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You Don't Know Where You Are Going Until You Know Where You Have Been.


In the last decade, China built as much coal plant capacity as the entire existing capacity in the United States.

Coal Facts show the use of Hard Coal for 2011 with 2010 data.  This is the cleaner burning coal rather than brown coal which has high sulfur content.  Below are the largest producers of Hard Coal

PR China 3162Mt, USA 932Mt,  India 538Mt, Australia 353Mt, South Africa 255MRussia 248Mt (and others)

Coal is used world wide and produces about 30% of the worlds energy.  From that coal generates about 42% of the electricity world wide.

I was in China just a few years ago, and we saw many barges heading up the Yangtze River that were loaded with coal.  Also, at that time China was bringing on one new coal fired electrical plant a week.  The amount of coal China produces and uses now in 2011 as compared to 2005 is astounding.  In 2004 China produced 1956 Mt and in 2010 3162 Mt.  The USA produced 933 Mt in 2004 and 932 MT in 2010. (The statistical information above about coal comes from the 2005 and 2001 Coal Facts. Both sheets can be downloaded as pdf files.)

China has a lot of Brown Coal of its own but does not choose to burn it because it is very high in sulfur content and creates a lot more pollution than the “clean” or Hard Coal that is mined in much of America.

I am under the impression that China imports a lot of coal from other countries and there are plenty of them which chose to sell it to them.  It is hard to determine the exact facts from what is posted on the Internet.  Articles by the Coal Industry are slanted their way as are articles by environmental organizations show a different slant.

We will not wipe out coal until it runs out which might be in the next 75 to 100 years.  Everyone needs to realize that time is running out for really getting alternative energy sources working.

A little segment on NPR interested me the other day.  An American living in Beijing spent $6000 to filter the air for his house that he owned.  Most Chinese can not do that.  Also when looking for a house here, schools, real estate, roads, and so forth there are the top things one looks for.  In China, they look for the area that has the cleanest air. 


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