India should rethink plans to build more coal plants. The warming waters of the Indian ocean have thrown up a super-cyclone half the size of the subcontinent that is advancing on the country’s east coast with winds up to 167 miles per hour. Already 200,000 people have been evacuated.
While cyclones are not new in this area, massive and monstrous storms like this one, “Phailin’, are rare. They will become more common as the ocean waters warm up, since hurricanes and cyclones are fed by warm water.
India is planning to build more coal plants, which is national suicide. Much of Indian Bengal is barely above sea level and is under threat of being inundated. Global warming will likely cause seas to rise 3-4 feet in this century.
Humankind is performing a very dangerous experiment on its only planetary home, the equivalent of living in a tree house and sawing off the branch holding it up. We are assured by the saw manufacturers that it will float gently down to the forest floor and not crash. We are dumping over 30 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually into the atmosphere. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps the sun’s heat on earth and prevents it radiating back out into space. We are likely to see an average surface temperature rise of 9 degrees F in the next century if we go on like this. The implications are horrible for our grandchildren. But the real nightmare will hit their grandchildren.
Abandoning coal, oil and gas ASAP is the only hope to avert disaster. We could do it if the political will existed. Certainly, all coal plants could be closed down within 10 years, and that with relatively little economic pain. Coal is especially dirty and dangerous.