I spotted a big coal train moving through town a few nights ago. As that huge load slipped quietly by, I wondered what people would think if they knew the truth about coal. What if they really knew how good conservation is and how bad coal and oil are?
What if they knew that in the United States, we burn a railroad car worth of coal every 3 seconds. This year, your family will burn 1,000 pounds of coal just to run your clothes dryer (yet many communities make it illegal to dry your clothes on a line outside). The Average American family burns 30 pounds of coal every day. That’s an awful lot of damage to the environment. For all of this and more, see this recent post.
How many times have you heard that there is an immense amount of oil shale, from which we can extract lots and lots of oil? I’ve heard this claim dozens of times, yet the people uttering this claim never know anything at all about what it takes to make oil out of oil shale. Consider [...]
If you stop to listen to the “solution” to the energy crisis, you’ll hear millions of people (including most politicians) reassuring themselves that coal will be the new oil, because the United States has plenty of it and because there is now a way to burn coal “cleanly.” This last claim is pure fantasy. There [...]
Tell them what Architecture 2030 says about coal: Because coal is the only fossil fuel plentiful and supposedly cheap enough to push the planet to 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Because reaching 450 ppm (or possibly less) triggers potentially irreversible glacial melt and sea level rise. Because 53% [...]
How (corn) ethanol kills: a lesson in basic economics pertaining to fuel supply, fuel demand and price.
In an earlier post, I argued that people need to better appreciate that dollars are fungible (see here and here). Why is it important to understand that dollars are fungible? A case in point is the new American enthusiasm for turning food into fuel. Consider this report from Fortune Magazine: The growing myth that corn [...]