Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Courtesy of Kyle Crider,Â The Green Register Contributor
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Dirty Deeds And Theyâ€™re Done Dirt Cheap
AC/DC, â€śDirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheapâ€ť (1981)
Actually, if coal were the subject of AC/DCâ€™s song, it could be titled â€śDirty Deeds Done Cheaper Than Dirtâ€ť because, thanks to American taxpayersâ€™ subsidizing of coal, the U.S. government recently sold 721 million tons of coal for literally cheaper than dirt.
How dirty is this cheaper-than-dirt coal? Scott Cooney of Green Business Owner (GBO), author of Build a Green Small Business and creator of the wonderful GBO Hawaii sustainability strategy board game, has an excellent new article on this subject over at Inspired Economist. Cooney quotes a Harvard Medical study documenting how burning coal is responsible for:
- 600,000 cases of brain damage in newborns (presumably from mercury and other heavy metal contamination of mothers being passed to the unborn)
- 10 million asthma attacks
- 43,000 premature deaths
Here in the Southeast, we love our cheap, mostly coal-fired power, not realizing that we are paying for it in ways that do not show up on our monthly electricity bills. If you see a sign next to your favorite fishing hole warning you that fish should not be eaten due to high levels of mercury, thatâ€™s not some dastardly chemical plant upstream, dumping illegal toxins into the waterway. Thatâ€™s the fallout from a perfectly legal coal-fired power plant, probably many miles away.
Itâ€™s time to dethrone King Coal and implement a democracy of clean, renewable, sustainable power. In this â€śEcotech Democracy,â€ť our fuels come to us for free, in the form of sun, wind, and water. Can it be? Dirty Energy, Inc., has been promising us electricity that is too cheap to meter for decades, but in reality, costs have been going up and up and up. Energy price spikes have initiated every major economic recession of the last few decades. Sun, wind, and water are fuels that indeed not only are free, but clean, and will last as long as our sun! So, in addition to free and clean, we have fuels that will never run out.
If all this sounds too good to be true, it may be because youâ€™re not hearing the good news message in your media source. Want some more good news? Itâ€™s not too late to change the channel.
â€śWe are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Natureâ€™s inexhaustible sources of energy â€” sun, wind and tide. â€¦ Iâ€™d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we donâ€™t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.â€ť ~Thomas Edison, In conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (1931); as quoted in Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James Newton, p. 31
Image Credit: Photos.com