Coal is Plentiful and Cheap
Coal can produce electrical power by combustion, coal can be converted into liquid fuels, and coal can be converted into gaseous fuels. Coal’s abundance, versatility, and low cost all guarantee the continuation of global (and US) coal production for many decades yet.
Global coal consumption is set to remain steady in absolute terms through the middle of the century…
… projections show how the impact of rising populations and prosperity in developing economies is likely to drive an enormous increase in total energy demand which will continue to support absolute coal consumption.
Coal consumption is almost certain to remain a major part of the energy mix, especially in poorer countries, even as oil, gas, nuclear and renewables become relatively more important. __ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-coal-climatechange-kemp-column/coals-lingering-role-complicates-climate-change-efforts-kemp-idUSKBN1O51JN
In the US, the EPA is streamlining some of the absurd greenhouse regulations instituted during the Obama “economic reign of terror.”
Energy companies found that the combination of stricter environmental laws and low cost of natural gas as a fuel made building new plants uneconomical. The removal or diminution of the rule could help make new coal plants more financially attractive to run … __ Rejuvenating Coal
The EPA was once justifiable, in the early years of the clean air and clean water acts. But just like any government bureaucracy, the EPA grabbed more power than it was justified in doing, and is overdue for some trimming back.
Hydrocarbon Reserves are Plentiful
Humans have barely begun to tap into the planetary crust, in the quest for hydrocarbon energy. And if the governments of advanced nations suddenly acquire much more wisdom than they are known for, it may never be necessary to go much deeper. According to all that we know about the energy density of various fuels, only nuclear fission and fusion can take advanced human societies well into an abundant and expansive human future.
Surviving an Ice Age
Earth has suffered through some very frigid periods in the past, even a so-called “Snowball Earth” where the entire planet was covered with ice. Consider how you and your family might survive such an extended cold spell on the planetary surface. Wind and solar would obviously not do, nor would hydroelectric power.
Coal, oil, and natural gas would only work if you lived in a large, advanced underground complex with direct pipeline access to nearby subterranean hydrocarbon fields. But imagine all the coal ash that you would need to find a use for, if you were forced to use coal to stay alive!
No, by far the better approach would be modular fission or fusion plants, using micro-grids to supply colonies and communities. The plants would have to be extremely efficient, burning a high percent of available fuel. Even with high energy density and excellent burn efficiency, one would need to stockpile a large supply of fuel.
Clearly one would need power plants that could be fueled for long periods of times — centuries or longer. Such nuclear reactors are not nearly developed.
For intelligent persons, worrying about a few degrees of climate warming is not a large concern. Rather, the threat of an extended period of deep glaciation — which has happened repeatedly in the past — is the larger concern.
If burning coal helps to retard the coming of such an “ice age,” we had best set about burning a lot more coal than the climate cultists would have us burn.
Thank the universe for hydrocarbons! Without them, you would probably not be here.
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