New global standard counts the cost of environmental damage

Chalmers University of Technology

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Coal mining, air transport, fossil power plant operation and agricultural pesticide use are examples of activities where the new ISO-standard can help to valuate resulting environmental damage in monetary terms. Credit: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology

Environmental damage costs society enormous amounts of money – and often leaves future generations to foot the bill. Now, a new ISO standard will help companies valuate and manage the impact of their environmental damage, by providing a clear figure for the cost of their goods and services to the environment.

We know what goods and services cost us, but what does the environment pay? For many years now, this question has been the focus of several global companies and researchers at the Swedish Life Cycle Center, a competence centre hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. For as long as 30 years, they have been using the so-called ‘EPS tool ‘ to place a monetary value on environmental damage.

Over the past three years, Bengt Steen, Professor Emeritus at Chalmers, has led the development of a new ISO standard for monetary valuation. The work has been in collaboration with AB Volvo, Essity, Nouryon (formerly Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals) and the IVL Swedish Environmental Institute. The initiative was taken by Swedish Life Cycle Center.

“One reason why sustainable development does not move fast enough is that it is not linked to the economy,” says Bengt Steen. “Experts speak one language, and business leaders another. The negative environmental effects often remain just figures on paper. But by translating environmental issues into a monetary value, it becomes much easier to present the whole picture to an organisation and influence their strategic decisions.”

Unlike many other tools, EPS weighs different types of environmental impacts, not just the effect on climate. For example, a given course of action may be beneficial for the climate but damaging for biodiversity or public health. With this approach, an overall picture is reached of what impact a product or service has on the environment, throughout its entire life cycle. A large variety of aspects are covered. Until now, this has been complex work, requiring a lot of manual input and expert knowledge.

“With this standard, we can remove several of the obstacles to increased usage of monetary valuation. In a few years, when users can routinely assess the total environmental damage cost for a given investment, supplier, product design and so on, environmental issues can occupy a more central place in the boardroom. Costs to the environment can be presented side by side with profits for the company,” says Bengt Steen.

Emma Ringström, Sustainability Manager at Nouryon, says that monetary valuation has given the company much valuable insight.

“We have made monetary valuation of a number of our value chains and included the results of this in our annual report. The analyses include financial, social, human and environmental capital, where environmental capital is partly calculated with life cycle assessment and with EPS as a valuation method. The tool has also been used to see which activities in the value chain have a large total environmental damage cost compared to profit, and therefore need to be prioritised to become more sustainable.”

Although tools such as EPS have existed for 30 years, and many companies like Nouryon use them to calculate their costs to the environment, Bengt Steen believes their development moves too slowly. There is no standardised framework, and few databases exist that enable their use in a uniform manner.

Therefore, in 2015, the idea of a new ISO standard was born within Swedish Life Cycle Center. Together with SIS – the Swedish Standards Institute – a proposal was written that now after just over three years of work, together with many internationally recognised experts, is launched.

“Few things yield such an impact as these type of heavyweight, international standards,” explains Bengt Steen. “When companies in the future can see where there are clear environmental benefits, investments are stimulated for a sustainable business.”

The ISO standard contains a guide for how monetary valuation should be made, defines terms and sets requirements for documentation. By extension, the standard is expected to lead to increased collaboration between experts of various kinds, as well as helping to create credible databases and software.


How to calculate a monetary valuation of environmental impacts:

With monetary valuation of environmental impacts, many different aspects are taken into consideration. These can include energy consumption, climate impact, material use and emissions into water, air and soil. During a product’s lifetime, the amount of emissions generated, and amount of resources expended can also be measured. These lead to many demonstrable environmental effects, such as reduced crop yields, lower fish stocks and shortened human life spans, due to floods and heat waves.

Finally, using generally accepted sources, such as the OECD’s estimate of people’s productivity value, and market prices for cereals, fish and meat, the cost of the impact can be ascertained. The end result is a concrete figure, calculated in Euros.

In some cases, the figure represents a real incurred cost for the company, in the form of taxation or fees. In other cases, the figure signals possible future economic liabilities, or is simply a sign that the product results in environmental damage that the company wants to avoid.


A simple example of environmental impact valuation:

Imagine a wooden chair, which is worn out and needs to be disposed of. The chair weighs 12 kg. There are two options:

  1. Throw the chair into a nearby rubbish bin, after which it ends up in landfill.
  2. Drive the chair to a heating plant 10 km away, where it will be burned, and used for local heating instead of fossil fuels.

In the first case, the cost of transport and the landfill is low – 0.40 Euros, and the emissions from the transport are largely negligible. But, the degradation of the wood in the landfill takes place under oxygen-poor conditions, resulting in 4 kg of methane being formed. This leaks into the atmosphere and contributes to the greenhouse effect. The environmental cost of methane emissions has been calculated at EUR 3.80/kg using the EPS methodology. In total, therefore, there is a conventional cost of 0.40 Euros, and an environmental damage cost of 4 X 3.80 = 15.20 Euros.

In the second case, the transport costs 5 Euros. The transport gives an emission of 3.8 kg carbon dioxide, but the thermal energy derived from the chair means that 6 kg of coal does not have to be burned for the heating plant to produce the heat needed. This results in a saving of about 20 kg of carbon dioxide emissions, and 6 kg of the finite natural resource, coal. With EPS, the environmental damage cost for carbon dioxide has been calculated at EUR 0.135/kg and the natural resource value of coal at EUR 0.161/kg. Therefore, this method of disposal results in a total conventional cost of 5 Euro, but a saving of environmental damage costs, an actual environmental gain, of 0.135 X (20 – 3.80) + 0.161 X 6 = 3.153 Euros.

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Link to the standard: https://www.iso.org/standard/43243.html

Link to the EPS tool: https://www.lifecyclecenter.se/projects/environmental-priority-strategies-in-product-design-eps/


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127 thoughts on “New global standard counts the cost of environmental damage

      • I think it covers that by saying how much CO2 is saved from not burning the coal. But this is just an exercise in dreaming up a way to try to make the expense of recycling seem worth it by imagining that the methane produced by rotting in landfill has any relevance. You could shaft them by saying that the methane from the landfill is collected and used.

        • They also neglect the added biomass of the life forms consuming the decomposing chair as well as any products generated by their demise.
          I suspect that, if they did a full an proper accounting, the entire process would be the same as integrating around a closed loop, with entropy taking its bite.

        • Also, I don’t know about EU practices, but in the States we cap our landfills and extract the methane for fuels use at most newer landfills.

      • Also, where is the benefit to capturing the methane in a decomposition pile, like many in Florida, and powering government vehicles? This whole deal is simple-minded nonsense. Keep your kids out of Universities in Sweden?

    • Shrnfr

      There is nothing in principle that prevents the creation of “Part 2” which calculates the benefits of any activity or product. For example it is easily shown that the value of a heart defibrillator is far higher than the “environmental cost” of creating it, as far as humans are concerned.

      The benefit of farming is obvious. Farming badly and toxically is easily shown to be net harmful, and ultimately unsustainable. How can a patently unsustainable set of practises be promoted as a way to farm? That doesn’t need explanation or analysis. We also don’t need an ISO standard to understand it.

      Landfills will one day be mined as treasure sources. Nothing wrong with that. We have to solve the energy problem with new inventions that work well. I am sure we will. We are clever. We are also future oriented.

