Toles on the coal disaster

Tom Toles cartoon today is about the other “Safety Warnings” we are ignoring about coal:

Tom Toles

Unrestricted burning of fossil fuels just isn’t good for anyone’s safety (see “NRC: Burning fossil fuels costs the U.S. $120 billion a year “” not counting mercury or climate impacts!“)

12 Responses to Toles on the coal disaster

  1. Anne says:

    Apparently, it’s a universal truth, or at least, global. A very close approximation of the West Virginia disaster has also occurred in China, at about the same time. How’s that for karmic convergence?

    See “Death toll rises to 28 in north China flooded mine, 10 still missing”

  2. fj2 says:

    as is the accelerated melting of the glaciers providing china’s water supply by china’s black carbon in the atmosphere.

  3. Leif says:

    Black carbon verses CO2. An interesting property of black carbon is that the moment you stop producing and it settles out of the atmosphere and is covered with fresh snow it’s negative effects are mitigated. For the most part all that remains is a line in the snow pack as testimony to man’s hubristic attitudes. CO2 on the other hand remains destructive for centuries after production.

  4. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Wait a minute, if venting of methane was a primary issue at the mine, then that means, BEFORE the killing of workers, before the burning and releasing of CO2, before the poisoning of local rivers and residents, and before the blowing up of forested mountain tops, these mines around the world are constantly spewing a greenhouse gas 20-30X more powerful than CO2? Even after they are abandoned?

    This just occurred to me during the half-light this morning. I just Googled and the EPA has a polite page about it here. They say it becomes a LONG-TERM release point for methane, even after the mine closes.

  5. substanti8 says:

    Coal is an interesting material.  It often acts like a long-term underground carbon filter, collecting numerous dissolved minerals, such as heavy metals.  When coal is burned, some of this material is released into the air in fine, highly-respirable particles known as fly-ash.

  6. riverat says:

    Has anyone ever looked at capturing the methane vented from coal mines and using it? That might be a practical thing to do until we get completely off fossil fuels.

  7. catman306 says:

    riverat: mine methane capture technology


    Advanced Search
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    Results 1 – 50 of about 36,100 for mine methane capture technology. (0.37 seconds)

  8. johne says:

    Coal bed Methane is becoming is a huge industry, especially in Queensland, Australia with large contracts being recently signed. Another growing technology is Underground Coal Gasification, also in Australia where two successful tests have been carried out. I suppose it’s better to use this gas than let it seep out over the years!

  9. LT says:

    See The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) Four Corners documentary (April 12) “A Dirty Business: How the people of a once picturesque valley found themselves surrounded by coalmines, dust and toxic chemicals” …and how the government of the state of New South Wales is ignoring the health concerns of residents in the Hunter Valley which lies to the west of Newcastle, the largest black coal exporting port in the world.

  10. Chris Winter says:

    Wow… Sounds like, down in Oz, they’re replaying How Green Was My Valley — in real life.

  11. Eric Williams says:

    yea, another use for methane…

    slowly by surely…

  12. James Newberry says:

    See the new movie Gasland coming to HBO and theaters soon about gas drilling, such as in the Marcelus Shale of PA and NY. Massive aquifer contamination that is completely exempted under 2005 Energy Law. Watch water burn, and public disease increase.