The EPA is updating the social cost of carbon to better fight climate change : The Indicator from Planet Money One of the most important tools the federal government has for cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions is a single number: the social cost of carbon. It represents all the damage from carbon emissions — everything from the cost of lost crops to the cost of climate-related deaths. Currently, the cost is $51 per ton of carbon, but the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed raising it to $190.

Today on The Indicator, we bring you an episode of Short Wave, NPR's daily science podcast. NPR climate correspondent Rebecca Hersher and Short Wave co-host Aaron Scott discuss how this new number is simultaneously more accurate and an ethics nightmare.

The social cost of carbon: a powerful tool and ethics nightmare

The social cost of carbon: a powerful tool and ethics nightmare

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An oil pumpjack pulls oil in Odessa, Texas.
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One of the most important tools the federal government has for cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions is a single number: the social cost of carbon. It represents all the damage from carbon emissions — everything from the cost of lost crops to the cost of climate-related deaths. Currently, the cost is $51 per ton of carbon, but the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed raising it to $190.

Today on The Indicator, we bring you an episode of Short Wave, NPR's daily science podcast. NPR climate correspondent Rebecca Hersher and Short Wave co-host Aaron Scott discuss how this new number is simultaneously more accurate and an ethics nightmare.


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