On the one hand, George Monbiot's complaint re. the expansion of London's Heathrow airport, and its justification in terms of The Stern Review, gives a good quickie outline of the thinking that went into that report. On the other hand, his apparent surprise at the fact that an economist should "put a price on human life" makes it sound like he fell off the back of a turnip truck driven by hippies:
What I cannot accept is that it should be scrambled up with the price of eggs and prefixed with a dollar sign. Human life is not a commodity. It cannot be traded against profits or exchanged for convenience. We have no right to decide that others should die to make us richer.
Welcome to planet Earth, George. Human lives are traded commodities, and such decisions are made every day. Furthermore, the notion of pricing a life is hardly unique to Dr. Stern. It is hardly his montrous invention, as Monbiot implies. And it is a common argument against Stern's review that he values future lives too highly ; his report only comes out in favor of acting against climate change now because he isn't callous enough in regards to the worth of unborn human beings.
Not that some of Monbiot's arguments aren't makeable. The difference economists concerned with AGW have often placed on 1st vs. 3rd world lives in well-known (see the wiki link above) and often criticized.
Its Monbiot's naivety, false or real, that weakens his case.