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February 19th, 2009 By | News | Posted In: News, Environment, Public Policy, Social Justice

Clean Coal Myth

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No matter what a politician says, coal has never been and can’t be “clean” or serve as an “alternative” fuel that’s good for the environment. On position held by many groups is that limiting the use of coal is necessary to create the incentive to come up with energy alternatives that truly don’t harm the environment. The League of Women Voters is one of those groups.

“The League of Women Voters of the U.S. has called for a 'coal moratorium' - a ten-year freeze on the construction of new coal-fired power plants,” says a press release from the group. “Other national groups have stated that if we hope to prevent the worst of global warming, we have to stop burning coal, and fast. But what does this mean for Ohio, where 90 percent of electricity comes from coal and where the decline of traditional manufacturing has already caused great economic hardship?”

Nachy Kanfer will lead a discussion of how “a coal moratorium, coupled with energy efficiency and an aggressive green jobs campaign, will enable Ohio to lead the nation in its transition to clean energy.”

“Nachy Kanfer is the Sierra Club's National Coal Campaign representative in Ohio,” says the LWV. “He grew up in Columbus and is a graduate of Yale University. He recently returned to Ohio after working on several environmental programs in the Middle East.”

Coal Moratorium: a New Economy for Ohio is scheduled for April 29 7 p.m. Co-sponsored by Miami Group, Sierra Club; Citizens for Civic Renewal and the Woman’s City Club, the free event will be at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church Social Room (103 William Howard Taft Rd. C/O 45219).

Mark your calendars!

 
 
02.20.2009 at 08:57 Reply
Clean energy. What does that mean to the average person? In my eyes, that means that my electric bill will go up. It means that someone else will tell me how to spend my money, live my life, and punish me for not following the extremists’ agenda. Our nation as a whole needs to define what the known consequences of climate change (global warming) will be, not speculate on it and develop a good working energy policy for the benefit of all. As a part of this definition, we need to answer this question “Are humans really affecting anything globally or is Mother Nature just being Mother Nature - always changing”. In my opinion, there is a better way than a coal moratorium. Today, we have the ability to "replace" existing older inefficient power plants operating on coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels with significantly cleaner operating plants burner coal and other fossil fuels, at an equal or reduce cost to the consumers. These plants can offer electricity 24/7 365 days a year, not just when the wind blows or during a sunny day. We need to replace the power generation infrastructure with the newest plants available. This replacement effort can even absorb the increased energy demands and still significantly reduce emissions and costs. The electric growth rates are increasing today and they will increase even faster when the economy turns around and begins producing again. The efficiency improvements, emission reductions and job creation resulting from this infrastructure replacement will go along way in improving our environment, economy and personal lifestyles. We, as a nation, need to keep a viable coal energy policy in our future, not only for economic growth and national and regional energy independence, but for the continued growth of each and every persons dreams and goals.

 

02.20.2009 at 07:09
So removing mountain tops and destroying streams that supply drinking water is OK? And your 365/24/7 approach falls flat when the coal, oil and natural gas run out, because they will. I also suggest taking a tour of the communities polluted and devastated by cols burning plants and coal mining activities, respectively. While you're at it, check out the contaminants in your drinking water as a result of those coal operations that aren't in your backyard. Being short-sighted is as dangerous as it is irresponsible. If we don't get creative and look for alternatives our children or our children's children aren't going to be screwed because we didn't think beyond our own convenience and comfort.

 

02.20.2009 at 08:53 Reply
NO, damaging the landscape and polluting streams is wrong. Putting workers in peril is wrong. The companies that do that should be held accountable. There are coal companies that take worker protections and environmental stewardship very seriously, there are gas companies that drill and explore with minimal impact to the land and there are utilities throughout this country that take extra measures to ensure the impact on the environment is as minimal as possible. All of these companies provide the people of this country with reliable and affordable energy. These beacons should be encouraged and our government and the people of this nation should support these companies to continue to improve and reduce their affects on the environment, thus showing the way for others. We as a nation can utilize the vast resources of coal and other fossil fuels in a responsible and environmentally friendly way until the technology and financial costs of more environmentally friendly energy resources are affordable and reliable. We are not there. As a counter point, have you ever seen the thousand of acres cleared for the vast wind farms being installed in the plains states? The effect on the migrating birds flying through these areas is devastating to the flocks. How about the hundreds of acres used for a solar energy farm in the desert, blocking the sun’s rays from the small plants and animals that are so vital to the ecology of the desert. The damage from these solar farms will take century for the desert to recover after they are gone. How’s is this any more or less environmentally friendly. A nuclear plant takes less than a hundred acres and provides 10-20 times more power than the wind farm noted above. Yes, the waste will need to be dealt with, but we as a nation will over time and our efforts should always be towards resolving the environmental problems that we inflict on this planet.

