Wednesday, August 7, 2013

White House Ups the Ante on Cost of Carbon Pollution to the Public

A useful description of the Obama administrations changed "social cost of carbon" estimates -is contained in a Inside Climate News article, along with some needless Keystone bashing ...

At issue is what economists call "the social cost of carbon," a measurement of the price society ultimately pays for the damages caused by each additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted...
A central estimate in the range of possibilities presented in the administration's new calculations is that each additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted in the year 2020 will cost society $43—a number that rises in subsequent years, as the mounting pollution exacerbates the problem of global warming. That estimate is about 66 percent higher than the $26 per ton cost calculated back in 2010, when the administration issued its first set of estimates."
The new price tag attempts to measure today, in dollars, the harm that will happen years, decades or even centuries in the future, as the globe heats, the seas rise, and the bill for each additional year of pollution comes due.
The estimates, completed in May, were calculated by a specialized inter-agency task force and are based on the latest, peer-reviewed scientific research. The task force relied on a set of three models developed over the years by scientists and economists trying to better understand the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions.

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