I recently had a talk with Tom Cormons of Appalachian Voices, and he sent me home with a copy of this book:
It’s published by Earth Aware Editions, and it certainly has an agenda in its presentation of mountaintop removal (MTR) mining—not the place to go if you want to hear the pro-coal argument. I’m O.K. with that. I really can’t think of any line of reasoning that would change my mind about this particular issue. Feel free, of course, to leave a comment if you disagree.
My larger point is that although folks around here might associate this mining method only with West Virginia and Kentucky, it does in fact happen right here in our home state. Many pages in the book are devoted to large photos of MTR sites, and while the majority are in other states, Virginia makes several ugly appearances:
One could argue the half-mast flags are a bit of overkill. Then again, one could argue they’re completely appropriate.
It would also be completely appropriate to contact our elected officials in Virginia to express disgust and outrage at MTR. There’s recently been both good news and bad news on this front; as far as I’m concerned, this is an issue that will weather history in much the same way as Massive Resistance. In other words, future generations are going be incredulous that we ever allowed things to go so wrong.