It’s hard to imagine how a dirty, toxic, environmentally unfriendly source of energy like coal is still so heavily used. Nevertheless, the truth is that coal is still one of the most prominent forms of energy used in industrialized countries. In the United States alone, 40% of energy comes from coal. This is because coal is cheap. But it could be argued that the consequences of using coal far outweigh its low price. Check out these 25 reasons why coal energy needs to be replaced.
Coal mining adversely affects nature’s aesthetics
Surface mining and deep underground mining are the two basic methods of mining for coal. Mountaintop coal mining is a surface mining practice involving the removal of mountaintops to expose coal seams, and disposing of associated mining overburden in adjacent “valley fills.”
Habitats are completely destroyed
It should go without saying that if you level all the trees in a large area and proceed to take away the top layer of earth, that this would have an adverse impact on the natural ecosystem. Meaning, animals that are vital to our existence are now in danger. Even worse, trees responsible for adding stability to the earth on top of a mountain are no longer there, so avalanches become more frequent and more dangerous.
The mining process pollutes our drinking water
Because of the nature of coal mining, the waste associated with the practice is dumped into our streams, which eventually makes their way into our drinking water. This is especially true of mountain top mining.
Burning coal causes smog
Smog is one of the initiators of asthma attacks, chest pains and other breathing problems. In fact, 1 out of 10 children in the US alone suffer from asthma caused by smog.
Coal causes unnecessary medical expenses
Due to the adverse chemicals released from burning coal, around 12,000 emergency room visits can be directly linked as a consequence to smog.