Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Uncontrollable burning coal-waste-heap
People often emphasize the role of uncontrolled accidental burning of fossil fuels in backward parts of the world.
I grew up in a part of the developing world called the Potteries, near the middle of England. The Potteries were rich in clay and coal, and one hill near Keele village was stuffed with little coal mines when I was a child. There were rich thick seams very close to the surface. These photos and google satellite maps show what's left there now: a great pile of rubble that is perpetually on fire. It looks rather like a Hollywood movie's improbable view of medieval England, in which every slope somehow has smoke scudding across it.