Environmental taxes and their effects on air pollution

By: Abdihakim Mohamoud

Environmental taxes, also known as carbon taxes, are fees companies are charged for every ton of emissions they produce in hopes of lowering emissions. The first country to implement these taxes was Sweden in 1991, and they have been very successful in doing so.

After countless studies and investigations about the impacts of environmental taxes, data shows that environmental taxes have positive effects on reducing emissions among companies. Research from Sciencedirect.com stated that sulfur dioxide, dust, and nitrogen oxide were significantly reduced from fossil fueled power plants when the environmental taxes policy was implemented.

After China implemented the Environmental Protection Tax law a few years ago, research began estimating the effects of environmental taxes and air pollution in China’s provinces. Compared to the pollution discharge fee policy (which was the previous law in place), pollutants decreased by 4.8 tons after the new policy was introduced.

While having a positive effect on city-level pollutants, environmental taxes were proven to have limited effects on larger, state-owned coal power plants. While the implementation of them may be beneficial for local firms, it is recommended that local governments seek other measures.

The main reason for environmental taxes being controversial is that individuals against them claim they would hurt countries GDPs. Although the tax would come back to consumers in the form of lower income taxes or a reimbursement check, others argue it would benefit bigger businesses rather than lower to middle class people.

In the end, multiple data statistics show environmental taxes having positive effects on a global scale. However, heated debates and controversy about what to do with tax revenues are still prominent. This leaves us with some questions—Should environmental taxes go back to the consumer? Or should it help us progress towards a bigger economy? These questions are yours to ponder upon.

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Turner syndrome

By: Ava Bleifuss

Image taken from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/katiejennings

What is Turner syndrome?

Turner syndrome is a genetic condition that only affects females. According to the National Organization for Rare Diseases, over 70,000 women and girls in the United States have Turner syndrome, which is about 1 in 2,500 female live births.

How does someone get Turner Syndrome?

Turner Syndrome occurs when one or part of an X chromosome is missing. An X chromosome could be missing from all, or only some, of a female’s cells. In a normal situation, a female child receives one X chromosome from the mother and one X chromosome from the father, meaning she would have all of the genes needed. However, since people with Turner Syndrome are missing part, or all, of the X chromosome, some of their genes are missing. Usually after finding a chromosomal error the body would not allow that cell to continue in the process, but in very rare situations somehow the cell does continue and eventually leads to Turner Syndrome. 

What are the symptoms of Turner syndrome?

The majority of babies with this syndrome are lost to miscarriages or still births. However, some babies with Turner Syndrome do survive. For them, the symptoms of Turner Syndrome are physical features revolving around development, because some of the genes are missing from the DNA, which is the genetic makeup of humans. People with this have slowed growth as well as developmental problems. Studies have often shown that people with Turner Syndrome have heart problems or if they don’t, have higher risk of heart disease. 

What is the history of Turner Syndrome? 

Turner Syndrome was first discovered by Dr. Henry Turner who was a physician based in Oklahoma. Turner was a pioneer endocrinologist who spent his whole life studying endocrinology. It was first described in 1938 in his manuscripts, but the cause was not identified until 1959. He presented his observations describing seven patients with the same developmental and physical features. These symptoms had never been reported before. Turner later wrote over 30 publications discussing Turner Syndrome. 

What is the treatment for Turner Syndrome?

While there is no cure for Turner Syndrome yet, there are ways to help control the symptoms. Turner Syndrome affects a lot of the body’s growth. Most of the treatments are there to help make up for what was lost. Common things to use as treatment are growth hormones to help with height, and estrogen therapy which helps with starting puberty. Surgeries and medications are also common treatments for Turner Syndrome, but only when needed or a problem occurs. 

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Why I think the death penalty shouldn’t be abolished

By: Abdirahman Ege

I believe that the death penalty should not be abolished worldwide because some people just deserve it.

The death penalty is completely justified if someone commits a crime like murder, however, I believe that if someone does a little crime such as robbery, I believe prison time is reasonable.

The death penalty can ensure that justice is being served.

The death penalty can also be tricky because some people could be completely innocent but still face the death penalty. Since 1973, 186 death row prisoners have been wrongfully convicted which put them on death row in the United States.

According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, Carlos DeLuna was convicted in 1983, and was executed in 1989. A ‘Chicago Tribune’ investigation released evidence in 2006, that Texas may have executed an innocent man. The evidence that the ‘Chicago Tribune’ released pointed towards another man, Carlos Hernandez.

This is why I think there should be increased measures to regulate and restrict the sentencing of the death penalty. The decision should be made on hard concrete evidence and a confession.

The death penalty can also act as a sense of fear into potential criminals. They might not want to do the crime after they know they can receive the death penalty for their actions.

Some people argue that giving the death penalty as a punishment, isn’t a punishment at all, but instead, it is giving them a sense of escape with no time to reflect. Since I’m a person of religion, I believe that they will not escape, but will also pay in the afterlife.