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Why don't we invest more resources into putting out coal seam fires?

ChristianKl          23 May 2015 09:03 AM


According to Wikipedia 3% of the world's CO2 emissions are due to col seam fires. In contrast transportation produces around 13%. 40 tons of mercury get annually released into the atmosphere. Coal burns in coal mines without any benefit to us.

While 13% is more than 3%, we don't see a fifth of the public demands for reducing CO_2 emission from transportation going to putting out coal fires. We see politicans call for actions to curb car emissions but nearly no politician speaking about coal seam fires.

Why is that the case? Why don't we do more?





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melian 23 May 2015 01:58 PM
69%

There might be several reasons. For example,

  • Politicians need to keep things simple for their voters. Most people know about car emissions, but coal seam fires? Who heard about them?

  • Deep down most people don’t take the global warming seriously (or else we would have seen a sharp rise in land prices in Northern Canada and other cold regions).



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ChristianKl 24 May 2015 06:15 AM
66%

How did land prices in Northern Canada develop over the last two decades?

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melian 24 May 2015 02:39 PM
73%

That's a good question. I have not been able to find any statistical data on Northern Canada on a quick search. There was a significant rise in farmland prices in Southern Canada and Northern US, but that was generally attributed to the booming agricultural prices in the last decade. Tell me if you find something more relevant.

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Fwiffo 24 May 2015 05:10 AM
59%

Global warming is not global uniform warming. Even if one would take global warming seriously there is no guarantee that Canada would get warmer. Believing in a strawman version of a proposition is usually to not take it seriously.

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melian 24 May 2015 02:44 PM
70%

Investors never have 100% guarantee that their investment will be profitable. But significantly higher than 50% probability should be enough.

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ChristianKl 25 May 2015 10:12 AM
64%

The IPCC report does indicate a warmer Canada. See page 10. It's really a document to read if you want to talk about climate change.

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NancyLebovitz 2 June 2015 08:45 AM
57%

Purely hypothetical, but putting out coal seam fires (assuming the tech exists-- I'm not sure it does) is just doing stuff, while other sorts of lowering carbon dioxide involves controlling people. The latter is more fun for a high proportion of politicians and the electorate.


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melian 2 June 2015 11:04 AM
73%

You’ve got a point. I wonder though whether it’s more about control or occupying a higher moral ground. Pollution is usually perceived as a moral rather than technical problem. Coal seam fires often occur naturally, so it is harder to fit them into “bad people destroy the Earth” narrative.

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ChristianKl 4 June 2015 12:34 PM
67%

Apart from controlling people there also the commerical interests of renewable energy companies getting subsidies.

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ChristianKl 3 June 2015 05:27 AM
66%

Even if the tech currently doesn't exist the government can pay for research to develop it.

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