A warning from….

Think You’re Making a Difference? Think Again!
There are 151 new conventional coal-fired power plants in various stages of development in the US today.

Home Depot is funding the planting of 300,000 trees in cities across the US to help absorb carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions… The CO2 emissions from only one medium-sized (500 MW) coal-fired power plant,
in just 10 days of operation, will negate this entire effort.

Wal-Mart is investing a half billion dollars to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of their
existing buildings by 20% over the next seven years. If every Wal-Mart Supercenter met this target…
The CO2 emissions from only one medium-sized coal-fired power plant, in just one month of
operation each year, would negate this entire effort.


California passed legislation to cut CO2 emissions in new cars by 25% and in SUVs by 18%, starting in 2009.
If every car and SUV sold in California in 2009 met this standard…
The CO2 emissions from only one medium-sized coal-fired power plant, in just eight months of
operation each year, would negate this entire effort.

If every household in the US changed a 60-watt incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent…
The CO2 emissions from just two medium-sized coal-fired power plants each year would negate this entire effort.


Without coal, all the positive efforts underway can make a difference.

Over an 11-year period (1973–1983), the US built approx. 30 billion square feet of new
buildings, added approx. 35 million new vehicles and increased real GDP by one trillion
dollars while decreasing its energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
We don’t need coal, we have what we need: efficient design and proven technologies.

Today, buildings use 76% of all the energy produced at coal plants.

By implementing The 2030 Challenge* to reduce building energy use by a minimum of 50%,
we negate the need for new coal plants.

* Issued by:  2030, Inc./Architecture 2030 • The 2030 Research Center • is taking their message to the readers of the New Yorker Magazine with a full page ad in the September 10th issue. Above is the ad as circulated via the architecture 2030 newsletter.


or your inhabitat account below


  1. heroes November 21, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Actually web pages are not data, they are human-readable information. Data is the in the more or less inaccessible databases that lie behind the websites.

    When web pages stop being static, much of the inherent value of the web as a set of indices vanishes. Search engines lose their relevance when pretty much anything can wind up on a given URL. The HTTP protocol also has well known problems with managing state, and the various standard approaches to dealing with this problem are all inadequate in various ways

  2. kral oyun July 18, 2008 at 3:27 am

    thankss so muchh

  3. çince tercüme March 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Your comment contains very useful information about all thank you çince tercüman

  4. Kevin Eugene Holbrook February 12, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    YouthBuild is a Youth and Community Development organization, targeting young “at-risk” adults ages 18 – 24 to help them get their GED and training in construction. Our local affiliate, YouthBuild Hazard, lies in the middle of Coal Country, Kentucky. It is a sub-culture here, coal miners and their families…their loyalties run deep and they protect their values and opinions on coal passionately…and sometimes violently. As an advocate for “Green Building” and in our position as an organization responsible for the construction of single-family dwellings for low-income families, I recognize our responsibility to the community and our environment. It won’t be easy to change the minds of those that worship that “almighty” resource: coal. Regardless of what you believe, whether coal emissions are heating up the environment or whether the polar ice caps are melting as a direct result of that…the fact remains, buildings use 76% of all energy produced by these coal-fired plants. As we all know, coal is a non-renewable resource…so at the VERY LEAST, we should be thinking of alternatives to using it and ultimately using it up. Solar energy is a renewable resource that we are merely on the cusp of realizing its true potential.

  5. Web Site Çeviri January 7, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    There are big discuttions between politicions if they should close down the nuclear power plants, but at the same time, they stard building coal powerplants everywhere, wich are even worse..,

  6. kral oyun January 6, 2008 at 6:15 am

    I agree this article is very helpful. I have been reading about how to improve mt article writing, but it would be nice if I actually had some visitors which left some input. I think that could help me to improve my blog..

  7. Jossarian November 19, 2007 at 7:12 am

    In 1982 U.S. coal-burning power plants, which collectively consumed 616 million tons of coal, released 801 tons of uranium and 1,971 tons of thorium into the environment — virtually unnoticed.
    Roughly 11,371 pounds of the uranium was U-235.
    Moreover, global combustion of 2,800 million tons of coal that year released 8,960 tons of thorium and 3,640 tons of uranium, of which 51,700 pounds was U-235.
    Ironically, in 1982, 111 U.S. nuclear power plants used 540 tons of nuclear fuel to generate electricity. Thus, “the release of nuclear components from coal combustion far exceeds the entire U.S. consumption of nuclear fuels,” Gabbard notes in the fall issue of the OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY REVIEW.

