As we’ve mentioned before, whether we as a planet decide to use coal as a source of energy moving forward will largely define whether we achieve 350 parts per million. Here in the U.S. we’ve seen a major effort to build many new coal plants in an effort to lock in more dirty and cheap energy for the next fifty years – and in response we’ve seen a major grassroots movement rise in opposition all over the country where new coal-fired power plants are planned. We’ve also seen a major, multi-million dollar effort from the coal corporations to convince Americans of all the great benefits of “clean coal”, an oxymoron that Al Gore has referred to as akin to trying to sell a “healthy cigarette”.
And so we’ve been heartened and inspired to see, in all corners of the country, local activists banding together to organize, gather petitions, and ultimately sit down in front of the construction equipment for these new plants – all to little or no national media attention. Until this week, when Time Magazine, a major weekly magazine in the U.S., published this article detailing the efforts to stop King Coal in the U.S. This quote from the article sums up well the response to the coal question here in the U.S.: “To accept a new generation of polluting coal plants is to doom future generations to an impoverished planet. So the response should be fundamentally moral as well, using the same tactics–civil disobedience, nonviolent protest–as those of the civil rights movement.”