A new scientific study, published by the New York Academy of Sciences, estimates that the burning of US coal costs the nation up to US$500 billion a year in “hidden” health, economic and environmental costs. The study’s author, Dr Paul Epstein, concludes that among Appalachian communities alone (home to so-called “mountain top destruction”) public health burdens from coal mining amount to nearly $74.6 billion each year.
Another study, also released last week, estimates that the human and environmental costs of greenhouse gas emmissions could exceed US$4,000,000,000,000 by 2030.At the same time, it points out that global warming-related policy changes could boost the cost of carbon emissions for power generators, aluminum smelters, transport and other sectors.
See http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10725.
Menacing Miners
There’s a growing consensus that a strong link exists between some recent environmental disasters- specifically floods and a cyclone in northeastern Australia – and the growing burden of greenhouse gas emissions. This has translated into pressures on mining companies by lawyers and insurers who urge them to “factor” climate change risks into their mine designs and contracts. Through their mining of coal, some of the very companies “menaced” by storms and cyclones – such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – are responsible for causing adverse climate change in the first place. If a re-occurrence of recent disasters, and a reduction in their related social and environmental costs, is to be averted,  then coal mining itself must be drastically curtailed.
Read more at http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10733.
CoalSwarm is a useful website for information on coal: an on-line collaborative information clearinghouse on U.S. and international coal mines, plants, companies, politics, impacts, and alternatives.
See http://coalswarm.org/ and http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Information_on_Coal