What is coal’s role in shaping the fate of the industrialized world?
How is Coal Mined? “Choke damp”: CO2 “White Damp”: CO “Fire Damp”: CH4
How Did Coal Lure the British to the Sea? • Royal Navy kept strong to protect coal convoys • Used coal ships in battles (Britain ruled the seas) • London became vital center of commerce and cultural achievement • Britain began building a global empire
The Industrial Revolution Begins • Fueled by coal-smelting iron (steel) • Invention of the steam engine to pump out water from mines and then transport coal to cities • Railways built to transport coal cheaply and quickly • Coal alone did not make the industrial revolution happen but it could not have happened without it!
The Rise of the US as a “Superpower” • US has the world’s most coal deposits • How did coal affect; • The American Civil War? • Expansion West? • Organization of unions in US? • The World Wars?
What Are The Environmental Effects of Coal Burning? • Air Pollution • Emits sulfur dioxide (SO2) a major cause of acid rain • Emits carbon dioxide (CO2) a major cause of global warming • Emits Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) a major cause of ozone depletion • Mining causes arsenic and mercury to be released into water supplies
Should China Develop it’s Coal Industry? • Coal burning stopped deforestation • Deforestation in China has caused the Gobi Desert to spread (dust storms reaching the US) • In the last 30 years the per capita income of China’s poor has quadrupled
Has Coal’s influence on Humanity Been a Net Blessing or a Net Curse? • “Cleaner” burning coal plants or renewable energy? • Carbon Sequestration (pros/cons) • Is it worth revising the current infrastructure? ($$$)