Archive: 05/2010

One of the Best-Kept Secrets about Coal... It's NOT the Cheapest Energy

Well over half of the electricity generated by Nebraska’s public power system comes from coal. Although coal is far and away the dirtiest fossil fuel, the state’s public power generators have insisted on using coal transported by rail from Wyoming’s Powder Basin (rather than developing our own clean, native renewable resources) because the energy cost of coal was purportedly so cheap. 

As the following article by UNL Economics Professor Hank van den Berg documents, however, those cheaper costs are illusory. Once the full costs associated with burning coal are calculated in, the price of this toxic fuel becomes economically prohibitive. Plus, coal produces exorbitant levels of greenhouse gases, which the Pentagon itself now openly states are contributing to global warming. The Pentagon’s 2010 “Quadrennial Defense Review” warns that climate change is already exacerbating international instability and conflict—and the more the climate warms, the more war there will be. 

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The Wages of History The Wages of Ignorance

Paul Olson 
UNL Emeritus Professor

Speaking Our Peace Graphic

Swift in his “Digression on Madness” speaks bitterly of happiness as the “possession of being well-deceived; the serene peaceful state of being a fool among knaves.” 

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