As much as there is growth in alternative resources, coal still remains the number #2 energy resource. According to experts, it still will remain a primary supplier of energy for at least the next two decades. What are the reasons for this?
1. Coal is cheap. It still is much cheaper than natural gas and oil. Clearly, it still remains cheaper than solar, wind, bio fuels when you add up the infrastructure cost to harness that energy.
2. It is easily transportable.
3. It is the supplier of energy for two of the largest growing economies, China and India. China accounts for 1/2 of the global demand for coal and India represent 7.5%.
4. U.S. has not put in place a carbon emissions tax or cap. At this point, it does not look like this will happen in the near future, especially if the Republicans gain some control of Congress. Also, too many states have some connection to coal economically, which reduction of coal usage will have an huge economic impact. In this economic environment with a high unemployment rate, it will be difficult for people to give up their jobs that will impact with the immediate future, their livelihoods, in order to protect the distant future, the planet's livelihood. I person is more concerned about putting food on the table now than what will happen is some hypothetical future created by scientists, who have recently had less credibility with the general public.
The US has stated that it is addicted to oil; however, there is a greater addiction for the global economy, coal. Like any addiction, it takes time to got off of that "drug." At least for now, coal will continue to burn that red glow to meet the energy needs of us.
Hey, at least, we will continue to get the latest upgraded ipod from China at a cheaper price because it was created using the cheap energy resource, coal. I just hope that ipod is waterproof when the sea rises twenty years from now. Then again, I guess we will have time to create one of those too.