The (Hottest Ever) Summer Of Coal

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Coal, it’s an amazing thing.

It powers air conditioners, swimming pools, cold rooms at the bottlo; it gives life to ice cream truck fridges, and little children’s dreams. As Julie Bishop recently pointed out at the Paris climate talks, poor people can even snack on coal. Amazing.

And we’re going to need more of it. And anyone who doesn’t accept that is a fool. And we should all listen to what Greg Evans, the Executive Director of Coal at the Minerals Council of Australia, has to say about the miners’ rosy future.

He makes his living from flogging coal – and anyone who dares suggest coal might not be the most delicious snack to force down the throats of future generations. But Greg’s first priority is “providing vital and often lifesaving air conditioning and refrigeration requirements”. Clearly.

That’s why yesterday, the day 2015 was confirmed as the hottest year ever posted, was an especially wonderful day to dote on coal. Because it’s a day we needed more coal than ever!

“The scale, reliability and accessibility of coal fired power is particularly important on hot summer days,” explained Evans. This, of course, is down to coal’s role in “providing vital and often lifesaving air conditioning and refrigeration requirements”.

“It’s easy to take for granted but coal keeps households, whole of industry, hospitals, trains, educational facilities, tourism and retail and entertainment operational all year round and it is available every hour of the day,” the coal executive said.

For our own good, and not because he’s paid to produce coal-licking propaganda, Evans said: “The intermittency and inherent scale limitations of solar and wind means they are not a viable alternative.”

Luckily, there’s plenty of coal to go around.

According to the Minerals Council, yesterday, a day when major cities posted temperatures above 30 degrees and many towns were approaching a sweltering 40 degrees, coal accounted for a total of 66 per cent of total electricity. Fossil fuels accounted for 84 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation.

Logically, as these extreme heats become more common, we’re going to need more of coal. Lots more coal!We may need to air condition the whole Earth, even, if figures released yesterday by the climate alarmists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are anything to go by.

NOAA’s report card for 2015 reveals it was the hottest year on their 136 year record, and it broke the annual global temperature record by the largest margin ever.

It was the fourth time the global temperature record had been smashed this century, with 15 of the 16 warmest years occurring since 2000.

2015 also broke 10 of the records for the hottest a given month has ever been. In other words, February, March, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December of 2015 were hotter than they’ve ever been since 1880.

January and April of 2015 were the second and third warmest they’ve ever been, respectively. That must have been disappointing for coal-lickers with a hero-refrigeration-complex.

And it would no doubt come as some consolation, to Evans, that December 2015 was the warmest month of any month, ever, in the last 136 years.

So, folks, crank up your air conditioners . Stick your heads in the burning sand, and repeat after me: Coal, isn’t it amazing?!

It’s like Greg Evans said: “Coal will remain the mainstay of our electricity generation and reducing our reliance on coal would have negative consequences on the reliability and cost of supply.”

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Thom Mitchell

Thom Mitchell is New Matilda's Environment Reporter.

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