The Super Power Of Coal

De'Shawn Ballard

What And where is coal

The history of coal has undergone different process before it became what it is today. It started on dead plants that fell into water which does not allow bacteria and oxygen on it until it turns into a peat-like material. That was the very beginning of coal, fossil plants of scattered fragments. Coal is a fossil fuel that has the most varied history. Coal has been a useful resource. It is primarily burned for the production of electricity and/or heat, and is also used for industrial purposes, such as refining metals. Produced in the United States, it is non-renewable resource but the most abundant fossil fuel. Coal on average costs $70.00 a short ton, and a ton = 2,000lbs. The cost per pound is about 3 1/2 cents. It has been estimated that there are over 861 billion tones of proven coal reserves worldwide. This means that there is enough coal to last us around 112 years at current rates of production. Coal reserves are available in almost every country worldwide, with recoverable reserves in around 70 countries. The biggest reserves are in the USA, Russia, China and India.

The Effects Of Coal

Environmental Damage

The environmental impact of the coal industry includes the consideration of issues such as land use, waste management, and water and air pollution caused by the coal mining, processing and the use of its products. In addition to atmospheric pollution, coal burning produces hundreds of millions of tons of solid waste products annually, including fly ash, bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurization sludge that contain mercury, uranium, thorium, arsenic, and other heavy metals.
The Effects of Coal on the Environment

Damage To Humans And Animals

  • Respiratory Effects: Air pollutants produced by coal combustion act on the respiratory system, contributing to serious health effects including asthma, lung disease and lung cancer, and adversely affect normal lung development in children.
  • Cardiovascular Effects: Pollutants produced by coal combustion lead to cardiovascular disease, such as arterial occlusion (artery blockages, leading to heart attacks) and infarct formation (tissue death due to oxygen deprivation, leading to permanent heart damage), as well as cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. Exposure to chronic air pollution over many years increases cardiovascular mortality.
  • Nervous System Effects: Studies show a correlation between coal-related air pollutants and stroke. Coal pollutants also act on the nervous system to cause loss of intellectual capacity, primarily through mercury. Researchers estimate that between 317,000 and 631,000 children are born in the U.S. each year with blood mercury levels high enough to reduce IQ scores and cause lifelong loss of intelligence.
  • Global Warming: Even people who do not develop illnesses from coal pollutants will find their health and wellbeing impacted due to coal's contribution to global warming. The discharge of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere associated with burning coal is a major contributor to global warming and its adverse effects on health and wellbeing worldwide, such as heat stroke, malaria, declining food production, scarce water supplies, social conflict and starvation.