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UNT Insider | September 2009 Issue | Big Coal author Jeff Goodell to give public lecture at UNT

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Big Coal author Jeff Goodell to give public lecture at UNT

From a UNT News Service press release


Big Coal by Jeff Goodell
  • What: A lecture at UNT by Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future. Part of UNT's One Book, One Community program for 2009-10.
  • When: 8 p.m. Oct. 6 (Tuesday)
  • Where: Ballroom of UNT's Gateway Center
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact: UNT Department of English at 940-565-2050

An average of 20 pounds of coal for every man, woman and child in the United States are burned each day to keep the nation's electricity flowing. A pile of coal containing 1 million British thermal units worth of energy costs only $2.25, while the equivalent amount of natural gas runs about $5, according to author Jeff Goodell.


Goodell, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, has traveled the U.S. and other nations since 2001 to shatter the idea that cheap, abundant coal should be the main energy source for the 21st century. He will discuss his latest book, Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future, Oct. 6.


Goodell's visit to UNT is part of UNT's One Book, One Community program for the 2009-10 academic year. The program includes guest speakers, films and other events focusing on the theme of "America's Energy Future."


Big Coal is the book selected by the One Book, One Community Steering Committee to reflect the theme. Freshmen received free copies of the book and were encouraged to read it and attend one of the book discussion groups just for freshmen at the start of the school year. Other students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community also are encouraged to read Big Coal and to attend One Book, One Community events.


Goodell's articles appear regularly in Wired, The New Republic and The New York Times Magazine, in addition to Rolling Stone.


He first investigated the coal industry in 2001, when The New York Times Magazine sent him to West Virginia to write about the comeback of the coal industry, which President George W. Bush called "America's economic destiny."


In Big Coal, Goodell presents arguments to show that the U.S.'s increasing dependence on coal as a cheap energy source will lead to catastrophic economic and environmental consequences.


Goodell's other books include Our Story: 77 Hours That Tested Our Friendship and Our Faith, which he wrote after traveling to Somerset County, Penn., in 2002 to interview nine miners saved from the Quecreek Mine. The miners were trapped underground for more than 78 hours in July 2002.


In addition to his lecture about Big Coal, Goodell will conduct a question-and-answer session with selected UNT students.


Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at Buddy.price@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:


September 2009

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