Annihilation of mountaintops"An affront to nature." Gee. If only the enlightened folks at the Times felt the same revulsion when driving past the hovels belonging to people in those mountains who are trying to stave off poverty and starvation.
The destructive mining practice, which tears apart entire mountains to get at the coal beneath, should be limited to what the law actually allows.
The Roanoke Times
The Roanoke and New River valleys are blessed with much natural beauty, especially the green, forested mountains that define those valleys. Citizens who appreciate the peaceful splendor of those mountains should be horrified by the widespread practice in West Virginia called mountaintop removal mining.
Mountaintop removal involves blowing apart mountains to get at seams of coal beneath. The "spoil" is then dumped into adjacent valleys, burying entire streams.
Mountaintop removal mining is an affront to nature, the rule of law and the biblical concept charging humankind with dominion - not domination - of the Earth. People everywhere should join the fight to see it limited to what the law should actually allow. (link)
It's odd. I never read any editorials decrying the fact that the median value of a home in West Virginia is $46,800 less than the national average. Or that the median household income in West Virginia averages $12,298 less than the rest of the country. Or that the percentage of people living in poverty is 17.9 while the national average is 12.4%. (link) Or that the state of West Virginia is the only one of 50 to have lost population between the 1990 census and that conducted in 2000. The 2010 census will probably reveal that there are, by then, more mountains than human beings in West Virginia; just what the Times editors would prefer, no doubt.
The environmental extremists at the Times get worked up over rocks being turned into pastureland - after a handful of people earn a modest income in the process of retrieving the only commodity of value in that God-forsaken part of the world. The crusaders for a more primitive world have no interest in the fact that a mass migration continues involving, for generations now, the citizenry of West Virginia heading north looking for employment. They want to see trees and rocks when they go on vacation, damn it!
News flash: Those of us in the real world are well beyond this discussion.
It is time for us to come together and determine just how many piles of rocks we are going to leave in place for the Times editors to admire from afar. Personally, I think the number should somehow correspond to the relative level of wealth in the state. When every family in West Virginia is affluent, they can afford to join the lamentation chorus and will then have the opportunity to cry for that which was lost.
I just hope they never forget that which is being gained.