This is an example where Dr. Economist gets too cute.
I concede his point that the 'full' cost of using fossil fuel is not generally capture in the market price we know, which is belied by "kept down artificially". At that point, I could see where this was going.
The best example of externalities is a factory polluting a river. Its true cost of doing business is not reflected unless it pays for that cleanup, or is taxed so a public body can do it. (A positive externality would be the benefit to society of education)
Where this starts going off the rails is "the cost of road & bridge maintenance". They didn't see that coming when they started mandating higher MPH 40 years ago??
Then it gets nuttier: "personal time and work productivity lost to traffic congestion, lives lost to car crashes, and health risks created by air pollution". Life is about tradeoffs. We make those when we choose to live further away from work. Productivity isn't lost; absolute hours worked, maybe, but even then, we can work more from home & be more responsive via smartphone.
"Car crashes", really?? There's a whiff of the bogus argument made against guns. Shit happens. I've often thought that traffic is the best example of our mutual cooperation with each other, in a fairly lightly regulated atmosphere, with relatively little collateral damage.
Cue Mr. Cute Economist offering his help to Mr. Do-Gooder Public Policy man. The only true externalities involved here concern pollution & "climate change" (depending on the credence you lend to that).
And, oh yeah ... why did many of us move further away from cities?? My mom & dad moved us to the country to avoid city taxes, and many do these days for better schools & nicer areas ... both things despoiled by more active friggin government in the first place!!
Feel THAT Bern!