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Coal Mining- For or against

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Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:25 pm
SparkToFlame says...



Also! I found it!

I had to write a thingy for English, and it has to do with the topic, so I figured I'd post it. It takes the discussion a different way, but I figured I'd post it anyway.


This is a letter regarding coal. Yes, coal. And how we are dependent on foreign oils instead of using the power we have here in the U.S. What if we suddenly went to war with the countries that give us our oil? What would we do then? The EPA is trying to stop coal altogether, claiming it causes global warming.
Are you aware that global warming is not that bad? Are you aware that most people that use the term ‘global warming’ are pushing a political agenda, and may be exaggerating the truth?
Yes, parts of the earth are warming up. However, in other parts it is cooling down.
If your argument is ‘global warming’, and the person you are in the argument with is aware of science, you may be beat horribly.
Anyone who has done a recent Physical (un-biased) Science will know the truth.
Global warming is not a big deal.
Therefore, that theory is shot down.

Are you also aware that if coal was abolished, that West Virginia, Kentucky, parts of Pennsylvania, and parts of Ohio would see a very high rise in unemployment?
Many people have worked all their lives mining, and do not know anything else. These people would lose their jobs. Moreover, could they find new ones? Let us be real. They probably would apply for checks from the government, because they could not find any jobs, which would cost us, the public.
If the government is calling for change in unemployment, and lower taxes, why are they supporting the EPA’s plan to abolish or decrease coal manufacturing?
Do they not know that it costs more and raises unemployment rates?
Does it sound like their trying to help the country?
Does the EPA really care?
When you answer these questions truthfully, you may be surprised by the answer when you find it.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:10 am
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Pigeon says...



Are you aware that global warming is not that bad? Are you aware that most people that use the term ‘global warming’ are pushing a political agenda, and may be exaggerating the truth?
Yes, parts of the earth are warming up. However, in other parts it is cooling down.
That's why we call it climate change instead of global warming. It is a real thing and it is bad. I'm not sure where you're getting your information. Climate change may not be absolutely terrible in our lifetimes, but it doesn't seem like the greatest legacy we could leave.

Are you also aware that if coal was abolished, that West Virginia, Kentucky, parts of Pennsylvania, and parts of Ohio would see a very high rise in unemployment?
No one is arguing for coal to simply be removed all of a sudden with no for-thought. Coal should be, over time, used less and less as a power source, until it is not used at all. At the same time, new power sources should be brought in - environmentally friendly ones. These will need workers too, so they will provide jobs.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:24 am
SparkToFlame says...



I got my information from a variety of websites (And, I might add, got a 110 on that assignment for accuracy :P.) , that I'd love to show if you wish. Climate change is a natural part of the earth's process. The earth has had a heating trend for the thousands of years. And, if you'll believe it, pollution that COULD cause global warming has gone down, as humans realized what an impact we have on the environment.All I'm saying is, global warming will always be happening. There is nothing we can do to stop it. Just by breathing you put pollution into the air.

environmentally friendly ones.

Okay. The view on coal and pollution is VERY distorted. It's not that polluting to the environment as a whole. Maybe before Coal was cleaned before being put into the air it polluted, I'll be one of the first to say it probably did, but now coal is cleaned. Yes, it costs the government and people, through taxes, a lot more, (well not a LOT more, but enough,) but it also puts a lot less pollutants into the air.


I get all my information from science (Physical Science Apologia) Several coal mining sites, several power companies sites, my Daddy and my Pawpa.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:35 am
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Karzkin says...



The view on coal and pollution is VERY distorted.

Are you kidding me? Coal is approximately just as bad as we think it is. Remember, not all pollution and environmental damage happens in the air. look at this photograph, then look at this one. Please tell me, which is raping and pillaging the local environment more?
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:57 am
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Snoink says...



And, if you'll believe it, pollution that COULD cause global warming has gone down, as humans realized what an impact we have on the environment.


The pollution has gone down, but not enough for it to be eliminated, nor enough to stop the current trend as it exists now, according to scientific studies. :?

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.

Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3014/

Mind you, I am not sure what methods are used for mining, or whether mercury is even commonly used in mining operations (probably not, because of OSHA) but it is something to be concerned about. The waterways are usually overlooked, but they are important!
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:50 am
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Nate says...



