Hey, Republicans, even if global warming were a hoax (it’s not), don’t you think we could live without carbon fuels?
It seems like another week, another conservative exercise in histrionics about the hoax of global warming. To hear conservatives talk about The Green New Deal, they say that it’s a plot to allow the government to take over the entire energy sector of the economy. They will even tell us that CO2 is not a poisonous gas, that it’s great for plants and that we were headed for another little ice age, anyway.
So, despite an overwhelming scientific consensus on Global Warming, let’s assume for the moment that the whole thing is a hoax. We will take their arguments as granted and consider other reasons why we need to doff our addiction to coal, oil, and natural gas.
The first reason to consider eliminating carbon-based fuels is pollution on a massive scale. The waste from the extraction, transportation, and burning of these fuels is enormous. We have seen oil spills on an enormous scale. There are gas well fires that have been burning for decades because no one knows how to put them out. that no one knows how to put out. There are still coal mine fires that no one knows how to put out, too. All of that is uncontrolled pollution.
In the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, we have seen numerous oil spills in pipelines and tanker trucks. Who could forget Deepwater Horizon? We have seen numerous train wrecks from the transportation of natural gas.
We’re also piling up mountain ranges of coal ash, the residue left after burning coal. Anyway, it has to go somewhere and we don’t really have a place to put it. And don’t forget about the trace amounts of uranium in coal ash and the soot that flows out of power plants.
Diesel fuel has sulfur in it that’s why diesel exhaust stinks, and that means sulfur dioxide. Gasoline has MTBE, which has been found to accumulate in water supplies. Gasoline also has ethanol in it, thanks to intense lobbying by the agriculture industry. One of the by-products of ethanol combustion in vehicles is ozone, and if some special interests have their way, the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline will hit 30%.
Ozone is toxic and exacerbates asthma and other respiratory conditions, yet few gasoline advocates are willing to discuss the health impacts of the fuel additives in the fuels we use to power our cars. According to Mark Shwartz of the Stanford News…