The demise of coal has been greatly exaggerated

Reality Check.

The death of coal utilisation or the exhaustion of coal reserves is not even a glimmer on the world’s energy horizon — thank goodness.

Add to this the fact that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere (and man made CO2 emissions are a minor contribution to this concentration) simply have no significant effect on climate. Trying to control climate by reducing man-made carbon dioxide emissions must rank as one of the world’s most useless and wasteful efforts in the last 30 years.

Terence Corcoran writes in the Financial Post:

….. The idea that coal is dying seems to be mostly wishful thinking on the part of green activists, as well as some politicians and regulators in the United States and parts of Canada. Ontario aims to end dirty coal-fired power generation, at great cost to consumers who are now paying high prices for the putative clean alternatives, wind and solar. The United States, via regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, has established rules that are said to present the coal-power industry with a “dead end.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world, global consumption of coal grew by 5.4% in 2011, according to BP Statistical Review, the only fossil fuel to record above-average growth and the fastest-growing form of energy outside renewables. Asia leads the consumption race. There also seems to be a lot of coal around, with world proved reserves said to be sufficient to meet 112 years of global production, the highest reserves-to-production ratio of any fossil fuel. …..

….. With all this coal expansion on a massive scale in Europe and Asia, why would the United States and Canada be attempting — at least officially — to shut down coal-fired power generation? Coal, properly developed using the latest technology, can deliver energy at what now looks like reasonable cost and minimal environmental damage. As for climate change and carbon emissions, Canada would be foolish to spend billions on carbon-capture schemes while the rest of the world increases coal usage and carbon emissions keep rising. The global carbon-control effort is now bogged down at all levels, from the United Nations to the European Union to within Canada and the United States. …..

… So, based on this quick overview, the conclusion is this on coal: Far from coming to an end or a peak, global coalification seems to be well underway.

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