I don’t know whether to laugh or cry every time I drive my gas-burning car past the billboards from New Energy Economy (NEE) which say “Coal Hurts.” Of course, the billboards are blatantly misleading as the smoke stacks pictured might as well be from China or the 1890s United States given the amount of black smoke billowing from them (the EPA would never stand for that these days).
But, what really makes me think about them these days are the 600 million Indians sitting in the dark due to their inadequate electricity infrastructure. Now, I’m not going to mislead you and blame the Indian situation on the environmentalists, but I will note that the preferred energy sources of enviro groups (wind and solar) like NEE are less reliable than coal and environmentalists consistently attempt to gain a “free ride” for their preferred energy sources when it comes to infrastructure.
So, does coal hurt? Yes, there are no “free lunches” in this world. But for generations, human beings all over the world have chosen coal and other steady, reliable, and cost-effective energy sources over their supposedly “green” counterparts. I guess a small and rapidly-declining amount of pollution beats sitting in the dark.