Economics News Summaries

EconNews Online is South-Western College Publishing's service to provide summaries of the latest economics news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
Economics and the Environment
Title  Brief Summary 
Maybe Wanting the Global Population to Fall Wasn’t Such a Good Idea After All
Full Summary 
Demographers used to think that the global fertility rate – the average number of children a woman will have in her lifetime – would fall below the population replacement rate by 2025. That’s already happened to about 45% of the global population. As a result, population growth will begin to shrink, but in some places of the world, population will actually decline. That may not be a great outcome.
(Updated August, 2007)
International Subsidies Make Renewable Energy Go ‘Round
Full Summary 
Use of renewable energy is on the rise worldwide; in 2004, it is 13% of total energy consumption, dwarfed by coal-based and oil-based energy consumption, at 25% and 34%, respectively. What accounts for the increase?
(Updated June, 2007)
Why Buy a New Machine When You Can Make Your Current One Better?
Full Summary 
Much talk about environmentally friendly practices has focused on replacing current fossil fuels with alternative energy sources, such as solar or wind power. However, there is an alternative: making your current machines use less electricity.
(Updated June, 2007)
How Do We Get People to Recycle More?
Full Summary 
We all know that we should recycle. But many of us don’t recycle. What will make us recycle more?
(Updated June, 2007)
Nation's First Cap-and-Trade System to Begin in 2009
Full Summary 
Ten states in the Northeast have joined together to create the first cap-and-trade carbon emissions program in the US. Organized by then-NY governor George Pataki in 2003, the group extends from Maine to Maryland, and includes Pennsylvania as an observer. Other states around the nation are watching over the program as well.
(Updated May, 2007)
In California, Tradeoff Between Fishing Livelihood and Fish Survival is Hot Topic
Full Summary 
The Vaquita, a porpoise that lives in the ocean waters between California and Mexico is facing extinction from fishermen's nets. Environmental groups want to help, but local fishermen don't want to see the end of their livelihood.
(Updated February, 2007)
President Bush Becomes an Environmentalist in his State of the Union, Sort Of.
Full Summary 
The President's State of the Union Address in January 2007 indicated that he is in favor of alternative fuels and preserving the environment. But the goals he suggests may not be as attainable as we think.
(Updated February, 2007)
Cities See the Light (Rail)
Full Summary 
Portland, Oregon, is in an enviable position: The city is a leader in light rail urban transportation. In fact, its MAX system, begun over 20 years ago, is one of the country's largest systems with about 44 miles of track. Other cities are beginning to look at Portland's success, and are hoping to get on the successful train before it leaves the station.
(Updated October, 2006)
Here, Fishy, Fishy, Fishy….
Full Summary 
Over the last few years, fishermen have seen the size of wild fish catches level off as more and more areas have been depleted of their natural resources.. To assist in providing the world its seafood, fisher folk have turned to fish farming--or growing domesticated versions of the wild fish formerly plentiful in the seas. Total fish produced on farms is beginning to catch up with the amount of wild fish brought to market.
(Updated September, 2006)
Brazil Tries to Help the Poor, While Leaving Some Rainforest Intact
Full Summary 
Brazil has two things in abundance: the Amazon rainforest, and poor farmers who seek to own land. The Brazilian government recently enacted legislation to crack down on those who clear Amazonian rainforest for their own uses; the government also recognizes that poor farmers need to own resources if they are to climb out of grinding poverty. How do you balance the survival of both? Very delicately.
(Updated June, 2006)
It's sunny out. Turn on the solar panels, please...
Full Summary 
The cost of installing solar panels on one's house has been slowly falling, and the government's been helping to reduce the price.
(Updated August, 2005)
Brazil Tries to Help the Poor, While Leaving Some Rainforest Intact
Full Summary 
The amount of money people must pay to use particular roads in the US is increasing this year. On over a third of American toll roads, rates are increasing anywhere from 5% to 100%.
(Updated May, 2005)
We'll keep producing the carbon; We'll just bury it when we're done
Full Summary 
British Petroleum (BP) PLC has come up with a plan to help reduce costs associated with global emissions compliance--don't reduce the carbon; just bury it.
(Updated April, 2005)
National forests to be managed more locally, rather than nationally
Full Summary 
The Bush Administration issued new rules designed to more efficiently manage the nation's 155 national forests, allowing regional forest managers to determine appropriate usage, such as logging, drilling, or cell-phone tower construction.
(Updated April, 2005)
Families with more than one kid? Where will we put all of them?
Full Summary 
China is beginning to reconsider its draconian measures to curb population growth by restricting families to only one child. It is beginning to consider allowing families in some parts of the country to have two children if they wish.
(Updated March, 2005)
Salmon are just going to have to deal with those dams!
Full Summary 
The Bush Administration recently issued a statement that it would not consider removing dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Northwest U.S. to save 11 endangered salmon species.
(Updated February 2005)
We take carbon monoxide out of the air and put it into rocks!
Full Summary
Arizona-based Global Research Technologies has a grand dream of saving the environment by using wind-powered machines to remove carbon monoxide from the air and storing the carbon in rocks or in the ground-leaving only oxygen to float in the atmosphere.
(Updated December, 2004)
Global Warming's Sticker Shock: Cars Will Be More Expensive
Full Summary
Investment firm Sustainable Asset Management, together with the Washington-based World Resources Institute, recently issued a report detailing the costs to automakers of complying with the environmental regulations expected within the next decade in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. And the report wasn't good.
(Updated September, 2004)
"What Would You do For a Kick-(the)-Khat Bar?"
Full Summary 
The average cost of a public university education will increase by about 9% next year, compared to about 14% last year. The average private-university cost will increase by about 6% for the 2004-05 academic year.
(Updated August, 2004)
It's Getting Easier to Be Green - and more profitable, too
Full Summary
More and more builders in the Boston area are efficiently using natural resources and energy in mind. So-called "green" projects have gained encouragement not only by the public sector, but by private firms and individuals as well.
(Updated July, 2004)
Safe Farming, Lots of Food, and Environmentally Safe
Full Summary 
Fish farming holds significant promise as a means to eliminate hunger, but steps need to be taken to reduce the external costs associated with aquaculture.
(Updated November, 2003)
You Really Gotta Love Driving to go on these Roads
Full Summary 
Japan's highway system is made up entirely of toll roads. The only problem: The tolls are too high for people to want to use the roads.
(Updated October 17, 2003)
New Runway at Heathrow Creates Many Environmental Costs
Full Summary 
A proposal to create a new runway at London's Heathrow Airport is based on dubious cost analyses that do not consider the full costs, including environmental costs, of flying.
(Updated September 10, 2003)
Reducing Airline Emissions: The Future is the Past
Full Summary 
Airlines account for 3.5 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. One suggestion is to induce airlines to replace long-haul flights with several short hops. Higher fuel taxes would provide an incentive.
(Updated April 1, 2002)
Dying For Fresh Air
Full Summary 
UK Government data indicate that air pollution worsened in 1999 and people are dying prematurely due to pollution. However, another study claims that toxic emissions from vehicles are falling, and London compares favorably with other major world cities. It cautions that the costs of air pollution standards may outweigh the gains.
(Updated April 1, 2000)
Paying the Price of Pollution
Full Summary 
Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules require each auto maker to sell a mix of vehicles that meets a minimum fuel efficiency standard. Some foreign producers of large cars treat the fines as a cost of doing business, while US firms try to avoid being prosecuted because of possible lawsuits from angry shareholders.
(Updated August 1, 1999)
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