For the first time, renewal energy is expected to produce more electricity in April and May than coal, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Wind and solar are now joining natural gas, which only surpassed coal for the first time a few years ago.
We can't get carried away. Coal is seasonal, and is likely to exceed wind and solar over the summer.
But the trend is toward renewables, which are dropping in price by 70-90%.
Perhaps the rise of alternative fuels stems from concerns with global warming. But it is entirely possible that it doesn't. While climate change certainly needs to be kept in the public spotlight, the termination of coal as a fuel source does not depend upon it. The fact is, coal is bad for miners, and breathers. If the marketplace were perfect, it would force polluters to clean up after themselves, and coal would be unaffordable. When total costs are considered, alternative fuels are increasingly superior. Even conservatives who don't accept global warming should be more open to accepting that coal is an inferior fuel source regardless.
So, don't ignore global warming, but just don't get hung up on it. Coal, and diesel, in the short run, and all fossil fuels in the long run, are likely to be replaced by the greater economic appeal of alternative energy.