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Friday, August 16, 2013

GOOD NEWS: US Coal Exports Double (2007-13)

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U.S. coal exports by destination country, 2007-2012. Graphic: RealClearEnergy

Should we not be dancing in the streets along with the stakeholders of the coal companies experiencing unprecedented success in export sales marked by Asian customers providing even faster growth? Funny thing - what is good news for some, is bad news for others. Sure this keeps  the pressure off energy prices and perhaps defers building more nuclear plants. Also local air pollution may decrease, but other forms of environmental damage from strip and conventional mining should offset this benefit. 

The bad news starts with the fact that we are still accelerating the depletion of this non-renewable resource, despite reductions in US domestic consumption. Global air pollution and carbon emissions also increases, ensuring that we continue supporting the long-term destruction of the bio-sphere.What is ultimately more devastating is that the increase with its exponential trend in mining, means that, at some point, a future generation will simply run of another energy source. 

By then there may be a mere 14 billion living on the planet when the lights actually go out. And do you think that this might set the stage for intense wide-spread global conflicts? Hmm. So today's good news creates tomorrow's bad news. 

Ah, but who cares, every generation faces its own challenges. Right?

Dr Peter G Kinesa
August 16, 2013  

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