Stop The Coal Train

The United States in some respects has come to terms with it’s dead-end consumption of fossil fuels. A watershed moment happened a couple of years ago when Bush informed us all that we are “addicted to oil”, as if his administration reached that conclusion before the rest of us. Even global warming is not the same politicized issue it was a couple of years ago, today it could be regarded as fact without a partisan chip on the shoulder.

It is really sickening to watch the resurgence of coal energy, and it’s labeling as the energy source of the future. It isn’t. It is amazing that certain industry and interest groups could get away with such a corny mindfuck.

  • It doesn’t just warm your house – While just over half of the electricity generated in the US is from coal, coal sources account for over 80% of CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas. Yes, they talk about clean coal technologies, but as of today that is still science fiction.
  • Extraction methods are environmentally devastating – It absolutely amazes me that mountain top removal is a legitimate practice in the 21st century. The latest administration streamlined the process and relaxed regulations allowing coal companies to fill thousands of miles of waterways with toxic sludge.
  • It is destroying communities – Mountain top removal was developed as a mining technique that negates the need for a large (unionized) workforce. As such, coal-rich communities don’t get the same employment opportunities as they used to. But they still pay a heavy price in loud blasts, sludge, floods, dried or contaminated wells, etc. Often the homes in these areas are rendered unlivable and people are forced to leave. The mining companies are rarely held accountable for any of this, while families see the price of their home drop to nothing, and their children’s health compromised. This is happening here, in America. Some of the poorest communities in the states are demonized as being backward, inbred, and unsavable, while mining companies rob them of the little they have on this earth.
  • It is not renewable – When we finally deplete coal, rape our environment, poison our water, and pillage Appalachia, we will remain with the same hippie energy options we face today.

So I decided to do my blogger’s duty and get the word out, I also added a badge to my site which is very not like me. Sign it!

Stop The Coal Train

9 thoughts on “Stop The Coal Train

  1. Oh come on, global warming is the buzzword of this millenium… Remember how years ago it was the hole in the ozone layer, and when it closed up all by itself they had to find something new to talk about. There’s just as much proof contradicting global warming as there is proof claiming global warming, so any sane person should pay no attention to it…

  2. Sebastián Benítez says:

    @Michael Croes: are you plain stupid or you live in another world? Or perhaps you just don’t care about anything, or have an agenda? Global warming is real. It’s been real for decades, and you can feel it even more as years pass by. Here in my country it’s hotter than ever before. Explain that, monkey.

  3. Eitan says:

    Please try to keep the discussion civil, no need for name calling.

    There has been enough debate about that, and I don’t want to take us back to 2005. Besides global warming, there are about 99 other reasons why fossil fuels are a bad idea. I hope you read the post past the buzzword.

  4. marku says:

    what has this todo with the gnome desktop? besides all this silly algore nonsense yesterday on discovery channel they were talking about possible mini-ice-age.

  5. @Eitan: I should have reacted to more of your post, so I will now… I do agree fossil fuels are bad in some ways. I think the worst thing about fossil fuels is how they’re acquired, I don’t really oppose to the use of fossil fuels because they’re thought to be harmful to the environment. And of course it’s definately not renewable. So I do think point 2, 3 and 4 are valid, point 1 is perhaps half valid (the 80% being the only point to discuss). Personally I’d like to see more nuclear energy. Only thing you get from that is nuclear waste, but it provides a lot of energy.

  6. greg says:

    @Michael Croes – Actually there is a record sized ozone hole this year. So that means here in NZ we with live with increased sunburn and skin cancer caused by other countries CFC emissions.

    However fortunately in 1990 the world agreed to the Montreal protocol to phase out the use of CFC’s. Due to this international commitment the rate of growth of the ozone hole has slowed – nearly stopped – but it’s still there bigger than ever.

    Anyways the same think tanks and ‘scientists’ who are shouting that global warming is a lie, were shouting CFC’s aren’t the cause back then.

    We should learn from our ozone mistakes – global warming has the potential to be far worse – let’s deal with it at an international level.

    @Eitan – Thanks for writing this, it’s really important to discuss this stuff. Here in NZ even though we have got 60-70% renewable electricity, we still have a coal lobby pushing for CCS and coal to diesel.

    My opinion – the world just needs to say no to coal, plan an exit strategy and move on. There’s got to be some other meaningful jobs for people in the coal industry – it’s mostly capital intensive rather than labor anyways.


  7. Michael Pyne says:

    Having done a lot of lurking around various political websites I think much of the problem is that although there is a lot of focus on alternative energy generation means like solar and wind among progressives, the various baseload generation methods seem to come down to oil, coal, and nuclear. And no progressive seems to want to support nuclear, and oil is too expensive. So when the coal lobby tries to come out with “clean” coal there ends up being support for the familiar coal generation method in order to marginalize nuclear.

    The progressive community has been slowly warming up to nuclear (that is, when alternative generation methods are not possible or are uneconomic) but until people decide that coal is worse than nuclear you may continue to standby and watch CO2 emissions go up. The irony is that coal plants emit way more radioactivity than nuclear plants thanks to the radioactive isotopes contained in the coal ore which is burned.

  8. Why don’t they just BLOCK THE COAL TRAINS?
    A thousand or a hundred people standing on the
    United Pacific or CSX tracks and blocking the path of
    a huge coal train would be a great civil disobedience
    event. Why not? There are thousands of miles of
    railroad track in the U.S. & it’s highly vulnerable
    to civil disobedience actions.

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