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Mountaintop Removal Mining Is Ecological Suicide

Mountaintop Removal Mining Is Ecological Suicide
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I spent many of my formidable years in East Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. If you’ve never been to Appalachia, you should know that it’s hard to describe the mixture of lush landscape, Southern hospitality, and folklore that make it a place unlike any other in this world.

Just an hour outside the bustling city of Knoxville, where I spent my college years, you’ll find Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, it is the most visited national park in America.

While the mountain peaks located in the park are safe for now, their counterparts in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky haven’t been so lucky. These mountains, some of the oldest in the world, are being destroyed by coal mining companies. No longer content to bore below the surface of the earth in search of their black prize, these companies now use a process called mountaintop removal mining to gain easy access to the coal seams hidden underneath.

Using powerful explosives to remove the mountain tops, the process creates thousands of tons of rubble. The resulting dirt, rock, and toxic mining chemicals, referred to as “valley fill” are simply bulldozed into the surrounding valleys, choking streams, and burying plant life all in one fell swoop. Sometimes Big Coal will “reclaim” the now bald mountain top by sprinkling some top soil and a few pine seedlings where hundred year old trees used to be. But most of the time they don’t. Appalachian communities, who have lived on or around these mountains for generations are left to deal with the consequences. And they aren’t pretty.

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83 comments

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5:09PM PST on Dec 3, 2012


Eve of Destruction

Earth Cry

7:03AM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

pathetic sold out politicians shilling for coal while the people jockeye for last position with Mississippi. Blankenship should be in jail.

9:27AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Teresa, You signed on April 10, 2012.
Your signature has been delivered to:
U.S. Congress

9:24AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

thank you

2:29PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

DEMON COAL ; replay on Cbc Radio

CBC.ca | Ideas | Demon Coal, Part 1 & 2
www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2012/03/12/demon-coal-part-1/12 Mar 2012 – Listen to Demon Coal, Part 2 (Broadcast March 19) coal.jpg Coal is ... more to coal. Here are some ideas related to our IDEAS programmes: ...

CBC.ca | Ideas | Demon Coal, Part 2
www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2012/03/19/-demon-coal-part-2/19 Mar 2012 – Demon Coal, Part 2 " />. Accessibility Links. Skip to main content; Skip to CBC accessibility page ... CBC Global Header Navigation ...

7:06PM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Sadly, the earth won't survive if we keep up this destruction.......

3:58PM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Beth - I lived in the Knoxville area from 1998 till 2007. I'm sorry to re-inform you, BUT THOSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID! And that's the problem.

Oh yeah, they have progressives and UT and many science buildings and labs, but those aren't the people who own the property you're talking about.
I know Those people.
And they're broke! Any easy money or high-payin' job wit' no beneefeets is jus' fine wit' dem!

And they will sell. They can't believe anyone would do them much harm, not if they're waving an American flag and telling them that doing this will help their nation and make them Patriots!

If these people aren't INTENSELY educated by THEIR OWN KIND about what will happen to their land; this beautiful, intensely magnificent land THAT i OWN 2 ACRES OF, it will fall.

There are simply not enough of us who are educated, aren't broke, that CARE -
to make the difference!
Oh, and look just north of Knoxville; they raped that mountain around Jellico. I drive by it all the time; it's just horrible.

1:45AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

They wont be happy till the whole world is a desert with nothing living any where , when will we wake up ? !

9:57PM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Yes, and that seems what those in leadership positions in this country are bent on doing - committing suicide. Trouble is, they'll take all the rest of us with them.

8:08PM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Too bad that Princess Diana isn't alive to fight this for us! :( They rather die looking for whatever they're looking for inside mines than saving our precious Earth.

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