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View Diary: Exporting Carbon Pollution - We Shall Not Participate in Our Own Destruction (91 comments)

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    David54

    China traditionally used coal because it's available, so industrialization means more coal.

    Therefore, CCS technology and other coal generation improvements have been a big focus here. Most new thermal power plants use coal gassification, much of which comes from GE, and is incrementally better than traditional plants they replace.

    However, this is not an environmentally sustainable option to meet Chinas growing energy needs and so all energy options are on the table and being adopted (including a lot of biogas, another win for GE).

    But to meet future needs it's really clear coal has to go so current policy is a mix of wind, solar, gas and nuclear, and the same is the case for India, because in both, you cannot provide any substantial power for the 1Bn plus populations with coal.

    In the most recent 5 year plan passed this year the amount of coal plants was significantly reduced and that's progress but it is still not enough.

    I personally doubt the viability of CCS. The US and China are actually cooperating on development of this technology but that will never solve the problem of coal mining so it's a dead-end proposition that attempts to buy time and nothing more.

    The US actually has a much different situation; it already has the infrastructure so the issue is replacement technology and the politics of that - who gets the money.

    Frankly the short-term political prospects for clean energy in the US look poor, but if Obama gets re-elected I hope he makes that a priority because it makes sense environmentally and economically, short and long term.

    Dr. Stephen Chu said "My nightmare is China coal". Good point. My USA nightmare is "energy & efficiency meltdown", i.e., that other major countries build clean energy and mass-transit infrastructures that make them more sustainable and economically competitive, and the US does nothing, gradually falling behind, because that's where fossil fuels are leading.

    The world is depending on China and the US to change. Can we? Sure. Will we? That is the question.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 09:42:47 PM PST

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    •  My feeling is to tell the coal industry: "OK, you (1+ / 0-)
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      koNko

      say clean coal is possible, go ahead prove it. Otherwise, we can't afford to clean up after you, (including the effects of mountaintop removal, the coal ash dumps, ocean acidification, and the mercury problem. "

      The discussion that has not fully ripened in this country is about the costs of each energy source and who should pay for it. That alone will give a boost to renewables. They ultimately should be subsidized because they empower the middle and working class. That's ultimately a boon to capitalism which is suffering from lack of middle class demand.

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