By Stephen Lacey New data from the World Meteorological Organization showed that carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide levels hit record highs in 2011. As of last year, concentrations of CO2 — one of the most abundant heat-trapping gases — hit 390.9 parts per million. (350 ppm is what many scientists say is the upper limit on “safe” levels of CO2).
According to WMO, we’ve seen a 30 percent increase in “radiative forcing” — i.e. the amount of heat trapped on earth — since 1990.
To prevent climate breakdown, coal burning should be in steep decline. Far from it: the International Energy Agency reports that global use of the most carbon-dense fossil fuel is climbing by around 200 million tonnes a year(10). This helps to explain why global emissions are rising so fast.
To stop at +2 degrees most fossil fuels already discovered must stay in the ground. Developing new coal, oil, gas and fracking is plainly climate suicide, and would be banned but for the criminal sabotage by these same Corporations of climate mitigation talks. Prospecting for more fossil fuels is clearly a crime against the planet. In this scenario any citizens action to stop this is morally justified, no matter how ”illegal” it may be.
In Yinggehai, China, 1,000 people resumed a series of protests last week aimed at halting construction of a nearby coal plant.
From The Guardian:
People protesting against the building of a coal-fired power plant in a southern Chinese town threw bricks at police who fired volleys of teargas and detained dozens in the country’s latest environmental dispute, residents say. …
In Yinggehai, a round of protests took place in April when the plant project was first announced. Authorities then moved the project to another Hainan town, but it drew strong opposition there and officials returned to their original plan …
A Hong Kong-based rights group, the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, said 50 people had been arrested and almost 100 injured in the protests over the 3.9bn renminbi [$624 million] plant.
As its economy has expanded, China has needed to rapidly expand energy production. Coal has consistently been the cheapest way to do so. As we reported last week, the best source of cheap coal is the United States — and it on track to set a new record for the amount of coal exported from the US.
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- Despite carbon concerns, new coal plants planned globally (fuelfix.com)
- More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show (guardian.co.uk)
- Are 1200 New Coal Power Plants on the Way? (spectrum.ieee.org)
- Coal export terminal plans raise protests (seattletimes.com)
- 2012.. Worst ever Year for the Planet (thefreeonline.wordpre ss.com)
- The Climate Deal Sham (dissidentvoice.org)
- Exxon hates your children (blogs.redding.com)
- The Climate Deal Sham: Only Sharing can Break the Deadlock by Adam Parsons (zcommunications.org)