Positive Future #43 (Feature photo Diagram of Coal Power Plant – courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority)
Six years ago, over 40 percent of Britain’s electricity was generated by burning coal. Since that time, Britain has resolved to rid itself of coal. In 2017, only 7 percent of the nation’s electricity was generated from coal. Most of the lost electricity generation from coal was replace by expansions in natural gas, wind and solar.
As the slow death of coal continues in Great Britain, the slow death of coal has begun in China – the world’s largest consumer of coal. China’s declining coal consumption began in 2014 as is accelerating.
As coal is at its crossroads into extinction, the U.S. in 2017 faced unprecedented climate anomalies (crisis). The U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information reported on 1/5/2018 that the U.S. experienced 17 major climate anomalies that racked up a damage bill of $306 billion. That equates to roughly $1,900 per working American.
As the materials needed to repair and replace the damage are withdrawn from natural resources, competition for those resources will push up basic costs of construction and other natural materials. The three hottest years of record – since records started in 1895 – are 1) 2016, 2) 2017, 3) 2012.
Unfortunately, humankind’s greatest enemy is not the natural world, but itself. Global military expenditures are around $1.6 trillion or over five times the cost of the natural calamities America faced in 2017.
Will the world come to a point where it must – out of necessity – unite and work together?