    See this:


  8. Patrick McGuinness October 26, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    I said it on another article, might as well repeat it here.

    There is one design that could answer that challenge fully and dramatically: Designing and building safe, non-GHG-emitting nuclear power plants.

    Nuclear power can make the entire electrical energy sector carbon-neutral and de-link total energy usage from global warming. Seventy-six percent of all electricity generated by US power plants goes to supply the Building Sector. Building 300 nuclear power plants would be enough to make that entire portion of our energy consumption non-fossil fuel based, and this is not an impractical goal, as it is merely bringing the US up to where France and Japan are in terms of use of nuclear power for electricity production.

    As for
    “Nuclear = nuclear radioactive waste” – what is called ‘waste’ is actually used nuclear fuel, and 95% of it can and should be recycled. Currently that used fuel is stored safely onsite at nuclear power plants and longterm in a repository. If the environmental thing for aluminum is recycling instead of throwing it away, why not for nuclear energy as well. That used nuclear fuel takes up dramatically less volume than fossil fuel waste, since nuclear energy has about 1 million times the power density of fossil fuels. There is actually very little waste in nuclear energy comparatively.

    “All the anti-nuclear activity in the past has really backfired, because now people have such an irrational fear of nuclear power that its hard to build them, so we just build coal plants instead.”

    Let us hope and pray that people don’t get so irrational over environment fears now in the future that they dont advocate more stupid things.

  9. CScout Trend Consultanc... October 7, 2007 at 12:20 am

    […] The SIEEB houses the Sino-Italian Cooperation Program for Environmental Protection, a bilateral partnership for education, training and research, with a focus on energy conservation and emissions reduction. The building and the program are both intended to help define China’s future energy strategy, which is of global significance considering the country’s current heavy reliance on coal. […]

  10. Inhabitat » Want ... October 4, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    […] is making their opposition to coal abundantly clear- continuing their anti-coal campaign, they’ve released a full page spread in The New York Times last Friday that read, “Want […]

  11. Coal will destroy us al... October 2, 2007 at 8:09 am

    […] read more | digg story […]

  12. cep telefonu September 29, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    thanks you

  13. Inhabitat » SIEEB... September 27, 2007 at 2:54 am

    […] and the program both stand as an example for future energy strategies – a welcome trend in the coal dependent […]

  14. Tuesday Travels: Eco-fr... September 18, 2007 at 8:25 am

    […] like overtaking food source land, but they certainly out-green coal as a fuel source. Coal is about as dirty as it gets. Environmental News Network reported that: “a key component of their solution is isolating […]

  15. Matt September 17, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Wind and solar are excellent ways to offset peak power demand (e.g. when we all crank our AC units in August). Unfortunately, tthey lack the ability to provide the steady output needed to cover base power needs. Nuclear power CAN meet those needs, and the waste issue isn’t nearly as grim as people think. The total combined waste from the U.S. nuke plants for the last 40 years would barely cover a football field. At the moment it’s mainly stored onsite, but a long-term solution is NOT unthinkable with such a small quantity.

    Get rid of President Gasman, smack Mobil, BP, Exxon and the rest with windfall taxes on their obscene profits, invest the money in REAL alternative energy solutions, (including fuel cells in cars) and coal will be a thing of the past. We need to learn to stop burning stuff to get power.

  16. Kat September 10, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    There are solutions to building and using existing coal plants> Wind Energy. You can support wind for your home and for your workplace. It is the only way NOT to use “black” energy, waste water, use electricity to “fire it up” or continue the wasteful infrastructures–then reclamations, which may take years in many communities.

    In the US, there are wind zones (like in Europe, Brazil . . .) where wind farms exist and are being built. I support municipal farms that support communities–not more big business that supports coal, and more big businesses. Look for them. My favorite and recommended is Green-e certified, municipally-based.

