Monday, July 30, 2007

How not to save the Planet

Here's a fabulous idea someone came up with to combat our dependence on oil: liquid coal.
Could anything be MORE what we do not need than this? Coal on its own is one of the dirtiest things we can burn, and the process by which it becomes liquid produces TWICE as much carbon dioxide as the coal itself, not to mention the additional pollution created when we USE it. Only the coal exec's who would stand to make even more of a fortune on his venture would think it was a good idea. They're right up there on my list along with the Big Oil exec's, and the politicians who support them.
Carbon emissions aside, the environmental impact of coal mining is staggering. Coal mining makes clear-cut logging seem like child's play. In my home mountain ranges of Appalachia strip- and mountaintop mining techniques are used, both of which leave the mined areas completely devastated, the open pits and neighboring valleys filled with overburden and slag. Many an iconic skyline has changed drastically due to mountaintop mining. Even in underground mining, years after a mine has been closed underground tunnels may collapse, causing drastic changes in topography and damaging nearby infrastructure such as roads and power lines. Furthermore: "Historically, coal mining has been a very dangerous activity. Open cut hazards are principally slope failure, underground mining roof collapse and gas explosions. Most of these risks can be greatly reduced in modern mines, and multiple fatality incidents are now rare in some parts of the developed world."
SOME parts, it says. But if you've been keeping even a remote eye on the news ticker in the past several years we seem to have at least one, usually more instances of mining explosions, cave-ins and floods in the U.S. every year. 2004 reported 28 deaths in mining accidents. This means that the high cost of cheap coal is more than just environmental impact. It's human life.
Let our government know that this is NOT the solution we're looking for!

Author's Note: Still working on mustangs! I found a list of all of the BML roundups scheduled for this year but I've misplaced it, I'll have it up as soon as I can!

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