Coal: more on the fall-out

There are vastly different ways to look at coal in the U.S.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

There are vastly different ways to look at coal in the U.S. Coal's plentiful, it's American, it's relatively cheap to obtain and burn. And it will produce electricity for the rest of your children's lifetime. Coal burning is destroying our atmosphere, our climate and turning an already beknighted area like West Virgnia into moonscapes of mined out ex-mountains. The recently arrested Dr. Hansen, is, of course, a member of the latter group. Those who arrested him in West Virgnia work for a state goverment deeply beholden to coal and its economic value. Leaving coal in the earth and unburned is bad for business all around. Out in the western states there is plenty of coal and plenty of coal-burning. Here's just one local area in western Colorado where the fall-out from coal-burning is literally fall-out. Airborne mercury with your morning coffee? IF YOU CAN'T BROWBEAT 'EM, JOIN 'EM The U.S. is not the world's only major economy that is coal-fired. There's China. And so far little has been done to nudge that huge economy and its enormous population toward greener behavior. The E.U can't bully China, the way the U.S. government might if it cared. Being global warming averse, those Europeans have decided to pay China to build a carbon capturing, coal-burning power plant. The Europeans have a vested interest in thwarting climate change. Big cities at sea level from Marseilles to London to Amsterdam to Stockholm. Forget Venice, I fear. Areas dependent on the Gulf Stream's warmth for their growing season. Dependence on rainfall for much agriculture. Proximity to drought-prone regions of Africa whence millions of refugees may come. NO way to build a wall across the Med. China doesn't really need the money from the E.U., but a deal is a deal so this plant may get built.

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