    Wind—it’s the best alternative. It’s free, sustaining, there isn’t a need for resource recovery or reclamation or displacement like hydro, coal, nuclear– Act responsibly. It costs everyone time/effort/or both to recycle and reuse, so it does cost to support greening the grid, or offsetting coal with wind. For me, $9/mo. Pennies to do my part, being responsible for my “footprint” or square footage at home. Think and act smart.

  17. The Low-down on Coal: E... September 10, 2007 at 10:39 am

    […] reading a warning from Architecture2030 published at Inhabitat last week, I paid a visit to my local open mine coal pit and snapped this picture. On the horizon, […]

  18. tom September 10, 2007 at 12:19 am

    the greedy people who run the planet will and are not going to change the way they rob you and your planet wake the f%$& up

  19. 150 centrais eléctrica... September 9, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    […] 150 centrais eléctricas a carvão em construção só nos EUA Este estilo de textos colocam as coisas em perspectiva, isto é, na perspectiva correcta. A empresa Home Depot está a promover a plantação de 300.000 árvores para reduzir o CO2. Apenas 10 dias de operação de uma central a carvão média, será suficiente para anular esse esforço. Pessoalmente? Plantei 508 árvores e nunca achei que fizesse a mínima diferença. Inhabitat. […]

  20. Mark September 9, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Everyone overlooks the simple answer to the problem. The corporation’s building new coal fired power plants are the in the business to make money, period. If we stop using the power they produce they will not build any new plants. If we stop using even more power they will start closing existing plants. It is all supply and demand. If we show them we are willing to live without power when the wind isn’t blowing and their is not water in the lakes to run the hydroelectric plants they will close all of the coal fired plants because the are to expensive to run. We just need to remember coal is bad. So get a cold drink from electric refrigerator, sit in your favorite chair in front of the air conditioner and whine on our computers that the power company’s are making to much CO2.

  21. Erik van Lennep September 9, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Interesting and telling, that the nation with the world’s highest levels of obesity has also got its face so deep in the energy trough that it can’t see how to stop its binge consumption. Come on guys, it’s not so much about coal vs nukes, or converting food to automobile fuel as it is about excess and wastefulness. Over time, we have become convinced that convenience equals security, and many people in the over-developed countries, but especially in the USA, are seriously threatened by the idea thay may not have everything they want.

    I challenge every reader to inventory your own home, and keep a diary of your own activities for a week, with an eye on energy and consumption in general. Just monitoring this will open your eyes, and you will be even more shocked when you start to become aware of the people around you who are NOT thinking about it. And I believe readers here are likely to be far more aware and thoughful than the average citizen…..

  22. frances September 9, 2007 at 12:21 am

    We need to reduce consumption of goods. Period. Worldwide. Most of the stuff produced is unnecessary, except for our entertainment in the broad sense of the word. The manufacturers and corporations who are negatively affected can shift to industries that benefit, versus hurt, life on the planet. It starts with us, the voters – we absolutely have the power to get the government and corporations to change their behavior. Vote with your dollars.

  23. The Profit September 8, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Solar, Wind, and Geothermal are the ways to go
    We as a race will learn this, even if we have to learn the hard way.

  24. Jonce September 8, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Coal = dirty
    Nuclear = nuclear radioactive waste
    All renewable energy together and conservation is the best option

  25. zachlac September 8, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Umm…you’re just straight wrong on this. Coal is not dirty. 99% of the emissions from the stacks is water. And whomever said that water vapor is a greenhouse gas?

    I’m not saying that nuclear power/wind/solar isn’t better. It is, and we should switch to it as quickly as possible. But coal power plants are not the problem. Look at automobile emissions, Gore’s 221,000 kilowatt-hour house (20x the normal amount), and many other sources, and you quickly see that while power plants are a problem, they are (in the US) a minute contributer compared to other sources.

  26. Tim September 8, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    All the anti-nuclear activity in the past has really backfired, because now people have such an irrational fear of nuclear power that its hard to build them, so we just build coal plants instead.

  27. Rob September 8, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Dan got it right in the very first comment…
    nuclear energy…
    and hydrogen fuel cells…
    Enough already with burning coal! I actually saw a commercial on tv the other day from the coal industry talking about how great it is. Have you ever seen a commercial before talking about coal? They know it’s beginning to come to a head with the mob and they’re doing their best to start the brainwashing.

