Coal Hard Reality: ‘We have trillions of tons of coal… expect the world to use them all,’ says Peabody Energy

The New York Times reports:

The United States Energy Information Administration forecasts that global energy consumption will grow 56 percent between now and 2040. Almost 80 percent of that energy demand will be satisfied by fossil fuels. Under this assumption, carbon emissions would rise to 45 billion tons a year in 2040, from 32 billion in 2011, and the world would blow past its carbon ceiling in fewer than 25 years.

“We have trillions of tons of coal resources in the world,” Vic Svec, spokesman for Peabody Energy, told me. “You can expect the world to use them all.”

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One thought on “Coal Hard Reality: ‘We have trillions of tons of coal… expect the world to use them all,’ says Peabody Energy”

  1. “… and the world would blow past its carbon ceiling in fewer than 25 years.” The “carbon ceiling” reference is an illusion. Increased human production of CO2 at the level described will make a very small contribution to the annual CO2 production cycle and CO2 itself is a weak forcing. Increased energy use is a marker and a facilitator of improved standards of living, especially for the planet’s most squalid slums and hungriest people.
    Nearly all fossil-fuel burning does produce other forms of pollution. Increasing that pollution by 56% would potentially be serious, except a considerable amount of the fossil-fuel energy will displace even dirtier forms and the central production of energy from coal makes pollution control easier.
    To this point, though, China and India are doing less than what would hope about real pollution.

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