Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reader Poll: Is Coal the Answer?

There's a movement afoot among some residents, civic leaders, and businesspeople in Whatcom County, Washington, to mine coal in the county and ship it to China. (For an overview of this proposal and links to other information, see Preston Schiller, "How to Stop Worrying and Love Coal Trains," Whatcom Watch Online, April 2011.)

This proposal would involve the burning of fossil fuels to extract fossil fuel from the ground; burning fossil fuel to transport the fossil fuel to the shipping terminal and load the fossil fuel onto freighters; burning fossil fuel to ship the fossil fuel across the Pacific Ocean to China; transporting the fossil fuel -- using fossil-fuel-burning trains and trucks -- to power generation plants, where the fossil fuel will be burned to produce electricity. The extraction will leave polluted land and air in Whatcom County; clog the regional rail system; and, when the coal is burned in China, produce emissions containing the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, as well as sulfur dioxide, aluminium, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, mercury, selenium, and uranium (See here and here, among others).

So, readers, is the above proposal:
    A) Crazy
    B) Ridiculous
    C) Farcical
    D) Nonsensical
    E) Ill-informed
    F) Desperate
    G) Inconsiderate
    H) Asinine
    I) Silly
    K) All of the Above

Answer below the fold . . .

Ha! This was a trick question. The answer is: L) Frightening!!!



  1. Personally, I'd go with F) Desperate.

    ...but that's only because I'm trying to understand the motivation behind proposing such a ludicrous action in the first place. It's also K *and* L.