      Those who wish us to return to an Amish lifestyle should remember that the Amish are permitted to use cellphones because they don’t have wires. I have. No idea how they charge them, but they do.

      • There is nothing in principle…

        There’s nothing about principle in the whole thing, it’s all about politics and political agendas.

        We also don’t need an ISO standard to understand it.

        you can stop that sentence after the word standard, at least as far as this “social cost” political BS is concerned.

        Those who wish us to return to an Amish lifestyle should remember that the Amish are permitted to use cellphones because they don’t have wires

        Wrong. The Amish never banned the use of phones, what they banned was the existence of phones in their homes. They could and did use “wired” phones outside the home for business purposes and emergencies. They would use “phone shanties” (communal booths located at the end of a lane or by the rural road that have a phone, phone book, pen and paper, and call log). Other Amish may have a phone in a barn or located outside a business, or even inside a shop or office. Amish typically have allowed higher degrees of technology in the workplace than they have in the home.

        As for cellphones, not all Amish are in agreement on them. Some Amish feel, they’re dangerous in that they are easily concealed and always with you. Others see advantages with it over a stationary line, noting that the owner can always control who uses it and when. The cell phone remains a controversial but increasingly accepted means of communication in *some* Amish communities.

        The idea that Amish shun and refuse to use all technology is a myth. Some technology they see as a necessary evil and they regulate the circumstance under which it is allowed to be used.

        • Thank you John. That very helpful.

          I live in “Mennonite country” with only a few Amish. I was informed by a social anthropologist about the discussions which took place in the two communities about cell phones. As you point out “some” is the usual answer because there are lots of opinions.

          The wired phone (landline) at the end of the driveway is common enough here – Old Order Mennonite homes. The issue for them, I was told, is the intrusion into the home, the living space, as the governing principle. In the case of the Amish it was wires in the home. Here there are (in some cases) wires to the barn and not the house. One guy I buy from has a CNC laser cutting machine and welding shop, but electricity in the house. This arrangement is not unusual.

          I appreciate your mention of the “social cost of carbon”. This SCC has an interesting (and of course thoroughly laughable) history. It is rooted in an EPA document which was put “out there” without any announcement. Later it was referred to as if it was an authority and had been calculated properly, and that second document was later used by many as an authoritative $ value. At the time, they calculated that it should be $43 or so per ton of CO2 emitted.

          Obviously there is no realistic accounting method in which damage is not offset by benefit, in the same way as expense on a fuel efficiency feature of a car is offset by the benefits in terms of fuel savings.

          Any value placed on a general social cost of carbon must inevitably be estimated by guessing at the value of dozens or hundreds of variables for which there is no evidence. My impression is that they were taking the cost needed to “make certain energy generation systems” attractive from a total cost point of view. Because otherwise they are obviously, hopelessly unviable from an economic point of view – for example wind turbines in Ontario.

          Very little is heard about the SCC these days. It will no doubt be raised at some future time, but by then it may be difficult to claim harm without considering the benefit. The social benefit of heating a rural classroom with a woodstove can more than offset the “harm” caused by CO2 and methane emissions from cutting and burning wood in an unsustained (as opposed to unsustainable) fashion. Context is everything. Should ambulances and fire truck drive slower?

          If the new ISO Standard can be used to codify how recycling should be analyse so there is full accountability, a new understanding may arise that, for example, favours really nice materials that are 100% recyclable. Glass and ceramics are good candidates. There are some remarkable geopolymers these days which have greatly extend the working life of products.

          I support all that. ISO standards are just codified ways of doing things. Don’t be too impressed.

          • While ease of material recovery from recycled stock may be a good metric a full accounting of the lifecycle usage of products made from easily recycled material. Ease of recycling may favor ceramic products (bottles, etc.) yet their fragility requires extra efforts during transportation and as such do not perform as high-density polymers.
            Recollection and reuse of beverage bottles disappeared quickly after it was determined how to make thin walled glass bottles and save significant transportation, cleansing and rebottling) costs.
            Interestingly I worked a summer at the Coca-Cola Bottling plant near Chicago. As a teenager I got the night shift which meant cleaning up all the broken glass generated during cleaning/rebottling cycle. The 5 man crew I was on cleared out over a ton of glass nightly. It was all weighed and recycled.

          • LOL, I was thinking it might be Weird Al’s video before I even clicked the link. Well done Michael. I remember one time when Al was VJing and he said something along the lines of “to any amish that might be offended by watching this… what are you doing watching TV?”

        • Different Amish communities have different rules. One local community won’t put reflective anything on their buggies. They only have a kerosene lamp with red glass that you can’t see at night until you’re right on top of them. Forty miles away is another Amish community that put one of those big reflective triangles on the back with a battery powered red lantern light on the side.

        • Many in the Amish community here in North East Indiana have an attitude more akin to ‘preppers’ then anything else.

          Don’t rely on technology, keep it at arms length so you wont get left holding the bag when it eventually fails. Don’t sign contracts with companies or governments, they aren’t people and know neither honor nor mercy. Be ready to support yourself and your family if ‘civilization’ fails tomorrow.

          Honestly, the only real difference between preppers and Amish around here is whether they have a gun locker.

          ~¿~

  1. It looks very much like another Social Cost of Carbon game, with arbitrary figures for costs extracted metaphorically from the writer’s nether regions.

    • It is the social cost shell game or invent a crazy number, all we need next is death attribution and you have the full stupid.

    • Show me the Measurement & Verification Plan for that! If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. This is just more social-cost-of-carbon bovine scatology, where those that conceived it knew what answer they were supposed to produce before they ever began the program, their only duty was to create the smoke and mirrors to try to possibly hide the blatant subterfuge! How much you wanna bet, feeding even random numbers into it will produce Fossil Fuel = negative ROI, Wind = >2.0 ROI, Solar = >4.0 ROI?!?!

  2. The catholic church got to this point, discussing how many angels can sit on the head of a pin.

    It is self deluded foolery.

    • In fact, it did not. It was an attempt by Protestant theologians to ridicule the Catholic Church, by claiming this was the substance of Catholic theological scholarship .

    • … STAND on the POINT of a pin …

      When people arguing about something that doesn’t have and answer it is best to keep the terminology as precise as possible.

      Kinda like global warming/climate change/climate chaos/climate extortion

      • I heard it was “…dance on the head of a pin…”? It’s another game of telephone!

  3. There is a LARGE difference between the terms, “environmental impact” and “environmental damage”. Not all impact is damage. And WHO is the authority that defines what qualifies as damage? And are there different levels (seriousness) of damage? Can you get a degree in “environmental damage” defining? Is there even a course in that? And what is the length of time that the “damage” exists? Is all damage one-and-done? Does some damage decline over time? Can a “damage” become a “positive impact” as the environment naturally adjusts? Wonder if a large “damage” could increase or stop climate change? (<Just had to throw that in…)

    • To extreme environmentalists, impact is by definition damage.
      Any change, if it is caused by man is bad. Period.

    • What of the “vitamin”impacts, where up to a certain point it’s beneficial, but if you exceed that level it becomes detrimental, even dangerous? For which one would have to know the background level of the impactor (impactant?)? There didn’t seem to be a place to enter the already existing level. More Bovine Scatology.

  4. Looks like a great tool. Let’s use it to assess the environmental costs of all the equipment and processes necessary for wind and solar generation of power.

