Tagged With clean coal

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

In a speech yesterday full of half-truths, demi-truths and, of course, alternative facts, US President Trump doubled down on his campaign promise to reinvigorate America's long-ailing coal and steel industries, promising that under his administration "dying industries will come roaring back to life". Sure. Meanwhile, in a move that more closely reflects market reality, China announced it is cutting 500,000 coal and steel jobs as it begins shifting its economy away from heavy manufacturing.

America's coal mining industry has cooled down in recent years. It lost over 200,000 jobs between 2014 and 2016; the latest sorry statistic to cap what's been a massive downward trend for decades. Expounding on his plan to restore the industry in the "America First Energy Plan", Trump has promised increased fossil fuel production and environmental deregulation. He's also committed, time and again, to an obscure and speculative technology called "clean coal", which, in his mind, probably sounds like a win-win for jobs and the environment. Policy and environmental experts, however, say it is neither.