Saturday, December 19, 2009

Coal Country

"The truth about coal mining and the battle with the coal companies in Appalachia."

Documentary by the descendent of generations of coal miners.

The irony of dirty, black, deadly coal is that it is the result of that which used to be living "organic" such as ancient plant material. Also, typically coal mining communites are tight-knit expressing almost ideal levels of solidarity.

Mountaintop Removal: they blast and take the "overburden" off the top of mountains to get at the coal underneath, and this overburden is then cast down into the valley streams, causing tremendous environmental catastrophe. Huge amounts of mercury emissions (a known potent neurotoxin) is left behind. This is a very profitable business model compared to the "old" way of underground coal mining. Furthermore, the "reclamation" afterwards is devoid of the previous biodiversity and of course the moutaintop itself. The coal companies say they are within the law, yet these laws were the product of lobbying from the industry itself.

Appalachian Center for the Economy and Environment

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