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  • Hi, this is Alex from MinuteEarth.

  • Coal is... just the best, you know?

  • It contains LOTS of energy that you can release simply by setting the coal on fire, yet it's

  • stable enough that you can store it loose in a box, unlike nearly every other major

  • fuel.

  • Plus, it's one of the most abundant and widely distributed fuels; in lots of places

  • you can basically just start shoveling and boom!

  • Coal!

  • Because of these great properties, we started using coal thousands of years ago to stay

  • warm and cook, and more recently, to fuel the ironworks, steam engines, and electricity

  • of the Industrial Revolution, which led to, y'know, the modern world.

  • Today, coal still supplies more electricity than any other source, and there are underground

  • reserves that could power humanity for over 100 years.

  • But for as long as coal has been awesome, coal has also been the worst.

  • Mining coal has led to accidents and diseases that kill coal miners, and burning coal has

  • coated our cities, homes and lungs with layers of soot and poisonous chemicals, and left

  • behind piles of toxic ash that pollute waterways.

  • Okay, so coal has really sucked.

  • But apparently not enough to stop us from burning it.

  • Sure, there have been some attempts to stop, even as far back as 1306, when complaints

  • about the increasing stench of coal smoke in London led the King of England to ban coal

  • in the city.

  • But Londoners had already chopped down all the nearby trees that could've been used

  • as an alternative fuel source, and not having any fuel stunk more than coal, so within a

  • few years, coal was back.

  • Plus, ancient Londoners didn't actually know that coal was harmful.

  • They just disliked the smell.

  • But today's different.

  • We now know without a doubt that using coal causes serious harm to our air, our water,

  • and our health - killing millions of people each year.

  • We also know that coal is causing serious new problems: it's the biggest driver of

  • the global climate crisis that's flooding cities, lowering crop harvests, and destabilizing

  • society.

  • And we can actually do something about it now too (besides, you know, making videos

  • about it).

  • If we must use coal, we can mine it without humans, and we can try to bury the pollution

  • it produces.

  • But we also no longer need to use coal at all; we now have alternatives like wind and

  • solar and hydro and nuclear, which are way safer than coal, way better for the climate,

  • and on the whole, way cheaper.

  • It may take a while before we can fully replace the energy source that made and still powers

  • the modern world, but it's high time we try to go coal turkey.

  • This video was made in partnership with Bill Gates, who, through Breakthrough Energy, is

  • working to expand clean-energy investment and support the innovations that will lead

  • the world to net-zero carbon emissions.

  • To learn more, visit: or click the link in the description.

Hi, this is Alex from MinuteEarth.

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B1 US coal fuel energy led electricity burning

The Best Worst Energy Source

  • 8 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/04/30
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