In the next four years, by 2020, India intends to have electricity available nationally. To do this, the country needs to build the infrastructure and acquire the means to do so. Currently the majority of India’s power comes from coal powered plants. The production and use of coal is set to nearly double in India over the next four years. To do this, the country is going to have to source foreign coal. To understand the situation better, I have provided a graph from the U.S. Energy information Administration (EIA).
As you can see, there is a gap between the targets set for Coal India Limited (CIL) and the total production target. This means the this gap has to be filled by other public and private sector operations, in addition to sourcing foreign coal.
Inherent to this ongoing ramping-up of industry in India, is the “question” of climate change. Will the country perhaps take this massive step towards giving all of its citizens the availability of electricity as an opportunity to be the pioneers in renewable energy? I hope so. To that end, the country will have to take into consideration its approach to renewables. Will they choose to do massive solar farming, or localize village to village?
All that I know, is that India will answer a big question facing our world: can we grow and simultaneously create sustainability? Can industry flourish by being ecologically responsible? I hope so. If India decides to curb coal production, and invest in newer and more sustainable options as an alternative, they would be examples to the rest of the developing world and the already so-called “developed” nations, of how to be a leader of industry and a champion of our international ecosystem.
Take a look at this link to learn more about India and coal.
Listening to The True Cost of Oil and seeing those images of forests stripped away reminded of an environmental issue taking place in my own home state: strip mining and the extreme form of strip mining, mountain top removal mining. In surface mining earth overlaying on mineral deposits is removed. Sides of mountains as well as entire mountain are stripped and blown away to get to the coal underneath.
Removing a whole mountain to that took millions of years to form is obviously bad for the environment right? But somehow this continues. it occurs not only in Kentucky but other parts of the nation too. Not only is this destroying the irreplaceable environment, but it’s destroying the lives of the people who call these mountains home. I don’t live in this area of Kentucky but the Appalachian area is something I’ve always known a lot about simply by living in Kentucky. The area has a lot of history but is also known for all the troubles with area caused by coal. The economy and people depend on coal mining not surface mining. Now I’m not saying support coal mining but this taking away of jobs from the Appalachian people just adds to the sting of the environmental effects of surface mining. surface mining uses explosives using harmful chemicals to get to what’s underneath. This takes place so close to communities that homes are bombarded with debris but on top of that toxic dust from the blast spreads in the air and covers the ground and runs into the water source. This surface mining is causing irrevocable damage to the health of communities in the Appalachian mountains destroying lives. This is were my passion comes in. I of course care deeply about the environment but I am deeply interested in how environment concerned issues effect the lives of people. Mining industry interests have tried to keep these health issues hidden saying these problems arise from the poverty these people live in and thus is no concern to the mining industry. Not only is there plenty of scientific findings, but if that were true, mining is still the cause of the poverty and then int turn the poor health. Mining industry interests need to own up to the ways they are destroying the environment and people’s lives.