Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The economic case against Mountaintop Removal coal mining

This article from West Virginia Blue is a must-read. It brings together (and backs with data) a lot of the arguments that I have had against mountain top removal. I am not anti-coal, nor do I have any intention to live in a cave, as some pro-MTR folks have suggested.

MTR is a blight upon the earth. Literally. We need to be aware of the facts, not just the propaganda by both sides, and this article does a great job of making an argument backed by facts, not emotion, which is sorely lacking in today's debate.

14 comments:

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Yea, these are all old numbers. It's the propaganda our side uses.
Until people begin to treat the Earth as a sacred place and not just a deposit of resources to be conquered by modern men, one side will continue to fight the other and throw around numbers, facts and figures till somebody gives up. . . until the next round.
Unfortunatly, people are becoming more and more materialistic rather than spiritual. . . I aint talkin religion here, just the plain old primal connection that all human being ought to have with the Earth.
The Earth ripples.

MountainLaurel said...

SH, I'd say that the numbers are fairly close. the employment numbers are from April 2009. Sure, the fancy graphic is dated 2000, but I'd say that it holds more true now.

But I have to agree, it has to go beyond these arguments and back to a balanced view. Figures don't lie, but liars can figure, and the more I learn about statistics the more I learn that they can be manipulated in any manner of ways. MTR is not balanced in any way, shape or form. Responsible stewardship of the earth has to be the key.

tanstaafl said...

After I get a chance to look it over I may have a comment. Until then all I can say is that from a surface view it looks rather damning.

tanstaafl said...

Not much new, but a novel way to approach the topic. Strip mining has never been attractive except to the coal barons. I have never seen any real economic or social benefits for the general ,public from strip mining. But I have seen a tremendous amount of damage to the environment and to nearby property owners, both economic and social.

MountainLaurel said...

tansaafl, I'll have to agree that it was a refreshing look. Out-of-state property holders don't buy into the "the mountains are beautiful" arguments. If they can see a more profitable way to use their investment, that would be the impetus for change.

I can rest assured that as long as my father and I have breath, the area I grew up in will not be stripped or MTRd (heck, at 40 acres it's hardly big enough for MTR). But I have no guarantee for the lands around his, which is what concerns me, as a reconfiguration of the land around their land can cause some major problems. Just ask anyone in Mingo these days.

MountainLaurel said...

tansaafl, I'll have to agree that it was a refreshing look. Out-of-state property holders don't buy into the "the mountains are beautiful" arguments. If they can see a more profitable way to use their investment, that would be the impetus for change.

I can rest assured that as long as my father and I have breath, the area I grew up in will not be stripped or MTRd (heck, at 40 acres it's hardly big enough for MTR). But I have no guarantee for the lands around his, which is what concerns me, as a reconfiguration of the land around their land can cause some major problems. Just ask anyone in Mingo these days.

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It is certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thank author for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

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