    • I’d simplify that down to the environmental cost of one wind turbine and that of one solar panel. I would bet both would be rather surprising :<)

  5. Their example is ridiculous. The decomposition of that chair in the landfill is so slow as to be virtually non-existent. Combustion of the chair to CO2 is virtually immediate, however, and that combustion is less efficient than an optimized fossil fuel system for the same amount of recoverable heat. ISO wrong.

    Few might object to recovering power from municipal wastes,but their assumptions are incorrect and their calculations produce faulty answers. In any case, many landfills recover gas and extract value from it, making their assumptions even more wrong.

    • Righto. If a stick in a landfill is expensive, how much does it cost to prohibit logging in order to promote natural dead forest decomposition? GIGO especially applies to committees. –AGF

    • Yes, completely ridiculous. Their analysis ignores the time value of money, equating a hard money expenditure today to a future cost of theoretical “environmental damage”.
      They also miss the third option: put the chair in the attic and wait for it to become a valuable antique. Then sell it.

      • Yes, the most egregious example of that is the unused coal. That won’t now be used until all the other coal is used, so that is decades or more away. The value is therefore zero.

    • The whole thing is ridiculous. We are talking about people who thinks the Earth is alive and trees are simply CO2 storage units.

  6. Yeah, it’s rubbish. Would they have said the same thing a couple of centuries ago in Great Britain, the birthplace of the industrial revolution?
    Well, with the benefit of hindsight, they would have been wrong. It brought wealth and all sorts of other development, which is why so many other countries followed the same model.

    The industrial scars are largely self healing and often become leisure facilities: People build houses and go rock climbing in old quarries, or fill old gravel pits with water to make lakes for birds, boaters and fishermen. Old railway lines are turned into wildlife corridors and cycle paths. The original iron bridge is a tourist destination.

    These people don’t know what they are talking about.

  7. ISO is an organization famous for raking in money by creating “standards” based largely on GIGO thinking. Governmental organizations and bureaucrats get their cut, directly or indirectly, by monitoring companies for ISO compliance.

    Someone should do a cost-benefit analysis on the output of ISO . . . I’m betting the net will be negative.

    • I will push back and point out that standards provide a common set of definitions and agreements, especially among producers, for example for setting specifications. While they indeed add to overhead and might be off-base, they lead to better product consistency and quality, and the consumer ultimately benefits from them.

      These standards extend the concept of agreed upon weights and measures, e.g. SI units, which I think we can all agree are better than having none.

      • ANSI standards allow computers to talk to each other. Nobody is required to follow ANSI. IBM didn’t for years, they had their own standard EBCDIC. I recently worked on a system that communicated with an old mainframe. I had to write utilities to convert from EBCDIC to ANSI and back again.

        Without standards, you would have to write such converters for every system you communicated with.

        • ANSI (formed in 1918) is not—and did not—lead to ISO (formed in 1947).

          Even with “standards,” converters are often required to accommodate new and evolving programming languages (aka, interpreters), as well as advancements across the wide range of science and engineering disciplines.

          Case in point, converting BTUs produced by burning a ton of coal to degrees C per year climate sensitivity.

          • ANSI (formed in 1918) is not—and did not—lead to ISO (formed in 1947).

            Gordon, I don’t think Mark was trying to imply that it did. He was giving a specific example of how standards can be useful (the ability to communicate without writing a converter between differing systems).

        • EBCDIC was a lockout spec. It was specifically designed to prevent interoperability. Once a customer bought IBM once, lack of compatibility forced customers to buy IBM all the time, and for everything.Going forward, there were several versions of EBCDIC, all subtly different put out there. Documentation between the versions was slim to non-existent. All this, of course, was to break conversion utilities like yours, and enforce the lockout.
          I really thought you would have known all this.
          On the other hand:
          Industry groups are formed to provide useful metrics which are applied across an industry. This is done by the companies which see it as in their best interest.
          Two groups which come to mind are ASTM and SAE, government not required.
          This is a far cry from that quasi-governmental agency ISO, which seems to make a living generating standards nobody asked for and then getting those standards into law and made mandatory. Also, over the years, there has been more than a whiff of that stench you get when ISO standards are enforced across Europe which have the effect of locking out that Great Satan, The US. (IBM, call your office.)

          • “Also, over the years, there has been more than a whiff of that stench you get when ISO standards are enforced across Europe which have the effect of locking out that Great Satan, The US.”

            There’s the rub right there – this is nothing but the latest attempt to export their STUPID, frakking “climate change” regulatory scheme outside the EU, by denying access to their “markets” if you are deemed “non-compliant.”

            If that’s what they try to do with this baseless “standard,” I say just stop trading with them, and wait it out. The whole stinking edifice will come crumbling down pretty quickly as they continue their economic suicide in the name of “tackling” the nonexistent “climate” boogyman.

      • The international standards for weights and measures were NOT established by ISO.

        And despite SI units being “agreed upon” by the world at large, they are not a standard used in the United States. Just look at any posted highway speed limit sign, or the units of weight used to sell produce at any grocery store, in the US.

        • I may have a faulty memory, but I could have sworn that the speed limit signs in Britain were in MPH when I was there. SI is not universal.

          • You are correct. Because our weak minded politicians (excuse the tautology) caved in to what was then the Common Market, but has since metastasized into the EU, we now have a mish mash of units. We travel at a rate of miles per hour, but measure fuel economy (probably soon to be relabelled “carbon wastage” by some eco-idiot) in kilometers per litre. We drink our beer in pints, but purchase our milk in litres. When (if) we diet we lose weight in pounds, but when we buy our vegetables they are priced per kilo. Don’t ask me why they are spelt kilometer and litre, please, we seem to have adopted both forms of spelling as well.

        • My point was that standards are needed for commerce and as such are like units, just more complicated. To your point about SI units, they are preferred and deferred to even by ASTM, which by the way adopts many ISO standards.

          Of course we use English units for legacy reasons, especially within engineering, but not so much within science. There is a co-mingling of unit usage for sure. Some might even argue that the Fahrenheit temperature scale being more precise is in some ways superior from a sensory perspective.

          But your statement that SI is not a standard used in the U.S. not quite correct. Again, within science, even in the U.S., SI units are used and are regarded as standard.

          I will admit that I’m drinking a cup of coffee right now in fact, but I’m drafting a report about purification of kg amounts of a pharmaceutical.

          • “Again, within science, even in the U.S., SI units are used and are regarded as standard.”

            Uhhh . . . light years and parsecs and electron volts (and MeV and GeV) and watts . . . just a few examples . . . are commonly used in science and engineering today but are definitely not “standard” SI units.

          • Management System standards – ISO 9001, ISO 14000, and an increasing gaggle – are about ‘how’ something is done.
            That might be building houses or ships, sweeping streets, supplying glass or rope/cordage, baking cup-cakes, or managing a standards institute.
            Originally, the’ Quality’ standard – BS 5750, which evolved from military requirements, and became ISO 9001 about 1994 – covered what an organisation did to make something – a car engine or a cup-cake.
            So [IIRC] –
            How do you know you have a contract, and what’s in it;
            How you design the object to be made;
            How you source the materials for the object;
            What you do with the materials;
            How you measure what you do with the materials;
            How you inspect what you produce;
            How you look after and deliver the object;
            What training your staff need;
            How all this is recorded;
            What you do if something goes wrong;
            And how you review and audit your own system.
            This, originally, allowed manufacturers to improve their systems quite easily.

