Matching Items (17)

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Nuclear Power in the US; A Sustainability Investigation

Description

Is nuclear power sustainable when compared to other energy sources? A truly sustainable energy source provides an environmental benefit, minimizes costs to consumers both socially and economically, and continues to do so in both the short and the long term.

Is nuclear power sustainable when compared to other energy sources? A truly sustainable energy source provides an environmental benefit, minimizes costs to consumers both socially and economically, and continues to do so in both the short and the long term. Taking the zero-carbon nature of nuclear generation as its net environmental benefit, this paper the evaluates the economic and social costs of nuclear power to determine if nuclear power's reputation as "unsustainable" is warranted. The sustainability of nuclear power is evaluated in two main categories. The first part focuses on the economics of nuclear power. There are many preconceived notions regarding nuclear power and its associated industry. This section addresses those notions to determine their validity given recent data. The prevalent types of nuclear plants across the U.S., the economics of the stages of nuclear energy production, and its competitiveness relative to other energy sources are addressed, culminating in an evaluation of its modern economic attractiveness as well as its future economic viability. A sustainability assessment would not be complete without addressing the social costs of an energy source, as a sustainable source must be both economically and socially viable. If it can be established that nuclear power can provide energy at lower rates and at a lower cost in terms of externalities, then it would be considered truly sustainable. To investigate those externalities, the second part of the analysis focuses on the human costs associated with the various stages of nuclear energy production. Those costs are then compared to those of alternatives sources of power, and selected case studies are examined to illustrate the ultimate risks associated with nuclear power operations. By quantifying these aspects and comparing the results to alternatives in the field, a better understanding of nuclear energy technology and its potential is achieved. The reader can then ascertain whether nuclear power's reputation as being "unsustainable" is, or is not, a reputation it deserves.

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2018-05

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How Cities Think: Knowledge Co-Production for Urban Sustainability and Resilience

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Understanding and transforming how cities think is a crucial part of developing effective knowledge infrastructures for the Anthropocene. In this article, we review knowledge co-production as a popular approach in environmental and sustainability science communities to the generation of useable

Understanding and transforming how cities think is a crucial part of developing effective knowledge infrastructures for the Anthropocene. In this article, we review knowledge co-production as a popular approach in environmental and sustainability science communities to the generation of useable knowledge for sustainability and resilience. We present knowledge systems analysis as a conceptual and empirical framework for understanding existing co-production processes as preconditions to the design of new knowledge infrastructures in cities. Knowledge systems are the organizational practices and routines that make, validate, communicate, and apply knowledge. The knowledge systems analysis framework examines both the workings of these practices and routines and their interplay with the visions, values, social relations, and power dynamics embedded in the governance of building sustainable cities. The framework can be useful in uncovering hidden relations and highlighting the societal foundations that shape what is (and what is not) known by cities and how cities can co-produce new knowledge with meaningful sustainability and resilience actions and transformations. We highlight key innovations and design philosophies that we think can advance research and practice on knowledge co-production for urban sustainability and resilience.

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Date Created
2017-06-10

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Governing Global Science: Pandemic Preparedness and H5N1 Research on the International Stage

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The thesis examines the Indonesian claim of H5N1 viral sovereignty in 2006, and the mutant H5N1 papers controversy in 2011, to analyze the notion of science transcending national boundaries and novel conflicts with science operating on the international stage, specifically

The thesis examines the Indonesian claim of H5N1 viral sovereignty in 2006, and the mutant H5N1 papers controversy in 2011, to analyze the notion of science transcending national boundaries and novel conflicts with science operating on the international stage, specifically for H5N1 preparedness. This thesis argues how the symmetries between the Indonesian sovereignty case and the H5N1 papers controversy illustrate the locus of contention and uncertainty present in the international scientific space, specifically related to the ownership and governance of influenza pandemic preparedness materials and research. To achieve this, the thesis comparatively analyzes the two controversies to reveal the unsettledness in dimensions of both pandemic preparedness and international and transnational governance of science. This symmetrical analysis clarifies the unresolved issues of ownership, control, and accountability, which exist in the scientific international space. The deliberations of both case studies were framed so that the primary goal of the resolutions developed into maintaining scientific openness for public health benefit. With this method of deliberation taken, the significant and unique issues raised by these cases, in addition to the ownership questions that were allowing these controversies to gain prominence, were commonly left unaddressed. In doing so, the potential of the reemergence for similar controversies remains high.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign at Arizona State University

Description

Through this creative project, I executed a Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign at Arizona State University to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, specifically texting while driving. As an Undergraduate Student Government Senator, my priority is the safety and

Through this creative project, I executed a Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign at Arizona State University to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, specifically texting while driving. As an Undergraduate Student Government Senator, my priority is the safety and success of students, both in and out of the classroom. By partnering with State Farm and AT&T, we were able to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and collected over 200 pledges from students to never text and drive.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Energy efficiency policy in Arizona: public participation and expert consultation in the policy implementation process

