Friday, November 23, 2007

Greater York County, Part II

World-renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen was in the Charlotte area last week. He was there to make the connection between new coal plants and global warming, suggesting that we can't afford to gamble on this old-fashioned technology that is incapable of controlling its CO2 emissions. Dr. Hansen has spoken out against Duke Energy's proposed 800 MW supercritical coal plant in Cliffside, North Carolina (near the SC border in the Upstate).

Dr. Hansen heads the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA and is also a professor at the Earth and Environmental Sciences School at Columbia University. He has been warning folks about the threat of global warming since way back in the 1980s -- unfortunately for the earth's climate time has only vindicated his research and projections.

From the Charlotte Observer:

At 66, one of the nation's most prominent climate-change scientists says he's more interested in finding solutions than placing blame for a warming planet.

One key solution, physicist James Hansen said Friday: No more coal-fired power plants like the one Duke Energy plans to expand 50 miles west of Charlotte....

Duke estimates Cliffside will release 9.7 million tons of carbon dioxide a year once a new 800-megawatt boiler is added. Hansen argues that energy efficiency could replace the need to expand the plant....

The problem with coal is that there's so much of it, Hansen said. That means plants like Cliffside could spew carbon dioxide for decades once oil and natural gas are depleted.

"The physics of the problem tells us that we cannot put the carbon from all that coal into the atmosphere," he said. "It just hasn't sunk into policy makers."


"We can spread the blame around," he said, "but the people who are going to suffer are our children and grandchildren."

Read more about Hansen's comments in the other Carolina's paper. What Hansen says about Cliffside is also true for the Pee Dee plant.

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