Big Coal Booming on Earth Day


April 22, 2010, 3:40 pm


To gauge the pace of coal commerce, check the amazing tonnage ticker on Peabody’s Web site,

which by my estimate logs about 7 tons a second in sales. To gauge the climatic implications (from coal burning and other sources of carbon dioxide), watch the animation above, created by the environmental visualizer Adam Nieman. His video illustrates what carbon dioxide emissions from human activities would look like if you could watch the gas volume accumulate in front of you in real-time….

Here’s a section of Peabody Energy statement on global trends:

International markets remain outstanding in the Pacific Rim, with China and India coal import demand continuing at record rates and developed economies running at higher capacity factors as they recover from the global financial crisis. Global steel production is expected to increase more than 10 percent in 2010, and global seaborne metallurgical coal demand is expected to increase by more than 50 million tonnes….

These numbers, which are in line with projections by various independent energy analysts, vividly illustrate that the blazing growth in wind and solar manufacturing and deployment in Asia has to be considered against a backdrop of enduring growth in the use of fossil fuels (and resulting emissions).

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