Coal has been used for a long time to generate electricity and has contributed substantially to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Roughly a third of Earth’s global warming is due to burning coal. Coal is no longer necessary to provide electricity and all our needs can be fulfilled from renewable resources, wind, solar and wave. Unfortunately our government has not the wit to relieve itself of vested interests that want to see coal being used to provide a electricity in Australia indefinitely into the future.
Coal is becoming increasingly unpopular outside Australia, so much so that its value is rapidly declining and at some point in the future it will become essentially worthless. It appears that no Australian bank is willing to provide funds for the development of new coal mines and that no power-generating company is likely to invest in building new coal-fired generations stations even though our government is willing to subsidise them. Our conservative, or should I say reactionary, federal government is still willing to donate billions of dollars to guarantee the continued use of coal. The populace has largely voted with its rooves which are being given over at an ever greater rate to host domestic solar generation systems and battery backup for these systems has become extremely popular. The actual demand for electricity from the coal powered grid has decreased over the last several years.
The very simple fact is that coal is no longer necessary and it is a pretty nasty substance when burned, releasing a range of gases into the atmosphere. Mining coal is also a dangerous occupation, especially in underground mines where radioactive radon is released and where air can become a host for large amounts of dust that can cause silicosis, a very unpleasant disease.