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quote:Originally posted by VAlibrarianMy reply is: maybe, but only if the Carbon generated in burning the coal can be recaptured and kept out of our planetary atmosphere. That's a difficult task that nobody has managed yet, but it may not be impossible. Natural Gas is a far more satisfactory fuel from the standpoint of global warming as well as air pollution, because there is very little carbon in natural gas, and no lung-clogging particles either.
quote:Originally posted by VAlibrarianThe problem with it is that we desire to eliminate the particulate pollution because it is damaging to human health, but if we do that we lose the beneficial reflective values in the atmosphere. It seems to be a classic example of solve a problem make another worse.That's my spin of course.
quote:Originally posted by VAlibrarianI agree in principle with the critique of human nature in problem solving. However-my favorite criticism of the current generation of humans, which I concede that I repeat ad nauseam, is that we are running up against the limitations of sustainability but in many cases in no great hurry to address long term problems when the solutions may detract from our creature comforts. This behavior can truly be described as no different from that exhibited by humans living in the year 1000 or even the year 10,000 B.C.E. The difference is that there are now 6 billion of us, and that we will reach 9 billion before populations stabilize, and this planet is not as large and resource rich as we all wish it was. I am uneasy about our ability or willingness to shift mental gears and deal with sustainability issues before we run into the limits of growth with a nasty crash.
quote:Another issue is that water, which is a major product of burning methane, is also a greenhouse gas.