|A big screen reminds people in Beijing of what a blue sky looks like
|Air pollution purchased from Australia|
Image source: FengLi/Getty Images
summarised in The Guardian,
states that air pollution is the world's single biggest environmental health
An article published in the prestigious health journal, The Lancet, put
numbers on the deaths caused
by the burning of coal to generate electricity.
The main sources of ambient air pollution are:
The main sources of air pollution in homes are coal smoke and wood smoke.
the burning of forests in wild-fires or for clearing;
the liquid fuels burned in motor vehicles, airplanes and ships;
the burning of coal, lignite and peat for things like steel-making and power generation;
the burning of rubbish: anything unwanted that will burn.
In this page I will deal mainly with the burning of Australian coal for power generation, called thermal coal; the burning of high-grade coal, called metallurgical coal, while not generally so polluting does add to the problem.
In Australia our governments, federal and some state governments, cannot see past the profits that they believe can be made by digging up and exporting millions of tonnes of this
Outside Australia, people and the more progressive organisations are turning
away from coal because they see its shortcomings and because they see it
lacks a viable economic future.
They are turning toward clean, non-polluting, renewable energy.
A quote from PM Tony
Abbott on 2014/05/28:
"It's particularly important that we do not demonise the coal industry and
if there was one fundamental problem, above all else, with the carbon tax
was that it said to our people, it said to the wider world, that a commodity
which in many years is our biggest single export, somehow should be left in
the ground and not sold.
Well really and truly, I can think of few things more damaging to our future."
Ex-Prime Minister Abbott and those with similar disregard for the world's future would like to export even more coal and death, for the sake of short-term profits, and they will do so if the Australian people allow them to.
Mr Abbott, who calls himself a Christian, has not the slightest conception of
US President Barack Obama said in late May 2014:
"We don't have to choose between the health of our economy and the health of
In 2018 Mr Abbott has little political influence, but he and others obsessed with coal, of whom there are still many with great political influence in Australia, want to keep the coal-cash-cow going and want minimal, if any, action on
climate change and
"As President, and as a parent, I refuse to condemn our children to a planet
that's beyond fixing."
How much CO2?
In 2012 Australia mined about 430 million tonnes of coal.
This was about 14 tonnes each second.
When these 14 tonnes were burned they produced about 25 tonnes of CO2 every second – which goes straight into the atmosphere!