2006 nonfiction book by Jeff Goodell< read all 1 reviews
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Even that grim total, however, pales in comparison to the number of Americans who die prematurely each year from the fine-particle pollution emanating from the coal-fired power plants these miners supply with fuel: 24,000 each year, according to the American Lung Association. That toll -- coupled with the impact that the burning of fossil fuels is having on the Earth's climate -- must be weighed against the cheap electricity that coal has given us for nearly 150 years.
Jeff Goodell's new Big Coal explores this tension in depth, comparing Americans' energy habits to the behavior of a Bowery junkie: "We keep telling ourselves it's time to come clean, without ever actually doing it." The book's strength lies in Goodell's ability to connect our mundane daily activities, such as flipping on the living room lights and powering up our laptops, with the grimy business that powers these things. "Most of us have no idea how central coal is to our everyday lives or what our relationship ...