The Coal Episode

The coal episode. Discussion on current and future situation of coal, energy sources (renewable vs non renewable), coal mining, coal pollution, government regulations, coal and jobs, environmental justice, solidarity with indigenous groups, and the weekly relief.

Here are some of the points made in this week’s podcast:

  • As abundant as coal is, we have 132 years left of it.

  • Coal generated 33% of energy in the USA in 2015

  • Coal mining pollutes water

  • Coal is the main reason of China’s environmental problems as well as its booming economy

What is the future of coal?

  • Coal is losing its value in the market. For this and some other reasons, China is closing down coal mining sites.

  • The new government regulation is going to be more lenient with coal.

  • Solar energy is pushing the market, which coal is not doing anymore.

  • The Trump administration wants to open access for more coal mining.

  • The Trump administration wants to invest in more metallurgical steel production, but it needs approval from Congress.

  • Natural gas is cheaper than coal and releases less toxins into the air. It’s cheaper because there horizontal drilling process allows for easier access to this resource.

  • Natural gas will create 2 million jobs by 2020.

  • Coal plants are detrimental for the environment, human health, and the economy.

  • Solar energy is half the price of coal internationally.

  • Regulations for natural gas are necessary to not harm the environment, but to neither hurt the economy

Interview with Sarra Tekola

  • Solidarity advocacy projects with indigenous groups, people of color, and for environmental justice.

  • As human beings, we need to have environmental solidarity.

  • Navajo Nation (real name is Diné), largest indigenous nation in the USA. Their land is rich in natural resources, such as coal and minerals.

  • Long March.

  • The struggle between the USA government and the Navajo nation is still happening, as there is constant push from the government to get access to the minerals from Navajo lands.

  • Navajo people do not have access to drinking water due to coal mining in their land.

  • Power plant in the Navajo Nation, powered by coal. However, with funds, projects could be started to have solar powered generation, instead of coal.

  • Coal Divestment group at University of Washington. The group was successful in making the university divest from coal.

  • Coal Fossil Fuel Divestment group at ASU. If interested to join, contact

Weekly Relief

  • Black Mirror Show: technology effects on society.

  • Emma Watson uses environmentally friendly made clothes.

  • Tostitos’ bags that turn either green or red and which call either Uber or Lyft.