Thursday, August 29, 2013

Agriculture and pollution externalities

Since we'll be talking about hog production externalities on Tuesday, here's a short document from NRDC on livestock pollution.

Here is a cool article from Stanford that summarizes the results of a modeling effort related to the environmental externalities of meat production. I like that they discuss the need for interdisciplinary research and propose pricing policy to reflect the true (social) cost of production. That's Pigouvian taxation.
Here is a link to the research article at the Journal of Environmental Modeling and Assessment

More on the topic here from FAO.
Here at the NYT

Here is a report from the Pew Commission that quantifies the external costs of hog production. The good stuff starts on page 18. (warning: graphics-heavy pdf file)

Health externalities from air pollution

A new study from MIT quantifies the adverse health effects from various forms of air pollution in the US. Not surprisingly, road emissions are the leading cause of premature deaths from air pollution. Electricity generation is a close second. Note the discussion of the incidence of damage and population density.  This will come up in class... the marginal external damage from a unit of pollution depends in large part on where that pollution is emitted.