According to Bloomberg, Poland’s backyard coal mining is on the rise again as a result of the global energy crisis brought on by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and Europe’s reliance on the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin’s methane gas supply.
More than 75 percent of all coal-heated homes in the EU are in Poland, where 37% of families use coal to heat their homes despite the serious health concerns (and climate impacts).
Poland also has a lot of readily available coal, sometimes only a metre beneath, and when unemployment in (previously legal) coal mining districts is as high as 12% and people are burning garbage for heat, “artisanal” (illegal) coal mining pays the bills and keeps homes warm.
In just half a day, a four-man crew in Walbrzych may dig up coal worth 1,000 zloty ($220), which is more than half the typical weekly wage. Grzegorz, who declined to disclose his last name, told Bloomberg that we will continue to drill here as long as coal could be extracted. After then, a fresh pit will be dug.
To Delve Farther Further:
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