“Our time is up! We no longer have time to sit back and say it’s someone else’s concern!”
By Linn Smith
During my annual trek back to the Midwest where I call home, I had plenty of chances to observe that coal is still alive and well, although in my home state, wind turbines are popping up by the hundreds.
Yes, piles of coal are still scattered throughout the region and being hauled on trains, but the overall growth rate of coal use has diminished. According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the use of coal in the energy sector of the U.S. is declining.
Coal is on the Decline
The reason for coal’s decline is mostly economical. Here are several reasons for the decline:
1. Good or bad, the nation has turned towards greater use of natural gas. Even though fracking is the method of extracting natural gas, it burns cleaner than coal. Hopefully it’s just the middleman as we move towards clean energy!
2. Declining costs of renewables.
3. Aging of our coal plants which are leading to greater cost to the consumer.
4. Climate change and extreme weather have caused greater concern in public opinion, leading to a willingness to move toward renewables.
5. Corporations and oil companies have adjusted their economies towards public concern. They may still lack the concern for our planet…but money speaks, and if public opinion and price of renewables are telling them to move away from fossil fuels, then they are forced to listen!
Someone once said that people wouldn’t listen to the concern about climate change until it was in their own backyard and that seems to be what has happened! Extreme weather, a predicted effect of climate change, is happening around the world in the form of floods, water shortages, depletion of rivers, storms, heat and extreme cold. Our time is up! We no longer have time to sit back and say it’s someone else’s concern!