Jack makes it on time for a change – –
When Wendy and I first moved to Big Stone Gap in faar SW Virginia, we early on took a drive up to Black Mountain just a few miles away on the border between VA and Kentucky. There’s a parking place up there where you can look over to where there used to be another mountain. It’s no longer there because the easiest and cheapest way to get coal was to get rid of miners, hire a few machine drivers and a lot of explosives.
The coal companies are mainly owned directly or indirectly by the power companies who run the coal fired plants and answer to their shareholders – maximize profits and dividends.
So when the coal is extracted the land should be returned to its original condition but never is because it’s cheaper to just walk away and nobody with any influence seems to care.
So the natural water courses are clogged up, there are mudslides, contaminated rivers etc. The coal fired power plants add to carbon which adds to climate change, and which results in a ‘perfect storm’!
The news reports have focused on the tragedies of lost lives and the coming together of communities to provide support just as communities around the world do on such occasions. But I’ve seen very few that even try to make the connection between coal mining legacies, mountain removal, carbon emissions and flooding in east Kentucky last week.