Friday, February 8, 2013

Post square 020813 ~ The De-greening of Europe

When the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan had its nuclear meltdown, Germany found an incentive to phase out nuclear power.

They turned to brown coal, or lignite, for their electrical needs and also to hard, black coal.

The hard, black coal is shipped as an export from the U.S., where the demand for hard, black coal has plummeted. This is a side effect of the rapid rise of hydraulic fracturing, which has opened up huge reserves of natural gas.

Natural gas is cheaper than coal.

So the U.S. looks the other way as it happily jeopardizes the environment in two major ways; by using the terribly controversial "fracking" at home, and by sending its cheap and unwanted hard, black coal around the world to let everybody else contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

The image for this drawing is a piece of "a vast lignite mine near Jaenschwalde, Germany" which "feeds high-emissions lignite, or brown coal, directly to a power plant."

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