Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Would you use an app that tells you the partisan affiliation of products you're considering buying?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share
Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 06/26/2013

Burning question

I don’t understand people who worry about coal. They talk about all that energy, right there in the ground, going to waste if we don’t dig it out and burn it.

How is it going to waste in the ground? Is money in the bank ‘going to waste’? If coal is a valuable resource, it’s still valuable if we hold onto to it for a little longer, maybe longer enough that we can burn it without dumping the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

But what about the jobs? Now there is a better question. Jobs are scare enough, although the vast majority of the money from coal mining does not go to the diggers. But the fact of the matter is, it’s a bad job, and I’m not talking about working conditions. If somebody created a job that paid somebody to take his waste and dump it in your child’s crib, how patient would you be with justifications? Okay, now tell me the difference.

This is simply one more version of Americans not growing up enough to have an intelligent conversation about trade-offs. Yeah, life was simpler and more profitable in the time before we had to have that kind of conversation. Time’s up.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 06/26/2013

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company