Coal Kills

Coal is always dirty and killsCoal use is booming [ark], driven by growing populations demanding ever more consumption, which requires ever more energy. How pathetic that post-modern society, which fashions itself so trendy and enlightened, is forced to rely upon this primitive and dirty fuel. Indeed, “growing coal use threatens nothing less than the end of civilization as we know it.” Clean coal [search] is an untested myth, with even limited trials continually being put off [ark]. In fact, from its production, where whole mountains and their habitat and waters are shredded, to its burning which releases carbon and toxics, coal is a dangerous mess. Apparently humanity views keeping the lights on, as cheaply as possible, as being more important than maintaining a livable planet. And it is killing us.

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3 Responses

  1. betsey butera says:

    I was told that one hundred and twenty coal cars are leaving a coal mine in wyoming every twenty minutes a day and can be for the next three hundred years???

  2. R. Gates says:

    Coal was the energy behind the industrial revolution, and continues to be the “cheap and dirty” energy choice to bring so-called developing nations along.
    Unfortunately, as you've pointed out, the burning of coal brings about the complete destruction of the ecosystem in so many ways. Coal is just another example of how we've borrowed energy from the past to fuel our civilization, and this energy imbalance can only lead to disaster.
    Solar, thermal, wind, wave, etc. energy (energy that is not borrowed from the past) is the only way forward– if there is to be a way…
    R. Gates

  3. The Burning of Coal and The Wreck of the Old 97
    Dear Wayne,
    You report,
    "Vaclav Havel never did choose to stand up and pull the 'stop' cord on the train!"
    But, Wayne, the colossal train is adding cars and accelerating its speed as it proceeds down the track. There is no engineer on the train. Everyone has gone below to stoke the furnace so that the train goes faster and faster. Where it will stop, or how, nobody knows. Conventional wisdom indicates the track is clear ahead and without an endpoint. Widely shared and consensually validated thinking assures everyone on board this train that we can add more and more cars to the train and continuously stoke its furnace with fossil fuels so that the train can keep going at an increasing speed as long as we have fuel to keep the train going. There are no limits to the speed the train can achieve, no limits to the number of cars the engine can pull, and no end to the railroad track. Everything is going as planned and will continue without interruption indefinitely.
    Wayne, if this train is a metaphor for the ever manmade global political economy, could you help us understand how magical thinking, arrogance, pyramid-type schemes and greed are governing the seemingly endless growth of the global economy and how the unbridled increase of the leviathan-like global economy cannot be sustained much longer by a relatively small, evidently finite, noticeably frangible planet with the size and make-up of Earth?
    And what of the 'stop' cord on the train, Wayne? I can see it, but cannot yet see how pulling it will do any good because there is no engineer in control. Do you think Vaclav Havel could see that the engine room must have been empty for a long time?
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

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