            More recently, the requirements have become more abstract, which makes a Consultant much more needful.
            Oddly.
            Many Certification bodies are linked to Consulting bodies, sometimes using the same people to consult and assess customers [although never the same woman doing both with one customer]. [Note and applaud the ‘PC’ nod! And add /Sarc after the previous paragraph!]

            This has, reasonably, been applied to services, too.

            There is now a substantial body of people and organisations dedicated to certification to ‘International Standards’.
            Originally a ‘Good Idea’, things like are ISO 9001 are now often treated as a shibboleth – “You MUST hold and maintain certification to ISO 9001 and ISO14000; failure to do so will render this contract void” [a paraphrase, but close to the truth; and regardless of the standard of product or service actually delivered].

            Been there, done that, as Consultant, Assessor, and Customer – and survived.

            Auto

          • SI is an available standard in the US. Some specific regulations my require one or the other, but most require both. In much of engineering and science both are used concurrently, as needed or desired. The change is usually pretty simple unit>unit calculations and often dozens of dual call outs in a specification or drawing.

      • Indeed. Such a shame they’ve exited their wheelhouse of technical fields and went full libtard with their “standards” for “carbon”

      • Chad, there are currently more than 21,000 ISO “standards.”

        Please don’t confuse ISO with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), formerly known as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), which does do great and significantly important work.

        Next question.

        • You didn’t answer his question and I suspect that you don’t know that NIST participates in ISO standard generation, as well as helps guide many activities within ANSI, ASTM and other standard granting organizations.

          Certainly things can get out of hand, but in a free enterprise system, ISO, ANSI, ASTM and others prove their value by the fact that they are adopted voluntarily by industry and government, without coercion.

          • R Shearer, sorry, I though my response to Chad’s question would be obvious.

            When ISO creates over 21,000 “standards”, what is the average applicability—let alone “value”— of any such standard? For instance, when I look at many consumer products, from cars to airplane tickets to food products to gasoline to automobile purchases to purchasing a house to buying/selling stocks, etc., I find essentially zero information that this (name product or service) conforms to ISO Standard XXXX.

            So, again I ask the question, what is the average benefit from creating an ISO “standard” compared to the cost of any industry actually using such a standard for its benefit?

            And there is a most obvious reason that IOS, IEC, ITU, ANSI, ASTM, ASME, SAE, NIST, IEEE, W3C, ICAO, ARINC and other standards-generating organizations have not agreed to be absorbed into the ISO organization.

            Finally, the fact that ISO may be adopting and attaching their own number to a standard created by an outside national standards body (NSB), such as NIST, adds little, if any, value to the world.

          • Gordon, the consumer doesn’t see the hundreds of standards on gasoline or diesel fuels at the pump either but those fuels are produced to meet those standards and it’s a good thing they do.

            Sometimes they don’t meet standards and there are problems. If you’d like to learn more about ASTM, here is a link. https://www.astm.org/

    • I think it would largely depend upon which ISO standard you’re talking about. I have a speed-read acquaintance with some of the 9xxx standards and now with 50001, and they all seem like merely prescribing methods of record-keeping. I guess to make audits easier, or something. But so far all have dealt with things I can measure. When the standard starts to impose their definition, or standard, of a set number of unicorn farts times the opacity of the rainbow to determine the size of the pot of gold, and putting it out there as carrying the same weight as any other ISO standard rather than the fantasy that this one appears to be (really, was this article found in The Onion?) is when I bristle. More Bovine Scatology!!!

  8. Lordy. 3.80 euro per kg of escaped methane. I love the talk about this not being exclusively about global warming, but when pressed to provide an example, well, we head back to the global warming well again.

  9. In the example of the chair they seem to be making the assumption that burning the chair releases zero co2, as far as I can see burning a 12kg chair, assuming a carbon content for wood between 400 to 500gms/kg gives between 17.5 to 22kg of co2 ( assuming total combustion).

    • I think their example is nonsense. You don’t “save” CO2 emissions by not burning coal and burning the wood instead (assuming the same CO2 for equivalent energy generated) . You just swap one fuel for another. There is no saving whatsoever, but there is an increase in CO2 because of the transport. The saving on not using the coal is fictitious too. That becomes the last bit of coal you ever burn and that is so far in the future it has no value.

      Thus the cost in the second example is €2.70 – the cost of the transport.

      • Oh dear, you did not get the memo, did you. The whole point is that burning wood is sustainable, but burning coal is not. I know this because the EU has told me. This is why we process millions of North American trees, transport the resulting pellets three and a half thousand miles to Yorkshire and burn them in the Drax power Station. Sustainable, see? What’s more, the carbon dioxide resulting from burning coal is NOT taken up by plants which can recognise it as it approaches and immediately close their stomata. Please get with the agenda.

  10. In a similar way, many world universities have been gauging their environmental stewardship (I refuse to use the term “sustainability”, except in a derogatory way) performance via the STARS rating system. It’s assumptions and inputs are totally biased and subjective, all angling universities toward doing more and more stupid things to earn greenie points. Campus “sustainability” managers have totally drunk the watermelon juice and are helping destroy the academy. Just get added to the green school Listserve moderated by Brown University and lurk for awhile. Often good for a laugh, except that these ecoloons are serious.

    • Pflash,
      There are similar ‘standards’ in shipping.
      ‘Green Something-vaguely-Boaty’ – doubtless laudable, we are told.
      There may be small efficiency gains – but all good ship managers try to operate their ships [after complying with charterers’ requirements for routing, and speed or ETA, of course] – as efficiently as possible.
      Burning extra bunkers costs money.
      And that goes straight to the bottom line!
      So of course ship managers try to be efficient!

      ££0¥D’$ Register was well aware of this.

      Auto

  11. What if Buckaroo Banzai hid that 12 kg chair in the eighth dimension? I bet that would save some money and reduce costs. That’s about as serious as I can get on this subject.

    Jim

  12. “Experts speak one language, and business leaders another.”

    Business leaders are not, or cannot be, by definition, “experts”? Huh.

    I encourage everyone reading this article not to over-react to the “climate in peril” angle on the analysis and support wholeheartedly the intent of this ISO standard.

    First I will say that the “value of harm from GHG’s” is subject to revaluation to some reasonable number. So don’t go overboard about the one picked for the moment.

    The inherent value of the Standard is that it makes a great deal of sense to consider the circumstances of the world we live in. There are so many good ideas embedded in the responsible use of resources, it is refreshing to see something practical being done about it. The whole point of recycling (which will be far more comprehensive in the far future) is to admit up front that we are now capable of considering the planet our home and it is increasingly within our power to manage it sensibly.

    Just because the climate control fad has taken centre stage doesn’t mean the rest of the admirable efforts to “do better” such as the movements in the 60’s and 70’s that actually led to the far better cities and farms we currently enjoy, were misplaced.

    There are so many good and sensible thoughts in this Standard that in future we can anticipate revisions that will delete nonsensical bits and strengthen the wise ones.

    It is inexcusable that a whale has 80 pounds of plastic in its gut. It is inexcusable that Fukushima’s cores melted through the floors of their containment vessels. Neither represent good stewardship. We can do far better as we already have in many fields of endeavour. The continued drive to end poverty and starvation and illiteracy and oppression has been a pretty successful exercise over the past 150 years. It should continue.

