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Nikki Doherty

The technologies in these articles are inspiring because they prove (1) we have the brain power and resources to make this shift and (2) people are finally really seeing and buying into the need for it. This reminds me of an earlier article this term that discussed how efficient technologies, even zero-emission technologies, are out there, but it is up to us to actually start using them as substitutes in order to reduce our emissions. Importantly, the electric aviation article mentions the propensity that consumers will be attracted to electric aircraft. This concern can be applied to all newer efficient technologies. We need to shift cultural attitudes and conversations from “this is the way things work” to “this is how things also work, and in fact work better.” If we can convince the greater society that electric technologies offer equal if not greater capabilities, safety, and durability, than current energies then we can spur substitution at higher rates. In the next few years, companies are going to releasing a lot more of this technology (just as Envoy’s electric outboards), so we need to start training ourselves to be open to substitution now. I recently read an article about all the startups that were created in the last recession. Hopefully, this time spent reflecting on the world, will get more potential startups aimed at “decarbonisation” inspired.

Max Gebauer

At the risk of being pessimistic, I'm concerned the presence of this crisis will be exploited by individuals and groups pushing for inaction on the climate front. COVID19 is a legitimate crisis, but im worried it'll become a smokescreen where faux concern for those affected by the virus will be used to push the climate agenda further down the list of priorities. I think the recent EPA decision to relax enforcement of pollution regulations could potentially be a harbinger of things to come.

Walker Morris

As someone who boats fairly frequently in the summer months, the first article about Evoy's new electric outboard motor is fascinating to me. Throughout the years of boating on lakes, I have always noticed the great difference in water quality between the open lake, and the areas in and around Marinas. Growing up, I was always told to never swim in locations where boats fill up with fuel or lay idle for considerable periods of time. This is entirely because of the high concentrations of oil and gas in these areas. While pollution from boats is less concentrated in open parts of the lake, one can only imagine what years of boating can do to the quality of the water. Evoy's electric motors and the electric motors that will inevitably follow won't reverse the course of pollution in lakes, but they will at least reduce the amount of exhaust that contaminates these bodies of water. Much like the electric engine for the automobile, Evoy's electric outboard motor is an example of innovation that will reduce pollution and diminish previous ecological damage.

Patrick Sullivan

Obviously I think that all of these articles are extremely optimistic and show that not everything is doom and gloom on the horizon. Another thought that went through my mind while reading these articles is the impact that this global pandemic will have on our global society and how we conduct ourselves. Watching TV constantly over these past few weeks i have noticed myself being hyper sensitive to the hygiene practices of characters and actors on TV shows. Little things that never bothered me before now seem monumental and important. I guess what i am trying to say is that maybe this will change the way we live and the way conduct interactions with each other in the future. Maybe we will not be so willing to fly across the country, or world, to conduct that business meeting. Maybe we would rather do it via skype or our beloved zoom instead, lessening the emissions impact of air travel. While this transition obviously could have consequences we will not know about until the future, i think it is an interesting thing to think about in the wake of these weird times. Maybe everything that comes out of this won't be so bad.

Sydney Goldstein

These articles were definitely uplifting and provide hope for the future in terms of improving how firms and individuals interact with the environment. One aspect that I found interesting is that two of the three articles discussed the cost of the product to firms and individuals. The Evoy article discussed how the price of the outboard motor was TBD but that Evoy projects that commercial operators, at least in Norway, would break even at about 350 hours of runtime per year, which is less than an hour a day. The wind turbine article also discussed cost and how firms were looking to improve technology and drive down costs.This shows how firms and individuals are concerned about dollar price and profit as opposed to the focus being solely on efficiency. The ironic part is that if the government put the same money into subsidizing renewable energy and into renewable energy research and development as it does into the fossil fuel industry, it would be just as cost effective and likely even more cost effective than using fossil fuels as the inputs of production. Furthermore, this would also be efficient and increase social welfare.

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