|The site of the Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill three years after the disaster. (Source)|
Coal isn't just the worst fossil fuel in terms of carbon emissions, it also dumps nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, mercury, fly ash and other particulates into the atmosphere. Air pollution kills 3 million people a year. An Airbus A380 carries between 500 and 600 people. So the equivalent of 15 A380s crashing every single day are killed by air pollution. Why isn't there an outcry?
What I hadn't thought about until I read this article (Every coal waste dump site is a disaster waiting to happen) is that even after the coal is burnt, we then have to dispose of the residue--the ash. And that is toxic and environmentally disastrous too.
Truly, the sooner we can dispense with coal the better.