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Green Economics

Social networking and drones can save the earth

Both tools help distribute information that can be used to further more responsible environmental practices

By Guest blogger / February 25, 2012

file photo provided by the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff's Department, a small Draganflyer X6 drone makes a test flight in Mesa County, Colo. with a Forward Looking Infrared payload. In addition to serving security purposes drones can help at home by spotting environmental threats like leaky irrigation on farms, Kahn argues.

Mesa County Sheriff's Unmanned Operations Team/AP/File

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The rise of micro blogs in China helps to educate the public about product issues such as the bullet train accident or the milk safety scandal and this reduces the likelihood that the State can suppress  information.  Such "sunshine" increases political accountability and thus improves the quality of governance.  The rise of twitter and other websites provide real time information so that the canonical case of the Simpsons and Blinkie the 3 eyed fish will be quickly discovered and the guilty party will be discovered.

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Mathew is an economics professor at UCLA and has written three books: Green Cities (Brookings Institution Press); Heroes and Cowards (Princeton University Press, jointly with Dora L. Costa); and in fall 2010, Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter World (Basic Books).

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In addition to these examples, we now have the case of the drones.  Such drones not only attack our enemies but when used on domestic missions can provide crucial information.  Here is  a quote from the article;
 

"For Patrick Egan, who represents small businesses and others in his work for the Remote Control Aerial Photography Association in Sacramento, the new law also can’t come fast enough. Until 2007, when the federal agency began warning against nonrecreational use of drones, he made up to $2,000 an hour using a drone to photograph crops for farmers, helping them spot irrigation leaks. “I’ve got organic farmers screaming for me to come out,” he said."

So, the drones  are flying around and they can cheaply spot wasted water . Once farmers are alerted of this, they go to the broken hose and repair it and this helps to reduce overall water consumption and this increases environmental sustainability.   Human ingenuity substitutes for natural capital.  This is a key theme!

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