The planetary boundaries concept presents a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come; a 'safe operating space'. Crossing these boundaries increases the risk of generating large-scale abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.
The nine planetary boundaries offer an approach to global sustainability where humanity can safely operate and avoid major human-induced environmental change on a global scale. The article argues that three of the planetary boundaries are already transgressed, including: climate change, biodiversity loss and the global nitrogen cycle.
Emissions from the coal-fired power plant industry in the form of fine particle pollution, global warming, ozone smog, acid rain and regional haze, cause significant negative effects on human beings. Research shows that death or disease from coal-based electricity production in the United States, can be reduced if the pollution from coal plants is addressed.