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Jack Downey ~ The Galloping Geezer Jack Downey Comments on Canadian Issues to Inform and Amuse.


Photo by Julie Ann Biggs






Have you met my Anthracite Coal?


She's married to my Uncle BIG Wheel


Alberta has the largest coal reserves in the world. Northern BC has very large reserves of hard coal. Today, trains from Alberta and BC's Crow's Nest Pass are shipping masses of coal to Robert's Bank in BC for transfer to Coal ships that are on turn around schedules back and forth to Japan. Coal is the largest commodity carried by our Railroad systems. If you have ever taken the BC Ferries from the Ladner docks, you will have seen the mountain of coal being transferred. It is truly mind boggling to think that this prehistoric plant growth is a viable marketing material in today's energy market.


To view the massive machinery used in mining go to: click here Keep in mind that today, women as well as men are using these huge pieces of equipment.

Those of us who recognize coal burning Locomotives, Electricity Generation plants and factories that were/are run on coal fired steam, are the real old timers that know those black rocks will burn. Those that remember words like 'clinker, coal scuttle, ton of coal and cinder in my eye' know about coal. Those that have limited knowledge, might want to do a bit of research on the subject. Scientific American has forecast that, no later than the middle of this century, coal will again become king in the energy field . What is seen by science is that coal will be mined and then, through new types of catalytic crackers, converted to liquid fuel and a multitude of chemicals. At the moment, Oil and Natural gas are fairly abundant and reasonably cheap. As our dependency on petroleum changes, due to cost or scarceness, more and more coal will come on stream. A good investment for your Grandchild's stock portfolio could be a few quality Coal Mining shares.

The Great Kubla Khan of China, when he had his great palace constructed, had a large hill built in his garden. The hill was formed with a huge COAL base, covered with soil and sod, for reserve fuel in case of siege. The Navies of the world established coaling ports around the world so they would have control of the trade routes. If there was no local coal they had huge stockpiles laid by. Naniamo BC on the West Coast, and of course a multitude of mines in the Maritimes, provided the power for Britannia to "Rule the Waves" on the North Atlantic routes. Coal built the British Empire as British Navy war ships enforced British rules. The 19th century and half of the 20th century had coal as king, world wide. In a little over 50 years, petroleum is becoming scarce and losing its economic edge.

The King of Siam, in the 1800's, was approached by a British Trade delegation and he refused them entry into Siam with two very insightful replies (paraphrased here):
  • I have read the Bible you sent me and find it to be an extremely commendable way of life, however, I know that, when my people who are reading your Bible finish and look up, you will have taken our land and our culture and all we will have left is your Bible.
  • You come to Siam as the 3'Ms' in this order, first Merchants, then Missionaries, then Military.


The French did get in and coal was mined in the north and shipped from Hanoi for their fleet and, when Japan captured Indochina, they kept the coal mines supplying her fleet too during WW2.

The USA is one of the largest users of COAL as an energy resource. Acid rain and ozone damage are huge problems that affect specifically central and eastern Canada. The ozone damage effects us all, of course.

Japan is Canada's second largest trading partner and our largest buyer of coal. Check our fording.ca a Canadian company that is one of the larges coal suppliers in the world. Some of our coal returns to Canada from Japan on the high altitude Pacific winds. These pollutants are affecting the flora and fauna of BC

Here is a Canadian coal site that will help you to understand in non Scientific jargon as to why our trees and lakes are dying and what we can tell our politicians to do to resolve this dilemma. Coal.ca

Now you have met my Anthracite and Uncle Big Wheel you can see that Aunty can be a real Bituminous at times.

Jack C. Downey CD



Jack C. Downey CD
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