Renewable energy won’t rid us of the horrors of coal | Simon Jenkins

The Turkish disaster has brought home the grave costs of mining. But hysteria-led policies will only make matters worse

If 300 workers were to die in a nuclear accident or a shale gas blast, such an energy source would be doomed. Not so coal. Coal is the filthiest and most polluting form of energy, and the most dangerous to extract. I recall my Welsh grandfather boasting that none of his sons had "gone down the pit". Yet coal continues to exert a mesmeric hold on the world’s imagination, especially on the left.

Labour supported Arthur Scargill’s determination to keep pits open. The party prevented Tony Blair from building any nuclear power stations, instead tipping subsidies into wind, which merely encouraged Britain’s dependency on coal, now at 38% and rising. Global coal consumption is at its highest level since 2006, and mocks all attempts at emissions discipline.

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