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September 2006
vol. 51, no. 9

FEATURES

18 Coal’s Staying Power
People have been using coal for thousands of years and will likely continue to use it for at least the next couple hundred years.
Megan Sever

20 Climate Change and the Potential of Coal Gasification
New “clean coal” technologies are coming onto the scene, due to both high energy prices and mounting concerns about human-induced climate change.
Samuel C. Schon and Arthur A. Small III
Plus! Getting Out the Coal

24 Health Impacts of Coal: Should We Be Concerned?
Coal poses several risks to human health, particularly in developing nations, both through burning the resource and through natural inputs into the environment.
Robert B. Finkelman, Harvey E. Belkin, and Jose A. Centeno

30 Coalbed Gas Enters the Energy Mix
Methane gas in coalbeds is becoming a more attractive energy resource, as coal is abundant globally and the gas is there for the taking.
Megan Sever


NEWS & VIEWS

7 COMMENT
Testing Global Warming Hypotheses

Resolving the causes of climate change requires application of the scientific method.
Lee Gerhard

8 NEWS NOTES
Microbes act as alchemists * Corals adapt to sea change * Large dinosaurs ran hot * Floral shade aids search for Earths * Hurricanes intensify red tides off Gulf * Hockey stick climate study faces scrutiny * China's massive dam alters weather * Desert varnish baked in Mojave

17 POLITICAL SCENE
Where the Water Ends and the Wetland Begins

A recent Supreme Court decision sends interpretation of wetlands regulation in the Clean Water Act back to the lower courts.
Linda Rowan

36 GEOPHENOMENA
Fires burn across West
Pollutants find new paths over Tibet

38 TRENDS & INNOVATIONS
Scaling Up Nuclear Power

With the search on for cleaner sources of energy, many people are turning back to nuclear energy, a zero-emissions alternative that has technological promise, despite political hurdles.
Kathryn Hansen

40 EDUCATION & OUTREACH
All Aboard the School of Rock
An earth science teacher talks about her experiences on a floating classroom en route from British Columbia to Mexico.
Carolyn Gramling

42 ENERGY & RESOURCES
Costs rise for Canadian oil sands
Mineral resource of the month: Diatomite

44 GEOMEDIA
TV: Lost’s magnetic plot
Books: A search without data: A review of Life As We Do Not Know It
On the Web: Glacial change and space for kids

48 PROFILES
Donald Forsyth: At play in the field

49 BENCHMARKS
September 23, 1806: Lewis and Clark return home

60 GEOLOGIC COLUMN
Big Lonesome Mountain
Everyone, even the moose, is thinking about the rocks in a park in western Newfoundland.
Lisa Rossbacher

DEPARTMENTS
 4 From the Editor
 6 Letters:
Perspectives from readers
34 Where on Earth?

50 GeoMarketplace

51 Classifieds:
Career opportunities

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