something from sago

Yesterday morning, we were awoken with the difficult news of the grim fate of twelve of the thirteen miners trapped in the Sago mine in West Virginia. Since then the media blitz has focused on two main agenda items:

  • The misinformation about the survivors
  • The past violations of the mine/ regulatory officials and their culpability
  • We are thinking too small

    The miners, the mining accident, the family's trauma, the inspectors, the oversight committees, the federal regulators... they are all symptoms of a larger disease...a disease that we are all infected with.

    Reliance on earthen natural resources for energy.

    No system is perfect. Okay. Coal feeds the fire of industry. Fine. I get that. I'm not going to begin getting on a soapbox to convince anybody that they should "get off the grid."

    Do the research, make that decision for yourself. What I will say though... is that coal is an inefficient power source.

    plain and simple. Today's coal-fired power plants average 33% efficiency (energy conversion to electricity)

    That, of course, does not consider:

  • the potential loss of life
  • black lung disease, asthma, mercury poisioning
  • erosion, mountiantop removal(exactly as is sounds)
  • transportation fuel costs and associated pollution
  • acid rain
  • global warming effects
  • I feel a bit preachy. Not sure how that will come off. I feel like I have a 10 million things to discuss about how we need to think larger... to grow our expectations. I just feel like making energy efficient and environmentally responsible choices in how we build our houses or how we get to work or what work we do when we get there... is so paramount to our survival and potential for abundant living.

    It takes 1,000 lbs of coal to light a 100 watt light bulb for a year.