Estimating the social cost of greenhouse gas pollution

US Federal courts consider this vexing question: how much do greenhouse gas emissions cost society and who should pay this cost?

Jim Krane & Mark Finley, 13/02/2022 in The Conversation
What is the ‘social cost of carbon’? 2 energy experts explain after court ruling blocks Biden’s changes: When an electric company runs a coal- or natural gas-fired power plant, the greenhouse gases it releases cause harm – but the company isn’t paying for the damage. Instead, the costs show up in the billions of tax dollars spent each year to deal with the effects of climate change, such as fighting wildfires and protecting communities from floods, and in rising insurance costs. This damage is what economists call a “negative externality.” It is a cost to society, including to future generations, that is not covered by the price people pay for fossil fuels and other activities that emit greenhouse gases, like agriculture.

VC1 News Editor’s comment: Australians need to think about this in the run-up to our election. The costs to human society from human triggered global warming are already reaching catastrophic levels. If we cannot stop and reverse the warming process, near-term human extinction is likely. The social cost of this would be literally infinite (any costs divided by zero humans left is infinite). In other words, if we wish for our families to survive into the future, we need to spend whatever it takes to stop the warming. This won’t be helped by a present puppet government that continually denies and downplays the reality and often works to block any effective action against the carbon emissions of its puppet masters. Use Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System to replace them with people who will put climate action at the top of their to-do list if elected.

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