Letter: Time to stop burning stuff
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Let's talk coal.
Sooner or later, (unless we elect to keep wounding our precious, life-supporting planet, and push the envelope on where the tipping point is), we need to stop burning things. Things like old tires, and their first cousins: sand, tar, oil and coal.
I get it. They're cheap, highly profitable, and there are jobs involved. Wind and solar results have been mediocre, but we're early in the learning curve stage. Let's keep going down that path. Nuclear is an option, but only the fail-safe designs.
"What if?" Gen. Chuck Yeager, (USAF, retired), has said that his flight engineer saved his bacon more than a few times by posing that question. What if this failed, or that?
What is the backup system, our response?
What if a billion people living in tropic and sub-tropic zones get a taste for all things electrical, especially air conditioning? I'm sure China will sell them, let's say, 300 million air conditioning units. They'll also need, maybe, 250-plus coal-fire generating plants. And when our atmosphere starts to resemble present-day Beijing, China, and we demand they stop burning this stuff, they'll tell us to take a hike.
They'll argue that we didn't stop when we should have, so why should they? And they'll be right.