 

03.11.2009 at 03:09 Reply
Danjoesam your exactly right. Do we really belive the Earth is going to turn black and die because we drive cars and have power plants? How many pollutants did Mt. St. Helen spew into the atmosphere when she errupted? WHen she went up she sent up more sulfure and carbon dioxide in a matter of a few days than humans could produce in a few decades! And these things have been happening since the beginning of time (at least Earth time). And it's amazing how our planet recovers. It's like our body, you can intoxicate it, but sooner or later you are going to reach equilibrium. The Earth works the same way. I'm not saying don't worry about polluting, I believe we should be good stuards of the Earth. What I am saying is we should be producing more coal, more oil, more gas figure out ways to burn it cleaner while at the same time moving our focus to cleaner energy. And as for Margo down there you really should read instead of only watching CNN and MSNBC. We are sitting on enough natural gas (a very clean burning fuel by the way) to run all of our houses and vehicles for approx. 100 years (some say 80 others say 120). Just a thought

 

04.01.2009 at 11:13
Pirates9, you made some good points. The Earth is definitely not going to die. It probably won't turn black. Certainly, the Earth has experienced many huge changes, including massive natural disasters. The thing is, those massive disasters caused massive extinctions. Global anthropogenic climate change is a natural disaster. If left unchecked it could cause massive extinctions. If we are not on the list of things to go, I bet a lot of the things we EAT or otherwise directly rely on, are. It's true, the Earth will work towards an equilibrium. If the Earth creates a species that rapidly alters the atmosphere, the Earth will react. It is reacting with Hurricanes Katrina and others, rising sea levels, droughts, freak tornadoes, disappearing glaciers and ice sheets. Life on Earth will survive climate change. We might. It's up to us whether we want to live in a world with the handful of species that make it. Pirates9, you advocate reading... I suggest you check out some books, The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben, Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown (Both available free online!) as well as a the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I realize that these books are written by biased individuals, but also check out peer-reviewed journals like Science and Nature and it will be clear that THERE IS NO DEBATE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY. There’s someREALITY. Perhaps we are not stewards of the Earth so much as the Earth is a steward of us and all life and geological processes. Just a thought… but otherwise let’s go ahead on a path that scientists are 90% sure will end Earth as we know it. Let’s see what happens. Could be fun…

 

04.01.2009 at 11:16
Pirates9, you made some good points. The Earth is definitely not going to die. It probably won't turn black. Certainly, the Earth has experienced many huge changes, including massive natural disasters. The thing is, those massive disasters caused massive extinctions. Global anthropogenic climate change is a natural disaster. If left unchecked it could cause massive extinctions. If we are not on the list of things to go, I bet a lot of the things we EAT or otherwise directly rely on, are. It's true, the Earth will work towards an equilibrium. If the Earth creates a species that rapidly alters the atmosphere, the Earth will react. It is reacting with Hurricanes Katrina and others, rising sea levels, droughts, freak tornadoes, disappearing glaciers and ice sheets. Life on Earth will survive climate change. We might. It's up to us whether we want to live in a world with the handful of species that make it. Pirates9, you advocate reading... I suggest you check out some books, The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben, Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown (Both available free online!) as well as a the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I realize that these books are written by biased individuals, but also check out peer-reviewed journals like Science and Nature and it will be clear that THERE IS NO DEBATE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY. There’s someREALITY. Perhaps we are not stewards of the Earth so much as the Earth is a steward of us and all life and geological processes. Just a thought… but otherwise let’s go ahead on a path that scientists are 90% sure will end Earth as we know it. Let’s see what happens. Could be fun…

 

 
 
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