Archive for January 12th, 2011

Coal, Pecans and the Negligence of Power

posted by Jael Ever @ 13:22 PM
January 12, 2011

Again considering the hazards of coal, farmers in Texas now suffer millions in losses because of coal power-plant emissions.  As one Texas newspaper states, coal plants turn all vegetation around them into “dead zones.”  In fact, these dead zones are apparent at the 19 coal-fired power plants throughout Texas.  And, although technology is available to cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, one plant, the Fayette Power Project in Lowell, Texas,  has refused for 30 years to install it.

 In regards to this plant, Associated Press reporter, Ramit Plushnick-Masti writes: “Along a stretch of Highway 21, in Texas’ pastoral Hill Country, is a vegetative wasteland. Trees are barren, or covered in gray, dying foliage and peeling bark.”  Pecan growers watching their trees “die slow, agonizing deaths” are particularly affected.  One rancher points to 2,000 pecan trees are now dead and not producing the income his family has depended upon for generations.  Of course, Texas corporations (backed by some government authorities) operating these plants deny that sulfur dioxide emissions from their plants cause dying trees, claiming instead that drought is the culprit.  But then few point out that coal fire emissions contribute to Global Warming which in turn causes drought.

 But it gets worse.  Not only is lax oversight allowing coal-fired power plants across the country to kill the vegetation around them.  Like Australia, this nation is exporting coal around the world so that coal-fired plants will kill vegetation wherever it is sent.  According to famed columnist, George Wills, “Half of the 6 billion tons of coal burned globally each year is burned in China.”  And American environmentalists say that by exporting coal, this country is exporting Global Warming!  Moreover, Wills points out that––even as the environmentalists army in this country fights against coal-fired plants and other contributions to Global Warming––that fight has no affect on China.  That nation has no effective environmental, journalistic or balancing governmental  force.  And that government has little regard for the heavy soot and smog that chokes its cities. 

 But then of course, with all the freedoms of democracy, unfettered journalism, and environmental activists, the U.S. may not be handling the problem of Global Warming much better.  Too often, corporate and political leaders have stubbornly refused to truthfully confront the issues, such as continuous dependence on coal-fired power plants, threatening the planet.  In a nation filled with churches, where a majority of its citizens claim Christian beliefs, such refusal to accept truth, and take responsibility for change, bodes of stubbornness.  However, 1 Samuel 15: 23 in wholesale Christian Bibles labels stubbornness as worse than idolatry.  Hence these coal-firing power plants become one of the modern idols before which too many leaders kneel, and onto which a slipping nation clings.

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