    How? By learning what leads to wealth and what to poverty, in every sense of those words. There are the grossly rich with undue influence, and there are billions of people in want and need. If we can’t come up with viable plans to create a world with more justice, we will be pushed aside by those who will make alternative arrangements. Ignore this challenge at your peril. And mine.

    Life cycle analysis is a standard part of Engineering and we should support the extension of it to include the entire system that supports us. Nothing wrong with having more knowledge than less.

    As a representative of a major financial institution on an ISO technical committee and working groups, I know from personal experience the development of a Standard is fraught to manipulation and agendas, but things can work and Standards evolve (they are not fixed for life). Stand up and support this one and demand that the analysis be scientific, fair and that new information be incorporated as it arises. Then go forth to create that information and perform those analyses. Every litter bit hurts and every little bit of help, helps.

    • “create a world with more justice”. You are leaving out the most important item in the equation and that is not all persons are equal. They are individuals and as such have different abilities, motivations and needs. What you are describing sounds like socialism. And we know from past experience that socialism does not work. Never has, never will.

        • Who said that in a Just World everyone would be equal?

          They should be equal before the law, that’s for sure. Why not have equality of opportunity? That doesn’t imply there will be equality of outcomes. Equality of opportunity is a guarantee that there will not be equality of outcomes, because every cup is of difference capacity and each may or may not be full.

          The concept expressed in Animal Farm was that some animals were inherently superior to others. That is not equality of opportunity (as the pigs implemented it). This is not a difficult concept to parse. Sending people to prison for longer because of a darker hued skin is not equality. Has everyone seen “The 13th” on Netflix? I recommend it. There are problems far more serious that “global warming” to address. Climate change is not going to create nearly the fuss that “clevah” institutionalised racism already does.

          We do not know that socialism “doesn’t work”. We know that communism doesn’t, for sure! That has been amply proven. We know that rampant 1800’s style capitalism with “trusts” and monopolies and gross exploitation of workers (consider the world’s garment workers!) doesn’t work in the sense that it cannot create peaceful coexistence or anything approaching justice. We know that absent the Trudeaus, Canada works pretty well on many fronts, and not so well on others (First Nations issues are huge and ignored).

          Back to the issue of the difference between equal access and equal outcomes: Jordan Peterson explains this very clearly as a key matter for our times. The demand by the extreme Left and SJW’s is a demand for equality of outcomes: for example Hollywood where there are racial quotas on the composition of film crews. That can only be implemented by having a race-test and authoritative stamp of “what a person’s race is”. South Africa tried, that. How did that turn out? Changing corrupt bureaucracies didn’t work ether. Maybe they need to try something new. At least they talk about it all the time.

          Separate identities in South Africa led to having 26 categories of “Coloured”. How many do Hollywood unions have? Peterson points out very well, you can create identity politics but you cannot not stop it from disintegrating the society into ever-smaller “identities demanding equality of outcome (which is the purpose of doing it in the first place).

          There is only one race: the human race. Accept it and we will all be better off.

    • “It is inexcusable that a whale has 80 pounds of plastic in its gut.”

      Why?

      ” It is inexcusable that Fukushima’s cores melted through the floors of their containment vessels. ”

      Even if this had happened, why would it be inexcusable?

      “There are the grossly rich with undue influence,”

      How do you define “grossly rich”? And why should anyone care?
      Beyond that, how do you know they have “undue influence”? And how do you define what influence is “due” and what is “undue”?

      “a world with more justice”

      Why do I suspect that your definition of “more justice” involves taking money from people who have been more successful than you, and giving it to you?

      “we will be pushed aside by those who will make alternative arrangements”

      Ah yes, the standard left wing fall back. Give me your money now, or I’m going to get violent.

      • >>
        ” It is inexcusable that Fukushima’s cores melted through the floors of their containment vessels. ”
        <<

        I missed that bit of nonsense. I give you credit for reading more closely than I did. Neither Three Mile Island nor Fukushima lost containment.

        Jim

          • Alright, know-it-alls: If you are going to comment, keep up.

            At least one core at Fukushima melted and has fallen through the upper containment floor and probably through the lower one. It is assumed that two others melted because if the heat and level of radiation leakage. One is still contained by the upper floor and the other is not known for sure.

            MarkW needs more answers:

            >>“It is inexcusable that a whale has 80 pounds of plastic in its gut.”
            >Why?

            Because that crap should not be in the ocean in the first place. Why are we throwing away resources? It is a matter of system efficiency. Even a dog knows not to crap in its own water supply. People? Not so much apparently.

            >>” It is inexcusable that Fukushima’s cores melted through the floors of their containment vessels. ”
            >Even if this had happened, why would it be inexcusable?

            It happened. It was avoidable from two perspectives: the design was intended to create input material to make weapons plutonium, not to be inherently safe. That was a deliberate choice of the industry, as was the very expensive fuel preparation cycle. It was the most expensive possible option which is good for business as far as the contractors were concerned. There were two better technologies available at the time. They still are and new reactors are still being built that are not inherently safe.

            >>“There are the grossly rich with undue influence,”
            >How do you define “grossly rich”? And why should anyone care?

            When the top 1% own 40% of the assets and 50% of the economy, they are grossly rich.
            https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/27/the-top-1-percent-of-americans-now-control-38-percent-of-the-wealth.html

            When the top 1% own more assets than the bottom 90%, that is gross mis-distribution of wealth – whatever the economic system is. It obviously does not even “trickle down”.
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/06/the-richest-1-percent-now-owns-more-of-the-countrys-wealth-than-at-any-time-in-the-past-50-years/

            >Beyond that, how do you know they have “undue influence”? And how do you define what influence is “due” and what is “undue”?

            Buying political appointments, influencing elections with money, buying judges, getting traffic tickets “fixed” through influence, evading taxes with offshore shelters in the Cayman islands, all that is undue influence. There are many, many more examples.

            Due influence is that your vote counts, and is counted, once each time. Undue influence is having someone negate your vote by excluding you from the process. Undue influence is having a newspaper write fake reports and dragging the country into a war over a matter that literally didn’t exist. Shadow-banning is undue influence. Using the IRS to harm opponents is undue influence. Using the national security system to harm political enemies is undue influence.

            >>“a world with more justice”
            >Why do I suspect that your definition of “more justice” involves taking money from people who have been more successful than you, and giving it to you?

            I suspect it is because you don’t know what you are talking about and have not looked into it. More justice assumes greater assuredness of equality before the law. It means recognising the rights of people to be treated as human beings with equal standing.

            Did you know that the major garment manufacturers create their low-wage workforce by negotiating with the national governments exemptions to the rule of labour law requiring a minimum to be paid? The companies tell them that if they give a special exemption to them, they will bring in thousands of really low wage jobs (as little as half the living wage rate) then they will ‘relocate” to that country. And they do it – the government sells out their workers. The company moves in. If things change, if local standards are applied to them, they pull out and move to another country where they negotiate the treatment they want.

            People supplying Woolworths three piece suits do this – I know because I supplied hardware to them. People contracted to major shoe companies do this. It is the norm for large companies to do this to make a few extra pennies per piece – and this is taken from the salaries of the workers! Does anyone still wonder why there are revolutions? Why people listen to that communist stuff, huh? Why should one or two companies be allowed to violate labour standards with the cooperation of the government? It doesn’t matter what kind of government it is, that outcome is wrong! It is unjust.

            >>“we will be pushed aside by those who will make alternative arrangements”
            >Ah yes, the standard left wing fall back. Give me your money now, or I’m going to get violent.

