Well, not exactly. If we were Appalachian trees or streams, those who write from far away Manhattan would be feeling our pain. As it is, they don't really think of us, it's our landscape they care about. Bushes and boulders. For the few remaining humans here there is only indifference. Ongoing and unrelenting indifference:
More Sadness for AppalachiaPity the mountain streams (we call them dry gullies around here, the ones that many of us have cursed in the springtime when the first thaw comes to the mountaintops and a raging torrent flows into our basements and washes out our bridges and roadways, then dry up again).
The Bush administration is writing one more sad chapter in the long, tortured history of Appalachia’s coal-rich hills. Last week, the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining proposed a revision, amounting to a repeal, of one of the last regulatory protections against an environmentally ruinous mining practice called mountaintop removal.
Mountaintop removal is just what the name suggests: enormous machines scrape away mountain ridges to expose the coal seams. The leftover rock and dirt are then dumped into adjacent valleys and streams. The practice has gone on for years. By one estimate, 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams have been buried this way and hundreds of square miles of forests damaged. (link)
As for the human beings who are trying to scratch out a living (including those who are employed by those surface mining companies), the New York Times editorialists haven't one word to say. They don't care.
"Sadness for Appalachia" indeed.