As we approach that barbecue soaked, bile duct-loosening event known, colloquially, as the Fancy Farm Picnic & Oratory Thunderdome, one issue that will certainly be out in full force is mountaintop removal (MTR) mining.
To postulate an obvious political equation: The current landscape in Democratic Primaryland dictates that supporters of the practice will likely be Daniel Mongiardo fans (hyped up on an uneducated, economic-based fervor, no doubt), therefore requiring MTR’s opponents and anybody else with a functioning frontal lobe to nest with state AG Jack Conway. So before the issue is rendered into the two-dimensional terms required of any election-cycle talking point, let’s take a moment to look at something ugly.
While criticism of the practice can trace its roots to writings of Wendell Berry, opposition to the environmentally- and economically-devastating methods of MTR has only recently gained substantial awareness thanks in no small part to the continued efforts of innumerable non-profit organizations and PACs, mounting evidence of MTR’s unsustainable, destructive consequences and the development of something called “the innernette.”
It’s this latter device that has, perhaps more than any other reason, allowed for an unprecedented number of people to witness as if firsthand the devastations wrought by MTR upon this nation’s poorest citizens. And not all of that devastation is environmental or economic — it’s societal, too.
In the following video, watch as a peaceful July 4th festival (organized by WV anti-MTR non-profit Keeper of the Mountains) is rudely shattered by a gang of drunken pro-coal brutes and witness, firsthand, the result of large corporate interests wrecking havoc on the human scale:
[via Barefoot & Progressive]
Larry Gibson’s family has lived on or near Kayford Mountain since the late 1700’s. More than 300 relatives are buried in the cemetery on Kayford Mountain. Larry and his family used to live on the lowest lying part of the mountain, and looked “up” to the mountain peaks that surrounded them. Since 1986, the slow motion destruction of Kayford Mountain has been continuous — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Eighteen years after the “mountain top removal” project began, Larry Gibson now occupies the highest point of land around; he is enveloped by a 12,000 acre pancake in what was previously a mountain range. [ThumpandWhip]