>Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change



Spoof E.ON coal posters

This entire week has been stressful for my wife’s family. Her father (like so many in PA, WV, KY, and VA) works for ICG, (a coal mining company) and like so many other coal companies they are beginning to feel the pinch of the Green Movement. As for me, I stand firmly divided. If the new policies that the EPA wishes to be put in place are completed; then, an estimated 80,000 miners will lose their job within a year. At the same time thousands of acres of beautiful surface mining will be kept untouched. 65% of Aericans will end up with out domestic energy in their homes; while, China and India continue to overproduce and pollute the global markets with dirty sulfur rich coal.The international talks on nuclear disarmament continue; while, despots and rogue regimes continue to profit from global speculation in the energy commodities market.

I do not wish to leave this world worse than I found it but somebody has to demand that both sides see this issue. Party affiliations aside, I find it to be dirty Chicago style politics in which a Candidate promises the unions one thing and an opposing political interest group another. In this case the Obama administration should be called out by the Mining unions and demand he live up to their needs and not the PAC monies being funneled into the Democratic party by Green Movement groups headed by Al Gore and his new found friends. In addition, the GOP can no longer sit idlly by and watch big business go unchecked over the natural landscapes of American’s backyards.This is about the current generation not leaving the next generation environmentally and economically bankrupt. A solution of best and mutual interest would be derived from profit sharing amongst the energy companies that can develop both cleaner technology in addition to retention and job growth. This is a win-win situation if everyone would just get involved. So stop complaining and start doing something, NOW!

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Global Warming could be better than predicted, kind of…

Politics, Technology


David Rutledge has chimed in on the argument of peak fossil fuels and sounds more”down to earth” then the doom and gloom of the WE Gore followers. Peak Fossil Fuels could be actually true; however, the question remains
what to do next. East KY Power Co-op began testing switch grass as stop
gap for the transition to post fossil fuel era of energy.

World Coal Reserves Could Be a Fraction of Previous Estimates | Wired Science from Wired.com

SAN FRANCISCO — A new calculation of the world’s coal reserves is much lower than previous estimates. If validated, the new info could have a massive impact on the fate of the planet’s climate.

The new model, created by Dave Rutledge, chair of Caltech’s engineering and applied sciences division, suggests that humans will only pull up a total — including all past mining — of 662 billion tons of coal out of the Earth. The best previous estimate, from the World Energy Council, says that the world has almost 850 billion tons of coal still left to be mined.

So the new estimate, which opens the slim possibility that humankind could do nothing to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and still escape some of the impacts of climate change, comes as quite a shock.

 “The Chinese are interested in producing coal, not figuring out how much they have,” Rutledge said. “That much is obvious.”

And don’t look to technology to bail out coal miners. Mechanization has actually decreased the world’s recoverable reserves, because huge mining machines aren’t quite as good at digging out coal as human beings are.

With Rutledge’s new numbers, the world could burn all the coal (and other fossil fuels) it can get to, and the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would only end up around 460 parts per million, which is predicted to cause a 2-degree-Celsius rise in global temperatures.

On the other hand, if the world were really to encounter a swift and steep decline in accessible coal resources, it’s unclear how humans could retain our current levels of transportation, industry and general energy-usage.

So, even if coal were to run out and the most dangerous climate change averted, the imperative to develop non–fossil-fuel energy sources would remain.

Peak Oil and peak gas and peak coal could really go either way for the climate,” Kharecha said. “It all depends on choices for subsequent energy sources.”

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