Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2 down, 2 to go

I'm halfway through my first semester exams and so far, things have gone well. I haven't pulled my eyebrows out completely (a horrendous habit I practice almost unconsciously when stressed, and which I'd hoped I'd retired since college) and I'm fairly certain I've passed my first two exams in Theory and Research (good thing, considering the exams are worth 70% of my grade). I'm now knee-deep in Pigovian Tax* schemes, cap and trade programs and interestingly enough, the EIA process. My first job out of college was working for an elected official in Orange County - and a big part of our responsibilities as staff members were to review the weekly Environmental Assessment Reports (EIAs) that dealt with any number of County projects. I always had a hard time sinking my teeth into reports about the impacts a new graded slope at the landfill might have, or the potential threats of storm drain debris. I think my co-workers would get a good laugh out of the detailed understanding I am now developing of the process behind the massive reports we used to have to review and make recommendations on (yes Mr. Supervisor, predatory falcons are a good way to reduce the noise pollution** caused by seagulls at the landfill).

I think we often take for granted the steps taken during development in America to protect the environment around us and mitigate impacts that could greatly threaten our quality of life. In developing countries, environmental protection and awareness has long been viewed as indulgent, an inappropriate luxury, or at worst, an active detriment to development. Lest we think no process has been made, with various worldwide conventions over the past 40 years and increasing agreement on an international level, even Developing countries like Kenya have now adopted framework laws and processes to ensure future development is done in a way that is mindful to the environment and the quality of life of its citizens.

Studying such legislation and practices gives me new appreciation for my own personal history - for where I began my career and the opportunities I've had to be exposed to such things on so many different levels. Sometimes I think I've taken such a drastic turn, and the risks of stepping away from my first career path might have been too much. But then some experience or piece of knowledge comes along that reminds me that I truly believe in the path I'm on, and that my experiences in the past will only serve to guide me moving forward.

I'll let you know how the rest of exams go. I can't wait until break when I can re-focus on other projects and do some brainstorming about what the next steps on this path might be.


*Speaking of taxes, if there is a kind soul out there who happens to enjoy the tax process, I am in desperate need of assistance this year due to a need to be especially savvy so as not to be shot in the foot by my scholarship - which is almost 100% taxable. Any recommendations for good (affordable) tax people -or- if you happen to really enjoy plugging numbers and navigating the system - please let me know :)

**Or as I might have to identify it in tomorrow's exam, the negative externality (or is it positive? Debatable I guess!) of such noise.

1 comment:

Actve said...

Suggest you to provide link to

www.energyenvironmentforum.com

and encourage your readers to use the Energy Environment Forum and get a link back !
energyenvironmentforum at gmail dot com