originally posted by: purplemer
a reply to: DontTreadOnMe
and what if it turns out that coal is the dirtiest fuel in the environment.
other than nuclear power it likely is the "dirtiest" power source, but then hydro does damage it it's own ways, as does wind and solar power(think
solar power farms not putting cells up on your roof).
What if a life cycle analysis of coal is carried out and it turns out the cost to the environment is so great that coal should double in price.
If you do not increase the cost then we are simply borrowing from future generations. It is a form of environmental protection that should in turn
lead us to cleaner industrial methods.
so how do you enforce
the price of coal doubling? you forget that coal doesn't just come from the ground, it can be and is made all over the
world especially in poor
countries. it is made from things like wood, and even coconut shells (call it the oldest "bio-fuel"). a process that
adds even more to the air pollution than just burning it.
As for poorer nations craving coal it in only natural. Going through industrial growth is messy. Countries like the UK and the US have already
been there. What right do we have to tell other countries they cannot unless we are willing to pay the difference.
you are making an error in saying the "poorer nations craving coal it in only natural. Going through industrial growth is messy." industry is not
even the biggest user of coal in poor countries. for one thing these countries don't need
to go through the messiness of the industrial
using coal as means for producing things like power to supply industry as the UK, US and the other advanced
nations did because
other sources of power were unknown then and had to be invented. today other sources of power ARE known and can be used in their place. i generally
would agree that we don't have a right
to tell those poorer what the can and can not do, but we have a duty
to at least inform them of
other ways, if not actually help them out.
and lets be honest about things much of this industry
goes to produce items for the more advanced country's consumption. those companies that
(stores like wal-mart, target, sears etc, automotive manufacturers, whatever) these industries should be the ones responsible for
upgrading their supplier's industry. they should be given a choice. in order to do business in these more advanced nations they can either produce
their goods in those countries following their emissions/pollution standards, or if they choose produce those items in other nations, but still be
held to those emission/pollution/environmental standards of the country(s), they will sell those goods in. including such things as electricity
production that those companies use, and the emissions/pollution/environmental in gathering/growing/manufacturing materials they will use to produce
those goods. in fact any and all imported
goods at all should have to follow that set of standards, be they companies based in those richer
nations, or even companies that are based in those poorer nations that wish to sell their products in those richer nations. before something can be
imported they must first PROVE
(and their claims researched and inspected both before acceptance and randomly thereafter) that those standards
of the country they are imported into have been followed at each step of the manufacturing process.
yet even with this it would not solve the issue
it would just help it a bit. as i mentioned before industry is not the biggest issue for things
like coal use. a large majority of PEOPLE
especially among the numerous poor people in these countries are the ones relying
coal day to day. and i am not talking about such things as to produce electricity or goods they use. plain and simple these people are reliant
on coal or even burning wood and like materials for their everyday needs such as cooking and heat. much like everyone in those advanced countries
before they had affordable/reliable electricity and things like natural gas etc, to use for things such as heating and cooking. as far as i can see
this is the biggest problem faced when trying to cut down on emissions and air pollution, especially when talking about cities that contains MILLIONS
of people with a large percentage relying on coal/wood (and in Manila for example it always seems to be coal used) use for things such as heating and
cooking in their daily lives. just imagine the pollution and smog that would be created if most people in big cities like New York, L.A., Toronto,
Chicago, Houston, Montreal, Philadelphia etc, instead of using electric or gas to cook and heat their homes, used coal in it's place. then think the
largest city in the US is New York, but New York is listed as number 22 in the largest cities of the world with a population of 8,405,837, while
Shanghai has 24,150,000, and Beijing has 21,150,000, being the two largest in the world. and isn't Beijing the city with that huge smog
problem we keep hearing about? a city that many people would be reliant for coal for cooking and heating their homes. or lets look at Manila with a
population of 11,855,975, a city i know
has a large percentage that use coal to cook (heating not so much needed). a city where soot is
everywhere, where even in house house fans and aircon filters need to be cleaned every week or two because of the soot in the air. where even after a
couple hours without doing work i wash my hands and see BLACKNESS in the water as i rinse them. where there is a high amount of respiratory issues in
the population due to the smog
. smog that in a large part is due to all the coal use by individuals for their daily needs.
the thing is how do you fix this? electricity is expensive (and you even pay a surcharge to offset stolen electricity
as it is), NPG is
expensive, a stove is expensive and a lot of homes the poor live in have no room for a stove (think the inside of a minivan or smaller for a family
size house, not to mention being made of scrap and many times a "house" or three built on top of each other) since they cook outside (and people i
know borrowed a stove for a special event, and being outside someone stole it, not to mention electricity and water do not mix and it rains a lot).
while coal is CHEAP
and abundant, and the small clay or metal coal burners they use are both cheap and small, (not something people normally
bother stealing). increasing the cost of coal
would not be any help to these people, that is if you could even think to control the cost of it
since they can just make their own, as a lot do for sale to others now.
in the end this arbitrary law that the President wrote into existence, can't and will not do much of anything since a large portion of things like
CO2 and other greenhouse gases are created by the many poor people outside of the US.
city size stats from