Toxins and greenhouse gas pollution from coal

Today, Dr. Kapil Khatter wrote a good letter to The Ottawa Citizen about the many problems associated with coal-fired electricity:

The Ontario Conservatives have pledged to eliminate coal-fired power by 2014. But the coal plants need to be closed well before that. The province has more than enough coal-free power to close the plants immediately. And coal is a disaster from start to finish.

Mining the fuel devastates landscapes. When it is burned, it releases a host of poisons, including lead and mercury (neurotoxins), chromium and arsenic (carcinogens), and components of acid rain (sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides). Perhaps most worrying is its contribution to climate change: Ontario’s coal facilities emit the greenhouse gas equivalent of several million automobiles. If global warming is the world’s most pressing environmental threat, banning coal is job No. 1.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment believes coal can be eliminated through a combination of conservation and renewable energy sources. And that the time to do it is now.

Dr. Khatter is on the board of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *