How common? On the other hand, perhaps there is a profitable niche there, sort of like how space tourist lies somewhere in between commoner and astronaut. There's a bunch of money involved and a lot of it covers training.
If you take away 37% of the supply of electricity, it will need to be replaced. This means that alternatives to coal will go up in price, and your electricity costs will go up with them.
Or maybe not. The german EEG, which is so successful that it has been copied by over 65 countries has brought so much alternative energy online that the nuclear and fossile fuel lobbyists have succeeded in convincing the current government to break its promises and cut it short ahead of time, because they were afraid the they would be driven out of business by renewable energy.
Those 37% would be replaced, and chances are the replacement would be as or even cheaper. Of course, consumer prices for electricity would still rise, after a media campaign blaming the environmentalists, but that's got nothing to do with real energy prices. If you want to know what energy costs, never look to the consumer price. That price is "what we can take and get away with" and not "what it costs". If you want to know what energy costs, look to the exchanges where the industry prices are set.
You'll be surprised. Those prices have been dropping, sometimes at the same time as consumer prices have been increased.
The coal mines don't own the coal. The states do. The mines buy permits to mine it. As soon as one mine is gone, that permit is open for whomever wants to show up and take over.
Who says they'll go.
If I were tasked to implement this plan, buying the coal mines would be the first thing to do. But I wouldn't shut them down, I'd keep mining. At... say... five kilograms per year. You'd have to check if the permits specify a minimum amount to be mined, of course. Somehow I doubt the do, because the coal industry has a lobby that's 2nd only to Hollywood and they've largely succeeded in abolishing any and all regulation.
Coal today is just as clean as other forms of energy when you factor in all the externalities.
Only on paper. Same thing with nuclear energy - a modern reactor is excellent and very safe - but thanks to nuclear power hysteria, no new reactors have been built in, for example, my country, for 25 years. So the most modern nuclear reactor we have is using late 1980s technology. If people were just a little more rational, they'd do demonstrations to replace all the reactors with modern ones, because quite honestly keeping these old pieces of crap running is 100 times more dangerous than running twice as many modern ones.
*sigh* the old strawman.
"We can't rescue all the world, so let's better not even start doing anything at all."
With that attitude, we'd still be living in caves because you can't carve an iPhone out of a rock.
Actually, if you take into account the population size (China having more than four times as many people as the USA) then it isn't really that much of a difference. In fact, carbon emission per capita is considerably higher in the USA:
I guess we'll be building a lot more nuclear power plants, then?
I, for one, maintain that a mix of renewable and nuclear power is the future. Coal really is the absolute worst thing you could do. Its environmental impact is crazy, a coal plant actually leaks more radiation than a nuclear plant, and depending on how you get the coal, the impact on the landscape and lives of people nearby can be utterly insane.
Some of these are so large, they are clearly visible on satellite images:
The worst part is that their land use in general directly compete with forests, which means their CO2 impact is even higher, because forests are great in storing CO2.
Sorry, anyone who in 2014 seriously contemplates burning coal is a freaking lunatic who should be locked up and receive therapy.
Because people being out of jobs is the really important thing when you have to decide between fucking up the planet or not fucking up the planet, yes?
You do understand that we're arguing around an old question. And I'm poking at your limited, wholly materialistic weltanschauung.
The sun has set on the days of:
- dispassionately considering all sides of an issue
- seeking to honor good intentions and results where found
- being honest about shortcomings in one's own thinking
- trying to build up the person on the other end of the conversation, rather than destroy them
I myself have a handful of people on here and Twitter that I just no longer give the benefit of the doubt, after enough false accusations of racism, plagiarism (the latest farce), and seeking POTUS-cide. I mostly succeed in finding amusement in this.