Every year 24,000 people die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Every year 38,000 heart attacks occur because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Every year 12,000 hospital admissions and 550,000 people suffering asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.
Every year, coal-fired power plants release 48 tons of mercury nationwide.
Power plants release over 40% of total U.S. C02 emissions, a primary contributor to global warming...
...and yet the coal industry wants you to believe that building more coal fired power plants in Michigan is a good idea!
...and now utilities want to burn (as biomass) our trees that capture and store harmful carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to live
The following is an editorial by M'Lynn Hartwell, founder of Jobs and Energy
Today we find ourselves arguing whether or not global climate change is real (indicated by the rows above). This is not the discussion we need to be engaged in. As a species our real decision is between column A (green) or column B (red). You and I, as sentient human beings, must decide where we are going to place our bet. We only get to play this game once — our future is inextricably intertwined to the political and public will to choose and act on our choice.
On the other hand, if Global Climate Change is real, we will all be grateful that we had made an investment in creating a more livable planet.
On the other hand, if global climate change is real and we choose to take no action, the outcome will be an end to the world as we know it: extreme weather, unimaginable drought, tens of millions of people starving to death, world war, pestilence, as well as entire island nations and coastal areas will find themselves buried under water. Survivors will be forced to relocate, and there will be fierce and violent competition for remaining resources.
When we examine the consequences of our choice as column A, or column B, instead or arguing if global climate change is real, or not, we reach one inescapable conclusion. When faced with uncertainty about our future the only responsible choice, the only defensible choice, is column A. I therefore urge each of you to take immediate action now, because the minimal risks associated with acting now far outweighs the destructive consequences of inaction.
It is time to end the bickering and move forward with all haste to take appropriate action; to make a healthy choice. We absolutely must employ the precautionary principal and make the appropriate investment in our legacy, in order that we can assure not only you and I, but future generations, will have a habitable and hospitable planet to live upon.
Join with us and share this editorial with your friends. Please make time in your busy schedule to contact your local government, and our elected officials at the state and federal level. The urgency and need is great. Time is short. We must act now!
Some things that we must do now!
First and foremost we must put an end to the source of 40% of the pollution contributing to global climate change. We cannot stop the worst effects of global warming unless we start cutting pollution from coal plants now
The only way to stop carbon emissions is to produce alternatives. A recent report on "The Future of Coal" by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes clear that there is "no credible pathway toward environmental stabilization targets without emissions reductions from existing coal plants." Steady reductions in pollution from coal plants are necessary to achieve the deep cuts in pollution that science already shows is absolutely necessary by 2030 and beyond.
For the same reasons we require cars, air conditioners, and light bulbs to meet technology standards, we must also set standards for coal plants, the nation's single largest source of pollution. Coal plants – old and new alike – must not be permitted to keep running on inefficient, decades-old technology.
Just as emissions standards for automobiles help ensure that the dirtiest clunkers on the highway are replaced with newer models, so would effective global warming pollution standards help ensure that clunker coal plants, many of them 40 to 50 years old, don't keep operating indefinitely. Coal plants impose enormous costs on the environment and public health. The National Academy of Sciences has found that these ancient coal plants cost the U.S. economy tens of billions of dollars a year in public health damages. And in the meantime, countries like China speed ahead in the global renewable energy race.
The cap alone is not sufficient because, consistent with the House-passed bill and legislation under development in the Senate, (1) the emissions ceiling likely will decline relatively slowly for the first decade of the program; (2) companies likely will receive free pollution allowances to cover most of their emissions; and (3) companies will be able to avoid reducing pollution at their plants by purchasing offsets generated by projects in the United States and abroad. Indeed, EPA's analysis of the House-passed energy bill (which repeals New Source Review and New Source Performance Standards for carbon dioxide from existing coal plants) projects that only 6.9 percent of existing coal generation capacity will be retired by 2025, with most of the retired capacity occurring at "marginal units with low capacity" that are "part of larger plants that are expected to continue generating."
Companies will be perversely encouraged to keep operating, and even expand the operation of, their oldest and dirtiest coal plants, if they are exempted from modern pollution standards. Under the House-passed energy bill, new plants would in a few years have to meet fairly stringent global warming limits. But old plants would not have to meet any smokestack-specific standards, even if they are expanded in ways that drive up pollution. This loophole invites the industry to ramp up their use of old, dirty coal plants instead of retrofitting them to reduce pollution or retiring the oldest dinosaurs to make way for renewable energy. All power generating facilities must be help to the same standard.
By requiring that outdated coal plants install modern technology to reduce global warming pollution, we will unleash innovation and put America's workforce back in business. To successfully fight global warming and rebuild our economy with clean energy, clunker coal plants must meet modern standards for global warming pollution. If instead we make public policy which pushes efficiency and renewable's ahead of the old-fashioned determinants of need, we keep energy prices low, speed climate response and avoid any need whatsoever for wildly expensive and unclean solutions like CCS and nuclear.
Conserve Conserve Conserve
Our best hope for controlling the cost of energy and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions is through choosing to conserve. By choosing to turn down our thermostats, and replacing our light bulbs with LED's, as well as choosing Energy Star™ appliances, and driving less (as well as choosing public transportation whenever possible), we can eliminate the need for several new coal fueled power plants.
Another Great Choice
The number two choice is to make time in your busy schedule to review the information posted at http://JobsAndEnergy.com. I have expended a great deal of time and effort to create one of the most informative and useful web sites available on the internet today. Each headline (bold type) will lead you to the original source of information that I am citing. Please endeavor to create time to read and understand the information here. Ask questions if you want. Your quality of life and the lives of future generations depend upon you.
Please make certain to share this information with people you know. Please contact your elected officials and utility providers; let them know that you want them to move forward in creating a new economy based upon green jobs and conservation technologies. We as a public and government body must embrace and act upon the inescapable conclusion that the best hope for a livable future will be the result of healthy choices we make now.
We Are Here to Help You
M'Lynn Hartwell is a journalist, as well as a communications, and energy consultant. Her accomplishments include working to halt the first wave of so-called “clean” coal plants, including several in Michigan. As a public interest intervener, she is working to include currently uncounted costs such as health effects from burning coal and biomass, including, but not limited to, mercury contamination, air and water pollution, global warming, water use and future constrained water supplies, environmental justice, and toxic chemicals in groundwater.
Other outstanding individuals from our Speakers Bureau are also available to engage your school or group. Our consultants are available to help your business or organization.
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