            The shop floor is unsatisfied with your defense. They are not asking for your money. Keep your money. Hog it. Bury it. Spend it as you will. But stop taking other peoples money and saying it is yours. Just because you have your hands on money doesn’t make it yours.

          • >>
            Alright, know-it-alls: If you are going to comment, keep up.
            <<

            The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had 6 boiling-water reactors. Three were shut down for refueling. On March 9, 2011, there was a magnitude 7.2 quake. The reactor scrammed, fission stopped, then they restarted, no problem.

            Two days later, on March 11, there was a magnitude 9.0 quake. The reactor scrammed, fission stopped. Over 383,000 buildings were destroyed by the earthquake. Forty-one minutes later, a 13-foot tsunami hit, no damage. Eight minutes after that, a 49-foot tsunami overwhelmed the 19-foot sea wall. The water intake structures collapsed. The pumps were blown down. The electrical lines were demolished. The basement generators were flooded. One above ground generator survived from units 5 and 6. Units 3 and 4 were on battery power, with backup passive cooling for unit 3. Units 1 and 2 had no power at all. With no power, the water in unit 1 boiled away in a few hours. The fuel assemblies heated up, sagged, and collapsed. The 1-inch thick reactor vessel burst. There was hydrogen gas in the containment building, and they needed to open the vent stack valves to vent the hydrogen. They needed to do it manually in a radioactive environment, so that was difficult.

            They failed to reconnect the power to the other units. The passive cooling eventually failed as the last of the water boiled away. There were hydrogen explosions from gas generated by the meltdowns and the cores of units 2 and 3 also melted down.

            All the radiation came from damaged cores exposed to steam. All the cores were contained in the pressure vessels. The maximum exposure was 60 rem and that was to 2 operators whose respirators didn’t fit properly over their glasses–they didn’t seal.

            Jim

    • Crispin:
      This “standard” is warmed-over Social Cost of Carbon nonsense, and as such the way it’s derived is to hysterically exaggerate any “costs” that can be imagined and to disregard the benefits of more carbon dioxide. If a fair calculation were done, the benefits would be seen to dramatically outweigh the costs and then what would be the purpose of the “standard?”

      “Standards” like this are inherently political, and produced by propagandists, so I don’t see how we should just accept them and hope for improvement. Letting the camel’s nose into your tent results in a camel in your tent, not a nice little kitty-cat.

      Your support for the “responsible use of resources” sounds reasonable, but again, this whole standard is based on the lie that carbon dioxide contributed by us is bad. And of what relevance is the amount of plastic in a whale’s gut?

      You claim to support “the continued drive to end poverty and starvation..;” but you seem to discount the force that has made this happen – mankind’s ability to use fossil fuels to create work product and value.

      What are the benefits of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? If the planet becomes just a bit warmer (all that can reasonably be expected), then fewer people will die of cold exposure compared to heat exposure yearly; but plants will grow much better, be better able to withstand diseases, pests, and drought, and tolerate higher growth temperatures. This will not only benefit human-planted crops but other plants too, and because animals live off of plants, the whole biosphere will benefit. Plus, as Putin has said, we won’t need so many fur coats!

      The Earth will really be “greened” instead of the fake and imaginary “greening” of the climate hoaxers.

      • Jeffrey

        Thank you for those observations.

        There is a principle at work here in the ISO standard which is the consideration of the whole cycle of a product. This is hardly new – it was popular in the early 70’s. E F Schumacher was big on it. (Did you know that Schumacher was married to the sister of Werner Heisenberg? Just sharing…)

        If you want to solve some problem, first establish the principle(s) involved. The principle is that you should not cause net harm. The SoCap Investment movement (which is entirely government-free and controlled by people willing to get involved) is an excellent example of how to think about any proposal. I have operated a SoCap investment company since 1981, though at the time that appellation didn’t exist. It has a method for calculating a “triple bottom line” which is to make a monetary investment in a venture that has net positive social impact, net positive environmental impact, and net positive financial return for those involved. “Net” implies considering all factors, plus and minus.

        There are now multiple SoCap Investment conferences around the world every year. My company was invited to make a presentation to the main one in San Francisco some years ago on, ‘How I did it”.

        The establishment at the ISO level of a framework for working out how to establish harm implies that there can easily be added a positive column, if it is not already there (I did not purchase it yet to find out). It is not only about CO2, it is about system management.

        The idea that such a thing ought to be done is powerful. If you want to use Roundup and through misuse you “get cancer”, or have an elevated risk of it, negatives can be measured against the benefits of putting a lot less chemical material on the fields.

        We have crosswalks in many places on the roadways. They have a definite, calculable risk of causing death and dismemberment by giving the pedestrians the inaccurate impression they are safe to use. But we have many of them for the convenience of pedestrians. We have similar examples for cars, staircases, sharp knives in the home, opioids and brass knuckles. We accept various risks for certain benefits. Yes we have a screwed up sense of priorities, but the principle is easy to understand.

        I find your statement incongruous:

        “You claim to support “the continued drive to end poverty and starvation..;” but you seem to discount the force that has made this happen – mankind’s ability to use fossil fuels to create work product and value.”

        In what manner? I didn’t do that at all so perhaps you could restate that in a different manner. I didn’t discount it because it is not directly relevant. The drive to end poverty and starvation has nearly nothing to do with how energy is created – maybe nothing at all. In the far future we will have a far more prosperous society and all the oil will be gone. Does anything think we will just stop having civilisation? Of course not.

        We freely criticise people who think that we have to go doing things as we have for say, 100 years, as if there is only one way to do it. Then there is a paradigm shift usually due to new technology and a new way emerges, then dominates. So too it can happen with social organisation. Just because there was “capitalism” and “communism” doesn’t mean we have to pick one and stick with it. Neither works very well, and both produce enormous unhappiness. While it is said that misery loves company, redistributing that unhappiness is hardly a way forward. I see a remarkable ignorance about the human spirit and what constitutes a happy life. Have a look at some of the documentaries on happiness around and see who is the happiest. In the West, “2-foot-ism” is surprisingly popular and a cause of continuing unhappiness no matter what the income.

        Do you know what 2-foot-ism is? It is when you have a sailboat and you park it at the marina and you are happy having finally achieved your dream. All you can think about is how, if you have a yacht that was 2 feet longer, you would be even happier. It never ends.

        If people could give up 2-foot-ism and invest in SoCap ventures, they would be a lot happier and create a much better community. The Beatles said, “Happiness is a warm gun.” Happiness is also a warm heart.

    • Since China banned the import of garbage (foreign plastics etc.) most of the recyclables go into the local landfill. You sorted it for naught.

      • In Waterloo all plastic and metal is recycled. Biodegradables including yard waste is composted and given away for free – I just take my pickup and fill’er’up. Methane is captured and piped for fuel. In Johannesburg there is a filling station for methane-powered buses, methane sourced from the garbage mountain.

  13. If you use made-up prices, you get a made-up standard.

    We are not pricing these things, as a proper market would, so this is nothing more than an exercise in pointlessness. You might as well say the USSR was actually far richer than the USA because you value lots of statues at trillions of dollars. There you, go richer.

    The whole problem with externalities (damage or costs caused by consumption not included in the direct costs of production) is the pricing. Just assuming you have the pricing right, is mindless.

