Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think you are being a bit unfair here. Most of the stuff in your list is difficult or impossible to quantify. It's not enough to say that there probably is some damage due to mercury pollution, you have to give an estimate how serious the problem is. Has that been done?

And even if you can quantify the damage, such as the changing pH level in the sea, can you give any useful estimate for the economic loss? And even if you can, for instance, estimate the damage to the oyster fisheries, the argument is flawed because you ignore the damage that is not economical. A lot of marine species may become extinct, but if we don't eat them they don't count in an economic assessment. That is a limitation (flaw?) of economics, but it seems this report plays by the rules of economics.

OTOH, as you point out, even this limited study shows the economic benefits of moving away from carbon. That really ought to be enough. If it makes economic sense go for it! If it helps the environment too, so much the better.

Real capricorns don't believe in astrology.

by tomhuld (thomas punkt huld at jrc punkt it) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 07:30:29 AM EST
I absolute agree that this is not 'simple' to quantify but, again, if the environmental organizations are not even make a stab at it in laying out the case, how can anyone complain if others (whether government, 'academic' studies, industry mouthpieces) don't account for it either.

Read that paragraph re recommendation:  do the "conservative" case and then have something that puts meat into the explaining why this is highly conservative.

And, finally, it is unclear that this 'stove-piped' scenario makes the case: there are many uncertainties, choices as to "NPV", etc ... not hard to 'spin' this study in a way that makes this a not viable case for "CFO"/"MBA"-type thinking.

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!

by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 09:38:48 AM EST
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