Human Impacts / Civics / Ethics
Civics / Ethics: Resources and potential guiding questions
Topic 1) Pricing: How should leaders develop utility pricing and programs that ensure the water or energy system remains safe and reliable, but also doesn't unfairly burden the poor?
- (Article) Among the Powerless: Millions of U.S. households struggle for sufficient electricity, heat, and cooling. But few poverty researchers have studied the psychological toll of energy insecurity. The Atlantic
- Describe the consequences of rising utility costs.
- (Article + Audio) Uber But For Energy: Utility Surge Pricing Threatens Summer Cool. National Public Radio
- How are utility systems challenged during times when demand for energy spikes? What are arguments for and against charging consumers more or less during times when there is high or low usage across the service area?
- (Article) Where America's Poor Pay the Most for Electricity: Poor families face persistent obstacles to cutting their power bill. City Lab, from The Atlantic
- What barriers and resources face families who want to reduce their utility bills and/or become more efficient users of water and/or energy?
- What programs, incentives or rebates are offered by the water and energy providers where you live? Visit their website to find out.
- (Article + Infographic map) Price of Water 2015: Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities; 41 Percent Rise Since 2010 Circle of Blue
- Why do water and energy providers set their prices and pricing structures differently? What are the consequences of those different prices and pricing structures?
- (Article) Water use highest in poor areas of the city: Neighborhoods filled with homes that have outdated plumbing Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Topic 2) Sustainable resource management: What responsibility, if any, do users of water and energy have to do their best to use those resources as efficiently as possible? What tradeoffs, timeframes, and perspectives should be considered and balanced as choices are made to take or not take actions to become more efficient users of water and energy? What are other examples of challenges in our community which can be made better or worse based on the relatively small actions of many people? Sometimes these types of challenges are know as "Collective Action Problems".
- (Interactive website) Four Visions Of Change For The Yahara Watershed: Madison's Lakes And Landscape Face Persistent Challenges In The Face Of Climate Change