The history of coal as a brand
The drinking water for the village of Majiapo in Shanxi province is contaminated by acid mine drainage - discharged water containing sulfuric acid and other heavy metals from a coal mine operated by the Yangmei Group. This type of pollution is common in China's coal country. Water pollution is becoming a bigger problem as China drains its fresh water resources to satiate the demand of its growing cities.
New numbers show that China's coal production will likely grow about 3 percent this year, despite a government campaign to cut air pollution.
Coal's history has been intertwined with growth, the industrial age, and lately, pollution and climate change. Barbara Freese is the author of Coal: A Human History, and discusses the history of coal as a brand.