  28. jim September 8, 2007 at 11:54 am

    I am a charter boat fisherman I fish off the crystal river power plant. On a clear sunny day you can see this yellow brown line of gas coming from the plant. but not to worry they are going to build two new one and increase the size of the old. Well at least it will make getting home easy just follow the yellow cloud.

    Be Safe

  29. voxelman September 8, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I’m convinced that Geothermal is the solution. Its 24/7. It offers a place to sequester CO2 while using it as a super-critical heat exchange medium. It is a huge untapped resource readily available in the western US. Also it is better to invest our alternative research dollars in deep Geothermal technology. The long term payoff is huge. Go to and search geothermal. The second search result is a 300 plus page study that shows a less than $1BN investment over 15 years would yield enough Geothermal power to replace 10% of US electricity requirements. This is a trivial investment. private industry will invest over $1BN in the next 5 years using current technology to develop shallow resources. Going deep (6-10km) will make geothermal available anywhere in the world. The current administration has cut all funding for geothermal research (a paltry $27M) from the current budget.

  30. Chris September 8, 2007 at 10:49 am

    I worked for a company and one of our clients was Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute ( and one of their jobs is to promote the use of coal. I remember one of their campaigns mentioned how a city somewhere was trying to decide what energy source to use to power their new power plants. They excluded because coal was dirty and harmful. RMCMI and others come in and make a big fuss to get Coal put on the list of possible candidates.

    Coal is such a filthy, dirty, and bad energy source. I can’t see why anyone would use it, much less promote it. Companies like that are just out to make money, or are stuck in absurd traditions (that’s where they made their money, so they’re sticking with it) and don’t care about people’s health or the environment.

    I hated working with that client, not only did my personal beliefs strongly conflict with RMCMI’s agenda, but the people who run the company are the most horrible people ever.

  31. Thomas September 8, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Thank you for an excellent article.But as much as I hate to say this,brace yourself for even more coal powered power plants.The reason is peak oil and power hungry asian countries.I am from India and we are seeing a boom in the number of first time car owners.There is also an increasing consumption of meat products with the rising affluence.And meat production is highly energy intensive.To counter this more coal plants would come up along with nuclear plants.But a more permanent solution would happen only if the worlds energy intensive habits change but on the contrary more and more people around the world are getting “developed”.George Bush has his idiotic plan to make fuel from corn -idiotic because it takes 1.5 barrels of energy to make 1 barrel of oil from corn.The result riots in mexico,reduced food aid to poor countries in africa,record prices for wheat.This would go on until food prices rise so high that even americans would start to feel the pinch(maybe they already are -i saw one site that suggests how to save money by using skimmed milk instead of fresh milk-the site is took me there when i was researching for my investment in diary farm shares).But eventually better sense will prevail and people will understand that food to is too valuable to be fed to cattle or to be burnt for that tank of an suv.They will start more energy efficient technologies and change their behavior.But before that they will burn coal,extract oil from tar sands ,build nuclear plants……………

  32. Angus September 8, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Get on Ted Kennedy’s butt about him challenging the wind towers off cape cod because he sails there. Also, what would you replace the coal power with. Lots of complaining, not much solutions in this article.

  33. September 8, 2007 at 10:17 am

    […] read more | digg story […]

  34. Jame Smith September 8, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Not all coal plants are dirty. Look up Clean Coal technology in Wikipedia.

  35. theblub September 8, 2007 at 10:00 am

    we have the same problem here in Belgium.
    There are big discuttions between politicions if they should close down the nuclear power plants, but at the same time, they stard building coal powerplants everywhere, wich are even worse…

  36. Steve September 8, 2007 at 8:24 am

    With the carbon scrubbing and other REQUIRED emission controls I think you’d be suprised at the LACK of emissions from new and EXISTING (thanks to regulations) coal fired plants. Nuclear power would of course be preferable and even cleaner. But in the mean time replacing older coal fired plants with new more effecient ones only helps us to combat envrionmental problems. We should support effforts to use these newer plants and educate society on the advantages of nuclear power and get rid of their irrational fears so those plants can be built.

  37. kral oyun September 8, 2007 at 7:46 am

    They technology the new century must become

  38. Tom September 8, 2007 at 7:10 am

    I completely agree coal power is bad, but the problem is more complicated than just saying “coal power is bad”.
    The problem is that the plants are being build since there is a high demand for energy.