Description

Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may slow the energy policy process rather than expedite it. The

Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may slow the energy policy process rather than expedite it. The absence of a state energy policy or plan raises questions about how multiple actors and ideas engage with state energy policy development and whether the absence of a comprehensive state plan can be understood. Improving how policy development is conceptualized and giving more focused attention to the mechanisms by which interested parties become involved in shaping Arizona energy policy. To explore these questions, I examine the future energy efficiency. Initially, public engagement mechanisms were examined for their role in policy creation from a theoretical perspective. Next a prominent public engagement forum that was dedicated to the topic of the Arizona's energy future was examined, mapping its process and conclusions onto a policy process model. The first part of this thesis involves an experimental expert consultation panel which was convened to amplify and refine the results of a public forum. The second part utilizes an online follow up survey to complete unfinished ideas from the focus group. The experiment flowed from a hypothesis that formal expert discussion on energy efficiency policies, guided by the recommendations put forth by the public engagement forum on energy in Arizona, would result in an increase in relevance while providing a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration that is atypical in today's energy discussions. This experiment was designed and evaluated utilizing a public engagement framework that incorporated theoretical and empirical elements. Specifically, I adapted elements of three methods of public and expert engagement used in policy development to create a consultation process that was contextualized to energy efficiency stakeholders in Arizona and their unique constraints. The goal of the consultation process was to refine preferences about policy options by expert stakeholders into actionable goals that could achieve advancement on policy implementation. As a corollary goal, the research set out to define implementation barriers, refine policy ideas, and operationalize Arizona-centric goals for the future of energy efficiency.

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Date Created
2013

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Engaging Organization Members Through Tailored Sustainable Competitions

Description

As ASU students, we saw that our peers had opinions regarding sustainable issues, but did not feel like their voices were being heard by the university. We saw a space we could fill to promote engagement and let students

As ASU students, we saw that our peers had opinions regarding sustainable issues, but did not feel like their voices were being heard by the university. We saw a space we could fill to promote engagement and let students know that they could participate in finding sustainable solutions to problems they faced around campus. This created our venture which works to promote engagement through sustainable solutions. We ran a successful competition with students and local professionals by focusing on sustainability topics students were interested in. Promoting engagement can often come across as disingenuous and thus serve the opposite effect of its function. By centering around the topic of tailored sustainability related competitions, we can direct goodwill to the organizations by harnessing the positive feelings individuals have toward sustainability topics.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Green economy governance: transforming states and markets through the global forest carbon trade in California and Chiapas

Description

This dissertation explores the intersection of two major developments in global

environmental governance: the vision for a Green Economy and the growing influence of non-state actors. The work draws on multi-sited thick description to analyze how relationships between the state, market,

This dissertation explores the intersection of two major developments in global

environmental governance: the vision for a Green Economy and the growing influence of non-state actors. The work draws on multi-sited thick description to analyze how relationships between the state, market, and civil society are being reoriented towards global problems. Its focus is a non-binding agreement between California and Chiapas to create a market in carbon offsets credits for Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The study draws on three bodies of scholarship. From the institutionalist study of global environmental politics, it uses the ideas of orchestration, civil regulation, and private entrepreneurial authority to identity emerging alignments of state and non-state actors, premised on an exchange of public authority and private expertise. From concepts borrowed from science and technology studies, it inquires into the production, certification, and contestation of knowledge. From a constitutionalist perspective, it analyzes how new forms of public law and private expertise are reshaping foundational categories such as territory, authority, and rights. The analysis begins with general research questions applied to California and Chiapas, and the international space where groups influential in these sites are also active: 1) Where are new political and legal institutions emerging, and how are they structured? 2) What role does scientific, legal, and administrative expertise play in shaping these institutions, and vice versa? And 3) How are constitutional elements of the political order being reoriented towards these new spaces and away from the exclusive domain of the nation-state? The dissertation offers a number of propositions for combining institutionalist and constructivist approaches for the study of complex global governing arrangements. It argues that this can help identify constitutional reconfigurations that are not readily apparent using either approach alone.

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Date Created
2015

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The Pitfalls and Potholes of Reconstruction: Understanding the Role of Infrastructure in Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Description

National infrastructure form the bedrock for economic growth and social security, both of which lowers conflict risks. This encourages states and international organizations to invest heavily in post-conflict infrastructure reconstruction efforts, believing that infrastructure provision will reduce future political instability.

