologies and commercialize those products, with the government being a major consumer (Pielke). Companies and firms would rather pay the fines allocated by the government than to adapt to environmental needs because it’s cheaper and easier that way. The government doesn’t provide alternative technologies and avoids litigation, which leads to “making a deal” with agencies for compliance (Nordhaus and Shellenberger 183). This is not how environmental protection is accomplished. Less government control and more encouragement is vital if we want firms to comply with reducing pollutants. The market could provide these new innovations. With government support of the market and creating incentives for using advanced technologies, our environmental standards can be met.
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