Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tell the truth about coal

Posted on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 4:00 AM

It has been said that communism failed because it wouldn’t tell the market truth, and that capitalism may fail because it will not tell the ecological truth.

An aphorism is not destiny. Still, we see this in Montana with the discussion of increased coal exploitation and export of the coal to Asia.

All of the proponents of this talk about how stripping and shipping coal will generate money, but they never breathe a word about the environmental truth of such coal exploitation.

That is, they never mention that doing so will devastate agricultural lands and destroy water supplies in eastern Montana. And they never discuss the toxic constituents of coal that will be released in transport and when the coal is burned (pollution from Asia reaches the U.S. in just a few days). Nor do they mention that burning coal accelerates climate change, which is already causing widespread disruption across the globe.

Refusing to tell the truth about the harms of coal will not make them go away. It will only make us less able to deal with them.

Charyn Ayoub


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