Saturday, 9 June 2018

A Costly, Deadly Obsession With Coal - WSJ | Greg Ip

A Costly, Deadly Obsession With Coal - WSJ
This article in the Wall Street Journal by Greg Ip clearly lays out the silliness of trying to save the coal industry, one of Trump's obsessions — because he made a promise to miners in the campaign. 
Greg Ip shows clearly that all other forms of electricity generation — all — are cheaper and safer than coal. 
Ip also goes after nuclear which I wouldn't. Especially on safety as coal is disastrous by comparison with nuclear; and note how cheap it is in the chart above. 
Ip covers the cost to human life well, though in addition to the issues in the quote below, in a place like China there's also mine accidents which claim, by China's own statistics, around 3,000 miners per year. Not all the nuclear plant accidents in all time added up would equal just one year's worth of China's  mine accidents alone. Never mind the black lung disease. 
In pursuing his inane coal policy Trump is harming America and the world. 
/Snip 

Finally, there is the cost to human life. Burning coal emits soot that even in tiny quantities causes cardiovascular and respiratory illness. In one study, Mr. Greenstone and his co-authors found that in China, which is currently negotiating to buy more U.S. coal, life expectancy is reduced by three years in households that use subsidized coal in the winter. The toll in the U.S., where emission standards are tougher, is much smaller, but still measurable.

The miners themselves pay the highest price. Overexposure to coal mine dust leads to black lung disease—inflammation and scarring of the lungs, which eventually leads to organ damage and failure, and premature death.