25th August 2007

Coal Mining is SO two centuries ago

Wind PowerWe already know that carbon emissions from coal-generated power is a major contributor to global warming. And the most recent occurances of mine cave-ins in Utah and China are neither new nor rare instances. Coal mining is a dangerous occupation, but generally speaking we only hear about how dangerous it is when a mine collapses, trapping and often killing the miners who were underground when a collapse occurs.

People work at these dangerous jobs because we humans, in every developed nation around the globe, have a nearly insatiable need for energy. To light our homes at night, run our air conditioners (in a hot climate) or heat our homes (in a cold climate), to power our computers, microwaves, toaster ovens, etc., etc., etc..

But we have alternatives – wind power, hydro-electric (water), bio fuels, solar power. We simply need to start telling our Utility companies, and our elected representatives, that we want better funding into using these alternative energy sources. Instead of spending millions of dollars to rescue trapped miners, let’s shut down the coal mines and put that money into installing more Wind Turbines, and better tax credits for homeowners who install solar panels.

Of course we all need to do our part to reduce our own energy consumption as well – there’s great information everywhere these days about changing out your old lightbulbs for new energy efficient CFL bulbs, fixing your leaky faucets, turning down the hot water heater, and many more suggestions – check out PowerScoreCard.org and DoSomething.org.

While you’re at it, you might consider a Hamster Powered Paper Shredder. Maybe if we can find a way to put more Hamsters to work, we can eliminate coal mining altogether. I know what you’re thinking – “all those miners would have to find other jobs!”. Yep, you’re right. Safer jobs hopefully.

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