Friday, November 28, 2008

Cost of Coal

I read in the news today that Greenpeace has commissioned the report The True Cost of Coal (subtitled How the people and the planet are paying the price for the world's dirtiest fuel)

The market price of coal reflects only the cost of getting the stuff out of the ground - not the environmental and human costs to society. The report suggests that if the 'external costs' such as respiratory disease, mining accidents, acid rain, smog pollution, reduced agricultural yields and climate change were taken into account that the viability of coal would be vastly different.

While the report empasises the difficulty of estimating all the costs, some of the figures that it could calculate make recent economic bailouts look small.

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