The way you see coal is the way some of the government... want you to see it.
we all know that there is a good side and a bad side to everything.
I'm sorry, THE government? I'm Australian, mate.
Also, I believe there were several studies done that showed the relationship between mining and water pollution? I am not well acquainted with it, but I think that mining was one of the reasons why we have so much mercury and other heavy metals in our waterways and oceans from the gold mining in California, way back in the Gold Rush (er, for foreigners, the Californian Gold Rush was back in 1849). This was using hydraulic mining. To this day, it's not safe to eat more than one fish per week from our waterways, just because otherwise you might poison yourself from the mercury.
The Chernobyl disaster was essentially an experiment to see how far you could push things gone wrong. This, and Three Mile Island, were really the worst disasters.
That was steam, and while nuclear energy may not have much of a carbon footprint, we still don't have a sure-fire way to dispose of spent nuclear fuel rods. I don't think we should be using nuclear energy until we know of a safe way to dispose of the waste.
You might find this article interesting (link to the study at the end): http://www.currentresults.com/Wildlife/ ... 706201.phpBasically, the study found that mercury contamination is likely due to atmospheric mercury being carried overseas by wind, rather than a domestic source.
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