Let Coal Go the Way of the Horse and Buggy

“President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will roll back many of former President Barack Obama’s efforts to curb global warming. The order is aimed at helping spur American energy jobs. The president signed the order at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump says this is “the start of a new era” in energy production. The order will mandate a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. It will also lift a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. Trump has called global warming a “hoax,” and has repeatedly criticized Obama’s efforts as an attack on American workers and the struggling U.S. coal industry.”

– ABC News

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no tree-hugging uber-environmentalist. I have a gasoline powered car and lawnmower. I use natural gas to heat my water. But I am concerned about the environment, the air I breathe, the water I drink, the climate changes that mankind exacerbates, the lands held in public trust.

Every scientist worthy to be called one warns about how fossil fuels, their emissions and their refuse, contribute to the poisoning of the environment. The worst offenders are the petroleum products, gas and oil. But let’s not forget coal. It is arguably the dirtiest form of energy, and thus a major health hazard, not to mention the devastation strip-mining leaves on the environment. 

So why should anyone want to decrease or abolish regulations designed to minimize and eventually replace coal as an energy source? There are cleaner energy sources. Should the government have stepped in to bolster and protect wagon-makers and wheelwrights when gasoline powered automobiles threatened to be the new mode of transportation?

Maybe they should have. By comparison to autos, wagons don’t pollute (if you overlook the occasional droppings from the animals pulling them.) 

Doesn’t solar and wind energy hold the promise of a cleaner environment? Maybe that’s too progressive – as in, progress – for the conservative fat-cats who are notoriously against anything new unless they can make even more money from it. Which they can’t from the sun and wind; there’s no scarcity of it and capitalism is based on supply and demand, more demand with a diminishing supply equates to higher prices, greater profit.

Opening federal lands to coal mining? Those lands belong to you and me, and our descendants – in trust – to preserve what natural wilderness remains. But, to the money-grubbers, where’s the profit in idle land? No one asked me if it’s okay to ravage and rape those preserves, dispoiling the landscape, leaving gaping holes in the ground and pillars of slag. Did they ask you?

Helping American workers? There are 83,000 coal miners. There are 143,000 solar workers. It’s a wagon and automobile thing. If we want to help American coal miners, let’s rather pay to retrain them. But, of course, it’s not about coal miners, it’s about coal mine owners – mustn’t  let them go out of business, like wagon makers. And the owners of plants that burn coal – mustn’t encourage them to convert to another, cleaner, more efficient energy source, that might hurt their profits, CEO bonus, shareholder’s dividend checks, or campaign donations to politicians.

Global warming a hoax? Let me repeat myself, “Every scientist worthy to be called one…” categorically states that climate warming is not what’s happening, it’s climate change that’s the issue, and carbon (coal and natural gas) burning is a significant contributor to it.

The only “hoax” is the one Trump is trying to foist off on you and me. As if coal is the one and only guaranteed elixir to cure all our energy ailments. Believe that, and and you’ll buy anything he says.

I was no fan of Obama, but, on at least this issue, his administration was right to mitigate carbon and petroleum power with wind and solar.

And, as a disclaimer, I have no financial interest in either solar or wind generated power. I don’t have solar panels on my roof and I don’t drive an electric car. The only benefit I derive from the wind is the melodic sounds from windchimes on my patio. I support them because they can better our health and do not harm the environment.

– Bill


One thought on “Let Coal Go the Way of the Horse and Buggy

  1. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee, I’m simply trying 7to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please respond via email.


    Liked by 1 person

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