Coal, take a ride – Alternatives exist

Friday, January 16, 2009 General News J E 4
This January, two young individuals - concerned about the Climate, are cycling up to New Delhi carrying voices of thousands of people - to question the Government on its carbon intensive energy policy, and highlight existing solutions, with a strong message – ‘Why New Coal – It just doesn’t make sense!’ “More than ever, the future, the life on earth depends upon our current, immediate actions. We face a security, ideology and climate crisis in a trust constrained world, a development and economic crisis in a carbon-constrained world. It is truly time for some real action,” says Vinay Jaju, spearheading the ride. Huub Dekkers, who is joining the ride all the way from Netherlands is very exited about the ride. “Coal is the biggest threat for our generation and we need to do something crazy to bring attention to this fact. This ride might fill in that gap.” Coal also has a social, environmental, material and relocation cost, which is always overlooked when calculating the cost of coal based electricity. If these ‘externalities’ were to be considered, coal would not be economically feasible as against renewable energy. “ An estimate on global annual deaths by pollutants from coal based electricity generation comes up to 1,70,000 people. “India accounts for the world’s greatest concentration of coal fires. Rising surface temperatures, and toxic by-products in groundwater, soil and air have turned the densely populated Raniganj, Singareni and Jharia coal fields into wastelands.” Says the report by Krajick, K. 2005. ‘Fires in the Hole.’ These Climate Riders will be visiting different coal affected communities along the Coal Belt of India on their way to Delhi documenting the environmental and health hazards these communities face and life on earth will have to deal with. They are riding 1500 km and collecting 15000 messages in support of their Campaign – Why New Coal – It just doesn’t make sense. Join them on their ride to a brighter future at – and they can be contacted at There are miles to go before we can rest and miles to go before we can rest. But then a journey always begins with a step or perhaps a ride – The Climate Ride 2009.


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