"A new report from the National Research Council on the 'hidden costs of energy' is, frankly, stunning. In a sane world, it would be headline news.
Producing and using energy imposes all sorts of costs on public health, crop yields, ecosystems, recreation, educational performance ... the list goes on. Many of these costs don’t end up reflected in the market price of energy; consumers don’t see them or factor them into purchasing decisions. They are hidden, paid indirectly through, for example, health-care spending or environmental-remediation costs. Such costs are external to energy markets—externalities, as economists call them—and they represent an enormous subsidy to the dirtiest sources of energy."