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Coal: The Reigning and Future King

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMarch 8, 2011 10:08 PM


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In a reality-based world, stories like this (and it seems there are a few each week) should act like smelling salts to those who blame climate "deniers" and the media for lack of action on global warming. Here's The Guardian's lede:

Vast reserves of coal in the far west of China mean it is set to become the "new Middle East", a leading figure in the global coal industry has claimed. Fred Palmer, the chairman of the London-based World Coal Association and a key executive at Peabody Energy, the world's largest privately owned coal company, also said that China is leading the US in efforts to develop technology to "clean" coal of its carbon emissions by burying them underground.

Given China's voracious energy needs, it seems a foregone conclusion that those "vast reserves" will be tapped. No need to harp on the implications for global warming. Perhaps greens and climate activists ought to take the "clean coal" initiatives outlined in this recent James Fallows article in The Atlantic more seriously.

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