About 20 Greenpeace activists held a “coal circus” on Boston Common today to poke holes in the idea that coal-burning power plants can produce energy without significant greenhouse gas emissions.
Part of a global Fossil Fools Day organized by international environmental groups, the activists wore clown suits and erected a large banner that read “The Coal Circus. It’s so Clean! (April Fools).
Coal burning power plants are a leading cause of heat-trapping emissions that contribute to global warming. While the industry is attempting to develop a new generation of coal plants known as "clean coal" that will not release any of those gases into the environment - likely by ejecting it deep into the earth - it is not a proven technology.
Still, there is enormous scientific and industrial effort looking at sequestration of coal, in large part because more than 50 percent of electricity in the US is generated from coal and there are such large reserves here.
Greenpeace wants federal funds and attention to be trained on energy efficiency and switching to renewable sources of energy.
“April 1st a great day to do something fun, but nothing is more deathly serious than the idea of continuing to burn coal. Coal is killing our future,” Greenpeace Field Organizer David Pomerantz said.
Do you think clean coal will come true?
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Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.