Headline Mar 25, 2015/ ''' CHINA & CHALLENGES : ENERGY AND POLLUTION '''



CHINA   -in 2012, produced   -4.03 BILLION TONS OF COAL. While U.S. produced 1.02  billion tons.

India produced 0.65, Indonesia 0.49, Australia 0.46, Russia 0.39, South Africa 0.29................

Rest of the world 1.38 billion tons.

China's economic growth has long been fed by coal, but its eastern cities are ''choking'' on the smog. Now, -since the last three year or so, the government thinks it has a solution:

Move the power plants inland.

AT THE VAST INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX of Ta Shan in northern China, the coal miners' afternoon shift change happens at 3.pm.

Miners masked in black grime pile into the back of a pickup for the ride back to barracks. Wearily they shed their work clothes, shower, dress, and mount aged scooters for the long ride to their distant housing towers.

Everything is covered in fine, black grit. Smog blankets the sky, and the sun is just a rumor.

The Ta Shan mine is part of the TaShan Circulated Economic Park, a conglomeration of industrial facilities about 20 miles south of the city of Datong, in Shanxi rovince, China's coal heartland.

The economic park, in turn, is contained within the even bigger Jinbei coal cluster, which stretches across much of the northern Shanxi.

Owned by Datong Coal Mine Group   {''Tongmei'' in Chinese characters, which loosely means  ''Unity Coal''), the park comprises coal and iron mines; the Ta Shan Power Plant, which includes a pair of 600-megawatt coal fired boilers-

A methanol plant; a sewage treatment plant; chemical plants; its own railway; and a factory to make bricks from gangue, the noninflammable material that encases coal in ore.

Under continual construction since 2003, Ta Shan is touted as a new, environmentally friendlier model for the Chinese coal industry.

Excess heat from the power plant is used to warm employees apartments, which fly ash {the residue from burned coal} is recycled as raw material for the cement plant.

One plant's waste becomes input for neighbouring facility in ''a garden-like new mining area,'' according to the Tongmei website, that  ''creates a clear, comfortable, and beautiful working environment for the employees.''

Bit to a Western eye, there is nothing garden-like about Ta-Shan. Enormous towers for high-voltage electricity transmission march into the hazy distance like giant skeletal robots.

The grim industrial complex represents the Chinese government's long term energy strategy.

In response to the country's environmental crisis, the central government plans to consolidate its far-flung coal industry, creating enormous  ''coal-bases''  like Ta-Shan, where, in theory-

Pollution can be contained, waste can be recycled, and miners' lives can be safeguarded. The problem with this vision is that it doesn't capture the full environmental havoc-

That these coal clusters will wreak, both on the surrounding areas and on the earth's climate.

China's economic miracle has been fuelled by coal. The black mineral provides around  three-quarters  of the country's primary energy, and China burns nearly as much coal every year -more than 4 billion tons- as the rest of the world combined.

But China's insatiable appetite for coal has brought on environmental, economic, and public health costs that are no longer supportable.

The big eastern cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou are plagued with crippling smog, which causes  250,000 premature  deaths every year.

So, with China building up to 70 new coal-fired plants at large bases, representing arguably the fossil-fuel development in the world : The World Watches

With respectful dedication to the Students of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Own Your Tomorrow '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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