The Importance of Nuclear Power in Reducing Carbon Emissions and Protecting Developing Nations

by Margaret Loncki

After the recent catastrophic nuclear meltdown of Fukushima in 2011, global support of nuclear power plants has significantly decreased. Reinhard Wolf, an international relations professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt, aims to demonstrate that developed nations do not have the luxury of shutting down nuclear plants out of fear of meltdowns. Wolf emphasizes the philosophical concept of one’s obligation to not seriously harm any other individual, which he believes will be the result of continuing to shutdown nuclear power plants around the world. Recent studies suggest that in 2009, climate change forced 10 million people into severe poverty and 45 million people to go hungry. The same study suggests that climate change produced 315,000 premature deaths. These affected individuals reside solely in developing countries. Continue reading

The Potential of Carbon Offsetting Programs and Travelers Willingness to Support Them

by Margaret Loncki

Tourism-related air travel has consistently been one of the fastest growing carbon releasing industries. Although, the industry has faced serious pressure to reduce their carbon output, it has struggled to find an efficient way to accomplish this. Choi and Ritchie (2014) aim to discover how much consumers are willing to pay to offset the CO2 emissions released by their travel. Many airlines have carbon offsetting programs that allow passengers to pay a fee to help fund carbon reducing research and development programs as well as the production and support for new and existing clean energy programs and renewable energy sources. Although most travelers understand the implications of the carbon released by their flights, only a fraction of passengers have supported the carbon offsetting programs offered by airlines. Continue reading