This post inspired by: A move away from new coal mines adds up
I was going to include the photo from the above article (It’s always nice to have a picture to look at), but I couldn’t in all conscience do that. Have a look at it and then read on to find out why. I’ve added a little colour to compensate.
“Coal’s days are numbered and the sooner we face up to that the better.” says Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor.
I remember saying something similar myself, at least once not so long ago.
There is absolutely no reason not to stop expanding the coal industry right now.
‘The effect that would have on jobs‘ is not a valid reason. Jobs are only a temporary and recent phenomena (and need to go also).
‘The effect that would have on our economy‘ is not a valid reason. Our economy is only a temporary and recent phenomena (and needs to go also).
‘We wouldn’t be able to generate electricity‘ is not a valid reason. True, but still invalid. Electricity is only a temporary and recent phenomena (and needs to go also; what? please no, not electricity; sorry, but yes).
All those folks chanting about ‘climate action’ and ‘renewables’, are doing so without the slightest idea of what they are asking for. Unless we just keep on doing exactly what we are doing now (working our butts off, mining like there is no end to it, living it up with our modern lifestyle), for as long as we can that is (and I am not advocating that as a valid course of action, quite the contrary), then few, if any, of those things that we enjoy today will be available to us in the future that ensues. If my meaning appears a little obscure, try reading the previous sentence without the bits in parentheses, just the coloured parts.
Very few people, I think, actually get that. Well, we’d better all start thinking about it …and forget the starry eyes and rose coloured glasses of those who think that by human endeavour and ingenuity, technology, and if we continue to believe that if we reach for the stars, we will somehow get there. Those people are living in dreamworld.
We just cannot expect to achieve the conditions that would be necessary to at allow some sort of chance to obtain a reasonable climate for the foreseeable future and, at the same time, maintain the sort of lifestyles that we expect, and probably could no longer live without, today.
So. Not only should we cease contemplating the expansion of coal, we should stop digging it up anywhere, at all, for any reason. At least until there are just few enough of us left, that whether we chop down a few trees for building and firewood, or dig up a bit of easily obtainable coal here and there, or even stumble across a few pools of oil somewhere, it is not going to make a difference at all to the climate. ‘Few enough‘ being the operating phrase there …and therein lies the root of our real problem, soon (well, maybe over a few generations) to be solved.
Oh, did you find why I didn’t include the picture? It’s promoting that good old ‘renewables’ myth again 🙂