Public Enemies

Public Enemies

Ted Folkert – May 16, 2022

If there was such a title as “public enemy number one” there are many who may qualify to be in the running. One who stands out by his political charades disguised as beneficial free enterprise is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of the smallest states on the map, demanding favor to pollute the planet while promoting the states’ biggest industries – one that has made Manchin and his family members very wealthy. This is, of course, their “goose who laid the golden egg” and they have no intent of relenting as it continues to produce massive wealth although ultimately destroying the ability of the planet to support life of any form.

This may sound like political sour grapes but it is merely restating the evidence and warnings from our scientific community about the demise of a livable planet at the hands of greedy owners of fossil fuels which they depend upon to build and maintain their enormous wealth and with total disregard for the future of the planet.

Jeff Goodell tells us in his article in “Rolling Stone,” “Joe Manchin and the Coal Cartel’s Last Score,” about the John Amos coal-fired power plant in West Virginia where their cooling towers spew out black pollution 24/7 to produce thousands of megawatts of electricity, which blacken all the homes within miles of the plant. It takes CO2 captured by trees 200 million years ago and releases it into the sky.

These power plants are the reason that the Antarctic is cracking and threatening every low-lying city in the world. Coal plants are engines of destruction, all prevailed by the political power that the industry has acquired and retains with the power of money.

Goodell tells us that Manchin presents himself as pragmatic and one who values good manners and civility with folksy charm, but the truth is that he is a grafter with coal dust in his veins who drives a Maserati and lives in a house boat on the Potomac River and pals around with corporate CEOs. He is reported to have a net worth of $12 million accumulated through controversial coal-related businesses and uses his political muscle to keep open the dirtiest coal plant in West Virginia, which paid him nearly $5 million over the past decade.

Climate scientist Peter Kalmus tells us that “burning fossil fuels is what’s driving the crazy heat waves, flooding, and ecosystem deaths we are experiencing.”

Burning coal is said to produce 40 percent of electricity and 30 percent of carbon emissions. The biggest coal burner is China which consumes more coal that the rest of the world combined.

At the climate summit in Glasgow last year 23 countries made commitments to phase out coal power and major international banks said they would stop financing new coal power by the end of 2021. More than 40 countries signed the pledge to phase out coal, but the U.S. was not one of them thanks to the Joe Manchin types in power here.

The question is: did the 23 countries phase out coal power and did the banks quit financing it? And when is the biggest polluter on the planet, the U.S., going to get on board to save the planet’s ability to support living organisms, including humans?

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