I began a new semester last week, which means it's time both for the first lectures that introduce key concepts and also for new material to illustrate these concepts. One of these concepts is human capital, the skills, knowledge, and social connections people can use to provide for human needs and wants. As I've written twice before, education is an exercise in improving human capital that bears real world fruit, both in terms of reducing risk of unemployment and increasing lifetime earnings. Above is the latest graph showing unemployment by educational level from Calculated Risk. Previous versions have grabbed the students' attention. I hope this one does as well.
Follow over the jump for the video.
I also talk about recycling, both in terms of sustainability and in terms of types of economies, particularly recycling-and-reuse economies and low-throughput economies. I'm considering showing the following videos to my class today as well: Does Recycling Actually Help?
We are told every day that we should be recycling, but why? What happens to plastic bottles when they’re not recycled?Of course, the answer to the question is yes. That's exactly what I want my students to hear.