Nature jumps on the coal bandwagon

In line with what appears to be the Obama administration’s positionNature has an editorial discussing, and endorsing, carbon capture and sequestration for coal. The editors recognize the current lack of viable CCS commercial plants in addition to the other environmental costs associated with coal use, but contend (and I agree) that in essence we can’t let perfect be the enemy of the good:

Some environmentalists have been hammering home the point that there is no such thing as clean coal, and they may be right. Even if operators did somehow manage to bury 90% of the CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants, that would still leave all the emissions and other environmental impacts from mining and transporting the coal itself.

Indeed, in an ideal world, burying CO2 wouldn’t be necessary. Civilization would instead rely on carbon-free energy resources such as solar, wind and nuclear power, and would reserve CO2 for feeding algae and making carbonated beverages or, better yet, cement. But getting there will take time, and that is what carbon storage could provide. It’s worth the effort.

As I’ve said before, we aren’t going to have significant movement on climate change in the US without dealing with coal. Our resources are too great and coal’s special interests groups are too entrenched in our politics.


One response to “Nature jumps on the coal bandwagon

  1. Marion Delgado

    Obama’s politicking, and wrong.

    Nature Pubs has been whoring big-time on climate the last few years, and are wrong.

    Not ONLY is this batshit insane tech talk, it’s outrageously expensive.

    Gold-plated coal plants might work, but why would anyone make them?

    Meanwhile, the money poured down the fake clean coal rathole doesn’t go to real alternatives to the fossil fuel economy or even to conservation or efficiency, and that gives the fossil fuel flacks an excuse to say nothing we do will work anyway – because we’ve acquiesced in letting them steer us toward something they know very well is lying crap.

    This is NOT the perfect being the enemy of the good. This is an EXPENSIVE FRAUD being the enemy of doing anything whatsoever.

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