[The information and citations below are from the website of the organization iLoveMountains.org.] All of us who love mountains, need to be aware of the devastating practice called “Mountaintop Removal” This is a form of strip mining in which entire mountains are blown up in order to extract the coal beneath the surface. Over 500 mountains have already been sacrificed.
In addition to destroying mountain lands that were once rich in biodiversity, the residue from this mining results in environmental hazards for all those who live in proximity. Valleys are filled with rubble from the mining and headwater streams are choked and annihilated. Coal sludge permeates and poisons water tables and wells. Blasting shakes foundations and dust clouds the air, bringing respiratory disease.
“Primarily, mountaintop removal is occurring in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. Coal companies in Appalachia are increasingly using this method because it allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams while reducing the number of workers required to a fraction of what conventional methods require.”
No jobs are gained for the local people.
But, particularly in Appalachia, the human beings are standing up for themselves and for their non-human relations.
iLoveMountains.org is the product of 14 local, state, and regional organizations across Appalachia that are working together to end mountaintop removal coal mining and create a prosperous future for the region.
On their website, you can: watch videos about mountaintop removal featuring the people of Appalachia. You can also explore the National Memorial for the Mountains — an interactive satellite map that shows each of the more than 500 mountains already destroyed by this mining practice — and visit My Connection — the webtool that lets you see how your electricity usage is connected to mountaintop removal.
And you can find ways to take action.
In our gratitude circles for the beautiful Mountains and Minerals, let’s include deep appreciation for all those working on their behalf.