Posted by: ecodestination | February 5, 2010

Clean coal, really?

You know how President Barack Obama recently announced in his State of the Union address that he would boost the use of biofuels and “clean coal”?

What are we, idiots?

Excuse me. There is no such thing as clean coal.

Talk about greenwashing!

And this is an issue that’s been going on for a long while – yet greenwashing has managed to keep it around and prosperous. At least some people are logical: Watch the awesome Rachel Maddow slap some sense into the idea.

Thank you, Huffingon Post

Coal produces more carbon emissions than any other energy source.

It causes significant health problems for miners. It pollutes land and waterways. Stop the greenwashing already!

“Clean coal is a dirty lie,” says environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who calls President Barack Obama and other politicians who commit taxpayer money to develop it “indentured servants” of the coal industry.

And biofuels!

It takes preposterous amounts of corn, wheat, and other plants – and land (hello, deforestation and soil erosion!) – to create bioethanol. Not to mention that with crops come fertilizers, with fertilizers come runoffs, and then huge amounts of phosphates that enter waterways and cause algal bloom (a.k.a. red tide) and other environmental calamities. So greenwashing all the way, here.

And what about food? Shouldn’t we be growing food to…eat? It’s certainly more productive given our current biofuel technologies, which are so limited that the use of biofuels causes food prices to soar.

Biofuels are not green. But there sure is a lot of greenwashing about them! (Ha-ha.)

And now algal fuel is coming under attack as being worse than bioethanol (not that it’s stopping the corporations that already invested in mass producing algal fuel). Damn. Just a few months ago I blogged about its shiny new possibilities!

A truly green possibility

Vegetable oil/Biodiesel

This magic fuel is made from vegetable oil. I know people who have gone to Burger King and other “restaurants” and asked for their gross leftover, low-quality, used oil. They got it for free, and used it alone to power their vehicles. It worked, they saved a ton of money, and avoided polluting.

Now this is a neat idea.

So where are we on this, Pres?

This, of course, is a very complex and intricate topic and I barely touched on it. My point is to note the atrocity – yes, atrocity – that is the unabashed greenwashing in President Obama’s speech. Really, clean coal? We can’t let our guard down for a minute, apparently.

What are your “favorite” biofuels, if any, and why?

Any particularly notable sources on the topic? Recommend away!


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