Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There is no clean coal

Well, another month shot to hell. How flies time when you are having fun? (sic) I heard a great discussion this morning between Bob Edwards and Robert Redford on the environment and global warming. Redford commented that there are still men and women in congress who do not believe that global warming is not real. He called them backward thinking people who would rather deny the facts than to deal with the issue. It is easier to believe that it is not happening rather than come to grips with what needs to be done to mitigate the problem. I totally agree. As a historian and sociologist I can give anyone many examples of how that rotten thinking has not worked in the past. We need to be forward thinking and be ready to do what we need to do to solve problems rather than deny that they even exist. It is much like the argument about "clean coal." There is no such thing as "clean coal" and it is merely a figment of the imagination of people who would like to believe that there is "clean coal." Another one is the myth that there are ways to extract oil and natural gas in an environmentally safe way. That is impossible unless they figure out a way to do it without using water. As the screws were tightened here in the United States big oil companies moved to South America and Africa where there were few if any regulations. Today Nigeria is in major trouble over oil drilling. Several countries in South American have sued American Oil Companies for pollution. The companies defend themselves by saying that the did not violate any laws of the host country. The host country was also the majority shareholder in the drilling. Talk about the fox watching the chickens. Once we realize that we are all living on the same planet and that what happens in Nigeria directly impacts Cleveland then we will start having a better attitude about the place where we all live. Our generation is lost but let's do what we can for our children and our grandchildren.

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