As US coal declines in price and use, global coal trade rose over 13% in 2010, and a new World Resource Institute report says at least 1200 new coal plants are planned worldwide, reports Bryan Walsh at Time Magazine. Furthermore, the US decline is mostly driven by the increased mining of natural gas, a fossil fuel whose burning still adds far too much to global warming and climate change. Overseas, China and India are the drivers behind increased coal usage as they strive to lift their citizens out of poverty. Key is whether China will build its 363 planned coal plants, or pull back amidst pollution and climate change concerns. Even worse, India has 450 coal plants planned in its drive to electrify. As it stands, the world is on track for an 8º Fahrenheit temperature rise by 2060 if the world’s governments do nothing to mitigate carbon emissions. That’s far above the 4ºF red line that many scientists have identified as the largest possible temperature increase the world could endure without potentially catastrophic consequences. Leap-frogging over national grids with off-the-grid solar lighting offers a potential partial solution.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. This is how YOU can make a difference.
The war on coal is being won in the US but the real battle is overseas. If the future of coal is looking dim in the U.S. with cheap natural gas and a Democrat in the White House, it’s as bright as a steel furnace in much of the rest of the world. In 2010 the global coal trade rose by 13.4 percent, reaching 1.08 billion metric tons. Time Magazine Bryan Walsh http://science.time.com/2012/11/21/the-war-on-coal-is-being-won-in-the-u-s-but-the-real-battle-is-overseas/
Also check out this coal growth animation: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=4390#