The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Developed nations must wean off of coal by 2020


In response to your article “NASA climatologist makes pitch against coal” (Feb. 3) regarding preeminent climatologist James Hansen’s speech at UNC, I would like to clarify several points.

First, Hansen urged UNC to stop burning coal well before the year 2020. As Hansen told students of the Sierra Club Coal-Free UNC Campaign on Feb. 2., “...developed nations must be off of coal by 2020, and if universities like UNC are to take the lead in this pressing issue, they should have replaced coal with other energy sources before then.”

Second, Hansen highlighted that while UNC’s plant is cogeneration and thus burns coal more efficiently than the average coal plant, it is still burning dirty coal and so is contributing to global warming pollution.

Third, I’d like to emphasize that we on the Sierra Club Coal-Free UNC Campaign praise Chancellor Thorp’s creation of the Energy Task Force to address energy use on campus. We feel that the best way for energy and pollution to be addressed is to eliminate coal use on campus as soon as possible, by 2015 at the latest.

Laura Stevens
Sierra Club Coal-Free UNC

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