Karzkin, you're comparing apples and apple pies with those images. That is, in one image, you're showing the beginning of the energy cycle. But in the other image, you're showing the ending of the energy cycle.

Image

That's an open pit mine in Mountain Pass, California, used to mine the rare Earth mineral called neodymium. Neodymium is used in wind turbines, hybrid cars, and nearly any "clean" tech you can think of. That particular mine is actually considered environmentally friendly, but most rare Earth minerals come from China, which couldn't really care less.

I don't wish for the above comment to be taken one way or the other in this discussion. Just pointing out that there is a life-cycle to take account of, and that the whole picture is vastly more complicated than what is typically presented. If you want to know my position... see my grandfather.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:56 am
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Snoink says...



Yeeeah. The problem with mining is that, if you stop one mining, more mining will commence in order to keep up with the demand of energy that we have. The best thing that we could probably do is conservation, but if we were that concerned of this energy problem really, we probably wouldn't be on our computers. So, maybe soon we'll be able to think up a way in order to keep up with our demand. Or, otherwise, learn to do without. But until then, I think we're going to keep coal mining, and hooooopefully we'll be able to develop other technology as we mine that are just as effective.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:12 am
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Paracosm says...



Just a note Karzkin, the material used to produce those windmills was probably mined from somewhere, at some point in time. (Hehe, Nate conveniently said so above while I was still proof reading this! ^^)

Water pollution is a serious issue, and it definitely deserves more attention. In my opinion, pollution in water is proving more harmful to the environment than air pollution Water pollution is far more dangerous, we are mostly composed of the stuff after all.

Coal mining has proven a valuable source for non-foreign energy in America, it's easily accessible, but it is also harmful to the environment. We have to weigh the costs. If we stop using coal, countries in the Middle East will just drill for more fuel, either way future generations will pay the price. Also, that money we use to pay for more drilling in the Middle East could go to fund future wars. The facts are, the Middle East is not stable, and many countries on that part of the world consider us enemies.

I don't want to get into global warming, because there is plenty of conflicting data. Let's just remember that we are coming out of an ice age, and humans didn't have the carbon imprint then that we do now. Earth goes through weather cycles all the time, we know that much, but the technology hasn't been around long enough to measure them accurately.

Also, I'll go through a little spill about Al Gore's theory about Florida flooding and all that nonsense. Have you ever had a glass of water overflow because the ice in it melted? Tell me when it happens, because then I'll be buying up real estate on the Appalachians like no one's business. Global flooding is a huge joke.

I think that we should continue to develop more enviromnentally friendly methods, but in the end, we will always have some adverse effect on the environment. That's just the way it is. We should try to limit the effects we have, but many of them are unavoidable. Coal mining is a good option right now, and when the time comes that we can convert to better methods, I will gladly jump on the band wagon.

Image
Looks pretty bad right? Yep, it's the badlands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_pollution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmen ... stry#Water
http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae389.cfm
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:17 am
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Paracosm says...



Also, someone mentioned nuclear energy in a list of "clean" options. Were you joking?

(Sorry, I made an error, turns out it was a list of resources more vast and readily available than coal, but he did continue to argue that coal was not an environmentally friendly option. I think it beats out nuclear energy, though.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:37 am
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Snoink says...



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. With the technology more developed, nuclear power is a viable option. Plus, the vapors that you see from it? That's steam. So, not bad.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:05 am
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Kit says...



You keep saying that they wash the coal. I do not think "clean coal" means what you think it means. It refers to a variety of technologies that reduce emissions, they do not literally wash the bad stuff off of the coal, it is quite a bit more complex than that. Also, acid rain makes me sad.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:32 am
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laylaflame says...



What about habitats that coal mines destroy threatening species? Or the simple fact that we have the technology and resources to invest in sustainable and clean energy that won't run out and produce pollution. Theres the known ones; wind, solar, wave, and tide, and they may not make as much energy but combined and used effectively they would. Not to mention they would ensure we have trees in our future and arnt all breathing or consuming life threating gases.

All I can say to people who dont care is: Go eat your diseased fish, breath your toxic air, and then die in some massive natural disaster we have the power to stop right now.

