Burton Richter a Nobel Laureate in physics has an interesting idea to stop the use of coal
There is no excuse for the continued use of coal to generate electricity that costs too much and is a health hazard to everyone who lives anywhere near a coal-fired power plant. About 137,000 people worked in the coal industry last year — from miners to executives, according to the Labor Department. You could pension them all off with $50,000 per year tax-free, at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year [A National Academy of Sciences 2010 study estimated that the non-climate costs from coal-fired power plant emissions in 2005 cost about $62 billion], save the country a large amount of money, protect our people from much damage to their health and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet.
I am sure there are plenty of reasons why this wont work but the mere fact that it isn’t immediately dismissible gives you an idea of how far off base the coal industry really is.
(h/t David Appell)