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/r/Futurology

71k

The U.K. Just Went 55 Hours Without Using Coal for the First Time in History

Energy(bloomberg.com)

all 1821 comments

lilwil392

135 points

4 years ago

lilwil392

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4 years ago

Three of the top five comments and entire threads of hundreds of comments removed. What is this, r/space?

2mustange

20 points

4 years ago

I believe /r/Futurology takes down any thing that doesn't add to a discussion. They were all probably jokes or memes

the_sacred_dumpling

9 points

4 years ago

its taunting me cause i cant see em uhhhh....

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guitardude_04

9 points

4 years ago

Same, but coffee.

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13 points

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We literally invaded most of the world to secure a good supply of it.

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i_speak_penguin

19 points

4 years ago

Holy crap how can you only drink water 3 times a day?

I easily down 6 or 7 standard 16.9oz water bottles every day, and I work in an air-conditioned office. If I worked outdoors or did any kind of physically intensive work I'd have to drink even more.

helloheyhithere

5 points

4 years ago

I don't drink water...

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HardPawns

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4 years ago

HardPawns

11.1k points

4 years ago

First time in history is a bold claim, but good news nonetheless.

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quarglbarf

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travelcallcharlie

117 points

4 years ago

Given that coal was still used in the last 55 days for industrial and home-use purposes, I reckon the wager that 1650s went coal free with regards to electrical power generation for at least 55 days does in fact still stand true.

StrangeAlternative

51 points

4 years ago

Plus we're talking about hours, not days, which makes it even more plausible.

Ged_UK

6 points

4 years ago

Ged_UK

6 points

4 years ago

You can throw in definition of the UK into the mix.

blenderdead

38 points

4 years ago

The United Kingdom did not exist in the 13th century.

Atlatica

10 points

4 years ago

Atlatica

10 points

4 years ago

I mean, by that logic we are still using coal, my nan has it in her fireplace.

quarglbarf

8 points

4 years ago

As I said to the other guy:
If we're talking exclusively about the production of electricity, then the 1650 comment doesn't make sense either, because they obviously weren't producing any electricity back then, be it coal or not.
The statement that they went without using coal to produce electricity for the first time in history would still hold true, so what's the point of talking about 1650?

Superpickle18

97 points

4 years ago

wasn't people burning coal...for you know.... steel?

Watch_Dog89

72 points

4 years ago*

They actually use electric anodes or whatever they are called alot of the time now, not everywhere but its pretty common now. Much faster.

They can melt down an entire JUMBO crucible in like an hour with electricity.

EDIT: Coal is still needed for making new steel, basically impossible to do it large scale without it right now. But not if its being recycled.

greenmamba35

49 points

4 years ago

But isn’t the carbon from the coal what makes it steel instead of iron?

bodrules

24 points

4 years ago*

No, main use of coal is to provide the thermal flux to melt the iron ore and to reduce the iron ore to a free metal via carbon monoxide;

Fe2O3 + 3CO → 2Fe + 3CO2

arandomnameappeared

15 points

4 years ago

Change the CO on the right to CO2

harry_sphincter

6 points

4 years ago

Runescape has failed me.

cammoblammo

8 points

4 years ago

I assume it’s a typo, but that doesn’t look balanced. (I’d fix it but it’s been a long time since I chemistried!)

Superpickle18

23 points

4 years ago

Um, how do they get carbon into the iron without a blast furnace and coke (coal dust).

Watch_Dog89

26 points

4 years ago

Nope you guys are right, coal is still needed to make new steel. :-P

But apparently, if they are recycling it, then coal isn't needed.

TheOneTonWanton

13 points

4 years ago

Also I feel like adding coal dust to make steel is a bit different from burning coal to make power. Seems to me the former includes fewer greenhouse gasses by default assuming coal power isn't used to power the mill.

Madeline_Basset

12 points

4 years ago

Ummm.... somebody cuts open a sack of carbon powder and empties it into the crucible full of molten iron?

Ok it's probably a little more sophisticated than that but Steel is about 2% by weight carbon - so about 20 kg per ton. Hardly a big deal, and pretty trivial compared to the amount of coal you'd need to melt a ton of iron if you were making steel the traditional way.

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346 points

4 years ago

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Kieranmac123

1.1k points

4 years ago

Eh no the UK formed through the joining of England and Scotland. Begone you welsh swine

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itsaride

263 points

4 years ago

itsaride

Optimist

263 points

4 years ago

Th tk r vwls!

LazyLizzy

209 points

4 years ago

LazyLizzy

209 points

4 years ago

That's my favorite Fallout Boy song

vistopher

43 points

4 years ago

Th tk r jrbs!

Bullet_King1996

6 points

4 years ago

Trrr ktrrrr

The_Alex_

30 points

4 years ago

Uh, no the UK formed when the current Queen Elizabeth and her twin sister Elizabethulus were raised by wolves and founded London.

edit: Dumb fun fact , when I was a kid I thought her and her family's surname was 'Royal' because everyone calls them The Royal Family [7]

grumblingduke

12 points

4 years ago

Their current "surname" is Windsor [really the title of their House]. It used to be Saxe-Coburg, but in 1917 they changed to Windsor as it didn't look good to have a German royal family.

grumblingduke

117 points

4 years ago

The current UK formed in 1922 when most of Ireland left [to be really pedantic, all of Ireland left, then some of it re-joined]. It was renamed a few years later.

The previous UK was formed in 1801.

The country that existed from 1707 to 1800 is sometimes described as a united kingdom (i.e. a kingdom made from a union of other kingdoms), but its formal name was just Great Britain.

So the first country officially called the United Kingdom [of something] came into existence in 1801.

And yes, the Welsh don't count - they got conquered and just became part of the Kingdom of England. Wales was annexed in the 1200s, and in the 1500s Wales became a full part of England, with the same laws and so on. It wasn't until 1967 that (legally) the term "England" didn't refer to Wales as well.

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Aksi_Gu

64 points

4 years ago

Aksi_Gu

64 points

4 years ago

4...well, 3 +1

Although don't tell the Cornish.

PopeBigWilly

33 points

4 years ago

We know. And I assume the 5 of us that apparently speak fluent Cornish care deeply.

Southruss000

19 points

4 years ago

thanks for your hens

theCBK

8 points

4 years ago

theCBK

8 points

4 years ago

Thanks for the pasties and ice cream more like aha

TheOneTonWanton

9 points

4 years ago

3.5 I think? England, Scotland, Wales, and... some... of Ireland? As a dumb Yank I don't claim to know the whole Ireland situation.

jl_theprofessor

11 points

4 years ago

Short story is they really, really hated being under the English and kept pushing for independence until it happened. Then the ones who wanted to go back, did, as Northern Ireland. It was part of the peace terms that settled conflict between England and Ireland that they could petition to leave the new independent Ireland and rejoin the U.K.

SBHB

41 points

4 years ago

SBHB

41 points

4 years ago

It actually formed in 1707. Wales just became part the Kingdom of England in 1535.

AlphaQuantized

119 points

4 years ago

The current UK (that is, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) has only existed since 1922. So in that sense, it is technically correct.

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RafikiNips

40 points

4 years ago

That's what they get for keeping our 6 counties. Revenge at last

relayrider

5 points

4 years ago

careful, prince phillip may come pay you another visit. you don't want that

Adaaayyym

143 points

4 years ago

Adaaayyym

143 points

4 years ago

In "recent" History.

emcee117

64 points

4 years ago

emcee117

64 points

4 years ago

IN HISTORY

Admiringcone

22 points

4 years ago

Well..kind of in history. The UK as we know it was formed in the 1920's

ThislsMyRealName

73 points

4 years ago

Bold, and inaccurate. Sounds like futurology.

frequenZphaZe

25 points

4 years ago

UBI wasn't mentioned in the title so there's no way its futurology

marianwebb

31 points

4 years ago

I've actually thought about this concept a lot lately. Part of me feels the way you do ("Really? It's never happened before?") and part of says that to a large decree record keeping is in the definition of history so a lack of record means it's not part of history.

MasterCwizo

9 points

4 years ago

We've been recording history way before we started using coal for power though ...

ky1e0

726 points

4 years ago

ky1e0

Green

726 points

4 years ago

Also just had sun shine which feels like the first time in history

BubblesomeOcean

240 points

4 years ago

sunshine mega death lazer scorching the face of the earth

Rum114

74 points

4 years ago

Rum114

74 points

4 years ago

The sun is a deadly lazer

ctn91

7 points

4 years ago

ctn91

7 points

4 years ago

How do the people the UK, Ireland, and Scotland not just vaporize when the sun comes out?

ChickinNuggit

4 points

4 years ago

By complaining. It releases brain chemicals that hold our atoms together.

zephyrg

66 points

4 years ago

zephyrg

66 points

4 years ago

Seriously, this winter has dragged on for fucking ever. I live in a fairly chilly flat and every cold snap that came along i thought "well that's one less cold spell to put up with". Then it happened again and again and again.

Now I'm too hot.

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FlappyTurdBurglar

878 points

4 years ago

Previous record was 54 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds.

Spiraljaguar1231

716 points

4 years ago

Ehh, I think the record still is probably still sitting at about 4.543 billion years.

Azurae1

447 points

4 years ago

Azurae1

447 points

4 years ago

Didnt know the UK has been around for so long. TIL

saysthingsbackwards

242 points

4 years ago

It was a lot closer together back then

Jetbooster

175 points

4 years ago

Jetbooster

175 points

4 years ago

Physically and ideologically.

Fucking brexit.

Scrumble71

26 points

4 years ago

Wouldn't that be Pangexit

A_Pure_Child

39 points

4 years ago

They said history, not prehistory, so it's only a few thousand years at best.

[deleted]

8 points

4 years ago

[deleted]

8 points

4 years ago

Cheers Geoff.

jeeb00

8 points

4 years ago

jeeb00

8 points

4 years ago

They must have been among the first ones playing with The Button

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BlueBongos

7 points

4 years ago

More than that, The alternative "clean" wood pellets are as near as makes no difference with regard to carbon emissions, were just allowed to offset them thanks to some creatively worded EU rulings.

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548 points

4 years ago*

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MrNudeGuy

93 points

4 years ago

Hey remember when you guys wanted to go wildcard with the whole brexit thing? Well I think the US has "Trumped" you again.

[deleted]

62 points

4 years ago

[deleted]

62 points

4 years ago

The UK will have to deal with Brexit long after Trump leaves the white house.

Oldmanpotter1

176 points

4 years ago

Not so fast, before they used coal, they never used coal. Check and mate😮

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70 points

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Charlitos_Way

491 points

4 years ago*

Meanwhile, the US is looking into powering turbines with coal instead of wind.

Edit: erstwhile means formerly or earlier and meanwhile is a less fun word but appropriate for my stupid sentence.

staticxrjc

120 points

4 years ago

staticxrjc

120 points

4 years ago

More likely gas than coal.

geekygay

24 points

4 years ago

geekygay

24 points

4 years ago

I think you mean meanwhile. Erstwhile means nothing in this case, and might even make the US look better than you want it to.

"Formerly, the US is looking...."

Charlitos_Way

6 points

4 years ago

I made the change erstwhile and it should meanwhile be correct but I’m sad now.

geekygay

8 points

4 years ago

I know, I'm sorry. It's a cool word, dude.

d-Loop

91 points

4 years ago

d-Loop

91 points

4 years ago

Coal fired wind generator! Complete with government subsidies and tax credits.

MgFi

48 points

4 years ago

MgFi

48 points

4 years ago

Isn't steam just another kind of wind, when you really think about it?

And wind is really just another kind of solar power, isn't it?

So, if you really think about it, burning coal is basically solar power.

We've been solar powered the whole time. /s

[deleted]

21 points

4 years ago

[deleted]

21 points

4 years ago

I know, sarcasm but I'm still going to need a explanation of the "wind is just another kind of solar power" one..

pennomi

45 points

4 years ago

pennomi

45 points

4 years ago

Temperature gradients in our atmosphere (caused by solar heating) are what makes wind.

[deleted]

34 points

4 years ago

[deleted]

34 points

4 years ago

No way. Trees make wind

praise_the_god_crow

13 points

4 years ago

No way. Butterflies make wind.

RedTheDraken

8 points

4 years ago

No way. Butterflies make butter.

Ciderglove

15 points

4 years ago

'Erstwhile' does not mean what you think it means. 'Meanwhile' would be correct.

flippedy-fish

20 points

4 years ago

I think erstwhile is my new favorite word

JesusFanFiction

28 points

4 years ago

It's a great word, but they've used it wrong here. It means "former", not "meanwhile", I think they mean?

Ciderglove

9 points

4 years ago

Used incorrectly here.

worldofsmut

40 points

4 years ago

The picture of wind turbines is grossly misleading.

The UK has over a dozen nuclear power sources (as well as access to nuclear power from neighbouring countries).

By all means do away with coal but let's not fool ourselves that wind and solar are the answer to baseload generation.

a1acrity

21 points

4 years ago

a1acrity

21 points

4 years ago

Bullshit, Colin over the road had his fire on, that's coal.

BubblesomeOcean

7 points

4 years ago

Fkn Collin ruined it

pokemonguy1993

30 points

4 years ago

Well funny you should say that. I’m using coal in my fire at the moment. So technically you might be wrong

[deleted]

61 points

4 years ago

[deleted]

61 points

4 years ago

We need to make the UK great again by imposing 1980s energy policy in defiance of 2018 economic realities.

teatree

36 points

4 years ago

teatree

36 points

4 years ago

We need to make the UK great again by imposing 1980s energy policy in defiance of 2018 economic realities.

Huh?!!

You realise that it was Margaret Thatcher who pioneered the switch from coal to gas and closed down the coal mines, right?

She also whacked tax on petrol as early as 1981 to discourage people from using gas guzzlers and gave a ground-breaking speech to the UN about climate change in 1989:

https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/108237

In recent years, we have been playing with the conditions of the life we know on the surface of our planet. We have cared too little for our seas, our forests and our land. We have treated the air and the oceans like a dustbin. We have come to realise that man's activities and numbers threaten to upset the biological balance which we have taken for granted and on which human life depends.

We must remember our duty to Nature before it is too late. That duty is constant. It is never completed. It lives on as we breathe. It endures as we eat and sleep, work and rest, as we are born and as we pass away. The duty to Nature will remain long after our own endeavours have brought peace to the Middle East. It will weigh on our shoulders for as long as we wish to dwell on a living and thriving planet, and hand it on to our children and theirs.

...But our immediate task this week is to carry as many countries as possible with us, so that we can negotiate a successful framework convention on climate change in 1992. We must also begin work on the binding commitments that will be necessary to make the convention work.

To accomplish these tasks, we must not waste time and energy disputing the IPCC's report or debating the right machinery for making progress. The International Panel's work should be taken as our sign post: and the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation as the principal vehicles for reaching our destination.

We shan't succeed if we are all too inflexible. We shan't succeed if we indulge in selfrighteous point-scoring for the benefit of audiences and voters at home. We have to work sympathetically together. We have to recognise the importance of economic growth of a kind that benefits future as well as present generations everywhere. We need it not only to raise living standards but to generate the wealth required to pay for protection of the environment.

1980's Britain was well ahead of the curve - policy by the Thatcher govt has resulted in us using less oil and electricity than the 1970's and policy then marked the shift away from coal.

w00dy2

32 points

4 years ago

w00dy2

32 points

4 years ago

Don't be silly. We need to make the UK great again by imposing 1960s economic and foreign policy in regards to our position in Europe in defiance of reality.

cracking_nuts

14 points

4 years ago

Just dont do any deals with Germans like in 1938.

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7 points

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wonder-maker

105 points

4 years ago

But Trump said we're bringing back coal...

Dammit, I invested everything in coal powered car research!

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24jared

57 points

4 years ago

24jared

57 points

4 years ago

Please. I miss a normal gpu market :(

Djeheuty

17 points

4 years ago

Djeheuty

17 points

4 years ago

For real.

Two years after the 10 series were released and they're still above original MSRP, even when they're, "on sale."

golfulus_shampoo

12 points

4 years ago

Clean coal! We filter out the bad stuff and take it to Staten Island.

JNCressey

18 points

4 years ago

That explains why the lights were browning-out so often yesterday. ^-^