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Monday, May 11, 2009

China Pioneers Clean Coal

According to the NY Times, China now uses more coal than the U.S., Europe and Japan combined. At the same time China leads the world in building efficient, clean coal burning power plants. China is building these plants at a rate of one a month putting a large dent in the greenhouse gases it produces. Given that coal supplies more than half of our electricity needs and we will be using coal for generations, shouldn't we be doing the same? This is of course impossible in the legal quicksand we are stuck in. Eventually we will have a major power crisis and people who are not committed to cleaner coal and energy alternatives will be returned to power and we will have accomplished exactly nothing. In the mean time China is going to eat our lunch.

Obama spoke forcefully in favor of clean coal, but has been notably quite on the issue since getting elected. Clean coal would provide jobs for impoverished areas and energy for the rest of us. I for one, like electricity. I use as little as possible, turn off the lights and the air conditioning till my wife has a meltdown. I'd match my electric bill with anybody in the Sierra Club, which by the way I am thinking of joining. This is not a joke. I wear my "Tree Hugging, Dirt Worshiper" t-shirt proudly. If I could set up a windmill on my roof, I could unplug from the grid, which might be a good thing considering state of energy production in this country.

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