The United States has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions more than any other country, primarily by shifting from coal to natural gas as a source of electricity. Our government has applied considerable pressure to kill America’s coal industry, ostensibly to preserve the Earth’s climate.
But other countries haven’t gotten the memo. Energy expert Robert Bryce explains:
[O]ver the past few weeks, China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year. For perspective, US coal production this year will total about 600 million tons.
Adding the 700 million tons of new coal that China and India will be mining to the amount they are now producing leads to some staggering numbers. By the end of next year, China will be producing about 4.4 billion tons of coal per year and India will be mining about 1.2 billion tons. Add those together and you get 5.6 billion tons of coal, which is more than 9 times the amount of coal that will be mined in the U.S. this year.
When it comes to the Earth’s climate, if you believe the global warming models, the U.S. is becoming a relatively minor player. And coal isn’t going away, because it is plentiful and affordable:
Coal persists because it can be used to produce the gargantuan quantities of electricity the world’s consumers need at prices they can afford. Indeed, coal’s share of global electricity generation has stayed at about 35%, since the mid-1980s.
Citizens of developing countries have no intention of remaining poor forever, and for the billions now living in what Bryce calls energy poverty, that means doing whatever it takes to get access to reliable electricity. “Green” hysteria isn’t going to stop them.
Bryce concludes with the obvious inference:
[I]f the countries of the world are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing more electricity to the 3 billion people now living in energy poverty, the only way to do it is with nuclear energy and lots of it.
STEVE adds—Here’s the price chart for coal in northern Europe: