The True Cost of Coal
November 27, 2008
Traditionally considered the cheapest fuel around, the market price for coal ignores its most significant impacts. These so-called "external costs" manifests themselves as damages such as respiratory diseases, mining accidents, acid rain, smog pollution, reduced agricultural yields and climate change. The harm caused by mining and burning coal is not reflected in its price per tonne or its costs for a kWh of electricity, but the world at large is nevertheless paying for it. This report seeks to answer the question: just how much are we paying?
All these other costs are term externalities. It's a term to dupe. What's external when we live on one planet?