Trumping The Numbers

“The coal industry is being barely kept alive by plants that are getting to the end of their lifetimes. On Trump’s watch, they have only continued to close. He might be able to stem that tide for a couple of years. But he might not. Even if Trump does stem the tide, the economic pressure on coal will continue to build, because the price of renewable energy is still falling. GTM Research is projecting that the cost of electricity from solar panels in the United States will be somewhere around 1.5¢/kWh in 2022, and improvements in batteries could make solar and wind power dispatchable, as Steve Hanley made clear in an article in CleanTechnica. Coal cannot compete with current realities.”
See Trump Fiddles As Fossil Fuels Burn
I used to play the game of bridge. It’s frustrating when your “high card” is trumped by a card in the blessed suit. However, in the case of coal, Trump is not a winner. He’s a loser. He won’t help the coal-miners who voted for him. He won’t help the coal industry. He won’t help USA. He won’t help himself or anyone else. Delaying a disaster does no benefit unless the additional time is used to respond with a new plan. Trump has no plan. No backup. No alternative. No grand vision. He’s looking backward to a time when there was no universal healthcare for miners, no solar power, very little wind-power, and all the dams had been built and miners used shovels. Greatness might have been gained back then but it can’t be sustained that way. The world has moved on with improved technology which allows one person to do the work of a hundred miners, which allows cheap energy from Sun and wind and tides to be stored and converted electrically, and which allows energy to be shifted across timezones on a grid.

Then there’s global warming. Back in the heyday of coal, emissions of CO2 were small and ramping up but now emissions are being piled on top of an already large accumulation. Coal and other fossil fuels are polluting Earth with CO2. That’s not great. It’s not tolerable. It’s not a way forward. It’s not even a way backwards as diversity of life has been altered and the dinosaurs are not coming back rapidly enough to keep up with the warming of the planet. Trump’s way will kill Earth and many living things on it including us. Large rapid changes in the way we do things are needed for survival, not just campaign chants.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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