Coal mines – behind the times?

Nowadays, many countries are moving closer to the use of more sustainable resources in the process of energy production. As an example, 48% of 2000 surveyed people from UK  perceive the use of windfarms as most appealing, while only 5% would say the same about coal mines. However, are the non-renewable sources of energy that inappropriate?

The right wing Polish Government for example started considering coal as the country’s main energy resource. Therefore, instead of closing unprofitable coal mines, the government announces that new ones are going to be build. The reason lies in  reducing the import of cheap Russian coal in order to increase the price of the coal produced by Polish mines. However, at the same time politicians inform that Poland will buy American coal. Surprisingly, the idea is sold to the public as a great commercial success.

Let’s take a while and consider that choosing coal as the main country’s energy resource might be a good point:

  1. there is still considerable amount to mine.
  2. it will strengthen the political position of Poland as a country with its own independent energy resource.
  3. the development of coal mines will have good influence on social and economic aspects such as increase in employment and development of the regions reach in coal.
  4. Polish power plants use coal as the energy resource, therefore there will be no need to invest money on new technologies to produce energy.

From that point of view, the comeback of coal seams reasonable. The problem is that the idea is in total opposition to the way the modern world looks at the issue of acquiring energy. Unfortunately, the present Polish Government represents an old-fashioned nineteenth century attitude towards the environment: man above everything. But maybe there is nothing wrong in it, is it?

Let’s take a moment to look at the quality of air. According to the Guardian more than 90% of people living in European cities breathe air that the UN’s World Health Organisation says leads to respiratory problems, heart disease and shortened lives. Moreover, the most exposed countries are those from Eastern Europe including Poland and by taking into account the quality of air, there were 430 000 premature deaths only in Europe.

We all know the effects of pollution on environment. One of them is environment degradation. It is  caused by the limited amount of sunlight that can reach earth because of significant levels of smog. It strongly weakens photosynthesis, can lead to acid rain or polluted water. However, very few people consider the impact of those issues on our health. No one would like his child or family member to get into a serious medical problem, yet the majority of people in some countries are supporting parties that want to enhance the production of energy using non-renewable resources.

Each of us makes a decision each day and those decisions can either save us or lead to a disaster that is knocking on the door of the earth. Therefore, there is a strong need to move to renewable ways of producing energy like: solar panels, wind turbines, biomass or movements of water. Even if it will have only little positive effect at the beginning, it is still worth it. Let’s make the ones who we care about safe.



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