Ending Coal: Climate Science That Matters

Coal use must end or we all dieLeading climate science Dr. James Hansen [search], who heads NASA's noted Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has called for an immediate halt in the construction of coal-fired power stations [ark | moreark]. This is something EcoInternet has strongly supported for years, and this political ecology represents climate science that matters. When being is threatened, it is time for expert academics to come down from their ivory towers and engage in sufficient ecological policy responses.
Dr Hansen is in England as a defense witness in the trial of six Greenpeace activists charged with damaging the Kingsnorth coal power plant in October last year. Energy giant E.on wants to build UK's first coal-fired plant for more than 30 years, and there have been major protest and direct action against Kingsnorth this summer. The trial's defense strategy seeks to establish the important and worthy precedent that direct action climate protests are justified [ark] to prevent 'much larger crimes' being committed against the Earth. Shall we all sit by peacefully as creation is destroyed, or will we do what we know is necessary to maintain being?


There is zero chance of achieving global ecological sustainability and avoiding calamitous global ecological collapse if global plans for new coal plants [search] move forward, and existing coal plants are allowed to continue operating. Clean coal is an untested PR line, with no indication it will be available, dependable and scalable any time soon. To maintain a habitable Earth, global change scientists will need to follow Hansen's example and move past studying the issue to using their expertise within the policy-making environment to achieve sufficient measures necessary to maintain an atmosphere, biodiversity, water and oceans. Humanity simply must find a way to shake the ecocidal coal habit or we all die.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    You are a powerful writer. Keep it up.

  2. Tom says:

    But I see on TV commercials all the time saying coal is clean? You mean this is not true?

  3. mike says:

    No, coal is not “clean.” the massive mining and transport effects both use fossil fuel , as well as devastate large areas, especially in open pits of huge dimensions, eradicating and fragmenting local ecosystems.
    Ecosystems are considerably more comlex than is commonly recognized, with variations on small scales with terrain and sun exposure allowing different bacteria, fungi, plants, pollinators, and larger species varying holds on life within any single area.
    Mountaintop-removal coal mining is being pressured for in the Appalachian areas of the US. One must see the devastation wrought just to get a basic understanding.
    The use of fossil fuels always adds formerly sequestered carbon to the environment, and the eager herds of moneymakers are grasping that they must hitch their economic wagons to carbon trading schemes, which add to the continuing use of fossil fuels through dispersing responsibility for their use. The race will not cease when money is to be made from a new financial instrument!
    Expect the commercials to be funded by investors who wish to make money from the further destruction of indigenous species, intact ecosystems (which are necessary to protect from extinction in an era of speedy global warming. Some species require large areas of continguous intact wild ecosystem to survive at all), and the diversity of life.
    Important in this news article is the defense attempt to set precedent of “direct action climate protests.”
    For too long, those who act directly have been labeled as “terrorists”, when the terror of uncontrolled destruction has long been practiced by corporation.
    Once businesses were incorporated (allowed legal standing) only for a limited number of years, and only within a state that chartered that corp.
    Then, in 1887, I believe, they were able to usurp the human rights articles in the US constitution, through obtaining complete personhood standing via a Supreme Court decision.
    In the following period, corporations, with their permanent, immortal legal standing, grew as US cororations, and bothcontrolled our government's positions through the ability to fund elections and ads such as Tom above has seen, to affect uninformed public opinion.
    Thus they controlled the perception of “security” in which the US overthrew legally or otherwise established governments elsewhere, to promote other governments controlled by corporate funding and interests.
    Do you remember the term, “banana republics?”
    that should allow you historical understanding of the world at present, in the grip of corporate interest.

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