Coal has good reason to be angry, desperate, and increasingly belligerent: He’s the nation’s oldest and dirtiest energy source, and cleaner alternatives are cheaper and healthier -- and getting better every day.
Check out these episodes and try your luck at The Coal vs. Clean Energy Game, but please take note: Sometimes Coal’s language is as dirty as the pollution he creates! This one’s just for adult energy users.
Coal Hates Mountains
In Appalachia, mining companies blow the tops off mountains to reach thin seams of coal. Think of all the mountaintops that have met their demise in service of dirty energy production! This destructive practice has also damaged or destroyed waterways, beautiful, biodiverse forests and wildlife habitat, increased the risk of flooding, and has wiped out entire communities.
More and more dirty coal power plants are shutting down, and communities that used to host those plants are now turning to cleaner energy solutions. Renewable energy, like wind and solar, are not just ideas for the future--they’re happening now! No wonder Coal is getting awfully grumpy…
Scientists agree: carbon pollution from coal-fired plants is a major contributor to climate change. Coal pollution creates toxic air pollution and smog, which exacerbate conditions like bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma--sometimes fatally. Children and their developing lungs are at the greatest health risk from air pollution because they are more likely to be active outdoors. Let’s protect their right to play outdoors and build snowmen!
Coal’s New Buddy
Doctors, nurses, and scientists around the world agree: Coal makes us sick. Pollution from burning coal causes serious health effects and contributes to four of the five leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. Does this sound like anything else we know?
In 2018, coal accounted for 27.4% of energy consumption in the United States. That results in a lot of coal ash falling on our heads! Every year, the nation’s coal plants produce millions of tons of coal ash pollution, the toxic by-product of coal burning. The ash that doesn’t fall from the sky is relegated to open-air pits and precarious surface waste ponds, threatening nearby communities with lots of health hazards.
The Sun’s Gonna Explode
We’re rapidly burning through our coal supplies. The sun, on the other hand, will be around to power our planet for another three or four billion years! Shouldn’t we invest in cleaner, longer-lasting energy sources (like that long-burning sun) before the lights go out?
The Coal vs. Clean Energy Game
Dirty coal is no fun...but you can have a blast as Wind or Solar Energy in a race to provide clean energy to America! Try your hand at The Coal vs. Clean Energy Game, and remember to allow Flash to be active in your browser so you can be part of the action.