Myth of Clean Coal

Photo of Mark Z. Jacobson from Stanford University's website.

Mark Z. Jacobson, (email, bio) a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and director of the university's director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program recomments wind, water and solar energy over biofuels, nuclear and coal for clean energy, after conducting

the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability.

The best ways to improve energy security, mitigate global warming and reduce the number of deaths caused by air pollution are blowing in the wind and rippling in the water, not growing on prairies or glowing inside nuclear power plants.

And "clean coal," which involves capturing carbon emissions and sequestering them in the earth, is not clean at all....[O]ptions that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options.

Mark Jacobson presented his research at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San FranciscoDecember 19, during the session "Evaluation of Proposed Solutions to Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Security" (abstract)