Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More on the Oxymoron

The oxymoron, just so we’re clear, is defined as “a figure of speech in which two contradictory terms appear together for emphasis.” An example: “deafening silence.”

Here we have applied the term to Clean Coal and with very good reason.

We say this in spite of (or perhaps because of) the recent rash of “clean coal” commercials being aired on TV and radio – using actors with very calm and reassuring voices. There is an awful lot of coal out there and we are supposed to believe it is the answer to using imported oil!

If it could be burned without polluting the air and ground it would be a serious answer the ecological and political problems connected to Arabian (Mideast) oil.

But it can’t. Why?

Well, look at what coal is made up of. Depending on the type of coal, its carbon content is between 70% and 92%. And it’s that carbon which is released into the atmosphere polluting not just the air but ground and water as well.

Well, there are a lot of people who cares less about coal’s impact on our ecology and our children’s future health than they do about the fact that coal is plentiful and cheap (maybe not so much) and that coal is the major fuel used for the generation of “cheap” electricity.

And the coal industry has been busy selling the “goodness of clean coal.”

So listen to David DiMartino, spokesman for the Clean Energy Works campaign who says, ”The coal industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars misrepresenting what they do and the health effects on the American People” (Italics ours)

CEW campaign is a coalition of about 60 environmental groups, labor unions, religious organizations and veterans groups that want climate legislation. “It’s hard to believe anything they say when they’ve been caught using phony people and they’ve been caught writing phony letters.”

Josh Dorner with the Sierra Club points out the environmental as well as health costs to using coal: “They pretend to have an easy, no-cost solution to all of our problems,” he said. “If you say that there’s a solution to something and there’s absolutely no cost, that’s not very genuine. There are tons of hidden costs.” ” When you realize the true cost of coal, it’s not the cheapest resource,” he added

And that’s our case for today. And tomorrow

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