Life isnt about money or possessions, its about living. And with current energy producing techniques you wont be doing much of that in the future.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:38 am
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laylaflame says...



Also global warming is about just the planet warming.. its caled the enhanced greenhouse effect, and it means the cold parts get colder and the warm parts get warmer, and with extream weather conditions eventully we'll be wiped out by massive floods and cyclones (or tornadoes if you live where theres tornadoes..), oh and fires and blizzads... enjoy your global warming:)
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:03 pm
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SparkToFlame says...



laylaflame wrote:What about habitats that coal mines destroy threatening species? Or the simple fact that we have the technology and resources to invest in sustainable and clean energy that won't run out and produce pollution. Theres the known ones; wind, solar, wave, and tide, and they may not make as much energy but combined and used effectively they would. Not to mention they would ensure we have trees in our future and arnt all breathing or consuming life threating gases.

Okay, I'm going to say this, and I might offend someone, but what I say is true, and you can call people at any coal mine to make sure.
COAL MINING DOES NOT ENDANGER SPECIES. The EPA has laws about that sort of thing. If a coal mine is near a certain kind of animal, they will SHUT the mine down. very quickly. Anyway, if the animal isn't smart enough to flee, what's the point of it anyway? (Yes, I'm being sarcastic on that last comment. ;))


Are you kidding me? Coal is approximately just as bad as we think it is.

Oh, but you're wrong. Let me ask you, have you ever actually BEEN to any kind of mine, much less a coal mine?
The way you see coal is the way some of the government, and some of the EPA tells you to see it. Coal isn't BAD. It's a way for you to live with power and light, when nothing else is working. Yes, there are pros and cons. But there are pros and cons to everything. But, I might add, we've learned how to master coal. Have we really figured out how to use the alternative energies to their best advantage?
That picture of those windmill things? My question is: Let's say, what happens if there is a... I don't know, some kind of major land disaster caused by floods, tornado and storms and such. And those pinwheels fall down. Where is our energy then? Huh?
I know they are probably really strong and stuff, but they can't create power if they're knocked down. Just a little theory for you. Coal is always going to be underneath the earth, and we'll always be able to get to it, even if it takes awhile to dig down deep enough. Pinwheels, (I'm not sure of the correct name you see,) to me seem to be a bad idea, since they could be destroyed and then where would we be? Would we have enough reserve energy?

I'm not saying that we should stop trying to use alliterative process to create energy. All I'm saying is, that at the moment, coal is our best choice.
Kar, excuse me for saying this, but I think you're a little more biased than I am. And, those pictures are the, as I've said before, the BAD side of coal mining.

Oh, water pollution.
You would NOT believe how hard the EPA is about water. If there is a spec of dirt in the creek outside where the trucks are kept, the mine is in danger of being shut down. (I'm obviously exaggerating, but you get my point.) Mines take a lot of precautions against water pollution, but sometimes it's impossible to stop it. Water pollution IS a problem, but a problem the whole United States is a addressing, and one that MAY get better.

Also, my dad is getting me photos from his mine so you can see what the GOOD side of mining looks like, instead of the bad side.
Because, we all know that there is a good side and a bad side to everything.


Thanks everyone for the comments, it's really interesting to read! :D
~Drama
Also, I know I'm biased about the subject in question, if only a little. But I do try to give a scientific opinion, not a biased coal-miner's daughter opinion. I hope I'm doing that. <3
Last edited by SparkToFlame on Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:10 pm
Paracosm says...



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.

Also Layla, you don't have to worry about the trees disappearing. Although there is still a lot of irresponsible foresting out there, quite a bit of it is in a controlled environment. Once the product is cleared, more trees are planted. It is not in the lumber industries best interest to chop up all the trees, because then they don't have a source of income.

A patch of woods near my house was chopped down. I was pretty disappointed. One of my dad's friends was the one who was in charge of it. He talked to me about the precautions they take to ensure they don't harm the local ecosystem. The big bald patch on the side of my mountain is already growing back, and in twenty years, you wouldn't even know it was there.

Also, even though the human race does cut up forests, we also plant billions of trees in orchards and other tree farms. We also grow them in front of new buildings for aesthetic purposes. I'm not saying that we should go mutilating rain forests. We should probably protect them more. We do not have to worry about them disappearing, though.
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