Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Resource Crunch: Why Many Things Cost Much More

By Tom Randall and Eric Roston - 2012-02-06T18:24:40Z

Photograph by Erik Hagman/GalleryStock

Company Symbol % Change
8 of 14

Peak Coal--Industrial Age Icon Has Clean Competition

Coal, the fire stone, filler of Christmas stockings, enabler of industrialization, may be reaching its peak. "The peak of global coal production... is imminent," wrote two engineering professors, in the journal Energy in 2010.

Like other peak assessments, coal projections vary with researchers' assumptions and estimates. The Energy Watch Group, based in Germany, has suggested that U.S. coal production peaked in 2002 and that world reserves could climb until 2025. The U.S. Energy Information Agency sees global coal output rising at 1.1 percent a year at least until 2035.

Coal has always been dirty. Airborne soot convinced Londoners in the 1700s to start using all-black umbrellas to hide the grime, a tradition that's carried on even after the air has cleared significantly. Today, the grime from coal is molecular, as power plants release carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.

Read more energy & sustainability news.

Read the full Special Report