Putting the IMF Externalized Cost Report in Perspective

July 23, 2015 by Schalk Cloete

IMF Report and Externalized Costs

The IMF recently released a working paper in which very high external costs of fossil fuels are reported. While it is unquestionable that fossil fuel combustion has large externalized costs, the magnitude of these costs may well be substantially over-estimated in this report.[read more]

IEA: 'The Cost of Fossil Fuels to an Economy Is Not Reduced by Subsidies; It Is Just Redistributed'

November 17, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Fossil Fuels and Actual Costs

Countries around the globe have committed to reducing subsidies for fossil fuels. But that commitment is not being put into practice quickly enough for cleaner energy solutions to gain a competitive edge in some regions, according to the 2014 World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency.[read more]

The Myth of Price

May 22, 2014 by Zane Selvans

Energy External Costs

Our society’s prevailing economic zeitgeist assumes that everything has a price, and that both costs and prices can be objectively calculated, or at least agreed upon by parties involved in the transaction. There are some big problems with this proposition.[read more]

On Energy Subsidies and Externalities

August 28, 2013 by Schalk Cloete

Subsidies and Externalities

Energy subsidization is an area of intense debate simply because it artificially promotes some technologies over others. This article will discuss two kinds of energy subsidies: direct (government support) and indirect (neglected external costs).[read more]

Grossly Incomplete: Redefining GDP for Climate Change

May 20, 2013 by Gernot Wagner

It isn’t about “Green GDP” or “green accounting.” It’s honest accounting. Every ton of coal, every barrel of oil causes more in external damages than it adds value to GDP. Properly measured GDP ought to reflect that fact.[read more]

Carbon Output "Socialism On A Planetary Scale"

July 7, 2011 by Gernot Wagner

One of the more powerful quotes about the importance of taking nature seriously goes back to Oystein Dahle: “Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the market to tell the ecological truth.” It’s made all the more powerful as Mr. Dahle is...[read more]

Does Geology Change at the State Line? Oil and Gas Companies Want Us to Believe it Does.

March 7, 2011 by Rod Adams

I admit it. I have been a very good customer to the oil companies over the years. During the 35 years since obtaining that ticket to freedom called a "drivers license", I have averaged about 20,000 - 30,000 miles per year behind the wheel. (The low years were those in which I spent 6 months of the year under water, not buying much at all...[read more]

Electricity generation, New Source Review, and waste

May 17, 2010 by Lynne Kiesling

On Friday at Environmental Economics, Tim Haab wrote about the implications of New Source Review for innovation in a regulated industry, and how to represent it in the standard Pigouvian model (do go read the whole post, it’s very useful). The basic question is this: does the stifling of innovation that results from New Source Review...[read more]

On Externalities, regulation and technological improvements

May 14, 2010 by Tim Haab

Yesterday, I taught the basics of externalities, Pigouvian taxes and cap'n trade in my principles of micro class.  To motivate it, I talk about sulfur dioxide emissions from coal fired utilities (always a thrill for students).  The graph to the right depicts SO2 emissions in the U.S. from 1980 to 2008.  As you can tell...[read more]

Human consequences of climate change – is private property the solution or part of the problem?

February 12, 2010 by Barry Brook

Guest Post by Dr Paul Babie. Paul is is Associate Dean of Law (Research), Adelaide Law School. He holds a BA in sociology and politics from the University of Calgary, a BThSt from Flinders University, a LLB from the University of Alberta, a LLM from the University of Melbourne, and a DPhil in law from the University of Oxford. He...[read more]

If this is Orwellian, then call me George

November 13, 2009 by Tim Haab

From the UK Telegraph: Lord Smith of Finsbury believes that implementing individual carbon allowances for every person will be the most effective way of meeting the targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It would involve people being issued with a unique number which they would hand over when purchasing products that...[read more]

Three Gets: Overcoming the Key Barriers to Building a Sustainable Economy

October 27, 2009 by Gil Friend

Sustainable business strategies often hit a surprising roadblock -- the limiting (and false) assumption "green" will cost money, require sacrifice, and delay profits. The problem isn't that companies can't afford to operate sustainably. The problem is that too many businesses just can't count -- operating with accounting systems that...[read more]

"A Trove of Externalities"

October 20, 2009 by Tim Haab

From the inbox: I'm just skimming through the morning research feeds, and saw something that might interest you if you didn't see it already. The National Research Council just completed its report on externalities of energy production and use: The web version is free, but for some reason they charge a hefty fee to download the PDF From...[read more]

Assessment of External Costs And Emissions of Various Power Sources

August 25, 2009 by Rod Adams

One of the studies that I find a need to quote from on a regular basis is the ExternE study of life cycle costs and emissions that shows just how much (or how little) external costs can be attributed to the production of a kilowatt-hour of electricity from a whole range of fuel supplies and power systems including lignite, coal, natural...[read more]

Misconceptions About Water Pricing

March 14, 2009 by Robert Stavins

Throughout the United States, water management has been approached primarily as an engineering problem, rather than an economic one. Water supply managers are reluctant to use price increases as water conservation tools, instead relying on non-price demand management techniques, such as requirements for the adoption of specific...[read more]