The discovery of fire was the single most important discovery made by humans. Wood was found to burn and until the discovery that coal and oil also burned, wood was the common fuel for fire. Replacing wood burning by the three fossil fuels; coal, oil and natural gas, improved the lives of billions of people but Obama just made coal burning more expensive in the United States thereby increasing the cost of electricity to the people which hurts the poor the most. Stupid, as Trump said.

Today, burning coal to produce electricity produces particles and gases which are cleaned before being put into the atmosphere. Sulfur Dioxide is the most potent chemical and it’s easy to remove from coalsmoke by turning it into gypsum. It’s also used as a preservative in foods but it’s the SO2 in coal smoke that is eliminated by changing it into gypsum which is made into drywall boards.

Carbon Dioxide, CO2 is also in coalsmoke and it’s easily removed by several processes so that CO2 from coalsmoke is no longer a problem. Removing particles and gases from smoke is made easy because the smoke is hot and heat is energy. That energy pushes the smoke thru the various processes that clean up the smoke. It’s almost like an additional benefit from coalsmoke that allows the smoke to be cleaned up without needing more power.

Pope Francis is on the wrong path with his crusade against electricity. He got it really, really wrong when he said: “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more like an immense pile of filth.” Unfortunately for his view, he said Mass in Philadelphia which was spectacularly clean therefore not a pile of filth. Filth was not seen around Philly. Same for the Pope when he was in Washington, D.C. and New Your. Clean places.

Just where is the Pope looking that he sees piles of filth? Certainly not in the Vatican nor in Italy nor in Europe. Those places are among the cleanest places on earth. Just where are these “piles of filth?” Turns out they are in the less developed parts of the world, the places where people are poor and in places without electricity. No electricity means no flush toilets. It also means dirty water and contaminated food. The Pontiff needs to figure out how to get electricity to the 1.3 billion people who don’t have it. Then the poor people could flush their toilets and live in a healthy place with clean water and refrigerated food.  . . ….developing .

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