Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Shortest nonsense of the week

Posted by Danny Morris on October 17, 2008

Sorry guys, I’m a little slow. Here’s a McCain nugget from Wednesday night:

…clean coal technology is key…

McCain has support on this one too, namely from Obama. Everyone loves clean coal these days. It was brought up in all three Presidential debates and the Vice Presidential debate as well. Joe Biden got himself in trouble for saying Obama was against it. Now’s he’s shoveling it with everyone else on the clean coal train, which presumably looks like this:

BUT, the smoke is clear, anti-bacterial, and has the slightest hint of lemon.

Sorry kids, but there is no such thing as clean coal. Three out of four candidates probably know this already, but they are going to keep advocating it because America has a ridiculous amount of coal and it plays well in the heartland. I normally don’t get riled up about this sort of pandering, but talking about coal in the context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is annoying and silly. John, Barack, stop being silly please.

The Christian Science Monitor‘s Bright Green Blog has a good take on defining what clean coal actually is here. It consistently has some interesting stuff, and thus has been added to the blogroll.

3 Responses to “Shortest nonsense of the week”

  1. Rich Sweeney said

    Danny, why do you hate America so much?

  2. yeah, but said

    If you think that greenhouse gas emissions have a societal cost (and I’m not suggesting they do not), then why don’t you focus your efforts on an efficient mechanism to allow those costs to be internalized rather than publishing wildly inaccurate photos in an attempt to stir the emotions of the uninformed?

  3. Evan Herrnstadt said

    Yeah, But:

    The picture’s a gag. But it’s true that without carbon capture, new coal plants are rife with problems that will stretch far into the future for reasons such as technology lock-in.

    As for internalizing societal costs, you should take a look at past posts using the tag links on the left sidebar. You’ll note that Climate Change, Government Policy, and Cap and Trade are the three most prominent subjects we’ve written about.

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