We are, of course, still debating what to do about the potential movement of coals trains through Oregon with coal from Montana and Wyoming bound for Asia. Back in November, 2011, Andrew Revkin had an opinion article in the NY Times titled “A Deeper Look at China, Coal and CO2” (here). In it he reviews, and links, significant articles and views on the issues. Two caught my attention.
First, from Robert Morse of Stanford University:
In an effort to move the discussion closer to that more “full portfolio” view, I would actually argue that if you care about climate, in the near term, you might want to be thinking about coal as much or more than you think about renewables. If we evaluate climate solutions based on this least cost per avoided ton basis, coal is not just the largest source of CO2 emissions – new coal technologies and investments may potentially be the world’s largest mitigation opportunity. While renewables are important and their contribution should in no way be diminished, no one benefits from approaching the coal problem with an artificially limited portfolio of solutions.
Second, from Raymond Pierrehumbert of the University of Chicago:
It is absurd for a country to export coal to China, buy back goods manufactured there, and then not account for that carbon in figuring their national progress toward reduced emissions.