  14. Can we calculate the ‘environmental cost’ of New York city’s waste disposal? How about San Francisco?

  15. No!
    ISO Standards perform seriously beneficial functions in many ways, this is not one of them. Any piece of eco-twattery which “costs” methane emissions in €/kg is just another AGW derived subterfuge to remove money from those who have a little and give it to those who have a lot. Those who have nothing, in this brave new world, will never, ever have anything.
    Mend the *** chair and give it to someone poorer than you are, if you really must.

  16. So long as the standard says you contribute even the slightest damage to the environment, some people are going to use it to try to shut you down.

  17. Methane from rotting chair? How about Methyl Chloride, aka chloro-methane, aka ozone eating gas. Halomethanes produced naturally by a wide variety of fungi from lignin decomposition are two orders of magnitude greater than human production in the heyday.

    Watling and Harper (1988)

    So now we must add the medical costs of melanomas to the landfill cost of the chair. No way to win except never make the chair and sit on a rock, but the tree would have rotted anyway…

  18. Hey, I think someone’s trying to provide numbers for a political talking point.

    Gee, I wonder if there’s any coordination or collusion with the Democrat Party and the press.

  19. Since they claim to be using financial analysis where does the Net Present Value get calculated? If we burn it today, then the CO2 is released over years (let’s say 30) and since the chair has to rot first, it probably should be back end loaded. The economy of this does no make sense.

    Also, using their numbers, throw the chair in my back yard of my house I only use .135X6kg = .81 Euros. This is as opposed to 5 Euros to burn it in place of coal. Moral of the story – garbage pits in everyone’s yards! /sarc

  20. ISO in my personal experience is a joke and scam run for the benefit of those working in the organization. Example

    I was responsible for getting a number of departments at a medical device manufacturing plant ISO certified. Unable to get ANY of the required documentation completed for the thermo-forming department prior to the ISO visit. The department supervisor was a very young man of Philippine descent. The lead ISO inspector happened to be an older man of Philippine descent. On the day of the inspection I introduced the ISO inspector to the fine young supervisor and stated that I had a meeting to attend but that he was highly capable and would handle things. At the wrap up meeting the ISO inspector praised the thermo-forming department as the gold standard for the rest of the plant.

    That’s how it happened people. This attempt at “standards” is pure coercion by our opponents.

  21. Crispin:
    This “standard” is warmed-over Social Cost of Carbon nonsense, and as such the way it’s derived is to hysterically exaggerate any “costs” that can be imagined and to disregard the benefits of more carbon dioxide. If a fair calculation were done, the benefits would be seen to dramatically outweigh the costs and then what would be the purpose of the “standard?”

    “Standards” like this are inherently political, and produced by propagandists, so I don’t see how we should just accept them and hope for improvement. Letting the camel’s nose into your tent results in a camel in your tent, not a nice little kitty-cat.

    Your support for the “responsible use of resources” sounds reasonable, but again, this whole standard is based on the lie that carbon dioxide contributed by us is bad. And of what relevance is the amount of plastic in a whale’s gut?

    You claim to support “the continued drive to end poverty and starvation..;” but you seem to discount the force that has made this happen – mankind’s ability to use fossil fuels to create work product and value.

    What are the benefits of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? If the planet becomes just a bit warmer (all that can reasonably be expected), then fewer people will die of cold exposure compared to heat exposure yearly; but plants will grow much better, be better able to withstand diseases, pests, and drought, and tolerate higher growth temperatures. This will not only benefit human-planted crops but other plants too, and because animals live off of plants, the whole biosphere will benefit. Plus, as Putin has said, we won’t need so many fur coats!

    The Earth will really be “greened” instead of the fake and imaginary “greening” of the climate hoaxers.

    • My reply did not find the right place, Jeffrey. Please search for your name or mine.

  22. environmental regulations costs society lots of money and lost productivity too.
    the “Green New Deal” or “Giddy up Ma we got the lower 40 to do before sundown.”
    “Keep pullin'”

  23. The example of the chair shows the problem with this approach.

    The environmental cost is NOT a function of the chair. Rather it is a function of how the chair will be used in the future.

    As the example showed, two different futures result in two different costs for the chair, depending on how you dispose of the chair.

    So how can you have one ISO standard for the monetary cost of the chair when this very simple example showed two different costs?

    The simple answer is that the future cost is not tied to the chair.
    It is dependent on how the chair might be used, which is not known at the time the standard is assigned.

    Thus social costs are not true costs. A gallon of gasoline used to plant 100 trees has a different social cost than a gallon of gasoline used to cut down 100 trees.

  24. The example of the chair shows the problem with this approach.

    The environmental cost is NOT a function of the chair. Rather it is a function of how the chair will be used in the future.

    As the example showed, two different futures result in two different costs for the chair, depending on how you dispose of the chair.

    So how can you have one ISO standard for the monetary cost of the chair when this very simple example showed two different costs?

    The simple answer is that the future cost is not tied to the chair.
    It is dependent on how the chair might be used, which is not known at the time the standard is assigned.

    Thus social costs are not true costs. A gallon of gasoline used to plant 100 trees has a different social cost than a gallon of gasoline used to cut down 100 trees.

    • Well stated ferd (and well worth say twice 🙂 )
      If a “cost” is situationally dependent on things that happen independently long after a product is made, it’s not, in any real way, a cost of that product.
      Not only does a gallon of gasoline used to plant 100 trees have a different social cost than a gallon of gasoline used to cut down 100 trees but both of those is a different social cost to a gallon of gasoline used to plant 50 trees and cut down 50 tress or any other scenarios you can dream up which means it’s not a social cost of the gasoline *at all* but rather a social cost of the actions of planting or cutting down trees regardless of the tools/fuels used to do so.

  25. These stupid ISO environmental costs are simply new schemes for governments to steal more taxes from the private sector and to destroy capitalism.

    The US private sector already spends $2 trillion/year in government regulation compliance costs, most of which are unnecessary and are a complete waste of money.

    There are some prudent pollution standards derived using cost/benefit analysis, which are fine, but most are not.

    Very few people realize that real air and water pollutants have been slashed 60~99% just since 1980:

    https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-national-summary

    Any additional decrease in pollutants will have very minor benefits at gigantic costs.

    Government and enviro-wacko hacks always fail to calculate the unseen costs when they steal money from the private sector which could have been inteligently invested in: R&D, new product development, new technologies, new life-saving drugs, starting new entire industries, which would lead to: higher employment, greater GDP growth, higher standards of living, less welfare spending, higher salaries, increased bank reserves, lower interest rates, etc., etc., etc.,

    Let’s just continue using prudent pollution standards and product liability laws to handle environmental issues, and severely cut regulations whose costs exceed any meaningful benefits.

    • “prudent pollution standards and product liability laws”…… On a case by case basis. One-size-fits-all lawmaking is the road to disaster.

      • William-san:

        Constitutionally, the Federal government does not have Article 1 Section 8 authority to set environmental laws and regulations, so under the 9th and 10th Amendments, States should set their own enviromental laws and regulations in accordance to their unique social and economic needs.

    • No – just more pure speculation based on erroneous assumptions, circular logic, group-think, confirmation bias, etc. ad nauseum. In other words, the usual AGW manure.

  26. 3M left a huge mess in St. Paul before they moved most of their manufacturing to Texas. Now they are Texas’ problem.

    • Unless I missed it, nowhere in this thread has anyone said anything about 3M.So do you care to elaborate on what your non sequitur has to do with anything?

