Remember when people learned that cigarettes cause cancer and sometimes fatal lung disease and smokers were still like, yeah, well, I like to smoke?
The world has more than 1,000 new coal plants that it’s planning to build, because, yeah, well, we like to burn coal.
From The Guardian:
The huge planned expansion comes despite warnings from politicians, scientists and campaigners [Ed. -- and church leaders and social scientists and probably children and dogs and Muppets and the concept of "happiness"] that the planet’s fast-rising carbon emissions must peak within a few years if runaway climate change is to be avoided and that fossil fuel assets risk becoming worthless if international action on global warming moves forward.
Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India. The capacity of the new plants add up to 1,400GW to global greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of adding another China — the world’s biggest emitter. India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China, which is seeing a slowdown in its coal investments after a vast building programme in the past decade.
“This is definitely not in line with a safe climate scenario — it would put us on a really dangerous trajectory,” said the WRI’s Ailun Yang.
Yeah? No shit?
The WRI report also found an uptick of 13 percent last year in the trade of coal (which we wrote about last week).
Because we are addicts. Like smokers who figure another cigarette or two can’t hurt, we keep taking long drags off of our smokestacks. It’s cheap, the electricity is flowing, the prospect of danger is so distant, barring the occasional massive superstorm. It’s deadly but invisible, so we light one up.
And we keep telling ourselves: We can quit any time we want.