Environmentalists Reject “Clean” Coal Greenwash (but not “Certified” Ancient Forest Logging)

Clean coal is risky, untested and diverts resources and attention from renewable energyOver 110 global environmental groups have came out against chimerical coal industry plans to bury carbon emissions [ark]. This coincides with Greenpeace's release of a new report entitled “False Hope” which correctly concludes that false promises of carbon capture and storage (CCS) [search] prolong the agony of coal dependence. CCS is revealed to be an untested myth that threatens to lock us into antiquated coal energy [search] and an obliterated atmosphere. CCS will not be ready in time (or maybe ever), wastes climate resources, is risky and undermines more rigorous approaches focused upon renewable energy.
It is pleasing to see Greenpeace join other biocentric groups in understanding ending the use of coal is essential to save the climate. Yet as with ancient forests, the question of “clean coal” splits the environmental movement. What is so mystifying is why generally rigorous environmental groups like Greenpeace — along with so many other groups including Rainforest Action Network — are so visionary on coal while continuing to insist that logging of ancient forests, equally antiquated and damaging to not only the climate but also biodiversity, can be certified as being environmentally acceptable. The economic dislocation caused by ending ancient forest logging [search] would be much less than ending use of coal. Centuries of both over-burning and over-cutting are the fundamental underpinnings of contemporary ecological decline.

I have a theory as to why leading environmental groups want to end the use of coal but not ancient forests. Few “radical” environmentalists have a personal or family history in the coal industry, while many have enjoyed working as craftsmen with ancient forest timbers. These groups are willing to deny coal to those dependent upon it for their way of life, while being unwilling to do so with equally ecologically devastating ancient forest timbers which they themselves value. Those running the show at Greenpeace and RAN are unable to realize their proclivity for continued access to these rare woods, not dissimiliar to much of society's addiction to cheap coal power, is destroying both biodiversity and the climate.
Over nine months ago Greenpeace made a promise, following protests of their support for FSC ancient forest logging, to investigate and report back on the status of certified forest logging. We can reasonably expect clean coal to fail, yet know definitively that certified ancient forest logging has failed. The report is nowhere to be seen — too busy working on coal to protect forests apparently. They should know better and be doing both, and have a consistent message of resisting ALL well entrenched economic interests whose activities are destroying the Earth.

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1 Response

  1. Please meet an educator John Gray

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