"Why New Coal?" is a campaign in India that has taken shape in response to the fact that the Indian Government has approved 213 new coal plants in the country to come up in the next 8 years. The Climate cycle ride is an attempt to question this dangerous over-reliance on fossil fuel and to highlight the alternatives that exist. Two-third of India's CO2 emissions come from coal used in power generation. We are facing a climate emergency, the coal reserves will only last another few decades and if we include the social cost of using coal, the renewable energy comes at a much cheaper cost.
Yet the option of continuing to use coal power was chosen as if no other option existed. All of this even when climate scientists like Dr. James Hansen have stated on several (other) occasions, "Once the Government understands how serious the problem is, these plants will have to go." It really doesn't make sense constructing new ones then and that is the case "Why New Coal" is making.
The campaign is using up-to-date climate science and facts to get the point across. It quotes Dr. James Hansen from his paper stating, "An initial 350 ppm CO2 target
may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and
adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon." It also quotes Al Gore calling for a civil disobedience against fossilly equipped coal power plants.
And to prove to those who still wonder how possible would it be to shift from coal based power generation to the renewables, the climate cycle ride, a 1500 Km long journey from one end of the country to the other is precisely the answer. The cycle ride across India upto New Delhi is actually to convince to many that the seemingly Impossible is Possible.
The ride will begin on 17th January 2009 from Kolkata: http://whynewcoal.com