Political Science essay
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1. Market incentives when designed and implemented properly can encourage individuals and businesses to act in a manner that furthers their financial goals as well as environmental aims such as water reduction, air cleanup as well as water pollution reductions. This is definitely a positive development. However, their use is only feasible for generating funds for dealing with the negative effects on environment as opposed to preventing the acts from occurring in the first place. This is because to most businesses will simply opt to pay specific amount of money and remain in business rather than to face probable failure by changing production processes that might harm the environment
2. The main weakness of the classic risk assessment method is that it is simple minded. It fails to address environment and community justice issues. For instance, under classical principles hazard to the environment does not consider individual sensitivity. This means that there is no way of ascertaining the most sensitive response endpoint as the results of the studies are dependent on the susceptibility or sensitivity of the individuals or animals tested.
3. The cost-benefit analysis is favorable in the implementation of environmental laws as it provides a disciplined and transparent measure when considering policy options. This measure allows us to consider, examine and compare how the interests, opinions and claims of the parties that are eventually affected by the regulations that are proposed. Although this analysis is not perfect in terms of determining what is fair or moral, it does demand some level of specificity and objectivity which are necessary components in any good decision making.
4. With the world facing imminent water shortages in the near future, water markets are capable of ensuring equity and efficiency and as such generate considerable benefits to the country. When a water market functions efficiently, it is capable of narrowing the price margin in terms of the selling price and the buying price, that is, the selling price is close to the average pumping economic cost. Water markets will also help the country to internalize the externality costs. It will also present flexibility and as such response to changing market conditions effectively allowing water to be transferred from low value usage to high value usage. Water markets also allows for compensation if and when the commodity is not delivered. The main disadvantages emerging from this system us its sensitivity to the existing physical, institutional and legal frameworks as well as to the transaction cost levels.
5. Water policies in the United States include the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and the EPA Office of Water. The Clean Water Act set the national goals for water quality, established system of pollution discharge permit for waste dischargers into the U.S. waters as well as an amendment in 1987 which established funding for treatment plants run by the state. The safe Drinking Water Act sets specified standards to safeguard drinking water quality for the public as well as regulate the state programs aimed at ground water protection. An amendment to the act in 1996 requires the local water systems to also distribute an annual report along with the water bills. The Environment Protection Agency also has a say on water matters as it is mandated to oversee all the environmental policies within the country. The main weakness of these policies is that they are not coordinated so as to ensure water is managed for the benefit of present and future generations. The fragmentation of various agencies tasked with various water duties can actually result in inhibiting water stewardship, routine water management and drought planning decisions.
6. By indicating that drinking water should be free, Glennon does not indicate how the quantity of this water per household will be determined. Separating water mains to have one for safe drinking water and another for the unsafe water for the bathroom is also not a feasible solution economically as it would be too costly. The suggestion that the cost of excess water used should be very expensive would only result in water become inaccessible.
7. Structural problems adding to the US water crisis include the growth of cities in places where it was not feasible to do so, such as in Los Angeles, as a result dam building which has also affected the environment and the wildlife such as fish life. The country is also consuming too much groundwater which is resulting in earth fissures as well as sinking of ground surfaces. This means that soon, consuming ground water will also be inhibited.
8. Whereby water privatization hands over the provision of water and sanitation provision to the private sector such as bottled water, Water markets still maintain the provision of water as a key public service. Water price under privatization is determined by the market forces with companies aiming at making a profit while the water market prices are determine by the cost of pumping the water to its destination
9. Alternative's assessment were developed by Mary O'Brien and indicate that it is unacceptable to harm people when we have reasonable alternatives; likewise, it is unacceptable to also harm non-humans when reasonable alternatives are available; nobody is in a position to define acceptable damages for another person; and also private behaviors usually present environment consequences to the public and as such should not be termed as private.