    If plants weren’t being build two things would have to happen:
    1: either the price of energy would have to go up considerably
    2: or the price of energy stays low and the nation would have to deal with rolling blackouts due to uncurtailed demand on a limited resource.

    Because the options 1 and 2 are not acceptable, the easiest solution is sought: burning coal. But the politicians (and implicitly the society that votes for them) that give the ok to the coal industry fail to realize that coal will cost much more on the long term…

    What’s baffling is that wind power still does not have enough attention although it’s *almost* as profitable on the short-term as coal! (On the long-term coal will actually cost us money, wind will always stay profitable.)

    Compare the “energy return on energy investment” values here:

    One unit of energy invested in coal returns approx 9 units energy.
    With wind you get a return of 7. And wind is clean. How can anybody (that is impartial to the coal industry) argue against that? It’s crazy…

    There are more well paid jobs in wind than in coal, the wind generator industry is literally booming at breathtaking pace in Europe, look at the stock of Nordex, Vestas, Gamesa … even well known oil companies are building huge wind parks. Wonder why?

    This doesn’t have to do with “green idealism” it has to do with solving the energy problem with the best solution.

  39. Eddie September 8, 2007 at 6:17 am

    Still if you got a cooling tower doesn’t still mean they using gas or coal that isn’t that cool?

  40. Chris September 8, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Coal is a dirty option. We all know that. Well done.

  41. CaptainPlanet September 8, 2007 at 5:44 am

    “Just a remark. On your first photo… those are cooling towers, and the “smoke” pouring out of them is water vapor. For some reason people always think cooling towers are evil, and they’re not, they are… cool :)”

    Water vaper is a greenhouse gas too.

  42. &ra... September 8, 2007 at 5:19 am

    […] so ist das. Die amerikanische Sicht auf den Klimawandel mit einigen interessanten statistischen […]

  43. Frances September 8, 2007 at 5:12 am

    The more coal fired plants there are, the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere.
    The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere the more pronounced the effects in nature are.
    The more pronounced the effects in nature are, the bigger the influence on species is. We are one such species.
    The bigger the influence on us is, the more people will die because of it.
    The more people die, the fewer resources humanity will require to sustain itself.

    How is that a bad thing?

  44. Dave Lockman September 8, 2007 at 3:20 am

    For a glimpse at what a coal-fired future would mean for the United States, look to China. 80% of China’s electricity comes from coal ( ). If you wonder where all the CO2 has been coming from lately, it’s been from China. All those factories that have been built over the last 20 years, so Wal-Mart can be filled with cheap imported goods – their electricity comes from coal.

    Why build more power plants here? The cheapest form of energy is conservation. Building more power plants only enriches the corporations and the banks.

    Read the BBC article I referenced. If we add our coal exhaust to that of China, the polar ice caps will soon be gone, and our kids will be wading to school.

  45. Coal will destroy us al... September 8, 2007 at 3:18 am

    […] in the US today, and those new coal plants will destroy all of our efforts to stop global more | digg […]

  46. Farnsworth September 8, 2007 at 3:08 am

    what about the coal fires that have been burning underground for over 25 years, every one seems to be talking about Carbon foot prints and yet no one talks about the putting out the coal fires that would have been cheaper to put out 20 years ago!

    Eco friendly is in this year pretending to be carbon neutral is in, well pretending to be is but really doing something to stop it still cost real money and giving up stuff so that is still out.

    great article keep it up!!

  47. Jay September 8, 2007 at 1:36 am

    Dear Jill.

    Just a remark. On your first photo… those are cooling towers, and the “smoke” pouring out of them is water vapor. For some reason people always think cooling towers are evil, and they’re not, they are… cool :)

    I love your web site, by the way.


  48. Cindy September 7, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    We have learned more than we ever wanted to know about emissions spewed from smoke stacks to generate electricity from burning coal. It is time to stop building coal fired power plants and clean up any existing plants. You cannot tell me in the United States of America, we cannot use our talents, our ingenuity, and our guts to come up with an energy source that will not deplete our air and water. In Utah, near the tiny farming community of Sigurd, NEVCO Energy is proposing to build a 270 mg coal fired power plant. What a farce?

  49. Dan September 7, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    nuclear energy…

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home