Opinion Coal Museum Sees the Future; Trump Doesn’t

00:20  20 april  2017
00:20  20 april  2017 Source:   The New York Times

Britain Poised to Go Full Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity

  Britain Poised to Go Full Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity For the first time since the industrial revolution, Britain expects to go 24 hours without using coal to generate electricity, and expects to end all such use by 2025.The accomplishment will not become official until just before 11 p.m.

Even a coal museum has a better understanding of energy’s future than Trump . Trump may see political advantage in pandering to the dwindling coal industry (and lying to its workers for populist theater).

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum will always commemorate the past, but now it's also looking to the future by switching to solar power. Trump Doesn ’ t Know A Damn Thing About Dams. Donald Trump finally opened his mouth about dams and hydropower last week.

A statue of a coal miner in Benham, Ky. © George Etheredge for The New York Times A statue of a coal miner in Benham, Ky.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Did you catch this gem on CNN.com from April 6? “The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, is switching to solar power to save money. … Communications director Brandon Robinson told CNN affiliate WYMT that the project ‘will help save at least eight to ten thousand dollars, off the energy costs on this building alone.’”

B.C. Seeks Coal-Exports Curb in U.S. Lumber Retaliation (1)

  B.C. Seeks Coal-Exports Curb in U.S. Lumber Retaliation (1) (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s westernmost province will seek to ban shipments of thermal coal through its ports in retaliation for the Trump administration’s new softwood lumber tariffs. In an open letter on Wednesday, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to impose an export ban and said otherwise her government will take steps on its own to discourage the trade. Some 6.2 million tons of U.S. thermal coal passed through Vancouver’s sea port last year, Clark said.

The move's in sharp contrast to Donald Trump 's promise to reinvigorate the coal industry in the US. Mary Kay Magistad of The World's "Whose Century Is It?" podcast says China seems to have a clearer vision of the future .

Some see coal as a job of the past, not the future . Related: Rust Belt voters made Trump president. Now they want jobs. Bob Smith stands in the Three Forks Historical Center, a museum in Beattyville, Kentucky.

Go figure. The coal mining museum is going solar, for solid economic reasons, and President Trump is reviving coal, with no economic logic at all. This bizarre contrast speaks to a deeper question of leadership and how we judge presidents.

Trump took two major national security decisions in the past few weeks. One was to strike Syria for using poison gas. Trump summoned his national security team, asked for options on Syria, chose the cruise-missile strike — which was right — and won praise for acting “presidential.”

The other decision you didn’t see. It was Trump dismantling budgets and regulations undergirding U.S. climate and environmental protection policies — in his nutty effort to revive U.S. coal-fired energy — while quietly announcing plans to withhold a promised $32.5 million U.S. contribution for the U.N. Population Fund, which supports family planning and maternal health.

Exclusive: North Korean ships head home after China orders coal returned

  Exclusive: North Korean ships head home after China orders coal returned <p>A fleet of North Korean cargo ships is heading home to the port of Nampo, the majority of it fully laden, after China ordered its trading companies to return coal from the isolated country, shipping data shows.</p>Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country's most important export product.

Some see coal as a job of the past, not the future . Jobs of the future : Internet based? Beattyville Mayor John Smith, a staunch Republican and Trump supporter, also has his doubts about the The coal severance money even helped pay for a museum — the Three Forks Historical Center — in town.

White House accuses MSNBC of violating the law over Maddow Trump tax reveal. James Comey to confirm Wednesday if FBI is investigating Trump campaign’s ties to Russia: CNN. Donald Trump sees the future in coal .

Unlike the Syria decision, Trump made the second move without seeking a comprehensive briefing from experts — he controls the world’s greatest collection of climate scientists at NASA, NOAA, the E.P.A., the Pentagon and the C.I.A. — and without ever asking for an intelligence briefing on how the combination of climate change, environmental degradation, drought and population explosions helped trigger the civil war in Syria, spawn terrorist groups like Boko Haram around Africa’s central Lake Chad (which has lost 90 percent of its water mass since 1963) and become the main force pushing tens of thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa into Europe each year, and from Central America up to the U.S.