National infrastructure form the bedrock for economic growth and social security, both of which lowers conflict risks. This encourages states and international organizations to invest heavily in post-conflict infrastructure reconstruction efforts, believing that infrastructure provision will reduce future political instability. This belief is based largely on the perceived successes of reconstruction efforts in prior eras, especially after World War II. Today, post-conflict reconstruction efforts are much less successful in this regard and, overall, are not reducing political instability---Iraq being the quintessential example of such policy failure. In the face of both ongoing conflict and persistent needs for infrastructure reconstruction after conflicts, therefore, there is a critical need to understand two questions: Why are current reconstruction efforts failing to reduce political instability or even, in some cases, increasing it? And, how can reconstruction efforts be organized to do better? To address these questions, this dissertation examines infrastructure reconstruction across a wide range of national contexts. In doing this, an updated viewpoint is provided on the role of infrastructure in conflict-prone areas to include a long-term perspective on infrastructure system's role in society, technological integration, and relationship between the state and conflicting groups. This dissertation finds that though provision of different types of infrastructure might increase conflict risks in the short term, such provision can reduce conflict in the long run depending on how and where infrastructure is provided vis-a-vis excluded populations. These results provide crucial input towards the redesign of reconstruction policies to limit future political instability risks through infrastructure.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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The resilience engine: generating personhood, place and power in virtual worlds, 2008-2010

Description

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be, and what outcomes, resilient or entropic, can be generated by

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be, and what outcomes, resilient or entropic, can be generated by the uptake of a particular innovation. Closed systems, which tend towards stagnation and collapse, are distinguished from open systems, which through ongoing encounters with external novelty, tend towards enduring resilience. Heterotopia, a space bounded from the dominant order in which novelty is generated and defended, is put forth as the locus of innovation for systemic resilience, defined as the capacity to adapt to environmental changes. The generative aspect of the Resilience Engine lies in a dialectic between a heterotopia and the dominant system across a membrane which permits interaction while maintaining the autonomy of the new space. With a model of how innovation, taken up by agents seeking power outside the dominant order, leads to resilience, and of what generates failures of the Resilience Engine as well as successes, the model is tested against cases drawn from two key virtual worlds of the mid-2000s. The cases presented largely validate the model, but generate a crucial surprise. Within those worlds, 2008-2010 saw an abrupt cultural transformation as the dialectic stage of the Resilience Engine's operation generated victories for the dominant order over promising emergent attributes of virtual heterotopia. At least one emergent practice has been assimilated, generating systemic resilience, that of the conference backchannel. A surprise, however, comes from extensive evidence that one element never problematized in thinking about innovation, the discontent agent, was largely absent from virtual worlds. Rather, what users sought was not greater agency but the comfort of submission over the burdens of self-governance. Thus, aside from minor cases, the outcome of the operation of the Resilience Engine within the virtual worlds studied was the colonization of the heterotopic space for the metropolis along with attempts by agents both external and internal to generate maximum order. Pursuant to the Resilience Engine model, this outcome is a recipe for entropic collapse and for preventing new heterotopias from arising under the current dominant means of production.

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Date Created
2013

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The soft megamachine: Lewis Mumford's metaphor of technological society and implications for (participatory) technology assessment

Description

This dissertation explores the megamachine, a prominent metaphor in American humanist and philosopher of technology, Lewis Mumford's Myth of the Machine series. The term refers critically to dynamic, regimented human capacities that drive scientific and technical innovation in society. Mumford's

This dissertation explores the megamachine, a prominent metaphor in American humanist and philosopher of technology, Lewis Mumford's Myth of the Machine series. The term refers critically to dynamic, regimented human capacities that drive scientific and technical innovation in society. Mumford's view of the nature of collectives focuses on qualities and patterns that emerge from the behavior of groups, societies, systems, and ecologies. It is my aim to reenergize key concepts about collective capacities drawn from Lewis Mumford's critique of historical and modern sociotechnical arrangements. I investigate the possibility of accessing those capacities through improved design for Technology Assessment (TA), formal practices that engage experts and lay citizens in the evaluation of complex scientific and technical issues.

I analyze the components of Mumford's megamachine and align key concerns in two pivotal works that characterize the impact of collective capacities on society: Bruno Latour's Pasteurization of France (1988) and Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power (1962). As I create a model of collective capacities in the sociotechnical according to the parameters of Mumford's megamachine, I rehabilitate two established ideas about the behavior of crowds and about the undue influence of technological systems on human behavior. I depart from Mumford's tactics and those of Canetti and Latour and propose a novel focus for STS on "sociotechnical crowds" as a meaningful unit of social measure. I make clear that Mumford's critique of the sociotechnical status quo still informs the conditions for innovation today.

Using mixed mode qualitative methods in two types of empirical field studies, I then investigate how a focus on the characteristics and components of collective human capacities in sociotechnical systems can affect the design and performance of TA. I propose a new model of TA, Emergent Technology Assessment (ETA), which includes greater public participation and recognizes the interrelationship among experience, affect and the material in mediating the innovation process. The resulting model -- the "soft" megamachine --introduces new strategies to build capacity for responsible innovation in society.

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Date Created
2014