  27. Do you realize how potentially dangerous this is ? A standardized legal based on assumptions way to make money out of thin air . Obviously only one way application, from populations to states.

    Further, any lifeform can be evaluated. Short form, can we afford the price of our lives ?

    • +10 and that is strategy behind making their goals a legal/contractual/regulatory requirement. Avoids political road blocks like a second Trump term.

  28. 3.80 euro per kg of escaped methane.
    ≠==========
    So a $1 plate of baked beans represents $20 of escaped methane.

    And a $5 bale of hay fed to cattle, $500 worth of escaped methane.

    And what about termites? $ 10 trillion in escaped methane every year. High time they paid their fair share of carbon taxes.

    And what about carbon credits? If we wipeout termites, do we get a carbon credit for theethane the termites would have released?

    Rather than getting rid of cattle, it looks like the more sustainable action would be global termite eradication.

    The $100 trillion in savings from termite eradication globally is almost exactly the cost of the Green New Deal. Voilà, problem solved. Wipe out termites to pay for the GND.

    • Termite eradication would save $10 trillion every year, which is the $100 trillion required to implement the GND over the 10 years we have left before the world ends.

      After that, the $10 trillion every year can be used to retire the national debt, eradicate disease, end poverty worldwide, and pretty much solve any problem we can think of.

      This clearly shows that the sustainable solution to the worlds problems is global termite eradication (GTE). Its either the termites or humans that are going to have to go.

      Most politicians see the way forward as taxing humans out of existence. High time we moved the political crosshairs off humans and onto termites. Who will miss them when they are gone?

      • Hey, this is just for termites, right? Just think of how much money we can save exterminating OTHER species.

        It’s clearly time to start making a list of species we can do without. Green Environmentalism demands it.

        ~¿~

  29. “The end result is a concrete figure, calculated in Euros.”

    This word “concrete.” I do not think it means what they think it means.

  30. What if the methane generated by the chair is captured and used as fuel?

    This standard is a hopelessly corrupt attempt to justify cod environmental practices…

  31. “The environmental cost of methane emissions has been calculated at EUR 3.80/kg using the EPS methodology. In total, therefore, there is a conventional cost of 0.40 Euros, and an environmental damage cost of 4 X 3.80 = 15.20 Euros.”

    Let’s do some basic math that Liberals cannot seem to perform.
    – In the US, most gas compnaies bill customers by “therms”. 1 therm – 100cf

    – 100cf (cubic feet) of Natural Gas = 2.4 kg mass. Natural gas is 95% methane, then this = 2.28 kg x EUR 3.8/kg = EUR 8.66 = $9.97 USD. So using this ISO, it’s $10 environmental cost per 100cf of natural gas.

    In the US, the December 2018 average price per 100 cubic feet (cf) of Nat Gas was $0.963 per100cf.
    (ref: $9.63/1,000 cf from EIA webpage: https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/NG_PRI_SUM_DCU_NUS_M.htm )

    So my gas price is about $1 USD per 100cf. Add on $10/cf for envrionmental cast. My residential gas would now be 11 -fold higher.

    Looking at my SW Gas bill for December: I see that from Dec 14, 2018 to January 17, 2019, my usage was 111 therms = 111 cf. My usage cost was $116 for that period.
    If we apply this ISO, then my bill would have been (11 x $116 =) $1,276 just for those 34 days in Dec-Jan.

    Time to break out the Yellow Vests.

  32. ‘Imagine a wooden chair, which is worn out’

    Imagine that the chair is not broken – How long was that chair used for before becoming ‘worn out’?

    Imagine that chair was broken and unrepairable – What other uses could that wood be used for, besides burning or burying it?

    Seems to be a very poor example….

  33. ISO – another useful service taken over by the loonies?
    “We’ve published 22567 International Standards … ” This one, ISO 14008:2019, costs CHF138. ~$US139, $A195.96. I think I’ll pass.
    I have worked with some, eg ISO 32000-1 (specification for pdf files), ISO 1496 (freight containers). Did some work towards establishing ISO 9001 compliance (quality management). Some 9001 documents were actually useful. Best one I read was for a quarry operation. Ran to about 20 pages. Every employee could read it . On the other hand, in some organisations, you needed a supermarket trolley to carry the paper copy.

  34. Here is part of the description of ISO 14008 from their website.

    “In this document, monetary valuation is a way of expressing value in a common unit, for use in comparisons and trade-offs between different environmental issues and between environmental and other issues. The monetary value to be determined includes some or all values reflected in the concept of total economic value. An anthropocentric perspective is taken, which asserts that natural environment has value in so far as it gives utility (well-being) to humans. The monetary values referred to in this document are economic values applied in trade-offs between alternative resource allocations, and not absolute values.

    This document does not include costing or accounting, although some valuation methods have the term “cost” in their name. This document does not include the development of models linking environmental aspects to environmental impacts.”

    Thought it might be helpful.

  35. As Robin Williams said in Dead Poets Society about a quantifiable measure of poetry…….Excrement!

  36. Some years ago I managed a joint venture with Akzo Zout Chimie, then based at Hengelo on the Dutch-German border. Akzo was a huge global corporation that grew from mining salt and making chlorine and a whole host of downstream products. Later, Akzo joined with Nobel, which had grown from its production of dynamite to make Nouryon, a corporation noted above as involved with the creation of this draft ISO. As I read Akzo (chlorine) and Nobel (Dynamite) I began to wonder.
    I wondered if the involvement of Nouryon was reflecting little more than virtue signalling to say we might be producing chlorine that Greenpeace wants banned and we might be making dynamite that many people would like to see banned, at least in warfare, but we are responsible corporate citizens who will spend some of our profits to assist Chalmers University of Technology in their efforts to tell other people how they should run their lives, preferably in permanent prostration before the God of the environment.
    Over the years and from a distance, I thought that I was witnessing Akzo promoting softly-feely types to top positions, while bypassing the strong and capable. This did not look like a good way to go. Then, later, I saw the same happening in many corporations, coincident with a global rise in virtue signalling about the environment, an large increase in the numbers of people employed to tell others how to conduct their lives when before they just made physical products and not mental ones and a large increase on major corporate decisions of the worst king, namely those with the seeds of their own destruction (and ours) like closing nuclear plants and building windmills.
    There used to be many windmills around Hengelo, but they were replaced by fossil fuel plants for electricity generation until the last 2 decades or so. Then I recalled that the Dutch-German region around Hengelo was close to where I place the geographical center of the extreme environmental activism movement. Just look at the Germanic author names in IPCC reports and wonder if there is an epicenter there. There might not be, but by some indirect criteria like these it sure looks that way.
    Whatever happened to strong, capable corporate leadership in major global corporations? These days we seem to have soft white hands wringing wet handkerchiefs, instead of strong chiefs wringing wet green necks. This combination of Chalmers University of Technology with these corporations is yet another expression of dreadfully poor science, riddled with assumptions taken for granted and following a series of socio-political ideals.
    Science does not need socio-political diversions. Geoff

  37. While the idea of creating a workable “Standard” for the effects of
    environmental matters, a bit like the old ASA rating for the film cameras,
    the point that is not mentioned is this.

    Politicians are interested in only one thing, that is to get re-elected. If s
    something in their opinion will help them do that, its used. So in his case will adopting such a standard help them.

    Somehow I don’t think so, they will stick with a sure winner, the emotion of Green things, nothing else comes close.

    MJE VK5 ELL

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