Mr. Green is busy on his world-wide publicity tour for his new book. In the meantime, here's a Mr. Green classic column from May 2007.
Hey Mr. Green,
Your response to Ruth about turning off the lights when leaving a room left out a critical part of any rigorous economic analysis. The costs should also include the emissions created by generating the energy. I realize the term cost-benefit analysis is used loosely, but as an environmental economist, I cringe to think that the Sierra Club, of all organizations, is willing to accede to anyone that the cost of energy is only dollars out of your own pocket. --Kirsten in Pacific Grove, California
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I rarely have enough space in Sierra to address all the relevant issues, but I wish I had mentioned these hidden, or "externalized," costs. When we keep our lights burning--or engage in any other use of fossil fuels--we all pay hidden costs for repairing the environmental damage caused by coal-fired power plants and for providing medical care for those whose health has been harmed by these plants' emissions.