I did five separate blog posts about a year ago with five different videos. I figured that they were worth revisiting, I will link them in this blog post also.
At the bottom of this post, you will find links to the original posts, that have bits of dialog also posted with them. Well worth checking out.
On an unrelated note, if you happen to have any spare HDMI switches, let me try to talk you out of one.
3 thoughts on “Toxic West Virginia – Revisited”
Coal mining exist somewhere between asininity and absuridity on a general scale of stupidity.
I mean if someone showed up at your house every morning at 8:00 a.m. and handed you $1000 you would probably think the person was extremely altruistic. However, if that same person came back at 8:00 p.m. and tried to burn your house down, you would be considered remiss for not introducing that person to the business end of a shotgun. Yet, this is exactly the situation–minus the introduction to the business end of as shotgun–that has played out in West Virginia for going on 200 years now.
Coal is a nonrenewable rescource, which once used is gone for ever. Well at least from a practical standpoint. From a theoretical standpoint, it is possible to argue that it is renewable resource in the extreme long-term–as in a couple 100,000,000 years. However, the citizens and government of West Virginia act as if it is never going to run out. Even the oil producing nations of the Middle East are not this short-sighted. Since the late 1970s they have actively reinvested their oil revenues into projects that over time will diversify their economies away from a dependence on oil. But, what will West Virginia have to show for the billions of dollars worth of coal that has been mined and shipped out of the state over the years? Nothing. That is, unless you consider toxic water, sludge ponds, subsidence problems, mud slides, and large swaths of uninhabitable land good things. Oh sure, the Don Blankenship Health Clinic, and the Buck Harless Health and Wellness Center might still be around, but these don’t exactly make for the foundations of sustainable economy.
The sad thing is that every citizen of the state has known all of this for years, but nothing every changes. And, so long as people continue to spout this nonsense, “well I’ve got to eat, and it ain’t me, it’s the coal company,” nothing will ever change. Ultimately, all it would take is for one generation to stand up and say enough is enough, we want something different. If one generation refused to allow their sons and daughters to go into the mines, or on the strip jobs it would change.
Right now the state has the last chance I think it will ever have to change things, but I fear the political will to take the difficult and unpopular steps necessary to bring about this change is absent. For the foreseeable future coal will play a vital role in the production of electricity, and thus practical ceiling on the price per ton has never been higher. Therefore, the state could drastically increase the severance tax, and reinvest this money into infastructure modernization projects and the training and retraining of the workforce to meet the needs of a modern sustainable economy.
I guess I can still hope.
Very interesting to see the effects of one major industry on a state. While we don’t have much coal mining going on here, we have lead mines not to far from here. Not as huge of an industry as it once was but still carries the leftover effects of a very considerable amount of negative environmental issues. The State and the Feds have, over the past 20 years, put a tremendous amount of pressure on these companies to ‘clean up’. Hmmm…all it took was about a 1000 cases of toxic lead poisoning to show up, even in newborns, to make this pressure occur at all.
Efens last blog post..NOW I’m back
Wow. Hon, I’m speechless. Thanks so much for sharing. You may be getting a lot of hits over the next few days. I e-mailed the link to this page to all of my friends and family. I hope others watch, too.
Coal Miner’s Granddaughters last blog post..Open Letter 7