One Last Binge

According to the European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, the carbon dioxide emissions of the United Kingdom have increased from 2011 to 2012 by 3.9%. This increase has occurred despite all the wind turbines that have been installed, despite all the new cars that burn petrol and diesel more efficiently, despite all the PV panels installed and all the other froth and bubble that the UK government uses to try and stem the tide of greenhouse gases that its nation produces.

The most likely culprit for the increase in emissions is the burning of cheap coal; coal is now cheaper than ever. The corroboration of the guilt of this culprit is the increase in emissions of sulphur that has been recorded.

The government has no plans to build new coal burning power stations or extend the life of the existing coal burning power stations, so we seem to be pursuing a policy of grabbing as much cheap energy as we can, regardless of the consequences. It is one last binge which will damage the environment and the ability of our descendants to live in it.

The consequences of all this coal burning will not be good, either for the United Kingdom or for the rest of the world. In the United Kingdom the emission of sulphur will create more acid rain and that will damage plants, trees and water life as ponds and lakes become more acidic. It will also make the seas that little bit more acidic as the United Kingdom makes its own contribution to acidification of the seas, so that it help China, India, the United States and Australia in their quest to make the oceans more acidic.

The coal burning will also increase the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, leading to more dimming of light (which has an effect on global warming in the United Kingdom by preventing temperatures rising quickly but overall in the world will add to temperature increases) and cause more damage to health as we breathe in the particulates from coal burning.

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