Sunday, November 22, 2015

Climate Sunday: The Death of Coal?

I remember in 2012 seeing a handful of signs like the one depicted above saying "Stop the War on Coal, Fire Obama". They might have made a little more sense posted in Western PA than in Philadelphia.  For that matter, I know a house in Mt. Airy that proudly boasts a "No Fracking" sign. President Obama's "All of the Above" strategy has never outright been antithetical to coal, except in tightening emissions. It's really the market that is making coal a bad deal economically as the natural gas boom has just left coal in the, well, dust.

So it doesn't come as that much of a surprise that one thing countries are planning to do to lower CO2 emissions is phasing out coal plants. (They were probably likely to do that anyway.) The UK is planning to switch over to gas-fired plants altogether, although they maddeningly seem to be turning their backs on renewables.  This would be a real missed opportunity, as wind power looks like it has a great future there.

All is not over for coal, just yet, anyway, for those of you who have romantic feelings about black lung: China is, absurdly, still developing coal plants. (China really needs to do a bit better. The link makes China look like if Volkswagen was a whole country. ) As carbon dioxide has come to be 400 ppm or above on a steady basis, this is a damn shame, because the planet might just be more susceptible to CO2 than previously thought.

We need to stop dithering, and switch to clean renewables. Everything is in the balance.


Update: Hollah, Alberta!

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