"[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?
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:
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]
See also Global Warming.
"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.
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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