Preparing for a Coal Show

I’m presently preparing for my next program about the coal industry in the US and the world over the past 50 years. Maybe 50 is too much… at least the last 15. The minute I heard about this mine accident I immediately started to think about the push by the Bush administration and associated senators, to encourage the building of more coal plants and focus more on using coal. “Clean Coal Technology” was the oxymoron the megamoron president would keep repeating. Over and over. And of course, he got his way.

>I’ve been looking over the numbers, and worldwide, especially in China and the US, coal is growing and growing. Seems so strange to look at the year – 2006 – and then look at the fact that modern nations still use coal, despite the extreme air pollution, the mercury that contaminates most everything in the area of a plant, and the extremely dangerous conditions that miners work in. Is this the modern answer for a modern world? Seems more like the good ol’ boys trying to make good’ol money the good’ol way.

The usual channels that claim to bring you news are filled with sob stories, sound bites, and sad faces. Have they bothered to start asking real questions about what’s going on with coal? How is the coal industry effecting these communities? Is the focus on new coal plants and more coal a sustainable and healthy one for a country… hell… for a planet? As much as Im also concerned for other countries, especially China which is the biggest coal producer ever, I look extra critically at the US, cause as an American, I know the country is capable of much better; more creative, innovative, and forward thinking ideas. Not this old fashioned and dangerous obsession with filling our lungs and our lives with black soot in persuit of the mighty dollar.

More on my next podcast, which will come to you from Brussels… Im hitching a ride in 4 hours.