  Coal Museum Sees the Future; Trump Doesn’t © Earl Wilson/The New York Times I promise you that Trump will spend the rest of his presidency dealing with the disruptions caused by this cocktail of population explosion and climate/environmental degradation — and his generals know it. But in today’s politics, bombing is considered presidential and ignoring science and defunding family planning, when populations are exploding and droughts expanding, are ho-hum back-page news.

EPA head tells coal miners 'regulatory assault is over'

  EPA head tells coal miners 'regulatory assault is over' Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told dozens of Pennsylvania coal miners Thursday that the "regulatory assault" on their industry is over, and that the environment can be protected without hurting business."We're going to do it the American way, grow jobs and show the rest of the world how it's done," Pruitt said before going on a mine tour about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh."The regulatory assault is over," he said, referring to tightened environmental and other regulatory standards on coal and other energy industries under former President Barack Obama. "We're going to partner together with you.

Some see coal as a job of the past, not the future . Jobs of the future : Internet based? Beattyville Mayor John Smith, a staunch Republican and Trump supporter, also has his doubts about the The coal severance money even helped pay for a museum -- the Three Forks Historical Center -- in town.

In Empty Offices, Critics See Evidence of Trump Devaluing Science.

Since Trump seems to be pivoting from some of his campaign nonsense, one can only hope he will do the same on these issues. If Trump is looking for a blueprint, he could not do better than to read a smart new book, “Climate of Hope,” by a most unlikely duo: former Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope and billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

When Carl met Mike… It was 2011, Pope went to Bloomberg with a plan for generating bottom-up community activism to help shut down as many coal-fired power plants in America as possible, so another generation of American kids wouldn’t be afflicted with childhood asthma and another generation of coal workers wouldn’t have to make a living breathing coal dust.

Bloomberg put $50 million into the effort, and the rest is — helping to make coal — history, thanks to the Sierra Club mobilizing communities and technology making natural gas (when the methane leakage is controlled) a much cleaner, cheaper base-load power source for utilities, and wind and solar energy so much more cost-effective.

Remains of 5 British Archbishops Found Beneath Museum

  Remains of 5 British Archbishops Found Beneath Museum The centuries-old remains of five archbishops of Canterbury were discovered underneath a London museum by a construction site manager.The Garden Museum, which is housed in a church next to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Palace, has been closed for two years as construction crews refurbish the building to make room for additional exhibits.

They're about an old coal town creating its own economic future . The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman praised the museum for seeing the future , even when “ Trump doesn ’ t .”

Some see coal as a job of the past, not the future . Jobs of the future : Internet based? Beattyville Mayor John Smith, a staunch Republican and Trump supporter, also has his doubts about the The coal severance money even helped pay for a museum -- the Three Forks Historical Center -- in town.

When the Sierra Club and Bloomberg started in 2011, there were 514 coal-fired power plants in America; since then, 254 have announced they will shut down. They expect that fully two-thirds will be phased out by 2022 — no matter what Trump says or does.

“Climate of Hope” is about how to build on this, by reframing the interrelated challenges of climate change, clean air, clean water and population “from questions of who is going to sacrifice to who is going to grab the profits,” Bloomberg explained in an interview. Each of these challenges, he said, can be met in ways that enable cities and countries to make themselves more prosperous, innovative, healthy and secure — if we just get the incentives right.

Imagine, added Pope, that every U.S. company joined Anheuser-Busch in committing to getting all of its electricity from renewable sources. Imagine that instead of subsidizing surplus cotton, destroying the livelihoods of small farmers in Africa, the U.S. government subsidized our farmers to grow crops that restore carbon and store water in their soils, thus drought-proofing Texas and California.

Imagine every U.S. city joining those already buying electric self-driving vehicles, thereby scaling a new auto-on-demand industry — while reducing the need for personal cars and the parking places and garages for them — thereby unlocking so much real estate for growth and easing urban housing prices. Imagine that instead of vowing to bring back coal mining jobs, our president offered to link West Virginia and the nation’s most prosperous metropolitan economy, Washington, D.C., with high-speed rail service.

Imagine … we could actually make America great again, not just prolong a dying coal industry! Now that would be presidential.

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