Life and Human Dignity

The Point: Ideology and Energy


John Stonestreet

That’s a cold worldview.

Recently, The New York Times asked why it’s so difficult for developing countries to stop using coal to generate electricity.

Well here’s why: Fossil fuels like coal are very energy dense. They’re easy to store and transport, which is the first order of business with any electrical grid.

The person who finds the answer to the storage problems with wind and solar energy will win a minimum of two Nobel Prizes.

Wealthy nations like the United States can afford to reduce the amount of coal it uses. Nations like India, Vietnam, and China, with a combined population of nearly three billion people, most of them poor, cannot. If they are going to provide electricity for billions of people, coal is inescapable, at least for now.

This is hardly a secret. The only way you can miss this obvious explanation is if your worldview requires you to miss it. In that case, you’re okay with people shivering in the dark while you dream of a perfect world from your well-lit, climate-controlled office.

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