Montana Outdoors

December 18, 2007

A terrible contrast

Filed under: Conservation, Environment, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 9:13 am

In this morning’s Billings Gazette was an article about Montana’s main supplier of electrical power, and here is an excerpt from it:

“NorthWestern Energy intends to double its wind power capacity over the next seven years but foresees no new coal plant construction due to uncertainty over global warming, according to documents released by the company Monday.”

Personally, I view this as very good news on a local scale, and yet….

Yesterday this train was headed east with over a hundred empty coal cars, returning to the coal fields of southeastern Montana or perhaps Wyoming.

Coal train

Coal train

This morning in another train just like it, this time heading west, were 117 cars, all of them heavily loaded with coal, bound most likely for the Port of Seattle, then on to China. But does it really matter where it goes? Ultimately it will end up in the air we breathe, whether that happens here in the States or whether it takes place overseas. I see one of these trains traveling these rails every single day, and that is one heck of a lot of coal!

Nine miles to the north of that scene and a mile above it is this one.

White clouds, blue sky

These clean white clouds and pure blue air are what we are willing to sacrifice as we continually attempt to satisfy an insatiable demand for energy. Hasn’t the world heard of conservation?

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