Washington: An Indian-origin American scientist and his team believe the "only practical way to preserve" the Earth is to urgently do away with coal and unconventional fossil fuel emissions.
Writing in American Chemical Society`s semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), Pushker Kharecha and colleagues say: "The only practical way to preserve a planet resembling that of the Holocene (today`s world) with reasonably stable shorelines and preservation of species, is to rapidly phase out coal emissions and prohibit emissions from unconventional fossil fuels such as oil shale and tar sands."
The authors outline strategies to make that phase-out possible.
They include elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels; putting rising prices on carbon emissions; major improvements in electricity transmission and the energy efficiency of homes, commercial buildings, and appliances; replacing coal power with biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, and third-generation nuclear power; and after successful demonstration at commercial scales, deployment of advanced (fourth-generation) nuclear power plants; and carbon capture and storage at remaining coal plants.
The articles will appear in the June 1 print edition of ES&T.