Wednesday, June 20, 2007

As Glaciers Melt and Rivers Dry Up, Coal-Fired Power Stations Multiply



by Jonathan Watts / John Vidal, The Guardian UK




BEIJING - On a bad day - which can be hundreds in a year - the ancient city of Linfen in the northern province of Shanxi is environmental hell. Named by the World Bank last year as having the worst air quality on Earth, its 3.5 million people more often than not choke on coal dust; its soil and its rivers are covered with soot, and its Buddhas are blackened and shrouded in a toxic mist.



The cause is Linfen’s 196 iron foundries, its 153 coking plants, its unregulated coalmines, tar factories, steelworks and domestic homes, all of which burn cheap, easily accessible brown coal.



Shanxi is the centre of China’s vast and growing coal industry, which was pinpointed yesterday by Dutch government scientists as the major culprit, along with the cement industry, in the country’s sudden surge to the top of the world’s league of greenhouse gas emitters.



In the last six years, the Chinese coal industry, with reserves put at more than 1 trillion tonnes, has doubled production to more than 1.2bn tonnes a year. The country is now building 550 coal-fired power stations - opening at the equivalent of two a week - and in the five years to 2005, electricity generation rose 150%.



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2 comments:

Charlie said...

The only way to lower our carbon emissions is to learn about the ways in which we can do that.
I found this great challenge in the Washington D.C. area called the Cool Capital Challenge. It is a challenge to lower the carbon emissions in Washington D.C. by one billion pounds.
Check out the website www.coolcapital.org and tell your friends.

andrea said...

I think people need to be more educated about this subject and many others that go hand and hand with this. Average, everyday Americans only see and hear what the government says and since the government is convinced nothing is happening, many people are ignorant to everything going on in the whole outside of their everyday lives. Which is very sad that people can't have opinions of their own. Americans have it in their heads that opinions make you different and they do.. But that's a good thing! Everyone thinks being normal is key.. Why be normal when you can be opinionated??