The discovery of coal and mining had a huge impact on the environment and society as a whole. Many see that mining coal positively impacts communities and some disagree. There are numerous pros and cons on the issue and it is something that is a big topic for debate, when discussing about efficient energy sources. Mining coal is the operation of extracting coal from the ground, burning it and using it as an energy source. Coal mining has been used for hundreds of thousands of years around the world to provide millions of people with electricity.
There are two different ways to mine coal: deep mining or surface mining. Figuring out which mining method to use, is purely dependent on the coal deposit’s structure in the earth. Deep mining accounts for a larger part of world coal production than surface mining, but there are various important coal producing countries where surface mining is much more common. Even though mining has major benefits to communities around the world, it also has many disadvantages as well.
There are pros and cons when it comes to the mining business.
One pro of mining coal is the creation of jobs. This industry provides tons of job opportunities for local people and draws those who are professionals in the business, to explore other areas in the industry as well. Another pro of mining is being able to obtain essential sources of energy. The result of mining is discovering raw materials such as coal, which supplies efficient energy.
There are also many cons when it comes to mining, especially with coal. One con of this is that companies in the mining industry have to clear a large area for the mine, which results in the decrease in the amount of trees. Deforestation can lead to soil erosion, climate change and the destruction of ecosystems and other wildlife that live in the area.
Another con of mining is that coal byproduct is found in food, cosmetics and other everyday items. The effects of this product can include emotional and sleep disturbances, and even loss of coordination. The fossil fuel coal is a unique, combustible black sedimentary rock that contains high amounts of carbon and hydrocarbons. It was one of the earliest known mines from South Africa and is nonrenewable, which means it would take millions of years to form. The production of coal in the United States is a booming industry.
The five states that combine together with a whopping 70% of coal production are West Virginia, Wyoming, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. Since this fossil fuel is nonrenewable, the total amount of coals that can be mined with current technologies are 254 billion tons. This is still a vast amount and will last for about 348 years. With the amount of time it takes to form new coal, we would have to look towards new sources of energy that are renewable and can sustain society for a long time.
There are also pros and cons when it comes to the use of coal as well. Starting with the pros when discussing coal fired plants, is that these plants are reliable. Coal has the capacity of supplying power during prime power demand or when demand is less, which his greatly favored as a power plant fuel option. Another pro of this rock is affordability. The energy that is manufactured from coal power plants is much cheaper than other sources of energy. It is available in large quantities and is inexpensive to produce.
Lastly, a pro for choosing to use coal is safety. Coal fired plants are one of the safest options compared to nuclear plants. The collapse of a coal power plant is not as detrimental in comparison to one that is nuclear. When thinking of the people who work closely in these plants, their wellbeing is extremely important and is something to consider. It is seen that employees who work in these coal power plants, the injuries and death rate have decreased enormously throughout the years. Even with the many pros of coal fired power plants, there are also various cons.
One con of these plants are greenhouse gas emissions. Coal is known for leaving behind dangerous byproducts from combustion. Pollution, which contributes to global warming, is a result of these byproducts getting released. With carbon emissions increasing, this will increase the chances of global warming, and possibly lead to climate change. Another con of coal use is the mass amounts of millions of tons of waste. These tons of waste products can never be reused resulting in the build up of excess, that contain harmful substances that is extremely damaging to the environment.
The use of coal and mining go hand in hand and have an enormous impact in many aspects of our environment and everyday lives. My opinion of both of these is that they both are great in the way that they provide the world with jobs and electricity, but all-in-all I personally feel that it is destroying our environment. The expansion of mines results in the decrease in trees which is destroying the homes of many animals.
I also think that the byproduct of coal combustion is extremely harmful to the environment, and humans as well. The toxins that are being released can damage our wildlife and the health of people in local communities. After researching about coal and its effects, I feel that more people should be educated on the topic and bringing more awareness to how it is influencing our society as a whole.