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It does seem quite bizarre. The Finkel Report[1] sums up pretty well why coal isn't competitive. It can't keep up with the rapid changes in demand caused by existing intermittent generation.

> "Rapid changes in power output from VRE generation need to be balanced with generation technology that has the ability to increase (ramp up) or decrease (ramp down) power output at the same time. Gas-fired generators have the ability to ‘fast ramp’. Most of Australia’s coal-fired generators do not"

In America the EIA's latest energy outlook projects a (gentle) decline in coal usage out to 2040. This is a pretty conservative government agency.

I really don't understand the obsession with coal.

[1] - http://www.environment.gov.au/energy/publications/electricit...

[2] - https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/






> The Finkel Report[1] sums up pretty well why coal isn't competitive.

Apparently it does cool the atmosphere though, so it's good against global warming.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/26/the-role-of-sulfur-di...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling


This is sarcasm, right?

In case it's not: particulates do indeed cool the Earth. This mitigates the warming effect of CO2 emissions to an extent. The problem is that particulates don't last very long in the atmosphere, whereas CO2 lasts centuries.

To maintain a constant level of cooling, you have to keep burning more coal, which steadily increases the atmospheric concentration of CO2, which steadily increases warming. Before long you'll have overcome the cooling effect entirely and will be on a steady path to increased warmth.


Err..

Whatsupwiththat.com is a notorious climate change denial site, and the second sentence in the Wikipedia page you linked says:

This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the full scope of the scientific climate literature, which showed a larger and faster-growing body of literature projecting future warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.


Money, presumably. Plus a bit of the old toxic masculinity.

There's no reason to attack masculinity. I know it's trendy to do so right now, but the gender norms aren't going away yet in some parts of the country still. If politics are involved, it's likely all about money and power.

"toxic masculinity" is a subset of masculinity in the same way that "toxic water" is a subset of water. People are not asking for an end to masculinity any more than the Flint water protestors are asking for an end to water.

Masculinity is a spectrum, with extreme womanizers on one side and gender-fluid effeminate men on the other side. Where is toxic masculinity defined? Do you feel there should be checks on extreme feminism? If no, why not?

Also, if your goal is diversity, that requires me to consider one's cultural background before discriminating against them. Why wouldn't you do the same for masculine guys?


I appreciate that this hill is one that HN is unwilling to climb, but: it's not an extremity, it's those behaviours which cause harm to others and in many cases men themselves (such as the set of behaviours whose consequences can lead to higher suicide rates among men).

Specifically in the context of coal mining, while I appreciate that communities get built around it that doesn't mean it should be extended beyond wider economic and environmental sense. Coal mining is both dangerous and literally toxic for those involved, but somehow people not involved in it invoke its macho status.


Macho status has nothing to do with it. It sounds like you've never lived in one of these small towns that revolve around a single industry. When that industry does poorly or goes away, entire families are damaged. Often times there aren't any other jobs in the area, and many cannot afford the changes required to move to a big city. Because of globalization and the loss of antitrust laws, this loss of economic stability is occurring not just in coal country, but in rural and semi-rural areas across the country. Then people who live in areas of the country that are doing well down play their struggle simply because they don't understand the devastating impact these economic trends are having on families across the nation.

I haven't, but I know well what you mean and I'm sympathetic to how much a disaster it is when the company of a company town goes away. To the idea of not closing mines before their time. Opening mines or power stations in 2017 though? It's just a solution that creates more problems.

Higher suicide rates and higher risk seeking is tied to how people treat men as much (or more) than how men themselves behaves. Studies have tested medical professional have a default assumption that all men are strong and healthy and thus men are less likely to get treated for psychological health problems compared to women.

Similar, in dating statistics it is very clear that women will preferential choose well earning men over low earning men. This pushes men in general to take high risk high reward professions.

Unless you redefine masculinity to include how people perceive and treat men you can't define it to be the causes for higher suicide rates and higher risk seeking.


See the subject of "patriarchy hurts men too". (Not the phrase itself, but the whole discussion that is an index to)

And votes. Coal mining is pretty much the only thing keeping some of these communities alive.

People also have a habit of being very nostalgic about the coal industry. I never understood that. It's a pretty nasty dangerous occupation.




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