Natural Gas
Global Warming
Pathological Disconnect
Bull Run
TVA’s Bull Run clean coal-fired power plant, Tennessee
"A resource-driven forecast for the future global coal production, by Mikael Höök, Werner Zittel, Jörg Schindler, Kjell Aleklett, Uppsala University and Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik GmbH [2007 (Preprint)]
"[Dominating points of view on coal] is the optimistic opinion about hundreds of years of coal available for energy production and that the declining oil and gas reserves can be compensated by increased usage of coal. This viewpoint is more problematic as it seldom focuses on the really important issue; how much coal is realistically available and how large quantities be produced in the future?

"A resource-based forecast will be made to show what the future might look like if the resources are used instead of demand when making the forecast...

[Key findings] "China will peak in coal production around 2020 unless their reserves are bigger than reported or a significant amount of coal resources can be transformed into producing reserves in the near future. "USA will also be close to a peak in coal production if the reserves turn out to be overestimated in [the] next assessment. ...[F]uture production might be problematic to keep on increasing, due to the huge dependence on a small number of states that seem to be near or even past peak production."

The latest fantasy: converting coal to liquids! Consider this ... before even thinking of using coal for cars:

Coal: Resources and Future Production [2007 March]

"This paper attempts to give a comprehensive view of global coal resources and past and current coal production based on a critical analysis of available statistics. This analysis is then used to provide an outlook on the possible coal production in the coming decades. The result of the analysis is that there is probably much less coal left to be burnt than most people think."
Commentaries by Richard Heinberg:

The Future of Coal by Kavalov and Peteves, IEF [2007 February]

A review of recent market trends suggests the following:
1. The supply base of coal is being continuously depleted. (It gets better! [Ed.])

State of the Union, George W Bush [2007 January 23]

"We must continue changing the way America generates electric power – by even greater use of clean coal technology ..."

With sea levels rising, The rush is on for Coal-to-Liquids. [2006 August 18]

  • Assured Fuel: The US military on the one hand is saying that global warming may dramatically impact political stability around the world. On the other hand, in this document, the military (DoD) is arguing for carbon-intensive fuels. Go figure!
  • Draft Measure
    "109th CONGRESS, 2nd Session, IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, 2006, A BILL, To utilize domestic coal reserves to produce petroleum products such as jet fuel, low sulfur diesel, naphtha, propane, butane and kerosene, necessary to maintain the United States’ transportation industries, augment national defense and reduce dependence on imported oil."
  • Jet Blue

See also Global Warming.

Appalachian coal miner's story

"Work conditions was bad. They didn’t furnish enough air, and the gas, they couldn’t get it out. It was two Italians who set off slate shots at 7 a.m. on that Monday morning and that started the explosion and it went to the main entrance and it burned all the dust that was in there and that was what caused the explosion and 150 men got killed.. My brothers didn’t work for a long time because they was so scared. They couldn't go back in the mines.

"But I had to go to work, Mother gave them permission for me to go to work in the mines. I went to work that March at Meadow Bridge. The mines was owned by Morgannet, Bill Diggin owned the mines, he was from New York. I was not even 16 years old."

The following images are from Testimony on Behalf of the Edison Electric Institute by Dale Heydlauff, Senior Vice President – Environmental Affairs, American Electric Power before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate, July 26, 2001

Clearly the USA is not any where near the point of weaning itself from coal and its consequences for global warming and other forms of pollution. Yet growth is still being projected by the US Energy Information Agency.

The question of coal's future is not new: The Coal Question: An Inquiry concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of our Coal-mines [William Stanley Jevons, 1865]

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