Posted in Carbon emitters

Coal // A Complicated Conundrum

(I felt like alliteration today. I just… did. Anywhooo…)

Coal is quite complicated- oh, hold on. There’s an introductory… scratch this.

Heya! Naomi is back with her Saturday post, and she will be talking about the complicated problem of coal. Her friend Rowan Powan suggested it, and she (Naomi – phew, it’s difficult to talk about 2 girls in 3rd person) thought it was a WONDERFUL idea, so.

She is super excited to share this post with you!

(And no, she will not talk in the third person this whole time. She was just in the mood for that paragraph + sentence)

Coal is a problem.

In 2011, coal was responsible for 43% of the United State’s energy and 79% of our emissions. That’s crazy, hm? In 2014, coal was responsible for 44% of the entire world’s carbon emissions!

Coal actually produces more carbon than all of America’s transportation combined, and as we ask for more and more energy, well, coal will keep going.

Problems, problems, and more problems.

Convinced that we should stop coal usage? (Just say yes. I won’t hear you if you say no. Although… I guess I won’t hear you if you say yes, either. Hm. Anyway.)

Well, yeah. I am too. But (come on, it’s the future of the world, there’s ALWAYS a but) it’s not actually a win-win situation. Why? Well. That’s a lot to cover.

England went from relying on coal for about 40% of its electricity to around 2% in 9 years. Coal in the US has been declining quite quickly. So… what’s our problem here?

Coal is a cheap way to get electricity, and a lot of small developing countries (countries that are poor-ish) rely on it.

If we stop coal, people also lose their jobs. In addition, our economies are set up for coal, not clean energy.

Problems, problems, problems.

The answer to THAT question? It’s complicated.

I would love it if we could find a way past coal. A way to make clean electricity the better option.

To start, we need to stop making coal so economically affordable. One of the big things that we need to happen is there to be a tax on carbon emissions.

And honestly, I’m not entirely sure where we go from here. It could be that we find a way to make our coal environmental (which would also raise the cost, but it would still be coal, and it would be easier than ditching it all together – so… maybe?), or maybe we’ll phase it out completely.

In any case, something needs to be done.

Appenzeller, Tim. “Coal Burning, Fossil Fuels, Pollution – National Geographic.” Environment, 5 Oct. 2009, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

Bell, Angela Dewan, Angus Watson, Lauren Kent and Phil Black, CNN Graphics by Daniel Wolfe and Christopher Hickey Video by Tom Nicholson, Paul Devitt, and Charlie. “Countdown on Coal: The World Needs to Ditch Its Dirtiest Fossil Fuel to Save Humanity.” CNN, 4 Nov. 2021, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

National Geographic Society. “Coal.” National Geographic Society, National Geographic, 18 Dec. 2012,

TED-Ed, and Emma Bryce. “How to Create Cleaner Coal – Emma Bryce.” YouTube, 9 Dec. 2014,

I just realized I said I would do a happier post in the last post. OOOOPS. I… next time? It-it- it’s not all-it’s not all bad. Next post. I promise.

QOTD: What do you think we should do about coal?

I hope you found this post informative, and I’ll encounter you sometime soon!



Ello! I'm Naomi, a tween girl with a passion for the environment. Other than that, I love cats and reading.

2 thoughts on “Coal // A Complicated Conundrum

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