One of the panaceas that you typically hear about Peak Oil, is that we can just start converting coal to fuel. While it is true that that is technically possible, that is a very energy intensive process itself. Also, those who say this usually don’t have a clear picture of how damaging coal mining is to the environment.
Well, as found over at Peak Energy, here’s something that should give a very clear picture of how devastating open pit mining is:
What you are seeing is a very small part of the machine used for open pit mining swallowing a bulldozer. (The bulldover is the little yellow thing near the top of the wheel.) Take a look at more pictures, which show that the wheel is just a small piece of the entire machine here.