So, there was this thing called the Australian Environment Council, made up of Federal and State ministers of the environment. It was set up in 1972 and had a long-ish run. And, as is the nature of these beasts, it produced Reports.
And number 7, published in 1982, was on the public’s willingness to pay for clean air.
And this on page 4 (part of the executive summary) is (pardon the pun) priceless.
Plus ca change….
(And no, I am not falling for the regressive/reactionary line that individual consumers are to blame, that there is no such thing as capitalism/state constraint of ‘choices’. I’m just saying that unless civil society organisations work harder and smarter than they have done then these sorts of ‘tragedy of the commons’ things are very likely.)