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Posted Mon Nov 22 2010: from PhysOrg:
End to cheap coal closer than we thought?
A report entitled "The End of Cheap Coal," published in the journal Nature by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley, suggests we may reach peak coal in the next two decades. The report assumes oil prices will remain high in the next two decades, that the rate of oil consumption will level for a few years before dropping, and that governments will make progress towards reaching carbon emissions goals. Even without these assumptions the authors suggest we may soon hit peak coal because inexpensive sources of coal are rapidly being used up. Their conclusion is that "energy policies relying on cheap coal have no future."... The authors point to the history of getting forecasts wrong, saying that official estimates of oil prices for 2010 issued in the late 1990s were less a third of the current oil price. With both oil and coal the problem is not that we are running out of supplies, but that prices rise and become volatile as we approach peak levels.
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'Doc Jim says:
The "problem" with coal and oil is that they will kill us.

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