Canada: $40B in 'social costs' to planes, trains and cars, your life worth $4M, study shows
Certainly shows where social costs, from going to the corner store, to pleasure cruising to that cross country flight to visit relatives.
Canadians will be pleased to know their live is now worth $4 million dollars, compared to scientists of yesteryear who said the chemical makeup of a human being was worth about $1.98.
Thats inflation for ya.
$40B in 'social costs' to planes, trains and cars, And your life is worth about $4M, study shows
By The Canadian Press
A groundbreaking federal study has calculated the “social costs” of operating cars, trucks, planes, trains and boats across Canada at up to $40 billion a year.
The study for the first time attempts to put a national price tag on the unwanted byproducts of transport, that is, accidents, pollution, congestion, noise and greenhouse gases.
The findings, released without fanfare in late August, are the result of a five-year project that drew widely on experts from academia, industry and the provinces.
Using statistics for the year 2000, the task force found that the often-hidden social costs for all modes of transport ranged between $24.4 billion and $39.5 billion — or up to 17 per cent of the total costs of transport that year. Automobile accidents represented the largest single source of social costs.
Researchers determined that a Canadian life was worth about $4 million on average, based on insurance and court settlements, and that fully disabling accidents cost an average of $260,000.
Altogether, road accidents accounted for an estimated $16 billion in social costs in 2000, compared with just $370 million for accidents involving planes, trains and boats combined.
Road congestion and air pollution on the roads cost another $5 billion each, while greenhouse gases emitted by road vehicles cost $3.7 billion, based on a carbon-trading market price of $29 a tonne.
Noise costs, difficult to estimate, were pegged at just $220 million. Congestion was generally measured in terms of productive time lost while drivers were idled by traffic jams.
The air, marine and rail modes accounted for just a fraction of these social costs, the study found. The worst social impact of aircraft was in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, calculated as costing almost half a billion.
The worst impact in the rail and marine sectors was air pollution, each also calculated at about a half billion.