Hidden Costs of a Mainstream Lifestyle

IWJ-SCUPE-Full-Color-Final-e1381505538900-805x1024And … You thought it was inexpensive!
In our modern world of electric cars, convenience appliances and instant communication, clean, reliable and inexpensive electricity is our everyday lifeline to a high functioning society.

Yet, coal continues to generate a significant amount of the electricity used by Illinois residents. In fact, coal-powered electricity is essential to meeting many of our most fundamental needs.  This longstanding source of cheap energy has a dark side that is emblematic of the difficult choices ahead for energy consumers who are of faith and conscience. There are costs to society that we won’t see listed in our monthly bills, such as:

  • Land disturbance from mining (forest clearing, subsided farmland, loss of crop production).
  • Air and water pollution (mining, coal ash disposal, coal slurry, and combustion of coal).
  • Financial subsidies to the coal industry (grants, tax breaks, tax incentives, research and development, marketing, etc.).
  • Abandoned mine land reclamation (legacy costs to communities for infrastructure repairs once mine operators leave).
  • Public health burden (24,000 premature deaths nationwide in 2010, according Mining Coal, Mounting Costs. Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School. 2011).
  • Climate change (burning coal is one of the leading contributors to global warming).

Economic justice begins at home and is reflected in many of our personal decisions and public policies.

coal economy

Learn more from Eco-Justice Collaborative on Wednesday, June 23 (beginning at 10:30 am), at this year’s SCUPE Congress on Urban Ministry, with its theme “Together Building a Just Economy“. The conference will take place at:

DePaul University, Student Center
2250 N. Sheffield
Chicago, IL 60614
June 23, at 7 pm, through June 26, at noon

Through a multi-media presentation and audience participation, this fast-paced session will engage attendees in the process of identifying the externalized and surprising costs of a convenient lifestyle.  Participants will learn of the far reaching economic connections that our everyday decisions can have on social and eco-justice, understand their own role in the impact chain, and be able to ask key questions that will help them become advocates for more just public policies.

Click for more about SCUPE’s Urban Congress Ministry.
Register today and get discounted rates (good through June 5)

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