Coal isn’t worth the costs

I’m writing mainly to post a link to Gardiner Harris’s NYT story today: Coal rush in India could tip balance on climate change.  Getting energy from coal has truly awful health consequences — I sometimes think that if I weren’t working on open defecation, that would be where I should turn my attention.

The only thing I would add to Gardiner’s article is a reply to the quoted politicians who repeat the old misunderstanding that India needs coal to develop.  In fact, mounting evidence proves that coal is a bad economic deal even only for the present generation, ignoring climate change: the disease, medical expenses, and loss of life are simply too large to be worth it.  Two thirds of India’s emissions due to energy consumption are from coal, and that is something nobody needs: not future generations, not today’s workers and taxpayers, and certainly not tomorrow’s babies, who will attempt to grow healthy while breathing its smoke.

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