In some way it seems incredulous, but in another it shows how narrow-minded and greed-driven we are as a species. Green Car Congress today posted:
Bear Run will be the largest surface coal mine in the Eastern United States, with expected capacity of approximately 8 million tons of coal annually. The mine will initially supply two major Midwestern electricity generators under long-term contracts with terms of up to 17 years, which together are expected to generate nearly $6 billion in revenues.
The Bear Run operation will commence in the second half of 2009, and is expected to produce 2 to 3 million tons in 2010 and to ramp up thereafter. Approximately $350 to $400 million in capital will be invested over several years to bring the mine to its 8 million ton per year capacity.
Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private-sector coal company, with 2008 sales of 256 million tons and $6.6 billion in revenues. Its coal products fuel 10% of all US electricity generation and 2% of worldwide electricity.
There simply is no way that we will stop or even considerably slow down the global warming express any time soon. Large systems resist change, and when it finally is forced upon them they either collapse or move onto a more sustainable level of existence. While this rational conclusion might leave room for some casual equanimity, it’s hard not to utterly despise the coal companies for their callousness when thinking of all the innocent lives being lost on the planet’s future journey until we get to that point of reckoning.