I'm less valuable to USDOT than to EPA

From WaPo Cosmic Markdown: EPA Says Life Is Worth Less

"Last week, it was revealed that an Environmental Protection Agency office had lowered its official estimate of life's value, from about $8.04 million to about $7.22 million. That decision has put a spotlight on the concept of the "Value of a Statistical Life," in which the Washington bureaucracy takes on a question usually left to preachers and poets."

What interest me is that this value is still much higher than in the transportation community. USDOT in an official report recently raised its value to $5.8 million from $3 million previously (set in 2002)

So saving me from dying from pollution is more important than saving me from dying in a car crash. While some deaths are more horrible than others, this doesn't make much sense, especially when you recognize that pollution reduces life at the end, while a car crash takes you out in the middle. I would much rather lose a day or week or month of life when I am already old than 30 or 40 years.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on July 19, 2008 6:46 AM.

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