Appalachian Coal: the faucet is almost dry

cardiovascular disease, loss of visibility, and (somewhat importantly) the complete shattering of our global climactic patterns.

Many are also seeing for the first time that extracting coal is as destructive (and socially expensive) as emitting coal. Mountaintop removal and strip mining are decimating the majestic Appalachian Mountains - the oldest mountains on this continent. More than 1 million acres have been blasted away, and shoved recklessly into creek-beds and hollows. 1200+ miles of headwater streams have been buried, poisoning the water for us and those who live down stream.  

The ancient hardwood forests of Appalachia (themselves an important carbon sink in our war on CO2) are often shoved aside with the mountain, left to rot and clog our streams without even being commercially harvested. The "rape" of Appalachia, as Senator Webb has called it.

How much coal would be "worth it?"
100 years?
250 years?
500 years?

Hows about a dozen?

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Al Gore - "A horrible mistake"

Go watch this video: AL Gore - Coal to Liquid Technology

Is your Senator one of the 12 cosponsors? Is your representative one of the 30 cosponsors in the house? The list is so long I had to put it below the break!

Check the list and then start contacting them to register your disappointment. As Al Gore says, they are making "a horrible mistake" by co-sponsoring this massive corporate welfare subsidy for a disastrous energy policy.

Cross-posted at DailyKos

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Coal and Global Warming

(Cross posted at the Appalachian Voices blog)

This month, U.S. P.I.R.G., released a report called "The Carbon Boom: National and State Trends in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Since 1960".

A lot of people ask me, why do you care about air pollution? Global warming is going to be the only problem we'll be worrying about in 50 years.

Well, with such a complicated issue as global warming (I challenge anybody to find something more complicated than global warming) PIRG does us the favor of making the connection between coal mining, power production, coal-fired power plants, air quality, and... gasp!...Global Warming.

I'd encourage you to read the whole report, but here are is my attempt to give you the short and easy story through graphs and the magic of

blockquotes geeks, number nerds, and ye of great courage and a stout heart, proceed...

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Appalachia: National Sacrifice Zone

(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)

Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future, just wrote a terrific editorial in the New York Times called Our Black Future, which touches on the growing need and want of coal in supplying America energy.

I can tell you 400,000 reasons why coal can NOT play an increasingly significant role in our energy future.

But the #1 reason to stay away from coal is a human one.

From 1984 to 2004, the average coal miner's per-shift productivity more than doubled, while wages declined by 20 percent (adjusted for inflation). If we simply increase consumption, we will be condemning large areas of the country, including eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, to national sacrifice zones.

Add that phrase to the mountaintop removal vernacular - NATIONAL SACRIFICE ZONE.

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Appalachian Voices blog: Up and Running!!!

The new Appalachian Voices blogis shoving off today across the great Southern American blogosphere!

As we embark on this journey I invite you to join us for Mountain Oyesters and barbeque, sweet tea and moonshine, Smokey Mountains and Clean Smokestacks!

From Lookout to Kayford to Blair to Grandfather Mountain, we will be there protecting our environment, gaurding and celebrating our culture, and encouraging engagement in the politics of Appalachia.

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