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Environmental Disaster

The US is facing an environmental disaster because we have too much coal. Although most of our power plants run on coal, burning it releases carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, so this will have to stop soon. The question is: what else can we use?

LiveScience.com reports that, Ernest Moniz, who is one of the world's experts on global warming, says the US has to stop building coal-fired power plants and should bulldoze older generators that don't capture and bury greenhouse gases. But 159 coal-fired power plants are scheduled to be built in the next decade, which will generate power for 96 million homes.

New Scientist quotes Moniz as saying that we have mountains of cheap coal that is "going to be used."

Another new study shows that wind power could supply all the energy needs of the East Coast if a line of wind turbines was installed offshore than ran from Massachusetts to North Carolina. But residents with homes facing the water are objecting to wind farms, saying they block their views. Denmark get 20% of its power from offshore wind farms.

In LiveScience.com, Andrea Thompson points out that the ocean is a better place for wind turbines than the land, because, according to wind expert Willett Kempton, oceans "are particularly windy all over." In other words, there are no trees or buildings to block the wind, so the turbines are more effective. They have to be put in shallow waters (close to shore) because we don't yet have the technology to install them in deep water.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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