Advisor: Robert Mendelsohn
We all know that the degradation of the environment will finally affect, or even destroy, our economy; but the public and politicians are uncertain about “When” and “How bad” it will be. In short, it is the uncertainty of the relationship between environment and economy that hinders sustainable development. It is our scientist’s job to cut the uncertainty into scientific certainty. My priority concern is: what is the quantitative economic pressure of water and air pollution, e.g, on the Health Care system and how to derive the value of the urban natural environment on the Real Estate market. With the help of GIS and remote sensing, those inquires can be analyzed and presented effectively.
Gold cannot sustain life, but humans have sacrificed life and a living environment for gold. Why? Gold is commonly yearned for, is scarce and, most importantly, easy to measure. Paper money can be substituted for gold because it is endorsed by law. Thus if something is commonly yearned for, scarce, endorsed by law and can be measured, it can be priced. In fact, the so called hard currency of any kind is no more than a concept, a token of the real valuable items-- the land, soil, air, water, house, food, etc. and the entire environment. However, due to the cognitive limitations of humans and the lack of measuring tool, the environment, whose value is not easy to measure, has not yet been expressed by the “token”, resulting in a collective neglect of its value. The key is to find the “measuring tool”. This research will focus on a way to value the urban environment on real estate market.