In reality, there is no such thing as clean coal. The Join Reality is going to challenge the clean coal myth and make sure misleading articles, false statements and other hype don’t go unanswered.
When economy and environment are pitted against each other (a la Stephen Harper) we are manipulated into thinking that we must sacrifice one in order to achieve success with the other. In fact, our economies depend on the environment – without the resources that this earth provides we wouldn’t have an economy to operate and when those resources start to run out, cause serious security issues and create major environmental damage, then we are in grave danger of losing more than just our pay cheques.
“Coal is about acid rain and peasouper smogs, asthma and mercury contamination, radioactive waste emissions and ripping apart mountains, killing trees, lung cancer and, of course, global warming.
“Coal emits more carbon dioxide for every unit of energy generated than any other fuel. Sure you can clean it up a bit – though the toxins you've taken out of the ground have to go somewhere. But clean coal? Just say no.”
One of the most compelling chapters in the PBS Frontline 2-hour special on global warming that aired earlier this week was the segment on America’s Addiction to Coal. PBS dives headfirst into the myth of clean coal and pretty much tears it apart using something we don’t often see these days when it come US energy issues: facts.
Sierra Club has launched a great new site going after the “clean coal” marketing machine.
Good to see more organizations countering the $40 million “coal is clean” campaign launched by the coal industry late last year under the guise of third-party group calling itself the “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity” (ACCCE).
Sierra Club even came up with a great video that puts to rest the ridiculous argument that somehow the dirtiest energy in the world is somehow clean…
The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report today outlining the considerable risks associated with so-called “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage technology (pdf.)
Clean coal has been a persistent theme throughout the US election, with presidential candidates on both sides of the political ledger touting the message that coal is somehow clean. As coal industry commentator and author Jeff Goodell puts it best:
Clean coal” is not an actual invention, a physical thing – it is an advertising slogan. Like “fat-free donuts” or “interest-free loans.”
Would she or wouldn’t she? To tell from the lavish – some would say obsessive – coverage that preceded the vice-presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri, last week, the question that was on every self-respecting pundit’s mind was: “How, or, to be more precise, how poorly, will Palin fare?”
Following a series of highly publicized interviews in which she had “distinguished” herself for her absolute lack of grasp of foreign and domestic policy issues – citing Alaska’s proximity to Russia and her whirlwind tour of Iraq as examples of her “substantial” experience.
Blogger Matt Stoller is at the Republican National Convention and he had the chance to ask members of the “coal is the best thing ever” team - bought and paid for by the coal industry - whether they thought coal is actually clean.
No surprise that they had no idea:
On his NY Time's DotEarth blog, journalist Andy Revkin writes:
This enduring notion — that the world can have its coal and climate, too, by pumping the carbon dioxide from combustion into the earth — has been promoted by institutions including Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest coal company (see its coal-sales ticker here), and the Natural Resources Defense Council. A group that pushed the clean-coal theme at the Democratic convention, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, will be heading to the Republican convention next week. Environmentalists have attacked the group as the latest in a string of industry propaganda mills.