By Jeff Goodell
Despite a devastating, century-long legacy that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and ravaged the surroundings, coal has develop into sizzling back -- and should most likely get warmer. during this penetrating research, Goodell debunks the defective assumptions underlying coal's revival and shatters the parable of inexpensive coal power. In a compelling mixture of hard-hitting investigative reporting, historical past, and evaluate, Goodell illuminates the stark monetary imperatives the US faces and the collusion of commercial and politics -- what's intended via "big coal" -- that experience set us at the risky direction towards reliance in this strength source.
Few folks become aware of that even this present day we burn a lump of coal each time we turn on a change. Coal already provides greater than part the power had to energy our iPods, laptops, lighting fixtures -- whatever we use that consumes electrical energy. Our wish to discover a homegrown replacement to Mideast oil, the emerging fee of oil and usual fuel, and the fossil fuel-friendly temper in Washington will quickly push our coal intake in the course of the roof. simply because we've got did not advance replacement power assets, coal has successfully develop into the default gasoline for the twenty-first century.
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Extra resources for Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future
Unlike steel kings such as Andrew Carnegie, who eventually spent their millions endowing libraries, museums, and universities, the coal barons didn’t bother. As George Leader, a former governor of Pennsylvania, put it during a 1995 interview: There is something about the extractive industries that, somehow, exploitation seems to be the only word that applies. They don’t seem to care about the hospitals or the churches or the community buildings or even the infrastructure unless it directly affects them.
It was scary, but she’d dealt with it. Then the ﬂooding began. In three years, Gunnoe was ﬂooded six times. ” When it rained, the naked mountains guttered the water into the hollows. The ﬁlled-in headwaters of the creeks only accelerated the momentum of the runoff during storms, often turning a small, docile-looking creek like the Big Branch into a raging torrent. This was not a problem particular to Bob White. More than seven hundred miles of streams had been ﬁlled in throughout Appalachia, changing the natural drainage patterns and making catastrophic ﬂooding a springtime ritual in the southern coalﬁelds.
The best evidence of this is the Elms, one of the grandest and most frequently visited Gilded Age mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. It was the home of Edward Berwind, an early-twentieth-century coal company owner and close friend of ﬁnancier J. P. Morgan. Although Berwind is not remembered for much besides his gaudy mansion, at the turn of the century this hard-working son of a German immigrant and cabinetmaker was voted one of the thirty most powerful people in America. S. Navy, and many steamship lines.